After years of studying math, including algebra, fractions, and mental arithmetic, adolescents may want to stop learning math as early as possible.
But that move may not be beneficial to them. A new study titled “”Impact of lack of math education on brain development and future achievements, ”. Proceedings of the American Academy of Sciences, It has been suggested that quitting math at the age of 16 can adversely affect cognitive development.
A study led by researchers at Oxford University found that young people who continued to study mathematics at level A had higher levels of key chemicals in their brains involved in memory, learning, and problem solving.
Studies suggest that adolescents who stop studying mathematics after the age of 16 are at a greater disadvantage in cognitive development.
When adolescents stop learning math at the age of 16, important brain chemicals can be lost
The University’s Faculty of Experimental Psychology recruited 133 students aged 14 to 18 to participate in the “Eurek Alert!” Experiment. report.
In the UK, unlike most countries in the world, students can choose to stop teaching math at the age of 16. This led researchers to investigate whether the lack of math education after the age of 16 would put students from similar environments at a disadvantage to their classmates who had continued math education.
The findings suggest that adolescents who quit studying mathematics have lower amounts of brain chemicals that are important for brain plasticity in key areas of cognition, reasoning, problem-solving, mathematics, memory, and learning. This chemical is called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is found in a region of the brain called the frontal cortex.
By identifying the amount of GABA for each student, researchers were able to distinguish between participants who continued to study math and who did not.
In addition, the amount of GABA in the brain successfully predicted changes in the mathematical achievement score 19 months after the experiment.
Roy Cohen Kadosh, lead author of the study and professor of cognitive neuroscience at Oxford University, said that learning mathematics is about gaining socio-economic status from employment and, importantly, mentally and physically. He said that it is related to various benefits, including health.
“Unfortunately, the opportunity to stop studying math at this age seems to create a gap between young people who have stopped teaching math and those who continue to do so,” Kadosh said. news release It was published in Eurekalert! “Our research provides a new level of biological understanding of the effects of education on the developing brain and the interactions between biology and education.”
Forcing math in adolescence is also not a good strategy
Despite findings that continuing to study math is beneficial to the brain, Kadosh recognizes that forcing adolescents and those who are not good at math to continue studying in the field is sound. I think it may not be the best strategy to promote development.
“Instead, we need to investigate alternatives that may involve the same brain regions as mathematics, such as logic and reasoning training,” says Kadosh. Daily mail..
The long-term effects of quitting mathematics are not yet known, so the results of this study provide an important understanding of how the lack of a single element in education can have a significant impact on a person’s brain and behavior. ..
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