The game of chess is a valuable extracurricular activity for children, with positive effects on their cognitive skills and academic achievements. We investigated the extent to which the Giant Chess Game (GCG) played on a giant chessboard enhances working memory in "navigational-vista" space and "reaching" space. We also assessed if the GCG enhances mental rotation skills. For 10 weeks, 15 children (GCG group) were involved in a giant chess class, while 15 gender and age-matched children were involved in standard didactics (control group-CG). Children were tested twice, before (T0) and after (T1) the GCG, by tasks aimed at measuring: visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) in the navigational-vista space (Walking Corsi test); VSWM in the reaching space (Corsi Block-Tapping task); mental rotation (Rotating Flowers test). We found that the GCG group significantly improved its performance more than the CG in VSWM in both navigational-vista space and reaching space, as well as in mental rotation. Our results suggest that the GCG has positive effects on visuo-spatial abilities underlying topographical skills. Therefore, the training using GCG can help enhancing spatial ability and may have a role in contrasting the spreading of navigational deficits such as the Developmental Topographical Disorientation (DTD).

Giant chess game enhances spatial navigational skills in 6-years-old children: preliminary findings

Bocchi, Alessia;Guariglia, Cecilia;Piccardi, Laura
2022

Abstract

The game of chess is a valuable extracurricular activity for children, with positive effects on their cognitive skills and academic achievements. We investigated the extent to which the Giant Chess Game (GCG) played on a giant chessboard enhances working memory in "navigational-vista" space and "reaching" space. We also assessed if the GCG enhances mental rotation skills. For 10 weeks, 15 children (GCG group) were involved in a giant chess class, while 15 gender and age-matched children were involved in standard didactics (control group-CG). Children were tested twice, before (T0) and after (T1) the GCG, by tasks aimed at measuring: visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) in the navigational-vista space (Walking Corsi test); VSWM in the reaching space (Corsi Block-Tapping task); mental rotation (Rotating Flowers test). We found that the GCG group significantly improved its performance more than the CG in VSWM in both navigational-vista space and reaching space, as well as in mental rotation. Our results suggest that the GCG has positive effects on visuo-spatial abilities underlying topographical skills. Therefore, the training using GCG can help enhancing spatial ability and may have a role in contrasting the spreading of navigational deficits such as the Developmental Topographical Disorientation (DTD).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1652548
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