Castel's research compares twenty college-aged, expert video game players, those who log more than ten — and upwards of 20 — hours of game time per week, to non-players, to determine how video game specialization influences human visual attention capacity and our environmental stimuli search patterns.
Castel found, in short, that gamers showed a 20% reduction in response times as opposed to non-gamers, averaging reactions 100 milliseconds speedier than non-players'.
Normal visual search habits reflect our impatience — rather than wait, we anticipate. If we have recently attended to a location, after a delay we are sometimes slower to revisit this location. Castel relates the slower reaction times after long delays between cues to a common kitchen conundrum: "If you're searching the kitchen for a knife that you misplaced, you might look in one location," he explained. "If it's not there, you'll close the drawer, and look in other locations before you actually search that drawer again."
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