Can Video-Games Enhance Cognitive Ability?


  • Marina Martinčević Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Filozofski fakultet, Odsjek za psihologiju, Zagreb
  • Andrea Vranić Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Filozofski fakultet, Odsjek za psihologiju, Zagreb


video games, cognitive training, multimodal training, video-games genre


Cognitive training is an intervention aimed at promoting various aspects of cognitive functioning. The most effective programs include the so-called multimodal training, i.e. interventions which include the activity of several cognitive processes and lead to far transfer of training-induced skills to everyday life. Video games represent a well-established example of multimodal training, leading to cognitive empowerment in various populations. Given the popularity of video games, this review aims to present: i) cognitive mechanisms required for gaming which turn video games into an optimal platform for cognitive empowerment and ii) cognitive effects of playing various types of video-games. More specifically, we review the theory behind the efficacy of video games, learning mechanisms promoted by gaming, and mechanisms of transfer. Also, we focus on the three most commonly used video games in cognitive training: serious games, brain training and commercial games, considering their effects in different age groups and neuropsychological patients. Due to the variety of commercial games, the research findings are presented via different genres of commercial games and their effects on cognitive functioning. In the last part of the paper, we give recommendations for future video game research as a form of cognitive training.