## MIND, BRAIN, AND EDUCATION Effects of an Adaptive Game Intervention on Accessing Number Sense in Low-Socioeconomic-Status

### BibTeX

@MISC{Children_mind,brain,,

author = {Kindergarten Children and Anna J. Wilson and Stanislas Dehaene and Ophélie Dubois and Michel Fayol},

title = {MIND, BRAIN, AND EDUCATION Effects of an Adaptive Game Intervention on Accessing Number Sense in Low-Socioeconomic-Status},

year = {}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

ABSTRACT — ‘‘The Number Race’ ’ is an adaptive game designed to improve number sense. We tested its effectiveness using a cross-over design in 53 low socioeconomic status kindergarteners in France. Children showed improvements in tasks traditionally used to assess number sense (numerical comparison of digits and words). However, there was no improvement on non-symbolic measures of number sense, suggesting that rather than being in number sense per se, the improvement was in number sense access; or links between symbolic and non-symbolic representations of number. Focused adaptive interventions such as this may contribute to reducing the socioeconomic gap in math achievement. Computer-aided instruction can be a useful tool in early mathematics education, even in preschool and kindergarten (Clements, 2002). Adaptive computer games designed to behaviorally train a particular aspect of cognition hold particular promise, especially for children disadvantaged by learning difficulties or socioeconomic status (SES). Not only

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Citation Context ...lists use the term in a variety of ways (Berch, 2005), most would agree on the broad definition of number sense as the ability to quickly understand, approximate, and manipulate numerical quantities (=-=Dehaene, 1997-=-, 2001). Research in numerical cognition (a branch of cognitive neuroscience) suggests that number sense is one of the important foundations of mathematical cognition © 2009 the Authors 224 Journal Co... |

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Citation Context ..., 2004). In both adults and children, number sense appears to be associated with a specific brain area, the horizontal segment of the intraparietal sulcus (Cantlon, Brannon, Carter, & Pelphrey, 2006; =-=Dehaene, Piazza, Pinel, & Cohen, 2003-=-) In its most elementary form, it can be measured using tasks which involve viewing, comparing, adding, or subtracting non-symbolic numerosities, such as arrays of dots (McCrink, Dehaene, & Dehaene-La... |

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Citation Context ...ause while most children show improvements in number sense-related tasks in the course of development (Huntley-Fenner, 2001; Lipton & Spelke, 2003; Sekuler & Mierkiewicz, 1977; Siegler & Booth, 2004; =-=Siegler & Opfer, 2003-=-), children with low number sense appear to show very little spontaneous improvement (Jordan et al., 2006). Access to Number Sense A key development which must occur during human learning is the assoc... |

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Citation Context ...te performance on the number line task than high-SES children (Siegler & Ramani, 2008). Task performance was also shown to be positively correlated with other number sense tasks and math achievement (=-=Booth & Siegler, 2006-=-; Laski & Siegler, 226 Volume 3—Number 4Anna J. Wilson et al. 2007), and predictive of acquisition of new material (Booth & Siegler, 2008). An independent study based on this work (Whyte & Bull, 2008... |

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Citation Context ...y seen when comparing numerosities which are further apart versus closer together. Evidence suggests that the slope of the non-symbolic distance effect becomes steeper over the course of development (=-=Lipton & Spelke, 2003-=-). The distance effect is still present in adult reaction time to simple symbolic numerical comparison tasks such as deciding which is greater, 3 or 7? (Moyer & Landauer, 1967), suggesting that such t... |

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Citation Context ... resulting in improved reading (Hintikka, Aro, & Lyytinen, 2005; Tallal et al., 1996). This improvement has a neural basis; an increase in brain activity in areas that are underactivated in dyslexia (=-=Temple et al., 2003-=-). We have developed an analogous behavioral training program for number and elementary arithmetic (Wilson, Dehaene, et al., 2006; Wilson, Revkin, Cohen, Cohen, & Dehaene, 2006). This software, known ... |

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Citation Context ... & Cohen, 1998; Feigenson, Dehaene, & Spelke, 2004). In both adults and children, number sense appears to be associated with a specific brain area, the horizontal segment of the intraparietal sulcus (=-=Cantlon, Brannon, Carter, & Pelphrey, 2006-=-; Dehaene, Piazza, Pinel, & Cohen, 2003) In its most elementary form, it can be measured using tasks which involve viewing, comparing, adding, or subtracting non-symbolic numerosities, such as arrays ... |

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Citation Context ...number sense and the cultural symbols which represent number (e.g., number words and Arabic digits). Much evidence suggests that in normal adults, this activation has become strongly automatic (e.g., =-=Dehaene & Akhavein, 1995-=-; Naccache & Dehaene, 2001; Pavese & Umiltà, 1998; Rusconi, Priftis, Rusconi, & Umiltà, 2006). Young children also appear to access non-symbolic representations of numbers when solving problems presen... |

