Impact of gaming

Daphne Bavelier is a professor at the University of Geneva in the area of cognitive neuroscience. Her research is identifying the impact of gaming on brain plasticity and brain function in people who are gamers. She is looking at the effects gaming has on brain function and that is important. There also needs to be research by gamers who understand gaming from the inside to know what gaming is doing to cognitive abilities and function. Gaming will improve your vision, your capacity to think fast, your capacity to absorb fine detail. Anyone who games at the high end is processing text, audio, visuals and decision making at lightning speed. The comments under the video add another layer of understanding because they are largely comments by gamers. Her comment of gaming 15 hours a week is too conservative. People can play games for 10 to 15 hours a day. We need to understand all of these things. We need to see how the patterns are formed and how the thinking is developed and what exactly is happening when people game.

test goldfish to climb a tree Gamers are in their 30s. Children grow up in homes with parents who are gamers now. It is a part of our society. Daphne Bavelier observes that the  benefits of gaming can be used in all sorts of ways to improve cognitive and visual function in non gaming people and there is information  to follow up on.  Gaming is such a big part of life now there will be a problem with students who are tested using only static text based tests. This is not how many of them operate or process screen information. It’s the testing the goldfish to climb a tree meme so we need to be looking at better ways of finding out how people are learning through games and what exactly they are learning. Professor Bavelier’s work is throwing light onto that.

Improve creative thinking

This video looks at the six steps which improve creative thinking:

1. Know that everyone is creative
2. Looking at the left brain and right brain
3. The speed with which you think
4. Originality of thought
5. Flexibility of thought
6. Imagination and association.

Learning music adds considerably to creative and spatial thinking. Learning languages develop flexibility in thinking and the speed with which people can think. We are at a stage in research where we can know what develops the architecture of the brain and what has impact on cognitive development. Tony Buzan worked on the first Mind Mapping software and the iMindMap site offers a free basic version of this software which is very easy to use and implement. I have found mind mapping software to be a very effective tool for teaching and students enjoy making their own mind maps. They don’t have that fear of not knowing what to put down on paper when they have access to a tool like iMindMap.

When you hear Tony Buzan explain the steps clearly in the video  you know it is possible to open up creative thinking and that it ought to be a normal part of teaching and learning. The University of London has an interesting little article about the Impact of creative thinking in the 21st century economy .

We are “encouraged to ‘put the Socratic icing on the Confucian cake’ .” I like that.

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