Dyscalculia and Brain Activity-The Connection, by Shradha Kalyani Kabra

06/24/2020 | By More

The fear of Mathematics and numbers is called Dyscalculia which is a learning disability also termed as number blindness. Extensive studies have recorded that nearly 7% of the population with average intelligence have the problem. The innate number sense of the human brain is not in sync in dyscalculics as numerical ability relies on special brain networks.

The theory that separates Dyscalculia from other deficiencies of memory, language and memory is that the approximate number sense gets severely affected. Common symptom that defines the problem is the inability to recognize the place value system. The mathematical ability of people who are unable to grasp the recognition pattern of small numbers is impaired significantly.

Brain Function In Dyscalculia Sufferers

The inability to properly estimate and grasp quantifiable figures is the hallmark of Dyscalculia.The disability signifies the inability or impaired ability to recognize small numbers. The brain scans of persons suffering from this issue show that the intraparietal sulci show less activity and are less connected with the greater brain when dealing with numbers.

Other learning disabilities like dyslexia and aligned problems like ADHD and autism spectrum disorder is also common in dyscalculics.  The treatment becomes a little complex as it is difficult to separate the issues. These comorbidities often make the diagnosis difficult.  The neuronal basis of Dyscalculia is not widely studied due to this phenomenon. Several neuroimaging studies have detailed the representation and processing of numerical information, but no comprehensive and conclusive findings are available. There are many forms of Dyscalculia, and some of them are associated with demonstrated alteratiometabolism, brain structure and function.

dyscalculia brain scan

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Developmental Dyscalculia

Developmental Dyscalculia tends to present as abnormalities in the parietal cortex and involves the cortical and subcortical regions. Recent studies have given clarity on brain activity during number processing as well as calculation. The IPS or intraparietal sulcus is known to be the centre for numerical processing. Research has illustrated that the IPS is activated when mathematical tasks and even simple counting exercises are carried out.

Memory, perceptual, spatial and motor functions are also involved in the process. Attention is also a key factor. The cognitive processes that are involved in calculation tasks add to the complexity. Developmental Dyscalculia (DD) demonstrates deficits in core brain regions associated with number processing. The brain activation pattern is also not adequate in children afflicted with DD. The gap is bridged with the child resorting to finger counting and memory to compensate.

The need for remediation measures and education for children with special needs is the need of the hour. There are some steps taken in this direction by experts, but the gap is much more significant than the remedy. Urgent intervention is needed to collate research findings and create practical special education resources to help children suffering from DD.

Practical Application of Research in Educational Processes for Special Needs

The first step is to recognize that the child has a problem. Unfortunately, the children suffering from Developmental Dyscalculia are not even diagnosed in time to help them. They are often labelled as slow or below average and are left to fend on their own. The need of the hour is to educate parents and educationists alike about the existence of DD and how it affects the child.

Academic and emotional negligence often tortures the otherwise intelligent child. They are special and hence need proper guidance and help, more than the other children. They may be subjected to bullying and rampant ignoring in the classroom. Teachers need to be sensitized about the occurrence and issues related to Dyscalculia as they are prone to dismiss the condition as a lack of general intelligence. There are few practical steps that can be taken to ensure that the child finds a way to cope with the problem and even overcome it to a certain extent.

Continue reading here: https://numberdyslexia.com/dyscalculia-and-brain-activity-the-connection/



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