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

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2
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1answer
42 views

Evidence for gender-based math ability differences?

What evidence and counter-evidence is there for mathematical ability for being correlated with gender? If there is a difference, how significant is it (mean vs. variance) and when does it start to ...
0
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1answer
79 views

Are a lot of highly logical people (such as mathematicians) prone to depression? [closed]

In my math and physics classes, half the students are seeing or have seen psychologists because of depression. Based on my experiences I feel that there is a huge correlation between logical people ...
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0answers
29 views

Asian Languages Math Advantage

I'm looking for a reference showing that asian languages such as Chinese and Japanese allow for easier understanding of numbers than English. Here's an excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" that ...
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0answers
62 views

Math understanding: intuitions and proofs

I think that cogsci can help me to study a problem in philosophy of math. Consider this case (adapted from M. Detlefsen, Brouwerian intuitionism): Lucy has the kind of understanding of a given math ...
2
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0answers
25 views

How do children understand the concept of number size?

How do children understand that one number is larger than the other? For example, given the numbers "8" and "9", how do they learn that "9" is larger? This apparently develops as a pre-cursor to ...
2
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2answers
174 views

What makes some things difficult or easy to understand?

I am thinking really deep about this topic with no answer. For example while learning set theory first time you find it very difficult to get your head around ...
2
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0answers
35 views

Is speed up of arithmetic calculations as a result of memorisation?

In elementary school, it is typical for a student to learn "times tables" to increase their speed of mental multiplication. What is the mechanism for the increased speed of calculation resulting from ...
3
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1answer
247 views

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, ...
2
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2answers
891 views

Why are some people good at algebra and bad at geometry and vice versa?

I've met people who say they did very well in algebra but were terrible at geometry in high school and some people who say they did very well in geometry but were terrible at algebra in high school. ...
2
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0answers
17 views

Why do we have so much neurological research on and treatment designed for dyslexia, yet less so for dyscalculia?

I know next to nothing about intervention methods designed for dyscalculia, or 'dyslexia with numbers', as I have heard it colloquially referred to (considering how obscure the term seems to be ...
5
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2answers
336 views

How are the logical and mathematical skills of people with ADHD?

How does rationality and the logical thought processes of those with and without ADHD compare? Please explain the source of the differences. Are the differences thought to be caused by dopamine, ...
0
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0answers
34 views

Can visual skills and short term memory be improved with practice?

I'm a mathematician and I've recently tried to solve more problems just using my mind. This requires visual and short memory skill. So my question is, will my ability improve with practice or is the ...
1
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0answers
85 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
736 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
114 views

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 ...
6
votes
4answers
244 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
988 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
166 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
225 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
402 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?
12
votes
4answers
411 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
196 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

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 ...
13
votes
1answer
230 views

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, ...
6
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
8
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1answer
196 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, ...
21
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
573 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 ...