London: Video gamers can significantly improve their esport skills by training for just 10 minutes a day, a new study revealed. The study also found that novice gamers benefited most when they wore a custom headset delivering transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for 20 minutes before training sessions.
"Our study found that novice gamers who received tDCS over their motor cortex before training improved their performance on the specific task over five days, significantly more than novices who trained following no such stimulus," said researcher Mark Campbell, director of Lero's Esports Science Research Lab (ESRL).
For the study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, the participants wore a custom headset designed to deliver transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). However, some received no stimulation, others just a 'sham' treatment, while the remainder received a 20-minute exposure.
"One of the original and most prominent esports over the past 20 years has been the first-person shooter (FPS) game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)," the researcher said.
"We asked participants to shoot and eliminate enemy targets as quickly and accurately as possible during their training sessions in the study," they added.
According to the researchers, when they examined the effect of tDCS on training compared to non-stimulated groups, they observed a significant effect of tDCS on training for left and right targets, but not centre targets.
The researchers said that in light of the team's findings, tDCS may be especially beneficial during the initial stages of task learning. "Stroke patients, for example, could benefit from tDCS at the start of their rehabilitation process when re-learning complex movements that were once automatic," Campbell said.