Not everybody loves math. In fact, some people report tension, apprehension, and fear when faced with the need to perform mathematical tasks as a part of everyday life. Not surprisingly, these highly math anxious individuals (HMAs) perform more poorly on math related tasks than individuals with low math anxiety, tending to avoid math classes and math-related career paths. But, understanding more about the neural underpinnings of high math anxiety may help educators develop better strategies for counteracting these tendencies, ultimately opening the door to more diverse career opportunities for HMAs.
Previous research has shown that the act of chewing gum can significantly reduce reaction times during certain tests, including numerical working memory, sustained alertness, auditory oddball, and semantic memory tasks. There are various theories about why this is the case, ranging from the activation of specific areas of the brain to improved mood and decreased stress whilst chewing, and many have hypothesized that increased activation of blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex is the cause, as both alerting and executive functions are thought to be housed there.
Consumption of caffeine, in moderation, is reported to have a number of health benefits including increases in alertness, stamina during exercise, pain relief, and memory. Further research indicates that chemically, it functions as an antioxidant and consequently helps to minimize damaging free radicals that are present in a variety of oxidative stress-related disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease and heart disease. Additional data suggest that caffeine may play a role in minimizing depression by increasing the production of dopamine in the brain.
In the discussion of the relationship between language and thought, the concept of categorical perception (CP) is a key element. A lot of studies have shown that categorical perception of color is affected by language, but lately, researchers have been branching out into other areas.
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