Training numerical skills with the adaptive videogame "The Number Race"

A randomized controlled trial on preschoolers

Francesco Sella, Patrizio Tressoldi, Daniela Lucangeli, Marco Zorzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adaptive computer games offer an attractive method for numeracy training in young children. However, the evidence for transfer of learning to standard measures of numerical and arithmetic skills is scarce. We carried out a randomized controlled trial on a sample of preschool children of middle socio-economic status to evaluate the effectiveness of the freeware videogame "The Number Race" (Wilson et al., 2006). Children were randomly assigned to the training group or to the control group performing an alternative computer-based activity matched for duration and setting. The groups were matched for age, gender, and IQ. Training yielded large improvements in mental calculation and spatial mapping of numbers, as well as smaller improvements in the semantic representation of numbers. Our findings complement previous studies that showed beneficial effects for disadvantaged children, thereby suggesting that "The Number Race" is a valuable tool for fostering mathematical learning in the general population of young children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Neuroscience and Education
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016

Fingerprint

Randomized Controlled Trials
Video Games
Foster Home Care
Group
Vulnerable Populations
Preschool Children
computer game
preschool child
Semantics
learning
Research Design
Economics
semantics
Learning
Control Groups
gender
Population
evidence
economics

Keywords

  • Cognitive training
  • Early numerical skills
  • Numerical cognition
  • Preschool children
  • The Number Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Training numerical skills with the adaptive videogame "The Number Race" : A randomized controlled trial on preschoolers. / Sella, Francesco; Tressoldi, Patrizio; Lucangeli, Daniela; Zorzi, Marco.

In: Trends in Neuroscience and Education, Vol. 5, No. 1, 01.03.2016, p. 20-29.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sella, Francesco ; Tressoldi, Patrizio ; Lucangeli, Daniela ; Zorzi, Marco. / Training numerical skills with the adaptive videogame "The Number Race" : A randomized controlled trial on preschoolers. In: Trends in Neuroscience and Education. 2016 ; Vol. 5, No. 1. pp. 20-29.
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