Impact of focus of attention on aiming performance in the first-person shooter videogame Aim Lab

Ruben Lamers James, Akira Robert O'Connor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research examining the impact of Focus of Attention (FoA) has consistently demonstrated a benefit of adopting an external FoA over an internal FoA across a variety of sports and other domains. However, FoA research has yet to be applied within the rapidly growing world of competitive gaming. This study investigated whether an external FoA provided benefits over an internal FoA for aiming performance in First-Person Shooter (FPS) videogames, using the aim-training game Aim Lab. The study explored whether the level of participants’ previous experience of FPS games impacted any effect, as few studies have investigated this directly. Participants with high (N=20) and low (N=17) FPS experience who had a minimum of 200 hours FPS experience were selected for the study. The participants were instructed before each set of ten trials to either attend to their wrist/arm movements (internal FoA) or to the target (external FoA). There was no significant main effect of FoA on performance and no significant interaction between FoA and experience. In contrast to findings in other studies, an external FoA provided no performance benefits over an internal FoA in the FPS game Aim Lab. We discuss methodological issues related to the measures used and suggest avenues for future research with a view to improving understanding of putative underlying mechanisms for FoA effects.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0288937
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS One
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2023


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