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Thursday, October 5 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Media and Technology for Cognitive Enhancement throughout the Lifespan

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The field of cognitive sciences has increasingly embraced the use of media and technology in assessing and enhancing people’s cognitive skills. This panel presents an interdisciplinary approach to bridge cognitive sciences, digital media/technology, and learning sciences. We first introduce our kid-friendly cognitive assessments (e.g., Child Risk Utility Measure), highlighting the affordances and contributions of digital media in understanding children’s thinking. Established cognitive measures tend to be aesthetically unappealing to children, and often fail to take into account their cognitive limitations. Digital media and technological tools allowed us to circumvent this issue by making cognitive tests into games that children enjoy.
We then discuss four research studies which use media and technology to help improve various cognitive functions. The first seeks to improve preschoolers’ spatial reasoning ability through songs and dance that emphasize spatial vocabulary and gesturing. The second aims to improve kindergartners’ numerical knowledge through digital games meant to train children’s domain-general executive function skills or domain-specific number sense. The third targets preteens with ADHD and aims to improve working memory and inhibition processes through scaffolding within a memory game. Finally, digital training games are not limited to children; tablet games also prove to be a crucial instrument for enhancing older adults’ performance on working memory tasks. Together, these studies emphasize the versatility of digital media and technology in improving people’s learning and learning abilities in individuals of all ages.

We close with an overview into further insights our aggregate data can provide. Specifically, analyses of data from similar media-and-game training studies can help pinpoint individual characteristics that allow people to benefit from the games. In the future, we hope that understanding individual differences through these analyses can help inform personalization of learning.

Presenters and Titles:
ES: A freshly baked perspective on how we measure risk propensity in children
GL: Gametizing Cognitive Tests
RK: A Song of Space and Kids to Go “Above, Above, Above”
GL/SK: Improving Mathematics through Playing Games
MW: Improving Working Memory and Assessing Motivation to Play
CP: Benefits of Tablet-Based Brain Training in Older Adults
SM: Can Machine Learning help predict Working Memory Training Gains?

Robert Kalinowski, University of California, Irvine, School of Education, rkalinow@uci.edu
Minnie Wu, University of California, Irvine, School of Education and School of Information and Computer Sciences, Department of Informatics, minniew@uci.edu
Chelsea Parlett, University of California, Irvine, School of Education, cparlett@uci.edu
Shafee Mohammed, University of California, Irvine, School of Education, shafeem@uci.edu


Robert Kalinowski

Student, UCI Eco Evo Bio

Shafee Mohammed

Teaching Assistant, UCI
avatar for Minerva Wu

Minerva Wu

Doctoral Student, University of California, Irvine
Knock, knock.Who’s there?Cargo.Cargo who?Cargo beep, beep and vroom, vroom!

Thursday October 5, 2017 2:00pm - 3:00pm PDT
Pacific Ballroom A