General ability vs. expertise in mathematics: An ERP study with male adolescents who answer geometry questions

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Abstract

This paper represents one part of a large-scale Multidimensional Examination of
Mathematical Giftedness. It presents research on brain activity (using ERP – Event-Related Potentials – methodology) associated with solving mathematical problems that require transition from a geometrical object to a symbolic representation of its property. Out of a total of 170 adolescents with varying levels of general giftedness (Gifted-G, Non-gifted-NG) and mathematical expertise (Excelling-E, Non-excelling-NE) who took part in the study, 43
right-handed male students were chosen for comparative data analysis presented in this paper. We aimed to investigate the differences in time investment and form of activation among four groups of participants (G-E, G-NE, NG-E, and NG-NE). In the study presented herein ERP methodology was used to compare brain activation when students performed the tasks. We found different patterns of brain activity in six regions of interest (ROI) in two subsequent stages of problem solving among the four experimental groups. The more distinct difference between two stages of tasks associated with chosen ROI (introduction and verification stages) was found in the NG-NE group.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe electronic proceedings of the 12th international Congress on mathematics education (Topic study group-3: activities and programs for gifted students)
Place of PublicationCoex, Seoul, Korea
Pages3107-3116
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2012

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