Understanding Learning and Memory: Re-conceptualizing the Dynamic Systems Theory to Design a More Effective Game For Down Syndrome

Kelsey Prena


Video games can be important learning tools for children with special needs. This review article will turn to the dynamic systems theory, a theory that has only relatively recently broken its way into mass communication research, to better understand how learning occurs within the brain. Conclusions about dynamic systems are re-conceptualized using the dominant neuroscience theory of learning and memory, and then applied to educating children with Down syndrome. This kind of thinking is novel, but essential to designing learning games to target particular populations. Understanding the neurological changes that occur during video game play can help alleviate some of the neurological deficits that children with Down syndrome face. To design more effective learning games for this population, the message should be interactive, induce feelings of success, frequently reward the player, and provide the player with many modes input.