Gamers face trans-cranial study
New research shows video gamers can significantly improve their esport skills by training for just 10 minutes a day.
However, the same study found novice gamers can benefit even more by wearing a custom headset delivering transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for 20 minutes before training sessions.
Experts at an esports research lab at Ireland’s University of Limerick (UL) say that neurostimulation can accelerate motor performance improvements specifically in novice esports participants.
“One of the original and most prominent esports over the past 20 years has been the first-person shooter (FPS) game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). We asked participants to shoot and eliminate enemy targets as quickly and accurately as possible during their training sessions in the study,” said researcher Dr Adam Toth.
Participants wore a custom headset designed to deliver transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). However, some received no stimulation, others just a 'sham' treatment, while the remainder received a 20-minute exposure.
“Our study found that novice gamers who received tDCS over their motor cortex before training improved their performance on the specific task over five days, significantly more than novices who trained following no such stimulus,” explained Dr Mark Campbell.
Curiously, according to Dr Toth, when they examined the effect of tDCS on training compared to non-stimulated groups, they observed a significant effect of tDCS on training for left and right targets, but not centre targets.
“The fact that tDCS exerted an influence on training performance specifically for targets requiring a larger controlled movement (left and right targets) corroborates the assertion that tDCS may be better able to accelerate performance improvements for complex motor movements rather than simple reactions,” Dr Toth added.