MEC seminar - 14 October 2020

  • 14 October 2020
  • 14:00-16:15
  • Microsoft Teams

The Mathematics Education Centre will host this research seminar via Microsoft Teams. Please note the link to join will be circulated a week before the event.

40 mins Presentation + 20 mins Q&A:Dr. Pierina Cheung “Cracking the code of place value during the preschool years” (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University)

Abstract: Learning the meaning of Arabic numerals such as 35 and 427 requires an understanding of the place value notation. Numerous studies from psychology and education have examined when and how children acquire the place value notation in the past few decades. Yet, there is a disconnect between empirical tasks that aim to measure place value understanding and the developmental steps towards acquiring it. In this talk, I will propose a conceptual framework on place value acquisition adapted from Ross (1989) and present findings from a recent study that provides some support for this framework.

15 mins: Break

40 mins Presentation + 20 mins Q&ADr. Ulrike Kuhl “Neurological correlates of mathematical development:from individual differences to the case of dyscalculia” (Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC))

Abstract: By acquiring core mathematical abilities in the first school years, children lay the foundation for later academic achievement. However, neural plasticity and cortical reorganization processes associated with individual differences in early mathematical learning are still poorly understood. To fill this research gap, we followed 5-6-year-old children longitudinally to the end of second grade in school, combining magnetic resonance imaging and comprehensive behavioral assessments. In my talk, I will present two studies utilizing this effortful longitudinal design. In study 1, our analysis revealed significant links between neuroplastic changes of cortical surface anatomy and individual differences in children’s early mathematical skills in typically developing individuals. In particular, our findings suggest that distinct subregions of the parietal lobe support distinct processes contributing to mathematical cognition already at the onset of formal mathematical education. In the second study, we demonstrate that the later emergence of specific impairments in mathematical performance can already be predicted from differences in fronto-parietal brain networks in pre-school children. Importantly, these effects were independent of other individual differences in IQ, literacy and maternal education. These findings highlight the critical role of distinct fronto-parietal brain networks and early cortical plasticity for and during the acquisition of fundamental mathematical abilities.

Contact and booking details

Ouhao Chen
Email address
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