It is unclear why some people learn faster than others. We performed two independent studies in which we investigated the neural basis of real-time strategy (RTS) gaming and neural predictors of RTS games skill-acquisition. In the first (cross-sectional) study we found that experts in the RTS game StarCraft II (SC2) had a larger lenticular nucleus volume than non-RTS players. We followed a cross validation procedure where we used the volume of regions identified in the first study to predict the quality of learning a new, complex skill (SC2) in a sample of individuals who were naive to RTS games (second training study). Our findings provide new insights into how the volume of lenticular nucleus, which is associated with motor as well as cognitive functions, can be utilized to predict successful skill-learning, and be applied to a much broader context than just video games, e.g. contributing to optimizing cognitive training interventions.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience