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ERIC Number: EJ1032726
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-8
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1473-0111
Optical Topography of Evoked Brain Activity during Mental Tasks Involving Whole Number Operations
Ortiz, Enrique
International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Jul 2014
Students start to memorize arithmetic facts from early elementary school mathematics activities. Their fluency or lack of fluency with these facts could affect their efforts as they carry out mental calculations as adults. This study investigated participants' levels of brain activation and possible reasons for these levels as they solved arithmetic exercises mentally. It used "Optical Topography" - an imaging technique that measures brain changes in blood flow using near-infrared light. Twelve undergraduate and graduate students participated in scanning sessions and follow-up interviews. Different levels of brain activity were found during tasks: low, moderate and high. Answers during interviews indicated that differences in brain activation were related to students' effectiveness in solving exercises and prior experiences with memorization of facts. These findings indicate that especial attention should be placed on how facts are memorized, which could have effects on how efficiently adult students' brains work when solving mental computation exercises.
Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching. 5th Floor Rolle Building, Faculty of Education University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK. Tel: +44-1752-585346; Fax: +44-1752-585344; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida