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Reward, learning and games

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Early online date7 May 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 29 Apr 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2016
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2016


The link between reward and learning has chiefly been studied scientifically in the context of reinforcement learning. This type of learning, which relies upon midbrain dopaminergic response, differs greatly from the learning valued by educators, which typically involves declarative memory formation. However, with recent insights regarding the modulation of hippocampal function by midbrain dopamine, scientific understanding of the midbrain response to reward may be becoming more relevant to education. Here, we consider the potential for our current understanding of reward to inform educational learning, and consider its implications for game-like interventions in the classroom.

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Special issue: Neuroscience of education

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 550 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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