A new study from a team of researchers in Buenos Aires concludes that letting young children play specialized computer games can lead to improved grades in school. A paper detailing the research was recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers enlisted the assistance of 111 first graders in Argentina to determine if children who play tailored computer games could demonstrate what is known in the profession as "far transfer" of executive functions to the real world.
Participants were taken from regular school activities three times a week to a separate area where half of them played specially designed video games (those that have been created specifically to improve memory and planning) for 15 minutes, for a period of ten weeks. The other half played regular video games. Children were monitored before and after play to see if the video game playing had any impact on their grades.
Work and testing in the regular classroom remained unchanged and the teachers were not told the nature of the study until after it was over.
Researchers found that those children who played the special video game (prior to the study they had lower grades due mainly to infrequent attendance) achieved higher test scores on their regular school work than they had up to that point.
While researchers admit that their research doesn't prove that it was the video games alone that caused the improved grades, it does suggest that specially designed video games can cause desired changes in executive functions.
More details on the study can be found here.
Source: Medical Xpress
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