Comparison of EEG biofeedback and visual search strategies during e-sports play according to skill level


  • Ryousuke Furukado Nishinippon Institute of Technology, Japan
  • Goichi Hagiwara Kyushu Sangyo University, Japan
  • Tomohiro Ito Fukuoka esports Research Consortium, Japan
  • Hirohisa Isogai Kyushu Sangyo University, Japan


Visual search strategy, Eye tracking, EEG, e-sports, FPS games


About 83% of the perceptual information humans receive from the outside world comes through the visual domain, making the tracking of visual information important for the superior performance of e-sports players. In addition, it is known that e-sports players’ emotional state during performance affects their results. However, few studies have examined visual search strategies and electroencephalogram (EEG) findings of e-sports players while engaged in e-sports. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the characteristics of visual search activity and EEG feedback during first person shooter (FPS) game play, in which the tracking of visual information is important, and to examine the characteristics of different gaming skill levels. Four skilled and five semi-skilled e-sports participants (mean age ± 19.11, SD = 0.99) participated in this study. Gazepoint GP3 (Canada) was used to measure eye movements, and the Sports KANSEI (Littlesoftware Inc., Japan) was used to analyse the emotional state of the participants by using EEG data. The results showed that the skilled e-sports players checked the camera significantly more frequently than the semi-skilled participants. The results of the area of interest (AOI) analysis showed that skilled e-sports players glanced at the friendly team information displayed at the top of the game screen more often than semi-skilled players. Furthermore, it was found that skilled e-sports players had significantly higher average EEG relaxation values during gameplay than semi-skilled players. Thus, the visual search strategy and emotional state while playing e-sports differed according to gaming skill level.


Download data is not yet available.


Bonny, J.W. & Castaneda, L.M. (2017). Number processing ability is connected to longitudinal changes in multiplayer online battle arena skill. Computers in Human Behavior, 66, 377-387.

Campbell, M. J., Toth, A. J., Moran, A. P., Kowal, M., & Exton, C. (2018). eSports: a new window on neurocognitive expertise? Progress in Brain Research, 240, 161-174.

Furukado, R. & Isogai, H. (2020). Differences in Visual Search Strategies Based on Multiple Object Tracking Skill Level of Soccer Athletes. Journal of Japan Society of Sports Industry, 29(2), 91-107.

Hagiwara, G., Akiyama, D. & Takeshita, S. (2019). Examining effectiveness of e-sports activity in Japan. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 14(Proc4), S1038-S1045.

Hagiwara, G., Akiyama, D., Furukado, R. & Takeshita, S. (2020). A study on psychological training of eSports using digital games: Focusing on rhythm game. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15(Proc3), S495-S503.

Hagiwara, G., Kawahara, I. & Kihara, S. (2020). An Attempt to Verify the Positive Effects of eSports: Focusing on Concentration and Cognitive Skill. Journal of Japan Society of Sports Industry, 30(3), 239-246.

Hung, J.C., Lin, Z.Q., Huang, C.H. & Lin, K.C. (2019). The Research of Applying Affective Computing Based on Deep Learning for eSports Training. In International Conference on Frontier Computing, LNEE(551), 122-129.

Jordet, G., Bloomfield, J. & Heijmerikx J. (2013). The hidden foundation of field vision in English Premier League (EPL) soccer players. In Proceedings of the MIT sloan sports analytics conference.

Kikumasa, S. & Kokubu, M. (2018). Decision-making and Visual Search Strategy of Baseball Catchers in a Situation of Giving Directions on a Play. Japanese journal of sport psychology, 45(1), 27-41.

Martin-Niedecken, A.L. & Schättin, A. (2020). Let the body'n'brain games begin: Toward innovative training approaches in eSports athletes. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 138.

Miyata, A., Fukui, K., Honda, K., Shigeno, H. & Okada, K. (2004). A Proposal of Indexing Conference with Participants' Mental States. IPSJ., 45,11, 2509-2518.

Morrison, S. (2018). List of Varsity Esports Programs Spans North America. Available online at: (accessed September 25, 2020).

Santos, A. F., Alloza, S. & Escribano, F. (2018) Relationship between video game genres and soft skills. Available online at: (accessed September 25, 2020).

Söderberg, H., Khalid, J., Rayees, M., Dahlman, J., & Falkmer, T. (2014). In video war games, are military personnel's fixation patterns different compared with those of civilians?. The Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation, 11(4), 329-338.

Sousa, A., Ahmad, S. L., Hassan, T., Yuen, K., Douris, P., Zwibel, H., & DiFrancisco-Donoghue, J. (2020). Physiological and Cognitive Functions Following a Discrete Session of Competitive Esports Gaming. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 1-6.

Valladão, S., Andre, T. & Cox, D. (2019). "Heart Rate Response During A Collegiate Esports Tournament. Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, Suppl.51(5), 29.



How to Cite

Furukado, R., Hagiwara, G., Ito, T., & Isogai, H. (2020). Comparison of EEG biofeedback and visual search strategies during e-sports play according to skill level. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15(4proc), S1123-S1132. Retrieved from