Innovative game production studio Pigeon Hole Productions has collaborated with a team of neuroscientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and UC San Diego in a series of projects that have implications for basic and applied scientific research.

The team is developing a video game to be used as a framework for investigating human strategies for decision making and visual perception. Building on an existing research project, the game will test rapid series of decisions under risk and uncertainty.

To the scientists at the Salk Institute and UC San Diego, the game will serve as an unprecedented platform for probing potentially millions of individuals, at different levels of proficiency. This new platform will help to constrain models of decision making at a scale previously inaccessible in laboratory settings.

Given the large number of players, the scientists will be able to find how people divide to groups according to their decision making strategies, which is how we choose one course of action over another. This work may lead to a new typology of decision makers, suggesting numerous applications of the game for identifying psychological types according to their style of decision making under different circumstances, including extreme time pressure and uncertainty about outcomes of ongoing actions.

As the collaboration develops, the game will also be deployed to special populations. The first of these will be to patients whose brain activity will be recorded using intracranial electrodes during the gameplay. The recordings will help the scientists to discover the neural mechanisms responsible for sorting through the myriad of future possibilities presented by the game. Follow the development on Facebook and Twitter: @pigeonholeprod

About Pigeon Hole Productions

Pigeon Hole Productions is a games and interactive entertainment company improving interactive production and pioneering products that create purposeful and profitable way for entertainment to partner with scientists and provide social good. Pigeon Hole Productions uses creativity informed by knowledge and powered by science to making innovative and engaging experiences possible. Pigeon Hole Productions is Where Play Has Purpose.