Becker, J. B. (2009). Sexual differentiation of motivation: A novel mechanism? [Review]. Hormones and Behavior, 55(5), 646-654. Hoeft, F., Watson, C. L., Kesler, S. R., Bettinger, K. E., & Reiss, A. L. (2008). Gender differences in the mesocorticolimbic system during computer game-play. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42, 253-258.
Teaching with Immersive Gaming CPD 1 The Science behind Twigging
Aims of the Session <ul><li>Understand: </li></ul><ul><li>The science and principles behind Teaching with Immersive Gaming </li></ul>
Why is emotional engagement important? <ul><li>Emotion & memory circuits closely linked </li></ul><ul><li>The different ways in which emotion may improve memory efficiency (or decrease it) are still the subject of research. </li></ul>
Activity here is linked to what psychologists call “approach motivation” Of course, “Educational motivation” not always equal to approach motivation E.g. “Educational motivation” can include a desire for professional progress. The DA pathway is about a more visceral type of motivation – as in desire for sex, chocolate cake, money and short-term winnings. But we know that the response of the brain to reward can influence memory Reward increases uptake of midbrain dopamine in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc) Nucleus accumbens (NAcc)
This visceral type of brain response to reward predicts declarative memory formation We do not understand the processes by which reward and declarative memory formation are related. They may involve: * direct influence on the hippocampus via dopamine (Adcock, 2006). Higher NAcc activation during encoding = greater likelihood of recall * increased attention, and so increased contextual memory R. A. Adcock, Neuron 50 , 507 (2006)
Students appear to engage more emotionally with games than with their lessons Why are games so engaging? <ul><li>Perhaps they enjoy the uncertainty of winning or losing? </li></ul><ul><li>Does uncertainty increase the effect of a reward? </li></ul>
So….. <ul><li>If we understand what makes the brain’s reward system respond, then we know when we have a “teachable” moment…. </li></ul>
When reward is 50:50 uncertain, it generates maximum dopamine in the reward system: C. D. Fiorillo, P. N. Tobler, W. Schultz, Science 299 , 1898 (2003). Dopamine in response to visual stimuli were measured in the primate brain. Some patterns, due to previous training, suggested a 100% likelihood, no chance (0%) and 50 % likelihood of receiving a reward a few seconds later. The graphs represent the dopamine response recorded between the stimulus and receiving a reward: The data suggests that 50% likely rewards generate more dopamine than either totally unexpected or totally predictable rewards.
<ul><li>Yes, we do most enjoy 50:50 chances in games but not in school, where one study has shown children prefer risks of ~87% M. M. Clifford, British Journal of Educational Psychology 58 , 15 (1988). </li></ul><ul><li>Why? Because intellectual failure has implications for esteem </li></ul><ul><li>This preference may create a problem for emotional engagement: </li></ul><ul><li>At levels of uncertainty that are socially comfortable, children may experience reduced signals (linked to motivation) in the reward system, missing the emotional response that unexpected success provides. </li></ul><ul><li>This suggests: </li></ul><ul><li>a “learning games approach” in which gaming elements increase uncertainty but with less penalties for esteem </li></ul>So what about humans?
Do children prefer increased chance-based uncertainty of reward in a learning task? <ul><li>First bridging study: </li></ul><ul><li>Task: Ask your maths question from </li></ul><ul><li>* Mr Certain (Correct -> 1 point) </li></ul><ul><li>* Mr Uncertain (Correct -> coin toss, 2 or 0 pts </li></ul>
As the session progressed, Mr Uncertain was increasingly more popular than Mr Certain – especially amongst boys P. A. Howard-Jones, S. Demetriou, Instructional Science 37 , 519 (2009).
Why boys? This may be due to ovarian hormones feminising the reward system at the onset of puberty (Becker, 2009). The appeal of uncertain reward appears stronger in males. Males exhibit greater activation and functional connectivity in the reward system when playing computer games (Hoeft, 2008) Becker, J. B. (2009). Sexual differentiation of motivation: A novel mechanism? [Review]. Hormones and Behavior, 55(5), 646-654. Hoeft, F., Watson, C. L., Kesler, S. R., Bettinger, K. E., & Reiss, A. L. (2008). Gender differences in the mesocorticolimbic system during computer game-play. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42, 253-258.
How does chance-based uncertainty influence classroom discourse? <ul><li>Second Bridging study: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Wipe Out” – try to beat the computer at a quiz (Science, 13-14 yrs, low ability) </li></ul></ul>
Roll the dice and, if you answer the question correctly, win the points and you can roll again – or pass to the computer. BUT: If you roll a “1”, you lose all the points for your turn, two “1”’s and lose all the points for the game If you answer incorrectly, the correct answer will be shown - remember it for next time!
<ul><li>Misfortune was bad luck and discussed in gaming terms: </li></ul><ul><li>“ agh! - we got obliterated. Completely annoying, we haven’t had any good rolls” </li></ul><ul><li>Success celebrated vigorously as a triumph of ability: </li></ul><ul><li>“ We’re just too good - I can’t believe we’re doing </li></ul><ul><li>good” (+ singing & dancing): </li></ul>
Just a superficial effect? <ul><li>Can chance-based uncertainty change the emotional experience of the learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Or is it just a sugar coating? </li></ul><ul><li>Lab experiment: Adults play “Wipeout” (with and without game element) while skin response is measured </li></ul>
Skin conductivity changes (as a measure of emotional response) are greater for answering questions as part of a game P. A. Howard-Jones, S. Demetriou, Instructional Science 37 , 519 (2009).
Can predicting dopamine help predict learning? <ul><li>Neurocomputational models for some types of game exist that allow us to estimate the amount of dopamine at particular points in the game. This estimate can be used to predict learning performance….. </li></ul>
Pick a box (in which points vary like natural food sources) and answer the question to win the points
Brain response to the points found in the boxes predicted learning performance but the stakes (i.e. points available) did not) Howard-Jones, P. A., Demetriou, S., Bogacz, R., Yoo, J. H., & Leonards, U. (2011). Toward a science of learning games. Mind, Brain and Education, 5(1), 33-41. Estimated Brain Response
For the classroom: We need to know more about dopamine in competitive games Striatal dopamine from players’ unexpected winnings and competitor’s unexpected losses Competitor’s losses activate the brain Dopamine in response to the competitor’s unexpected losses may inhibit imitation which, judging by mirror neuron activity, begins prior to outcome P. A. Howard-Jones, R. Bogacz, J. H. Yoo et al. , Neuroimage 53 , 790 (2010).
We are now using these ideas to explore how to use games and improve emotional engagement in the classroom T each W ith I mmersive G aming (twig)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 TWIG – the practice: <ul><li>Design of questions - test all learning levels </li></ul><ul><li>When presenting the questions, support and scaffold students (e.g. remind of principles involved, q and a) </li></ul><ul><li>When revealing the correct answer, explain why other answer options are incorrect before (usually) explaining the correct one </li></ul><ul><li>referring to options by content not colour </li></ul><ul><li>Be ready for your teacher persona to transform ... </li></ul>TWIG practice exploits the ramping up of dopamine in response to uncertain reward in learning games.