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Citation Context ...kindergarten years. This is especially important because while most children show improvements in number sense-related tasks in the course of development (Huntley-Fenner, 2001; Lipton & Spelke, 2003; =-=Sekuler & Mierkiewicz, 1977-=-; Siegler & Booth, 2004; Siegler & Opfer, 2003), children with low number sense appear to show very little spontaneous improvement (Jordan et al., 2006). Access to Number Sense A key development which... |

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Citation Context ...ncrease it, particularly in the preschool or kindergarten years. This is especially important because while most children show improvements in number sense-related tasks in the course of development (=-=Huntley-Fenner, 2001-=-; Lipton & Spelke, 2003; Sekuler & Mierkiewicz, 1977; Siegler & Booth, 2004; Siegler & Opfer, 2003), children with low number sense appear to show very little spontaneous improvement (Jordan et al., 2... |

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Citation Context .... Notwithstanding, several recent studies suggest that children’s early number sense (at least as defined in this broader way) is an important predictor of later math performance (Chard et al., 2005; =-=Jordan, Kaplan, Olah, & Locuniak, 2006-=-). Number Sense and SES Low number sense is more common in kindergarten children from low-SES families (Griffin, Case, & Siegler, 1994; Jordan et al., 2006), as are other lower scores on a variety of ... |

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Citation Context ...who received the color intervention (Siegler & Ramani, 2008). A second study replicated this finding, and also showed lasting improvement on number identification, counting, and numerical comparison (=-=Ramani & Siegler, 2008-=-). Low-SES children were shown to exhibit less accurate performance on the number line task than high-SES children (Siegler & Ramani, 2008). Task performance was also shown to be positively correlated... |

14 |
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Citation Context ...n (Gilmore et al., 2007), but the automaticity of the conversion from symbols to quantities is not yet established in early childhood (Girelli, Lucangeli, & Butterworth, 2000; Moyer & Landauer, 1967; =-=Rousselle & Noël, 2007-=-) and is reduced in dyscalculic adults (Rubinsten & Henik, 2005, 2006). Consistent with previous authors (Rousselle & Noël, 2007), we refer to this conversion as number sense access. Volume 3—Number 4... |

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Citation Context ...orrelated with other number sense tasks and math achievement (Booth & Siegler, 2006; Laski & Siegler, 226 Volume 3—Number 4Anna J. Wilson et al. 2007), and predictive of acquisition of new material (=-=Booth & Siegler, 2008-=-). An independent study based on this work (Whyte & Bull, 2008) also recently showed that the mapping of number to space provided by the board game format was likely to be the particular instructional... |

13 |
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Citation Context ...asks) is also a predictor of dyscalculia (Mazzocco & Thompson, 2005). Consequently, it has been proposed that the ‘‘core deficit’’ in dyscalculia may be impairment in number sense (Butterworth, 1999; =-=Gersten & Chard, 1999-=-; Molko et al., 2003; Robinson, Menchetti, & Torgesen, 2002; Wilson & Dehaene, 2007). The educational community has also recognized the importance of number sense, although the term here is used in a ... |

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Citation Context ...07;Lipton&Spelke, 2005). The importance of number sense is highlighted by the fact that dyscalculia (or mathematical learning disability) is associated with abnormalities in the intraparietal sulcus (=-=Isaacs, Edmonds, Lucas, & Gadian, 2001-=-; Kucian et al., 2006; Molko et al., 2003), and that low number sense in kindergarten (measured with symbolic tasks) is also a predictor of dyscalculia (Mazzocco & Thompson, 2005). Consequently, it ha... |

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Citation Context ...t number (e.g., number words and Arabic digits). Much evidence suggests that in normal adults, this activation has become strongly automatic (e.g., Dehaene & Akhavein, 1995; Naccache & Dehaene, 2001; =-=Pavese & Umiltà, 1998-=-; Rusconi, Priftis, Rusconi, & Umiltà, 2006). Young children also appear to access non-symbolic representations of numbers when solving problems presented in Arabic or verbal form, even in kindergarte... |

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11 |
Playing linear numerical board games promotes low-income children’s numerical development
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Citation Context ...dren were given four 15 min sessions of intervention playing a simple game which either involved counting along a board with squares numbered 1–10, or matching colors on a board with colored squares (=-=Siegler & Ramani, 2008-=-). Children who received the number intervention showed a large increase in accuracy placing numbers on number lines (Siegler & Booth, 2004; Siegler & Opfer, 2003) compared with those who received the... |

