In our modern, digital society, difficulties with numbers and arithmetic can have profoundly negative consequences on educational outcomes, career prospects and overall quality of life.
This brief arises from Science of Learning fellowships, funded by UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) and the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO). The IBE-UNESCO/IBRO Science of Learning Fellowships aim to support and translate key neuroscience research on learning and the brain to educators, policymakers, and governments.
In the 21st century, lack of adequate numeracy skills can have profound negative consequences for educational success, career prospects and overall quality of life;
Developmental Dyscalculia (DD) is a brain-based condition that leads to low numeracy skills in the context of otherwise normal intelligence and educational opportunities;
Because of its documented brain basis, efforts towards developing effective ways to remediate DD can benefit from neuroscience findings.
The branch of neuroscience devoted to shedding light on the development of brain processes supporting typical (and atypical) learning, shows that DD can be the result of dysfunctions in multiple brain systems for math knowledge;
Training programs designed to ‘stimulate’ multiple aspects of math knowledge acquisition and the brain systems subserving it may, therefore, yield the best outcomes to effectively remediate math deficits in children with DD.
This is not a new study but we highlight it today just to give the conclusions some more attention. The researchers confirmed that the their findings support the hypothesis that ADHD and dyscalculia are independently transmitted in families and are etiologically distinct. These results reinforce the current identification approach to these disorders and underscore the need for separate identification and treatment strategies for children with both conditions.
Good article by Dr Nancy Doyle in Forbes magazine. She talks not specifically about Dyscalculia but about neurodiversity in general and tries to explain why is it so unknown yet.
She states it this way” Neuroscience is a young discipline. We’re still in the process of mapping the brain. We don’t know much more about human neurology than the anatomists of the 19th century knew about the lungs liver and heart when it comes to functionality.”
A podcast from it’s all in the mind, where they explore how children think about Math and Time. So as example what they think when you ask them if they would like to have eaten a donut yesterday or would rather eat one tomorrow. You can listen to the whole program in our link for today.
Great post by Natalie Kerslake, who wrote an MA ed dissertation that looked at how teachers and teaching assistants can effectively support children with dyscalculia in one primary school. Her study found that more awareness and training need to be provided for teachers and teaching assistants, to aid them in supporting children with dyscalculia. This includes knowledge of what dyscalculia is and what strategies can be used to support children effectively.
The study in our link for today had as objective to find out whether visual processing uniquely contributed to character reading and early mathematics in Chinese children. The findings suggest that visual processing should serve as a domain-general precursor of children’s performance in character reading and early mathematics and an important cognitive factor for later academic learning.
The researchers discovered that children with poorly connected brain hubs had severe and widespread cognitive impairments, and those with well-connected brain hubs either had no cognitive issues or had select cognitive deficits. The findings emphasize the importance of focusing on the areas of cognitive issues when it comes to targeted interventions and less on the diagnostic classification itself—opening the door for novel therapeutics that target the connectivity of the brain’s hub in the future.
New research suggests that excessive crowding effects might be a characteristic of DD, independent of other associated neurodevelopmental disorders. Visual crowding refers to the inability to identify objects when surrounded by other similar items.
“Early math skills have the greatest predictive power, followed by reading and then attention skills,” reports a psychology squad led by Greg J. Duncan, in School readiness and later achievement, published in Developmental Psychology in 2007. Follow-up studies continue to confirm the importance of early math skills. The more math-oriented activities kids do before kindergarten, the better they’ll understand math in school. Early math skills foretell higher aptitude in high school math and higher rates of college enrollment. And a 2014 Vanderbilt study determined that for “both males and females, mathematical precocity early in life predicts later creative contributions and leadership in critical occupational roles.”
New research with a large sample size has now confirmed that ANS tasks are not suitable as measures of math development in school‐age populations. The researchers studied other cognitive functions that can replace this as a good measure for Math development in school-age populations, read the article in our link for today to find out what they are.
Here is an interesting piece of research. it appears that when children at the age of four can recognize and draw our Arabic numbers, this is a predictor of how well they will do with arithmetic at six years of age.
A group researchers from Norway has now developed a theory that, like Dyslexia, Dyscalculia also can be impacted or caused by vision problems. A new app can make it easier to investigate the issue. It can help to determine if someone is struggling with visual processing associated with rapid changes in their surroundings.
Great editorial article and 25 other articles with research findings about individual differences in arithmetic. It seems that an average British class of 11-year-olds is likely to contain the equivalent of a 7-year range in arithmetical ability
UK govt report, Mental Capital and Wellbeing: “Developmental dyscalculia is currently the poor relation of dyslexia, with a much lower public profile. But the consequences of dyscalculia are at least as severe as those for dyslexia.” Summarised in Beddington & al, Nature, 2008
New research from the University of Arizona discovered something about the link between learning and failure. To begin with, it’s already known that you’re not learning if you’re succeeding 100% of the time – that means the task is too easy. A little bit of failure means that something is just hard enough. (If you’re always failing, you may be in over your head).
Researchers found a precise answer to the link between learning and
failure: the most favorable spot for learning something new is when
you’re failing about 15% of the time.
Or in other words, you’re getting it right 85% of the time.
At least not in their brains when they do math, according to a new study. However once you get to higher math intense subjects, boys seem to outnumber girls 3 to 1 in those fields. With no difference in the brains, you would think the way we work with them may explain that later difference.
A new study focused on how well adults with developmental dyscalculia can recognize patterns. It showed that adults with developmental dyscalculia have a deficit in their ability to recognize model independent patterns.
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