Summary: The overall goal of this project was to better understand how the brain successfully acquires skills relevant to complex tasks. The Space Fortress videogame was used as a platform for investigating skill learning. The game was originally developed by cognitive psychologists at the University of Illinois, as a tool to study learning and training strategies. Notably, it is one of the few cognitive training tools that has shown transfer of training to real-world performance. Flight students that trained on Space Fortress performed better on a battery of real-world flight tests, and were more likely to be selected to pursue pilot training compared to a no-training control group. Studies have also found that learning Space Fortress with a strategy that involves flexibly shifting attention to different aspects of the game results in improved learning. Thus, the Space Fortress game serves as a great tool for studying how the brain acquires new, complex skills, and how the trained ability can extend to new contexts.

This sample includes 39 young adults (11M/28F; ages 16-28). All subjects trained on Space Fortress for 20 hours, but half of the subjects were given an explicit "variable priority" strategy. See references for more details.

Scanner Type: Siemens Allegra, 3T

The following data are released for every participant:

Instructions for Participants

Instructional Video for Video Game

Full Instructions Video (Download)
Short Summary Video (Download)

Arthur Kramer, Walter Boot, Kirk Erickson

The research conducted at UIUC on this project was conducted through the collaboration of the following researchers: Walter Boot, Monica Fabiani, Wai-Tat Fu, Gabriele Gratton, Daniel Simons, Michelle Wang, Kirk Erickson, Chadramallika Basak, Dirk Bernhardt-Walther, Hyunkyu Lee, Kathy Low, Ed Maclin, Kyle Mathewson, Mark Neider, Ruchika Prakash, Loan Vo, and Michelle Voss.

All imaging data was collected at the Biomedical Imaging Center at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at UIUC.




Creative Commons License: Attribution - Non-Commercial

Data Release Table