Daphne Bavelier

2008 Regional Award Finalist — Faculty

Daphne Bavelier

Current Position:
Professor, Psychology and Education Sciences at the University of Geneva, Switzerland / Professor, Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester

University of Geneva and University of Rochester


Recognized for:  Research on the benefits of video games for the brain

Areas of research interest and expertise: Brain Plasticity, Video Games, Deafness, Learning


PhD, Cognitive Psychology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France

A distinctive feature of the human brain is its capacity to learn and adapt to an ever-changing environment. The laboratory of Dr. Bavelier utilizes a multidisciplinary approach (behavior, brain imaging, eye tracking, vital statistics) to research  the factors that promote such learning and brain plasticity. Her aim is to use that knowledge to develop behavioral interventions that will facilitate learning. 

A training regimen whose benefits are so broad is unprecedented and provides a unique opportunity to identify factors that underlie learning and brain plasticity. A set of common mechanisms appear at play, including greater attentional control, better statistic inferences and in turn an enhanced ability at learning. Video games that build on the lessons from this work are being developped to address rehabilitation or educational challenges. 

"The debate over new media and in particular video game use is often cast in terms of good versus bad, Yet, research on videogames and the brain indicates that it is time to think of our video game use as we think of our diet - different video games contain different ingredients, which in turn impact behavior and brain functions in their own specific way. The challenge in the years to come is going to define what a healthy diet consists of when it comes to technology consumption."

Key Publications:

  1. Cardoso-Leite, P. & Bavelier, D. Video game play, attention, and learning: How to shape the development of attention and influence learning? Current Opinion in Neurology. Special Issue on Developmental Disorders. 2014
  2. Bavelier, D., Green, CS, Pouget, A. & Schrater, P. Brain plasticity through the life span: Learning to learn and action video games. Annual Reviews of Neuroscience. 2012
  3. Green, CS., and Bavelier D. Learning, attentional control and action video games. Current Biology. 2012

In the Media: 

Could playing video games make you smarter? CBS NEWS. November 12, 2014
How do fast-paced video games affect the brain? TED Talk. June 2012


Daphne Bavelier’s TED talk