Selective Association Between Tetris Game Play and Visuospatial Working Memory: A Preliminary Investigation

11 Apr 2018

Recent experimental and clinical research has suggested that Tetris game play can disrupt maladaptive forms of mental imagery because Tetris competes for limited cognitive resources within visuospatial working memory (WM) that contribute to imagery. Whether or not Tetris performance is selectively associated with visuospatial WM remains to be tested. In this study, young adults (N = 46) completed six standardized measures indexing verbal and non-verbal reasoning, verbal and visuospatial short-term memory, and verbal and visuospatial WM. They also played Tetris. Consistent with the hypothesis that visuospatial WM resources support Tetris game play, there was a significant moderate positive relationship between Tetris scores and visuospatial WM performance but no association with other cognitive ability measures. Findings suggest that Tetris game play involves both storage and processing resources within visuospatial WM. These preliminary results can inform interventions involving computer games to disrupt the development of maladaptive visual imagery, for example, intrusive memories of trauma.Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.