Homework Question on Effect of Mathematics on the Brain
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Homework Answer on Effect of Mathematics on the Brain
Different studies indicate different effects of mathematics on the brain. Some studies involving brain scan reveal that mathematical formulas tend to activate the brain in a similar way to great art. Gallagher (2014) reports that researchers at the University College London showed 15 mathematicians a total of 60 “beautiful” and “ugly” equations to rate. The researchers noted that while viewing equations involves a large section of the brain, by looking at a mathematical equation rated as “beautiful”, the emotional part of the brain is activated in the same way as when listening to music or looking at a great painting.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans indicated an enhanced surge in activity with respect to the formulas rated as most beautiful. Other studies have also shown that how good one is at maths is not so much an indication of one’s overall intelligence at childhood, as about your childhood memory skills. An example of this is based on the findings of a study conducted by Researchers from Stanford University involving 28 children between the age of 7 and 9 years (Menon et al., 2014).
The researchers gave the children a number of addition problems to solve. In the mean time, their brain scans were recorded on an MRI machine. The researchers also asked the children to press a button to confirm if the equation sets were right or not. They also recorded the speed at which the children responded to the questions, as well as the areas of the brain involved. After one year, the researchers tested the same group once more. The research findings revealed that the children tended to rely less on counting number, and more on fact retrieval.