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Possible neurocognitive components of math skill and dyscalculia

Wim Fias (UGent)
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Abstract
The search for the cognitive determinants of mathematical skill has a long history. For some time it has been thought that mathematical proficiency is not determined by a single unique underlying cognitive factor but by multiple cognitive components such as memory, spatial processing or executive function. Yet it remains unclear exactly what these cognitive components are and how it is that they have an impact on mathematical skills. I argue that specific neurocognitive explanatory models of cognitive components promise to increase our understanding of how cognitive components play a role in numerical and mathematical tasks and determine performance. I outline how recent advances in the understanding of the neurocognitive mechanisms of sensory processing, working memory and executive functions lead to meaningful hypotheses about their functional involvement in mathematical performance. I also touch upon how this might shed light on dyscalculia and its comorbidity with other learning deficits.
Keywords
mathematical cognition, mental arithmetic, dyscalculia, brain imaging, working memory, spatial attention, executive functions, performance adaptation, spatial cognition, serial position

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Citation

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Chicago
Fias, Wim. 2016. “Possible Neurocognitive Components of Math Skill and Dyscalculia.” In Mathematical Cognition and Learning Series Vol. 2 : Development of Mathematical Cognition, ed. Daniel B Berch, David C Geary, and Kathleen Mann Koepke, 195–217. London: Academic Press.
APA
Fias, W. (2016). Possible neurocognitive components of math skill and dyscalculia. In D. B. Berch, D. C. Geary, & K. M. Koepke (Eds.), Mathematical cognition and learning series vol. 2 : development of mathematical cognition (pp. 195–217). London: Academic Press.
Vancouver
1.
Fias W. Possible neurocognitive components of math skill and dyscalculia. In: Berch DB, Geary DC, Koepke KM, editors. Mathematical cognition and learning series vol. 2 : development of mathematical cognition. London: Academic Press; 2016. p. 195–217.
MLA
Fias, Wim. “Possible Neurocognitive Components of Math Skill and Dyscalculia.” Mathematical Cognition and Learning Series Vol. 2 : Development of Mathematical Cognition. Ed. Daniel B Berch, David C Geary, & Kathleen Mann Koepke. London: Academic Press, 2016. 195–217. Print.
@incollection{8548845,
  abstract     = {The search for the cognitive determinants of mathematical skill has a long history. For some time it has been thought that mathematical proficiency is not determined by a single unique underlying cognitive factor but by multiple cognitive components such as memory, spatial processing or executive function. Yet it remains unclear exactly what these cognitive components are and how it is that they have an impact on mathematical skills. I argue that specific neurocognitive explanatory models of cognitive components promise to increase our understanding of how cognitive components play a role in numerical and mathematical tasks and determine performance. I outline how recent advances in the understanding of the neurocognitive mechanisms of sensory processing, working memory and executive functions lead to meaningful hypotheses about their functional involvement in mathematical performance. I also touch upon how this might shed light on dyscalculia and its comorbidity with other learning deficits.
},
  author       = {Fias, Wim},
  booktitle    = {Mathematical cognition and learning series vol. 2 : development of mathematical cognition},
  editor       = {Berch, Daniel B and Geary, David C and Koepke, Kathleen Mann},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {195--217},
  publisher    = {Academic Press},
  title        = {Possible neurocognitive components of math skill and dyscalculia},
  year         = {2016},
}