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The Neuropsychology of Mathematics: An Introduction to the Fam

Primary Presenter: Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed., ABSNP

This workshop will explore how young children learn and acquire basic mathematical skills from a brain-based educational perspective. The role of language, working memory, visual-spatial reasoning, and executive functioning will be featured as primary cognitive constructs involved in the acquisition of basic number skills. There will be a discussion on three primary ways in which numbers are formatted in the brain, as well as critical neurodevelopmental pathways that contribute to skills such as automatic fact retrieval, quantitative reasoning, and the development of number sense. Specific case studies featuring the Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM) will be featured, along with scores of interventions. The expected learner outcomes will be to better understand three prominent subtypes of math disabilities in children, learn critical assessment techniques to tease out each subtype, explore the role of anxiety and math, and to introduce more efficient ways to diagnose and remediate math disorders in children. The following objectives will be covered:

  1. Discuss international trends in mathematics, and reasons why the United lags behind many industrialized nations in both math and science.
  2. Explore the role of various neurocognitive processes including language, memory, visual-spatial functioning, and executive functioning, with respect to math problem solving ability and quantitative reasoning.
  3. Introduce a brain-based educational model of math by identifying three basic subtypes of math disabilities in children, and to develop targeted intervention strategies for each subtype.
  4. Explore the role of anxiety and mathematics, and specific ways in which anxiety can impact learning, decision making, and test-taking behavior.
  5. Introduce the Feifer Assessment of Math (FAM) battery as a more viable means to both assess and remediate math disabilities in children.


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