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Action Video Games: Its Positive Effect on Cognition SushilChandra1 ,Jupitara Hazarika2and Devendra Jha3 Abstract: Playing action video games enhances several cognitive performances; however, the mechanisms underlying this improvement remain unclear. The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of 10hour action video game play, on cognitive performance based on the variation of beta waves. As frontal lobe is associated with reasoning, planning, emotions and problem solving, and parietal lobe is associated with orientation, recognition and perception of stimuli, EEG signals from these two lobes are recorded for analyzing the effect. The results show that β-waves of first hour and eleventh hour of game play have significant changes (p<0.05) in both the lobes. Moreover, the β-activity is more during eleventh hour than the first hour which indicates increase in cognition due to 10hour game training. Key words: First Person Shooter Game (FPSG), Cognition, Electroencephalogram (EEG), Wavelet Transform (WT) 1. Introduction: First-person-shooter computer games have come under fire in the past for their perceived effects, but research by a Unitec New Zealand academic shows that these games can actually improve players' cognitive ability. The need for fast and efficient selection when playing video games is particularly great, because video games typically involve demanding visual input that requires fast hand–eye coordination, quick reflexes, and precision timing [1]. Green and Bavelier[2] highlighted a range of cognitive processes modifications occurring with the gaming practice. They observed the perceptual and cognitive effects of games on cognitive functions, such as general enhancement in reaction time, visuomotor coordination, spatial skills and visual attention [3]. Visual attention is combination of alerting, orienting and executive control [3].Alerting is the ability to make use of a cue which provides information about the onset time of a target stimulus, and thus triggers the allocation of attention at a given point in time; this process appears mediated by right frontal and parietal areas and to be linked to the release of noradrenalin [4, 5]. Orienting is the ability to utilize a spatial cue to direct attention towards the location of an imminent stimulus; a fronto-parietal network associated with the release of acetylcholine has been associated with orienting [6, 7]. Finally, the executive control network, which serves to direct attention towards task-relevant stimuli and inhibits the processing of distractor items, has been proposed to engage areas in the prefrontal cortex and involve the release of dopamine [8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. 1 Department of Biomedical engineering, Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences, Defense research & Development Organization, Delhi, India; 2 Department of electronics & Communication engineering, Tezpur (Central) University, Assam, India; 3 Scientific Analysis Group, Defense Research & Development Organization, Delhi, India; What is needed is an approach that allows one to track cognitive effects of games duringthe game play session. As the player progresses through the game, seeking to accomplish various goals, all manner of cognitive phenomena come to bear which includes learning, making decisions, attention, memories of previous outcomes etc. The outcome of these cognitive events translates into the player’s observable performance in the game, level of enjoyment or accomplishment, learning. Recent advances in neuroscience are using electroencephalogram (EEG) signals to correlate the brain activity. There are relatively few research studies that investigate the effects that action video games have on cognitive performance, and even fewer studies using EEG signals. EEG has been used to examine brain dynamics during video game play [14, 15, 16] and its affect [17]. But these studies are performed on shorter period of game play. The frequency range of the EEG extends from ultraslow to ultra-fast frequency components that play no significant role in the clinical EEG. Clinically meaning frequencies lie between 0.1Hz and 100Hz. In more restricted sense, the frequency range is classified into several frequency components, or delta rhythm (0-4Hz), theta rhythm (4- 8Hz), alpha rhythm (8- 12Hz), beta rhythm (12-30Hz), and gamma rhythm (above 30Hz). The EEG signals under different frequency bands have gained much research interest. Typically, low frequencies such as alpha rhymes are related to vigilance and motion while high EEG frequencies, like beta, are relevant to high cognitive processes [18]Beta activity is associated with active processing of information and focused attention [19]. Physiologically, when people concentrate on mental or psychological related activities or pay attention on something, the β-wave will increase relatively. 2. Theory Background 2.1. Wavelet Transform A wavelet is a mathematical function used to divide a given function or continuous-time signal into different scale components. Usually one can assign a frequency range to each scale component. Each scale component can then be studied with a resolution that matches its scale. A wavelet transform is the representation of a function by wavelets. The wavelets are scaled and



translated copies (known as "daughter wavelets") of a finite-length or fast-decaying oscillating waveform (known as the "mother wavelet"). Wavelet transforms have advantages over traditional Fourier transforms for representing functions that have discontinuities and sharp peaks, and for accurately deconstructing and reconstructing finite, non-periodic and/or non-stationary signals. Neither frequency domain analysis alone provides concern time details nor time domain analysis alone say anything about concern frequency. Frequency domain analysis is very useful in physiological signals such as EEG signal. Further EEG signals are dynamic, sometimes transient (spikes/bursts), mostly nonstationary. As such, for their practical analysis, we not only need to know their frequency components but also the times at which they occur. So, we need time-domain analysis as well. So time-frequency analysis will be suitable to address such an issue. In signal processing, we usually need more time accuracy in locating transient waves (high frequency), and for slow waves, we may be more interested in frequency resolution. Such an analysis needs an adaptive time-frequency analysis method. Wavelet transform (WT) is such a tool. The wavelet transform of a signal f(t) at the scale a and position b is computed by correlating f(t) with a wavelet atom:

And wavelet coefficients cjkat position k of level j can be obtain from:

In discreet wavelet transform we repeatedly split, filter and decimate the low pass bands. The classical (a0=2, b0=1) wavelet system results in a logarithmic frequency resolution. The low frequencies have narrow bandwidths and the high frequencies have wide bandwidths. The wavelet packet system allows a finer and adjustable resolution of frequencies at high frequencies. In wavelet packet transform, we split both the low pass and high pass bands at all stages. It gives a rich structure that allows adaptation to particular signals [21]. 2.3. Percentage Relative Band Energy(PRBE): Energy Efjiof a spectral frequency band and total energy Etot can be defined as:

(2.1.1) Wavelet transform performs time-frequency analysis of signals. The main advantage of this waveform, compared to Fourier transform which is the most common time-frequency analysis, is that individual wavelet functions are localized in time. Fourier sine and cosine are not. Time-frequency analysis is especially suitable for addressing such issues [20]. 2.2. Wavelet Packets One obvious drawback of the Wavelet Transform is that the frequency resolution is poor in the high frequency region. In certain applications, the wavelet transform may not generate a spectral resolution fine enough to meet the problem requirement. The use of wavelet packet is a generalization of a wavelet in that each octave frequency band of wavelet spectrum is further subdivided into finer frequency band by using the towscale relations repeatedly. The wavelet packet function can be obtained by: The normalized value is given by:

And the relative wavelet band energy (PRBE) is:

It is clear that Plis sensitive to the signal energy changes and represents the energy relation among each spectral band. 2.4. Wavelet Packet Entropy The Shannon entropy gives a useful criterion for analyzing the complexity of a system. Following the definition of entropy given by Shannon, we define the wavelet packet entropy:

The first wavelet Ψ(t) is the so-call mother wavelet function. The h(k) , g(k) are quadrature mirror filters associated with the scaling function and the mother wavelet function. The recursive relations between the j level and the j+1 level are:

Entropy is a description of uncertainty in the whole signal duration. It is not useful for analyzing the local nonlinear property of non-stationary signal. 3. Data acquisition and Analysis: Six subjects, 2-male and 4-female, aged 20-22years have participated in the study. A first person shooter



game (FPSG) named ‘Gears of War’ is selected for the training. None of the subjects had played FPSG before. The EEG signals are acquired using bipolar electrodes from the positions F3-F4 and C3-C4 according to 10-20 international system (Fig. 1). Signals were acquired at a sampling rate of 250Hz using BIOPAC MP30 system. Before game play, a baseline recording of 5minutes with open eyes is recorded. EEG recording is taken during first hour of video game play. Then subjects are asked to play the game for 10hours, 1hour per day and then 1hour recording is taken again. During each recording period, the subject is asked to minimize eye blinks and muscle movements. First 30minutes of both first hour and eleventh hour game play recording is taken for processing. Each 30minutes data set is then divided into 15 nonoverlapping epochs of 2minutes each. A 50 Hz notch filter is used to remove power interference and then signals are passed through a band pass filter having band 0.5-100Hz (Butterworth - Order 5). Each electrode impedance was below 5kOhm.

here, as β-wave is associated with awareness, anxious thinking and highly active consciousness. An Increase in β–wave represents high level of concentration, attention, alertness and an increased cognition. A time-domain analysis of these increases is shown in Fig2, Fig3, Fig4 and Fig5.

4. Feature Extraction Each 2minutes epoch of EEG signals are decomposed using 7 levels wavelet packet decomposition with ‘db4’. Then from wavelet packet coefficients [5 0] and [7 4]; [7 5], [6 3] and [6 4]; [6 5] and [6 6]; [6 7], [4 4] and [3 1]; [4 5], [3 3] and [1 1], spectral energy bands of EEG corresponding to delta (0.5-4.3Hz), theta (4.3-8.3Hz), alpha(8.3-11.4Hz), beta (11.4-30.5Hz) and gamma (30.5-100Hz) are reconstructed. Wavelet packet Shannon entropy (S) and percentage relative band energy (PRBE) of β -band are computed as features. 5. Result and Discussion The focus of this analysis is to investigate the effect of playing FPSG for a longer period on cognitive performance. Spontaneous β-activity of brain is studied



-band energy and average β –band entropy of all the subjects in baseline, during 1st and during 11th hour of game play is compared in Fig4 and Fig5. An increase in β-activity is reflected in band energy while Fig5 shows the change in entropy i.e., uncertainty in β –band. The paired sample t-test analysis of the wavelet entropy (S) and percentage relative band energy (PRBE) of βband during 1st hour and 11th hour are shown in table.1. It is clear from the tables that β-waves of frontal lobe and parietal lobe have significant differences (p<0.05) between first hour and eleventh hour of game play [22]. 6. Conclusion In this paper, we have analyzed the cognitive enhancement due to playing action video game. Further investigation is needed for better understanding of cognitive impact of playing FPSG for longer period of time. This study is expected to present some information regarding physiological effect of video game play.

The variation in percentage relative β –band energy of frontal and parietal lobe from baseline over 30 minutes of 1st hour and 11th hour of a player is shown in Fig 2 and Fig 3 respectively. Similar patterns are seen in case of all other subjects. The average percentage relative β



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Delhi. He did B.E. in Electronics from M MM Engineering College, Gorakhpur (UP) & M.Sc. in Instrumentation & Control from A.M.U. Aligarh (U.P). He is a Fellow & life member of IETE, Society of Biomedical Technology and Society of Nuclear Medicine. He is member of Telemedicine Society of India. His research interest focus on neuro-cognitive assessment and enhancement. Jupitara Hazarika is a trainee in Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied sciences, Defence Research &Development Organization (DRDO), Delhi. She is currently persuing her M.Tech in Bioelectronics from Tezpur University,

Assam. She did B.E. in Instrumentation Engineering from Assam Engineering College, Guwahati, Assam. Her Research interests follows Biomedical Signal Processing, Biomedical Image processing and Control system. Devendra Jha is scientist E, Scientific Analysis Group, Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO), Delhi, India. He did B.Tech in Electronics & Communication Engineering from BIT, Sindri, Jharkhand, M.Tech in Electronics & Communication from DCE, Delhi and PhD in Imaging from IIT Delhi. He is a life member of IETE. His research interest focus on secure communication system.