Can games improve learning?
We’ve seen quite a few pronouncements about how games might increase learning in our schools, but we’ve not seen much research on the why they might work.
Recently, a group of educational psychologists from the University of Bristol in the UK, published a study describing how they observed increased activation of the working memory network (WMN) and deactivation of default mode network (DMN) regions of the brain when games were employed into a learning situation. Your DMN region is associated with inattentiveness… or daydreaming if you will.
The TL;DR version of the study is that by introducing some game-based elements of uncertainty in scoring, students engaged in more more goal-directed behavior and demonstrated a decrease in the mind-wondering portions of the brain.
Read the whole thing at Frontiers – Gamification of Learning Deactivates the Default Mode Network