Enhanced memory-driven attentional capture in action video game players

Bao Zhang, Shuhui Liu, Ziwen Luo, Sai Huang (Corresponding Author), Jie Sui* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Action video game players (AVGPs) have been shown to have an enhanced cognitive control ability to reduce stimulus-driven attentional capture (e.g., from an exogenous salient distractor) compared with non-action video game players (NVGPs). Here we examined whether these benefits could extend to the memory-driven attentional capture (i.e., working memory (WM) representations bias visual attention toward a matching distractor). AVGPs and NVGPs were instructed to complete a visual search task while actively maintaining 1, 2 or 4 items in WM. There was a robust advantage to the memory-driven attentional capture in reaction time and first eye movement fixation in the AVGPs compared to the NVGPs when they had to maintain one item in WM. Moreover, the effect of memory-driven attentional capture was maintained in the AVGPs when the WM load was increased, but it was eliminated in the NVGPs. The results suggest that AVGPs may devote more attentional resources to sustaining the
cognitive control rather than to suppressing the attentional capture driven by the active WM representations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106271
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Early online date18 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Projects of the Social Sciences and Humanities on Young Fund of the Ministry of Education, China (16YJC190028), Guangzhou University's 2017 Training Program for Young Top-notch Personnel (BJ201720) and Team Project for Humanities and social sciences (201604XSTD) for BZ and Guangzhou University's training program for excellent new-recruited doctors (YB201705) for SH.


  • Action video game players
  • Memory-driven attentional capture
  • Cognitive promotion
  • Working memory
  • LOAD


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