Our aim is to reveal the mechanisms of brain plasticity and learning in various perceptual and cognitive domains

We have shown that playing first person action video games affects several aspects of perception, attention, and cognition. The skills found to be enhanced by action video game training, include low-level vision (enhanced contrast sensitivity function), various aspects of attention (ability to monitor several objects at once, to search through a cluttered scene, to detect an event of interest in fast-forwarding video), more cognitive tasks (multi-tasking, task-switching) and, finally, a general speeding during decision making. These findings illustrate how skilled performance in a variety of processing domains can be enhanced by a single training regimen. Practical implications of this finding, such as vocational training (e.g., for enhancing vision) or clinical rehabilitation (e.g. amblyopia) are of high social relevance. 

Importantly, not all video games have these effects; for the skills studied so far, action games lead to greater benefits than other entertainment games. By studying the impact of various types of videogames on brain function, we aim to determine which aspects of performance can be altered by experience and to characterize the factors in a training regimen that favor the transfer of learning. 

Basic research projects include:

  • Investigating “learning to learn” - Pushing the boundaries of learning specificity
  • Understanding the factors in a learning experience that foster brain plasticity and learning
  • Unveiling the source of inter-individual differences in learning : from lab tasks to rich environments
  • When the brain plays - relationship between the brain states of play and brain plasticity

Applied Research Projects include:

  • Retraining attentional control to address mental health issues : the case of anxiety 
  • Enhancing executive functions  to overcome depression 
  • Training to see in  depth : pushing the plastic boundaries of stereo-vision 
  • Learning to read : lifting attentional brakes to facilitate reading

Our team consists of interdisciplinary scientists with backgrounds in biology, neuroscience, psychology, medicine, physics, statistics and computer science.