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A comparative study of paper and pencil neuro cognitive test and reaction time in adolescent chess players and non-players

Author: 
Elamaran, I., Velkumary Subramanian, Suchitra Balasubramanian and Chandrasekaran Kathiresan
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Introduction: Chess is considered as a cognitive game because of the engagement of mental resource &playing chess is believed to improve some of the cognitive domains. Aim: The study was aimed to assess & compare the cognitive functions and reaction time in adolescent chess players and non-players Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted in 30 healthy adolescent chess players and non-chess players of either sex between age 12 and 17. The cognitive function of the subjects were assessed by the conventional paper and pencil neurocognitive test battery which includes two target letter cancellation test (LCT), trail making test A (TTA), trail making test B (TTB) and visual & auditory reaction time was assessed using reaction time apparatus. Statistical analysis: Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 20 and the neurocognitive test parameters and visual reaction time (VRT) and auditory reaction time (ART) between the two groups were compared using unpaired t test. Results: Neuro cognitive test scores in the chess group was found to be improved significantly compared to non- chess group (TTA (p=0.002), TTB (p˂0.0001), LCT(˂0.0001). We also observed improvement in visual reaction time in chess players compared to non-chess players (˂0.001) & no statistically significant difference observed in ART between study & control group(p=0.293) Conclusion: Chess players showed a significant improvement in the tested cognitive parameters like attention, executive function, working memory, visual scanning, psychomotor speed, shift strategy & visual reaction time compared to non-chess players, as assessed by the conventional paper & pencil neurocognitive tests and reaction time apparatus. Hence students can be encouraged to play chess to improve their cognitive skills which in turn will improve their scholastic abilities.

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