Towards an understanding of the relationship between executive functions and learning outcomes from serious computer games

Boyle, James and Boyle, Elizabeth A.; De Gloria, Alessandro, ed. (2014) Towards an understanding of the relationship between executive functions and learning outcomes from serious computer games. In: Games and Learning Alliance. GALA 2013. Lecture Notes in Computer Science . Springer, FRA, pp. 187-199. ISBN 9783319121567

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Abstract

There is accumulating evidence that playing games leads to a range of cognitive and perceptual advantages. In addition there has been speculation that digital games can support higher level thinking. In this paper we propose that viewing these gains from the perspective of executive functions can help to provide a more coherent approach to understanding the cognitive benefits of playing games. Executive functions refer to a range of higher level cognitive processes that regulate, control and manage other cognitive processes. Three models are considered: Baddeley’s model of working memory [1], and two models of executive functions, that of Anderson [2], and that of Diamond [3]. The implications for serious games research and games design and for future research are considered.