|The importance of play.
In today’s fast changing world of increasingly fluid job markets and constantly evolving disruptive technologies the capacity for flexible thinking and adapt responses is more essential than ever. Yet opportunities to for developing the skills to think on your feet, find creative solutions to problems and play have been quashed by a continued focus on narrowly defined academic outcomes and rigid assessment protocols that test recall of facts only encourage rote learning.
Research into developmental neuropsychology has repeatedly emphasised the importance of play in healthy child development and its fundamental importance to learning. (see below)
Play in Animals is essential to adaptation
Various animal studies into play in mammals and primates suggest that the opportunity for play during the juvenile period of development is essential for healthy social development and developing the capacity to adapt to changes in their environment.
Playing Games enhance Cognitive Flexibility
The capacity to think creatively and solve complex problems requires the ability to shift between alternative perspectives, what in neuropsychology is referred to as Cognitive Flexibility. This capacity involves specific brain regions known as the prefrontal cortex. Psychologists define cognitive flexibility as the ability to shift between alternative options and sets information in order to adapt to new and changing circumstances. Cognitive flexibility has been found to be the underlying capacity that promotes creative thinking, effective problem solving and lateral thinking.
Mounting evidence from the neuropsychological research suggests that this higher order brain function can be enhanced by playing games designed to stimulate cognitive flexibility. There is now a substantive research literature that demonstrates that playing games lead to structural changes in the prefrontal cortex and that these benefits are enduring and generalize to various aspects of functioning including academic success, social and emotional regulation as well as capacity to recover from injury.
Our games and puzzles are designed to stimulate and enhance cognitive flexibility.