For questions about the neurobiological or psychological bases of performing symbolic or numeric computations.

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Correlation between Math and Good Computer Programmer

I don't know if I'm asking a right question but I would like to give a try. Is there a correlation between good/professional computer programmers and courses in math (Linear Algebra, Single Variable ...
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Re-conditioning the brain to read words and symbols/numbers “visually” and changing the visual meaning of a word

The brain likes to attach meaning to newly learned words, usually in the format of images. I have no data to prove this but you can prove it to yourself simply by closing your eyes, relaxing a little ...
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What cognitive abilities show the smallest B-W differences in mean scores? [closed]

Traditionally, employee selection tests focus on cognitive abilities such as reading, reasoning, and math. These have large Black-White (B-W) effect sizes (standardized mean score differences). The ...
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Number of exercises and the learning of some subject?

For example, I show to my students that XY=Z, so I ask for them to do some exercises, so in the future, they will always know that XY=Z. Is there any known study relating the numbers of exercises ...
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Is there any evidence of a relationship between learning music and increased ability in Mathematics?

I've had more than one mathematics teacher say to me that they had heard of a link between music and maths ability. I thought I observed it informally myself, but it was difficult to tell if those ...
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225 views

.Do students learn better when challenged (specifically, in math education)?

Originally posted on Math.SE, but it was suggested cogsci.SE would be a more suitable venue. I'm aware of two publications that have trickled onto the radar screens of non-specialists: Fortune ...
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119 views

How does the brain learn abstract maths?

I have found quite a bit of information of how, on a neurological level, we learn the most basic forms of maths. We seem to be hardwired from the get go, to deal with manageable quantities, can ...
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165 views

How many calories do we burn when we try to understand mathematical proofs?

While thinking we burn calories. For comparison: "And if it’s the right wood and the right chess grand masters in the middle of a tournament, they are going through 6,000 to 7,000 calories a day ...
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278 views

What's the percentage of people that are mental calculator prodigies?

I want to reply to this comment: What's the percentage of people that are mental calculator prodigies? How do they spread over the different parts of the world?
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How far can we train mental calculation?

Mental calculators are people with a prodigious ability in some area of mental calculation, such as multiplying large numbers or factoring large numbers. Unfortunately I forgot where I heard it, ...
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131 views

Can you retain a large number in your head for an extended period of time without distortion?

If someone where to recite "794 times 869", they might struggle to retain the numbers pitch perfect in their head as I perform the calculations. Are there any exercises one could perform to improve ...
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807 views

Is consistent dual n-back training likely to improve the performance of analysis (mathematics) students?

Suppose you isolate a class of undergraduate mathematics majors who are about to enroll in a semester of real analysis (rigorous, proof-based calculus) and split them into two groups. Then, you ...
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What does cognitive science say about whether to learn mathematics top-down from research papers?

There is currently a popular question on math.SE on whether it is effective to learn math top-down. By top-down I mean finding a paper that interests you which is obviously way over your head, ...
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What causes student errors on a problem involving differentiating a factorial?

Consider the following maths problem, assuming only a high-school level knowledge of calculus: If $f(x) = x!$, find $df/dx$ Almost all of my respondents seemed to switch on their "mental ...
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4answers
382 views

Is the mathematician's activity psychologically healthy?

I am a professional mathematician, and I regularly meet other mathematicians. I have come to wonder if there is something like a slight neurosis, specific to this activity. To be more precise, let ...
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3answers
505 views

Does associating a color with numbers improve math learning?

I have heard a number of reports that some mathematical savants associate particular colors with numbers. It got me wondering, if colors are associated with numbers during mathematical teaching, ...
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1answer
105 views

What makes the difficulty of an arithmetic item? The operation or its length?

When presenting someone with an arithmetic item, let's say 2+2, what makes it difficult? Is the item 2+2+2 only longer, or also more difficult? Does the mental operation of addition make the ...
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177 views

What research has modelled the difficulty of mental mathematical calculation?

I posted this also on mathoverflow. What research has modelled the difficulty of evaluating a formula mentally (for your average, numerate, person, not a trained mental calculator)? For instance, ...
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482 views

What are biological primary mathematical skills?

In doing a bit of background reading for this question I came across a section in the book Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind on page 602 stating: There are no sex-related differences ...
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Is there a term for individuals who can “visualize” numbers and advanced mathematics?

I recently saw an episode of 60 Minutes about Jacob Barnett, a 13 year old boy who is currently attending advanced physics classes at a local university and was portrayed by the show as being a child ...