Short-Term vs. Long-Term Learning in Mathematical Cognition: Cerebral Correlates, Domain Impacts, and Sources of Individual Differences

The objective of the proposed project is to analyze how long- and short-term learning modulates the plasticity of the cognitive system of mathematically gifted pupils in secondary education as compared to a group of controls matched in terms of age, sex, education, and socio-economic factors. Cognitive tasks of varying complexity (geometric and semantic analogies, mental arithmetics, simplification of algebraic expressions, completion of number series, algebraic problem solving) are examined using behavioral, psychophysiological (pupillary and eye movement data), and neuroscientific (fMRI) methods. In addition interest in maths, intelligence, concentration, working memory capacity, personality traits, and motivation are measured. Goal of the project is to study (1) cerebral correlates of mathematical reasoning, (2) short- and long-term learning effects, (3) cerebral correlates of individual differences, as well as (4) correlations with psychometric test scores. The interdisciplinary cooperation of educational science, cognitive science and neuroscience will help to answer recent questions regarding learning effects in mathematical cognition, its modulation by individual differences, and its cerebral correlates. Implications of the gained results for learning, instruction, and educational policies will be derived.

The objective of the proposed project is to analyze how long- and short-term learning modulates the plasticity of the cognitive system of mathematically gifted pupils in secondary education as compared to a group of controls matched in terms of age, sex, education, and socio-economic factors. Cognitive tasks of varying complexity (geometric and semantic analogies, mental arithmetics, simplification of algebraic expressions, completion of number series, algebraic problem solving) are examined using behavioral, psychophysiological (pupillary and eye movement data), and neuroscientific (fMRI) methods. In addition interest in maths, intelligence, concentration, working memory capacity, personality traits, and motivation are measured. Goal of the project is to study (1) cerebral correlates of mathematical reasoning, (2) short- and long-term learning effects, (3) cerebral correlates of individual differences, as well as (4) correlations with psychometric test scores. The interdisciplinary cooperation of educational science, cognitive science and neuroscience will help to answer recent questions regarding learning effects in mathematical cognition, its modulation by individual differences, and its cerebral correlates. Implications of the gained results for learning, instruction, and educational policies will be derived.

Duration of project

Start date: 04/2008

End date: 10/2011