  Chapter 

Playing action videogames can enhance performance on spatial tasks for both boys and girls. Girls showed larger improvements than males, and prior gender differences were virtually eliminated or reduced. The results confirm that higher level spatial abilities depend at least in part on lower-level capacities in spatial attention. 


Introduction

Research has always found gender differences in spatial cognition. But nobody has really investigated if there might be gender differences in the basic capacities that support spatial cognition. For instance, there might be a gender difference in attentional processes, of which a lot of research has indicated that it is related to spatial cognition.

Recently, they have tried to improve spatial attentional capacity by having participants play action videogames. Spatial attentional capacity is a very important aspect of visual cognition. Participants who improve theirs by playing videogames may also realize benefits in higher-level spatial cognition. But boys like different games than girls. That might cause boys to realize benefits in spatial attention that aren’t realized by most girls, because they don’t often play those games.

First experiment

This experiment examines group differences, including gender differences, in spatial attention.

Second experiment

This experiment examines the possibility that group differences in both low-level and higher-level spatial cognition may be modified.

Conclusion

Playing action videogames can enhance performance on spatial tasks for both boys and girls. Girls showed larger improvements than males, and prior gender differences were virtually eliminated or reduced. There are some underlying processes at work that are very different from those in more typical learning situations. Because those skills usually fade away if they are not continuously practiced.

The results confirm that higher level spatial abilities depend at least in part on lower-level capacities in spatial attention. 

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