Current Research

Researchers and graduate students in the departments of Educational Psychology and Psychology work collaboratively to conduct, present, and disseminate research related to human brain development and learning. Our focus has been on developing groundbreaking research in Educational Neuroscience related to better understanding child responses to various stimuli and situations with the goal of informing and working with educators to improve educational outcomes of children.


Bergen, D., Schroer, J.E., Woodin, M., (May, 2018). Brain Research in Education and the Social Sciences: Implications for Teachers, Parents, and Future Society. NY: Routledge. 

Bergen, D., Schroer, J.E., Thomas, R., Zhang, Z., Chou, M., Chou, T. (2017). ERP Responses of Elementary Age Children to Videogame Simulations of Two Stimuli Types: Study 1 and 2 Comparisons. Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

Dong, A., Schroer, J., Chen, J., Lee, L. & Tu, X. (2016). Apps and Brains: Young Children Learning With Technology. In Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2016 (pp. 1421-1426). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)


NSF Core Research Level 1- Shining Light on Spatial Reasoning: Understanding How Children and Adolescents Learn Spatial Reasoning Skills during 2D & 3D Educational Video Game Play- $470,094.00 (under review)


Invited Talks

Schroer, J.E., (April, 2017) Children Learning Optical Spatial Reasoning During Educational Video Game Play. University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Schroer, J.E., (January, 2017) ERPs of Children Aged 6-12 during Optical Spatial Reasoning Video Game Play. University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 

American Education Research Association (AERA)


Mirror, Mirrors: Event-Related Potentials of Children Aged 6-12 During Naïve Optics Educational Video Game Play

Abstract: This study investigates how children learn the law of reflection through three blocks of video game play. The results of the Event-Related Potential (ERP) and Joint-Time Frequency (JTF) analysis demonstrate that spatial reasoning skills involve the coordinated effort of several areas of the brain including; the posterior parietal in conjunction with the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. One example of this is in the left and right prefrontal cortex region; phase coherence occurs in the alpha and beta wave bands during posttest and pretest blocks respectively. Implications for how the brain learns spatial reasoning concepts, and further examination of male-female and developmental differences are presented.


Child ERP Responses to Two Types of Stimuli in Videogame Simulations Study 1 & 2 Comparisons

Abstract: The hypothesis that video games requiring different types of responses differentially activate child brainwave responses was investigated in two studies of Event Related Potentials (ERPs) exhibited by elementary age children when they process stimuli requiring correct/incorrect responses or choices between two imaginative alternative responses. The first study results found that mean amplitude of P300, P100, and N200 locations showed significant differences in the two conditions. A second replication study was conducted to verify these results. Comparison of ERP results from the two studies and interview data are presented.

American Psychological Society (APS)

Event-Related Potential of Children Aged 6-12 during Naive Optics Educational Video Game Play Show Positive Wave Amplitudes at Pz
Poster Presented

Research in Progress

Schroer, Bergen, Dong & Thomas (2015- present) Learning through videogames: Child & Adolescent ERP responses to spatial reasoning learning during simulated learning videogame

Schroer, Bergen, & Thomas (2015-present) Child ERP responses to Two Stimuli Types in Videogame Simulations during Multiple Right/Wrong Conditions