This rather recent article posted by Science Daily attempts to expand upon previous studies attempting to draw correlations between playing action video games and enhanced learning capacities. Many previous studies were able to conclude a positive correlation between action gaming and faster learning, but did not attempt to answer the inherent question of how the brain appears to learn quicker post exposure to games. This article references a study done at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which attempts to draw this conclusion through a new discovery of the brain: templates.
Templates are a way that brain ‘learns’ how to do new things. The brain identifies and archives different patterns it sees and then retrieves those archives when it sees familiar patterns. This is interesting concept in that it is not entirely passive; you can create templates on purpose. However, these studies show that action gamers were able to create better templates, faster. The way it came to this conclusion is by comparing a group of people given action games for a week and a group given non action games for a week. It then subjected a pattern matching test and a perceptual learning task, both of which in action games surpassed in. However, there seemed to be a lack of a control variable, making me suspect some of the variables in this experiment. However, the people tested in each group were adequately controlled, and those who received each treatment did seem to show significant difference