Gaming enhances learning-induced plastic changes in the brain

Junttila, Katja and Smolander, Anna-Riikka and Karhila, Reima and Giannakopoulou, Anastasia and Uther, Maria and Kurimo, Mikko and Ylinen, Sari (2022) Gaming enhances learning-induced plastic changes in the brain. Brain and Language, 230. p. 105124. ISSN 0093-934X

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Digital games may benefit children’s learning, yet the factors that induce gaming benefits to cognition are not well known. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of digital game-based learning in children by comparing the learning of foreign speech sounds and words in a digital game or a non-game digital application. To evaluate gaming-induced plastic changes in the brain, we used the mismatch negativity (MMN) brain response that reflects the access to long-term memory representations. We recorded auditory brain responses from 37 school-aged Finnish-speaking children before and after playing a computer-based language-learning game. The MMN amplitude increased between the pre- and post-measurement for the game condition but not for the non-game condition, suggesting that the gaming intervention enhanced learning more than the non-game intervention. The results indicate that digital games can be beneficial for children’s speech-sound learning and that gaming elements per se, not just practice time, support learning.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
8 April 2022Accepted
26 April 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Digital game-based learning, Gaming, Foreign-language learning, Automatic speech recognition
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Psychology
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2024 15:47
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 13:03

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