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Citation Context ...ldren. In this short report, we describe the first test of this software in a low-SES kindergarten population. Number Sense Although researchers and educationalists use the term in a variety of ways (=-=Berch, 2005-=-), most would agree on the broad definition of number sense as the ability to quickly understand, approximate, and manipulate numerical quantities (Dehaene, 1997, 2001). Research in numerical cognitio... |

9 |
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Citation Context ...enchetti, & Torgesen, 2002; Wilson & Dehaene, 2007). The educational community has also recognized the importance of number sense, although the term here is used in a much broader sense (Berch, 2005; =-=Gersten, Jordan, & Flojo, 2005-=-). Notably, in reference to the preceding discussion, number sense has often been assessed using only symbolic tests (i.e., using Arabic digits or words), and very rarely with tests which are purely n... |

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8 |
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Citation Context ...azzocco & Thompson, 2005). Consequently, it has been proposed that the ‘‘core deficit’’ in dyscalculia may be impairment in number sense (Butterworth, 1999; Gersten & Chard, 1999; Molko et al., 2003; =-=Robinson, Menchetti, & Torgesen, 2002-=-; Wilson & Dehaene, 2007). The educational community has also recognized the importance of number sense, although the term here is used in a much broader sense (Berch, 2005; Gersten, Jordan, & Flojo, ... |

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7 |
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Citation Context ...t curriculum-level interventions can improve early ‘‘number sense’’ in lowSES kindergarten children. The ‘‘RightStart’’ curriculum was designed by Griffin et al. (1994; now known as ‘‘NumberWorlds,’’ =-=Griffin, 2004-=-) to compensate for a lack of environmental experience placing an emphasis on early mathematical skills. The intervention consisted mostly of classroom games (e.g., board games) which emphasized the r... |

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7 |
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Citation Context ...on from symbols to quantities is not yet established in early childhood (Girelli, Lucangeli, & Butterworth, 2000; Moyer & Landauer, 1967; Rousselle & Noël, 2007) and is reduced in dyscalculic adults (=-=Rubinsten & Henik, 2005-=-, 2006). Consistent with previous authors (Rousselle & Noël, 2007), we refer to this conversion as number sense access. Volume 3—Number 4 225Adaptive Intervention Number Sense The distinction between... |

6 |
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Citation Context ...e,’’ a categorization made by the education department of the French government for areas which face particularly difficult social and economic conditions and associated high rates of school failure (=-=Bénabou, Kramarz, & Prost, 2004-=-). Children in these zones often come from immigrant families and have a first language other than French (based on experimenter observation, this was the case for 43% of children in the present study... |

6 |
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Citation Context ...of computer activities (as well as manipulatives and print), and focusing on number and geometry. A recentstudy tested its effects in low-SES preschoolers (3to 4-year old), over the course of 1 year (=-=Clements & Sarama, 2007-=-). The number assessment test used in this study included several non-symbolic measures. Low-SES children taught with the ‘‘Building Blocks’’ curriculum showed much larger gains in a set of number tas... |

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Citation Context ..., Piazza, Pinel, & Cohen, 2003) In its most elementary form, it can be measured using tasks which involve viewing, comparing, adding, or subtracting non-symbolic numerosities, such as arrays of dots (=-=McCrink, Dehaene, & Dehaene-Lambertz, 2007-=-; Piazza, Pinel, Le Bihan, & Dehaene, 2007). An important measure of the precision of number sense is the distance effect, which is the increase in accuracy seen when comparing numerosities which are ... |

5 |
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Citation Context ...imuli and responses). Notwithstanding, several recent studies suggest that children’s early number sense (at least as defined in this broader way) is an important predictor of later math performance (=-=Chard et al., 2005-=-; Jordan, Kaplan, Olah, & Locuniak, 2006). Number Sense and SES Low number sense is more common in kindergarten children from low-SES families (Griffin, Case, & Siegler, 1994; Jordan et al., 2006), as... |

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5 |
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Citation Context ...th & Siegler, 2006; Laski & Siegler, 226 Volume 3—Number 4Anna J. Wilson et al. 2007), and predictive of acquisition of new material (Booth & Siegler, 2008). An independent study based on this work (=-=Whyte & Bull, 2008-=-) also recently showed that the mapping of number to space provided by the board game format was likely to be the particular instructional factor responsible for an improvement on numberline placement... |

4 |
Kindergarten predictors of math learning disability
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(Show Context)
Citation Context ... sulcus (Isaacs, Edmonds, Lucas, & Gadian, 2001; Kucian et al., 2006; Molko et al., 2003), and that low number sense in kindergarten (measured with symbolic tasks) is also a predictor of dyscalculia (=-=Mazzocco & Thompson, 2005-=-). Consequently, it has been proposed that the ‘‘core deficit’’ in dyscalculia may be impairment in number sense (Butterworth, 1999; Gersten & Chard, 1999; Molko et al., 2003; Robinson, Menchetti, & T... |