Current Research: Gaming Environments

The GTG Lab was awarded a 4-year, 1.2 million dollar collaborative grant (with Georgia Tech) from the National Science Foundation (PI: McLaughlin).

The grant, which will start in the fall 2009, consists of a series of studies that will have older adults play video games on the Nintendo Wii™ under various experimentally controlled conditions, such as varying levels of challenge, familiarity, and social interaction. Games were chosen for this intervention via a task analysis and approval from focus groups we conducted in 2008."

The specific goals of this research program are to:

  • understand how video games can contribute to improvements in cognition
  • what properties of the gaming environment (novelty, active attention, and/or social interaction) are critical for cognitive improvement
  • create an older adult specific game that loads on the critical properties identified
  • empirically test the efficacy of this theoretically designed game to produce the largest gains in the cognitive performance of older adults