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A negative association between video game experience and proactive cognitive control


Address reprint requests to: Kira M. Bailey, Department of Psychology, W112 Lagomarcino Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA. E-mail:


Some evidence demonstrates that video game experience has a beneficial effect on visuospatial cognition. In contrast, other evidence indicates that video game experience may be negatively related to cognitive control. In this study we examined the specificity of the influence of video game experience on cognitive control. Participants with high and low video game experience performed the Stroop task while event-related brain potentials were recorded. The behavioral data revealed no difference between high and low gamers for the Stroop interference effect and a reduction in the conflict adaptation effect in high gamers. The amplitude of the medial frontal negativity and a frontal slow wave was attenuated in high gamers, and there was no effect of gaming status on the conflict slow potential. These data lead to the suggestion that video game experience has a negative influence on proactive, but not reactive, cognitive control.