Does adding cue-directed action improve the learning of prime numbers in adults?
: An exploratory study on action video games for learning based in neuroscience research

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science (MSc)


This study aimed to combine two theories that attempt to explain the influence of video games in learning, namely reward and action theories. Participant performance in an experimental game involving reward was compared with performance on a similar game which added an action feature. Learning under these two conditions was measured by recording the difference between pre-test and post-test response time (RT) and accuracy. These behavioural measures are complemented by self-reported perceptions of enjoyment, engagement and learning.

The research hypothesis ‘Adding cue-directed action improves the learning and of prime numbers in adults’ could not be statistically supported. However, other findings arising from measures in accuracy and speed as well as from the self–reported perception might be of interest in the design of further research in this area.

This current exploratory study cannot offer conclusive findings on the difference between a video game containing a cue-directed action and one without, but it might be of interest for future researchers wanting to explore novel educational ways to improve human learning based on neuroscience research.

Date of Award26 Nov 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bristol
SupervisorPaul A Howard-Jones (Supervisor)


  • neuroscience and education
  • action video games
  • cue-directed action

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