CREAB - Brain School: Can we use neuroimaging to understand and implement classroom learning games?
Dr Paul Howard-Jones
Room 4.10, 35 Berkeley Square
Centre for Researching Education Across Boundaries in theory and practice
CREAB is launching a summer term seminar series to report on "work in progress". These will be relatively informal events designed to open up discussion.
Abstract: The gamification of learning is becoming increasingly popular, but progress to understand the underlying cognitive and neural processes has been slow. Here, preliminary results from the first brain imaging study to directly explore these processes will be reported. The study involved 24 adult volunteers competing to learn in 3 conditions of increasing gamification. Results show improved learning with gamification, alongside decreased activation of the Default Mode Network - a system of brain regions implicated in mind-wandering. Midbrain reward-system activity, of the type observed when we approach video games and many other pleasures, was observed in the learning game conditions. What does this tell us about how we can learn with games? What are the issues and opportunities for applying this type of research in the classroom?