Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Cognitive consequences of playing brain‐training games in immersive virtual reality

Summary The goal of the present study was to examine the effects of playing an immersive virtual reality game that included a collection of gamified cognitive tasks, Cerevrum, on specific components of cognition, including perceptual attention, mental rotation, working memory, visualization, visual field of view, and visual processing speed. Participants completed a pretest of cognitive assessments, played one of the two mini‐games within Cerevrum (Stardust or Heroes) for 1.5 hr over three 30‐min sessions and then completed a posttest of cognitive assessments and a questionnaire about interest and engagement during the game. An inactive control group completed only the pretest and posttest. Results showed no significant differences among the Heroes group, Stardust group, and control group on the posttest scores, even when controlled for pretest scores. These findings do not support the claim that playing brain‐training games for a short period results in transfer of cognitive training to nongame venues.

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