The Effects of Fun on Executive Functioning

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Authors
Bradt, Katie
Kastner, Kaden
Advisor
Honzel, Nikki
Editor
Date of Issue
2023-04-28
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Citation
Series/Report No.
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Title
The Effects of Fun on Executive Functioning
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Type
Presentation
Description
Abstract
Few studies in neuroscience have studied the effect of “fun” on the brain. Therefore, the current study investigated the connection between fun and executive functioning using EEG recordings. Forty undergraduate students participated in the study. Fifteen participants played jenga with a friend of their choice, rated their level of fun on a scale of one to six, and then underwent a computerized task to measure levels of executive functioning using EEG recordings. Previous studies found that playing games with a friend significantly increases levels of self-perceived fun, compared to completing tasks alone (Reis et al., 2017). To compare the effect of fun, the control group consisted of twenty-five participants. In the control group, participants were asked to complete questionnaires prior to completing the EEG task. The total amount of time completing the study was similar between groups. The EEG data will be segmented to specific neurological components that reflect aspects of cognitive functioning, such as attention and memory. The current data analysis focused on two specific peaks, N2 and P3. The two peaks correspond to conflict detection and response inhibition, respectively (Shi, 2022). Physiologically, anger and excitement can be similar (Schacter, 1964). Previous studies have found reduced N2 and increased P3 responses in individuals that score higher on an anger trait (Liu et al., 2015). Therefore, it is hypothesized that participants in the fun group will have larger P3 and smaller N2 amplitudes compared to the non-fun group (Dierolf et al., 2017; Liu et al., 2015; Xia et al., 2020).
Sponsors
Degree Awarded
Semester
Spring
Department
Psychology