Can we improve cognition in children through a video game that promotes both cognitive engagement and physical activity?
Currently, I am taking traditional cognitive tasks for children and transforming them into physical, live video games.
How can technology enrich the learning experiences of children?
Do children’s individual differences in executive function influence how much they learn from varying digital media presentations?
I'm a group fitness instructor for Les Mills, a program offered in 100 countries around the world. What differentiates this exercise program from others is that the routines are designed through scientifically-based research through collaboration with kinesiologists and exercise physiologists.
Recent experimental research has converged on an intriguing finding: exercise promotes children’s executive function (EF).
Why is EF sensitive to exercise? Both EF and the underlying neural circuitry are still immature in late childhood and even adolescence, and therefore, exercise may facilitate their development or temporarily enhance their functioning.
School time dedicated to recess has dwindled and few children receive the recommended amount of exercise. Yet, there is growing evidence that increased levels of physical activity are associated with improved EF and academic achievement. Exergames (a portmanteau of “exercise” and “games”) are a new generation of video games that stimulate a more active, whole-body gaming experience.
During the period of immaturity in prekindergarten children (i.e., 3- to 5-year-olds), progressive and regressive changes (e.g., myelination and synaptic pruning, respectively) occur concurrently and are driven in part by the child’s experiences. Executive function interventions are used as remediation or prevention of cognitive deficits, so early intervention is crucial; yet little research has conducted training interventions in children below school-age. I hope to demonstrate that experiencing a cognitively engaging exergame before entering formal schooling may facilitate healthy development or temporarily enhance the functioning of cognitive skills and improve children's self-regulation
In my free time I also sculpt, draw, and paint.
Historically, the disciplines of exercise physiology, developmental psychology and cognitive science, art and technology have had little interaction together despite being able to answer important questions when molded together. I'm bringing together these disciplines in my on-going research to contribute to the fields and make an impact on the community.