Research Topic

Abstract Mathematical Cognition

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Despite the importance of mathematics in our educational systems little is known about how abstract mathematical thinking emerges. Under the uniting thread of mathematical development, we hope to connect researchers from various backgrounds to provide an integrated view of abstract mathematical cognition. ...

Despite the importance of mathematics in our educational systems little is known about how abstract mathematical thinking emerges. Under the uniting thread of mathematical development, we hope to connect researchers from various backgrounds to provide an integrated view of abstract mathematical cognition.
Much progress has been made in the last 20 years on how numeracy is acquired. Experimental psychology has brought to light the fact that numerical cognition stems from spatial cognition. The findings from neuroimaging and single cell recording experiments converge to show that numerical representations take place in the intraparietal sulcus. Further research has demonstrated that supplementary neural networks might be recruited to carry out subtasks; for example, the retrieval of arithmetic facts is done by the angular gyrus. Now that the neural networks in charge of basic mathematical cognition are identified, we can move onto the stage where we seek to understand how these basics skills are used to support the acquisition and use of abstract mathematical concepts.
Paper submission is solicited on:
- Neural correlates of abstract mathematical cognition. Neuroimaging studies highlighting the neural correlates of complex or abstract mathematical cognition are particularly welcome.
- Developmental studies in experimental psychology are called on since they show how the cognitive system makes use of its basic components to reach a higher level of performance.
- Experimental and fMRI research focused on the verbal component of the mathematical code are crucial since they would clarify how we use symbols to represent and manipulate abstract mathematical concepts.
- Computer modelling of mathematical cognition.
- Educational studies are welcome insofar as the theory will be grounded on cognitive or neural data. The manuscript should focus on the pedagogic strategies used to teach a new level of mathematical skill.
Manuscripts that are philosophical or that are restricted to linguistic aspects do not fall within the scope of this Research Topic.


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