Toward a Science of Learning Games

PA Howard-Jones*, S Demetriou, R Bogacz, J.H Yoo, U Leonards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Reinforcement learning involves a tight coupling of reward-associated behavior and a type of learning that is very different from that promoted by education. However, the emerging understanding of its underlying processes may help derive principles for effective learning games that have, until now, been elusive. This article first reviews findings from cognitive neuroscience and psychology to provide insight into the motivating role of uncertain reward in games, including educational games. Then, a short experiment is reported to illustrate the potential of reward-based neurocomputational models of behavior in the understanding and development of effective learning games. In this study, a reward-based model of behavior is shown to predict recall of newly learned information during a simple learning game. © 2011 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2011 International Mind, Brain, and Education Society and Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

Translated title of the contributionToward a Science of Learning Games
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33 - 41
Number of pages9
JournalMind, Brain, and Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Cognitive Science
  • Visual Perception


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