Gaming enhances learning-induced plastic changes in the brain

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2022-07
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
Series
Brain and Language, Volume 230
Abstract
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.
Description
Funding Information: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (projects no 274058 and 274075), the Doctoral Programme in Psychology, Learning and Communication, and the University of Helsinki Research Funds. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors
Keywords
Automatic speech recognition, Digital game-based learning, Foreign-language learning, Gaming
Other note
Citation
Junttila , K , Smolander , A R , Karhila , R , Giannakopoulou , A , Uther , M , Kurimo , M & Ylinen , S 2022 , ' Gaming enhances learning-induced plastic changes in the brain ' , Brain and Language , vol. 230 , 105124 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2022.105124