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ERIC Number: ED520161
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr-10
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
How the Brain's Performance during Mathematics and Reading Fluency Tests Compare
Ortiz, Enrique
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, Apr 8-12, 2011)
The purpose of this study was to analyze how participants' levels of hemoglobin as they performed mathematics fluency and reading fluency (reading comprehension) compare. We used Optical Topography (OT, helmet type brain-scanning system, also known as Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy or fNIRS) to measure levels of brain activity. A central issue in cognitive neuroscience involves the study of how the human brain encodes and manipulates information. Recently, functional neuro-imaging studies have begun to clarify how the human brain performs mental activities. fNIRS is an imaging technique capable of measuring changes in the relative concentration of hemoglobin the in the cerebral cortex of the brain (Hoshi & Tamura, 1993; Villringer et al., 1993; Koizumi et al., 2003). Near-infrared light of a wavelength between 650 nm and 950 nm can penetrate living tissue where it is specifically absorbed by hemoglobin (Strangman et al., 2002). Changes in the concentrations of oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin were monitored and energy consumption, or activation of the brain region during the performance of cognitive tasks were analyzed. Twelve undergraduate and graduate college-level students participated in scanning session. Brain activity was similar for both mathematics and reading fluency tasks. There were also different levels of oxy-hemoglobin: low, moderate, and high for different participants. Similarly to Ortiz (2010), the levels of activity were related to participants' mental strategies as they solve the exercises. Students who had an easier time with the reading or mathematics tasks tended to show moderate to low hemoglobin oxygenation. These results may have implications for how important fluency in these might be in students' performance. Other results and possible implications are discussed in this article. (Contains 9 figures.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A