Executive functions in digital games

Elizabeth Boyle, Melody Terras, Judith Ramsey, Jim Boyle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (Scopus)


Despite enhanced appreciation of the nature and scope of the cognitive advantages of playing games, our understanding of the actual mechanisms responsible for generating and maintaining these remains limited. In this chapter, the authors propose that viewing these changes from the information processing perspective of executive functions will help to elucidate the psychological infrastructure that underpins these gains. They apply Anderson’s model of executive functions to understanding how games support visual-perceptual processing and higher-level thinking and problem solving. As well as extending our appreciation of how digital games can support learning, research on executive functions highlights the implications of the limitations of our cognitive systems for game design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychology, Pedagogy and Assessment in Serious Games
EditorsThomas Connolly
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • visual-perceptual processing
  • higher-level thinking
  • problem solving
  • executive functions
  • game design
  • cognitive systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Executive functions in digital games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this