Date of Award

5-2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Mansberger

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol Crumbaugh

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Leneway

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Previous research suggests that video game performance is correlated with results from cognitive ability tests as measured by psychometric tools. Other studies assert that boys and girls have different preferences and patterns for using video games. On the basis of this evidence, it could be argued that dissimilar neurocognitive effects might be expected from both groups as a result of their distinct use of digital games.

This study discusses some essential concepts from the field of psychology that are foundational for analyzing the neural correlates of cognitive abilities involved in video game use. Next, the paper summarizes results from experiments that involve the use of video games in three areas: psychometric abilities, neuroscience and gender differences in cognitive skills.

The reviewed literature reports improvements in various abilities, such as fluid reasoning, visual processing, quantitative reasoning, decision/reaction speed, working memory, and mental rotation as the result of video game training. Some studies confirm that males demonstrate greater spatial abilities than females. Equitable learning environments for girls and boys require a deeper understanding of other cognitive implications, not only spatial skills, derived from different gaming patterns. Literature suggests that research is still needed on this area.

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