W.P.M. van den Wildenberg
- Cognitive control and the COMT Val158Met polymorphism: genetic modulation of videogame training and transfer to task-switching efficiency
- Psychological Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 78 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The study investigated whether successful transfer of game-based cognitive improvements to untrained tasks might be modulated by preexisting neuro-developmental factors, such as genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT)—an enzyme responsible for the degradation of dopamine. The COMT Val158Met genotype may differentially affect cognitive stability and flexibility, and we hypothesized that Val/Val homozygous individuals (who possess low prefrontal dopamine levels) show more pronounced cognitive flexibility than Met/-carriers (who possess high prefrontal dopamine levels). We trained participants, genotyped for the COMT Val158Met polymorphism on playing "Half-Life 2", a first-person shooter game which has been shown to improve cognitive flexibility. Pre-training (baseline) and post-training measures of cognitive flexibility were acquired by means of a task-switching paradigm. As expected, Val/Val homozygous individuals showed larger beneficial transfer effects than Met/-carriers. Our findings support the idea that genetic predisposition modulates transfer effects and that playing first-person shooter games promotes cognitive flexibility in individuals with a suitable genetic predisposition.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.