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Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults.

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, September 2013
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)


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1280 Mendeley
11 CiteULike
Video game training enhances cognitive control in older adults.
Published in
Nature, September 2013
DOI 10.1038/nature12486
Pubmed ID

J. A. Anguera, J. Boccanfuso, J. L. Rintoul, O. Al-Hashimi, F. Faraji, J. Janowich, E. Kong, Y. Larraburo, C. Rolle, E. Johnston, A. Gazzaley, Anguera JA, Boccanfuso J, Rintoul JL, Al-Hashimi O, Faraji F, Janowich J, Kong E, Larraburo Y, Rolle C, Johnston E, Gazzaley A, J.A. Anguera, J.L. Rintoul, Anguera, J.A., Boccanfuso, Juan J, Rintoul, J.L., Al-Hashimi, O., Faraji, F, Janowich, J., Kong, E, Larraburo, Y., Rolle, C., Johnston, Caroline E., Gazzaley, A H


Cognitive control is defined by a set of neural processes that allow us to interact with our complex environment in a goal-directed manner. Humans regularly challenge these control processes when attempting to simultaneously accomplish multiple goals (multitasking), generating interference as the result of fundamental information processing limitations. It is clear that multitasking behaviour has become ubiquitous in today's technologically dense world, and substantial evidence has accrued regarding multitasking difficulties and cognitive control deficits in our ageing population. Here we show that multitasking performance, as assessed with a custom-designed three-dimensional video game (NeuroRacer), exhibits a linear age-related decline from 20 to 79 years of age. By playing an adaptive version of NeuroRacer in multitasking training mode, older adults (60 to 85 years old) reduced multitasking costs compared to both an active control group and a no-contact control group, attaining levels beyond those achieved by untrained 20-year-old participants, with gains persisting for 6 months. Furthermore, age-related deficits in neural signatures of cognitive control, as measured with electroencephalography, were remediated by multitasking training (enhanced midline frontal theta power and frontal-posterior theta coherence). Critically, this training resulted in performance benefits that extended to untrained cognitive control abilities (enhanced sustained attention and working memory), with an increase in midline frontal theta power predicting the training-induced boost in sustained attention and preservation of multitasking improvement 6 months later. These findings highlight the robust plasticity of the prefrontal cognitive control system in the ageing brain, and provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, of how a custom-designed video game can be used to assess cognitive abilities across the lifespan, evaluate underlying neural mechanisms, and serve as a powerful tool for cognitive enhancement.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 1,280 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 42 3%
Germany 12 <1%
Spain 10 <1%
United Kingdom 10 <1%
Japan 10 <1%
Canada 6 <1%
France 6 <1%
Brazil 5 <1%
Netherlands 5 <1%
Other 38 3%
Unknown 1136 89%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 303 24%
Researcher 244 19%
Student > Master 204 16%
Student > Bachelor 157 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 70 5%
Other 302 24%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 514 40%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 168 13%
Neuroscience 117 9%
Unspecified 110 9%
Medicine and Dentistry 104 8%
Other 267 21%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1325. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 02 September 2018.
All research outputs
of 11,774,936 outputs
Outputs from Nature
of 60,277 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 144,516 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
of 980 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,774,936 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 60,277 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 72.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 144,516 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 980 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.