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Dissociable effects of game elements on motivation and cognition in a task-switching training in middle childhood.

Dörrenbächer S, Müller PM, Tröger J, Kray J - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type.These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement).Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Development of Language, Learning and Action, Saarland University Saarbrücken, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Although motivational reinforcers are often used to enhance the attractiveness of trainings of cognitive control in children, little is known about how such motivational manipulations of the setting contribute to separate gains in motivation and cognitive-control performance. Here we provide a framework for systematically investigating the impact of a motivational video-game setting on the training motivation, the task performance, and the transfer success in a task-switching training in middle-aged children (8-11 years of age). We manipulated both the type of training (low-demanding/single-task training vs. high-demanding/task-switching training) as well as the motivational setting (low-motivational/without video-game elements vs. high-motivational/with video-game elements) separately from another. The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type. In the task-switching group, the high-motivational training setting led to an additional enhancement of task and switching performance during the training phase right from the outset. These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement). However, in structurally dissimilar cognitive tasks (far-transfer measurement), the motivational gains only transferred to the response dynamics (speed of processing). Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes. These findings shed new light on the conflation of motivation and cognition in childhood and may help to refine guidelines for designing adequate training interventions.

No MeSH data available.


Depiction of our proposed game-based framework for a task-switching training in middle childhood. The context (setting) of the cognitive-control training should be “heated up” by adding game elements. This environmental enrichment should induce self-determinative feelings, leading to the formation of a personal interest in the training task. The interplay of environmental enrichment and personal interest should, in turn, differentially affect the motivational and cognitive outcomes. Blue ink points to rather “cold” cognitive facets; red ink points to rather “hot” motivational facets (following the notion of Zelazo et al., 2010).
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Figure 1: Depiction of our proposed game-based framework for a task-switching training in middle childhood. The context (setting) of the cognitive-control training should be “heated up” by adding game elements. This environmental enrichment should induce self-determinative feelings, leading to the formation of a personal interest in the training task. The interplay of environmental enrichment and personal interest should, in turn, differentially affect the motivational and cognitive outcomes. Blue ink points to rather “cold” cognitive facets; red ink points to rather “hot” motivational facets (following the notion of Zelazo et al., 2010).

Mentions: The primary aim of this study was to shed light on the impact of the motivational video-game setting on the task-switching training to examine the interaction between motivation and cognitive control. We created a training environment that should be perceived as intrinsically interesting, thereby inducing self-determinative feelings (Ryan and Deci, 2000). These should have a positive impact on the training willingness and should, as a consequence, result in better cognitive training performance (Zelazo et al., 2010) that may generalize to other cognitive tasks. Figure 1 summarizes the rationale of our hypothesized framework allowing for the interplay between cognitive control and motivation. To examine this interaction between cognition and motivation, we varied two experimental factors, namely the Training Type (low-demanding/single-task control vs. high-demanding/task-switching training) and the Training Setting (low-motivational/without adding game elements vs. high-motivational/with adding game elements). In order to maximize the motivational pull of the training setting, we manipulated the degree of the senses of presence, autonomy, and competency in the task environment that will be described in details in the following.


Dissociable effects of game elements on motivation and cognition in a task-switching training in middle childhood.

Dörrenbächer S, Müller PM, Tröger J, Kray J - Front Psychol (2014)

Depiction of our proposed game-based framework for a task-switching training in middle childhood. The context (setting) of the cognitive-control training should be “heated up” by adding game elements. This environmental enrichment should induce self-determinative feelings, leading to the formation of a personal interest in the training task. The interplay of environmental enrichment and personal interest should, in turn, differentially affect the motivational and cognitive outcomes. Blue ink points to rather “cold” cognitive facets; red ink points to rather “hot” motivational facets (following the notion of Zelazo et al., 2010).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230167&req=5

Figure 1: Depiction of our proposed game-based framework for a task-switching training in middle childhood. The context (setting) of the cognitive-control training should be “heated up” by adding game elements. This environmental enrichment should induce self-determinative feelings, leading to the formation of a personal interest in the training task. The interplay of environmental enrichment and personal interest should, in turn, differentially affect the motivational and cognitive outcomes. Blue ink points to rather “cold” cognitive facets; red ink points to rather “hot” motivational facets (following the notion of Zelazo et al., 2010).
Mentions: The primary aim of this study was to shed light on the impact of the motivational video-game setting on the task-switching training to examine the interaction between motivation and cognitive control. We created a training environment that should be perceived as intrinsically interesting, thereby inducing self-determinative feelings (Ryan and Deci, 2000). These should have a positive impact on the training willingness and should, as a consequence, result in better cognitive training performance (Zelazo et al., 2010) that may generalize to other cognitive tasks. Figure 1 summarizes the rationale of our hypothesized framework allowing for the interplay between cognitive control and motivation. To examine this interaction between cognition and motivation, we varied two experimental factors, namely the Training Type (low-demanding/single-task control vs. high-demanding/task-switching training) and the Training Setting (low-motivational/without adding game elements vs. high-motivational/with adding game elements). In order to maximize the motivational pull of the training setting, we manipulated the degree of the senses of presence, autonomy, and competency in the task environment that will be described in details in the following.

Bottom Line: The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type.These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement).Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Development of Language, Learning and Action, Saarland University Saarbrücken, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Although motivational reinforcers are often used to enhance the attractiveness of trainings of cognitive control in children, little is known about how such motivational manipulations of the setting contribute to separate gains in motivation and cognitive-control performance. Here we provide a framework for systematically investigating the impact of a motivational video-game setting on the training motivation, the task performance, and the transfer success in a task-switching training in middle-aged children (8-11 years of age). We manipulated both the type of training (low-demanding/single-task training vs. high-demanding/task-switching training) as well as the motivational setting (low-motivational/without video-game elements vs. high-motivational/with video-game elements) separately from another. The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type. In the task-switching group, the high-motivational training setting led to an additional enhancement of task and switching performance during the training phase right from the outset. These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement). However, in structurally dissimilar cognitive tasks (far-transfer measurement), the motivational gains only transferred to the response dynamics (speed of processing). Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes. These findings shed new light on the conflation of motivation and cognition in childhood and may help to refine guidelines for designing adequate training interventions.

No MeSH data available.