Study: People Who Play Video Games Aren’t Better Multitasking While Driving

By Trevor Dorchies | August 28, 2012
So you can defeat the final boss in Gears of War while simultaneously eating Cheetos and downing countless bottles of Coke, huh? Well, a new study says that your mad multitasking gaming skillz won't make you any better at using a cell phone while driving. The study by the Visual Cognition Laboratory at Duke University study shows that those who play video games often are equally as badat multitasking behind the wheel as those who think an Xbox is some sort of storage container. "It doesn't matter how much you've trained your brain, we just aren't set up to do this," said Stephen Mitroff, a  researcher of the survey and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, to U.S. News. The study evaluated 60 underclassmen that were seasoned video gamers and found that they were no better at multitasking than people who never played. Duke researchers gave the test subjects three visual tests and then repeated the tasks while having the gamers answer trivia questions over a microphone, which in theory, imitates the motion of talking on a cellphone. These tasks included playing a video driving game, Trackmania, a multiple object tracking test, and a hidden picture puzzle from a magazine that was timed. While the gamers were better at Trackmania than those who have never played, the non-gamers were on par with the gamers with the other two tasks. With the added microphone, both groups were equally as bad in the driving game. The other two tasks showed an equal decline in performance as well. "Many people have this overconfidence in how well they can multi-task, and our study shows that this particularly is the case when they combine two visual tasks," said, Zheng Wang, the lead author of the study to U.S. News. "People's perception about how well they're doing doesn't match up with how they actually perform." What say you? Do you think you’re a good multitasker while driving or do you just concentrate on what’s ahead of you (we hope it's the latter)? Tell us what you do in the comment section below. Source: U.S. News
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