Brain scans link math learning abilities to brain structure

http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2013/04/29/peering-into-the-brain-to-predict-kids-response-to-math-tutoring/

Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine¬†used brain scans to look for a link between math-learning abilities and brain structure or function, and compared neural and cognitive predictors of childrens’ responses to tutoring.

The analysis of the children’s structural brain scans showed that larger gray matter volume in three brain structures predicted greater ability to benefit from math tutoring. The predictions were generated with a machine learning algorithm.

The researchers’ next steps will include comparing brain structure and wiring in children with and without math learning disabilities, analyzing how the wiring of the brain changes in response to tutoring, and examining whether lower-performing children’s brains can be exercised to help them learn math.

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