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|Author||Cole, S., W.; Yoo, D., J.; Knutson, B.|
|Title||Interactivity and Reward-Related Neural Activation during a Serious Videogame.|
Cole, S. W., Yoo, D. J., & Knutson, B. (2012). Interactivity and reward-related neural activation during a serious videogame. PLoS one, 7(3), e33909.
|Link to article|| https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0033909
|Abstract||This study sought to determine whether playing a ‘‘serious’’ interactive digital game (IDG) – the Re-Mission videogame for cancer patients – activates mesolimbic neural circuits associated with incentive motivation, and if so, whether such effects stem from the participatory aspects of interactive gameplay, or from the complex sensory/perceptual engagement generated by its dynamic event-stream. Healthy undergraduates were randomized to groups in which they were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) as they either actively played Re-Mission or as they passively observed a gameplay audio-visual stream generated by a yoked active group subject. Onset of interactive game play robustly activated mesolimbic projection regions including the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens, as well as a subregion of the parahippocampal gyrus. During interactive gameplay, subjects showed extended activation of the thalamus, anterior insula, putamen, and motor-related regions, accompanied by decreased activation in parietal and medial prefrontal cortex. Offset of interactive gameplay activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate. Between-group comparisons of within-subject contrasts confirmed that mesolimbic activation was significantly more pronounced in the active playgroup than in the passive exposure control group. Individual difference analyses also found the magnitude of parahippocampal activation following gameplay onset to correlate with positive attitudes toward chemotherapy assessed both at the end of the scanning session and at an unannounced one-month follow-up. These findings suggest that IDG-induced activation of reward-related mesolimbic neural circuits stems primarily from participatory engagement in gameplay (interactivity), rather than from the effects of vivid and dynamic sensory stimulation|
This study sought to determine whether playing a serious interactive digital game the Re-Mission videogame for cancer patients activates mesolimbic neural circuits associated with incentive motivation, and if so, whether such effects stem from the participatory aspects of interactive gameplay, or from the complex sensory/perceptual engagement generated by its dynamic event-stream. ultimately studies will need to simultaneously contrast the effects of serious and non-serious idgs on neural system engagement in-game direct measures of play-induced learning and motivation and out-of-game changes in attitude and behavior in order to fully define the neural mechanisms by which serious idgs exert their distinctive effects on behavior. given that the present data indicate a key role for interactivity in driving idg activation of mesolimbic projection areas it is worth considering which specific aspect of interactive play is responsible for such engagement. other psychological processes that are mobilized as a consequence of self-engagement may also contribute to the profile of neural recruitment observed during interactive gameplay. for example the observed activations in the supplementary motor area and precuneus are consistent with previous studies implicating those structures in self-related processes and behavior change .