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Significance of Cognitive Exercise

Young children who practice visual working memory and reasoning tasks improve their math skills more than children who focus on spatial rotation exercise, according to a study by researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden.


According to researchers, when it comes to enhancing mathematical learning in young children, the type of cognitive training performed plays a significant role. It is an important finding because it provides strong evidence that cognitive training transfers to an ability that is different from the one you practiced.

Numerous studies have linked spatial ability - the capacity to understand and remember dimensional relations among objects - to performance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a result, some employers in these use spatial ability tests to vet candidates during the hiring process. This has also fuelled an interest in spatial cognitive training, which focuses on improving one's ability to memorise and manipulate various shapes and objects and spot patterns in recurring sequences. Some schools today include spatial exercises as part of their tutoring.


In this study, more than 17,000 school children between the ages of six and eight completed cognitive training via an app for either 20 or 33 minutes per day over the course of seven weeks. The researchers found that all groups improved on mathematical performance, but that reasoning training had the largest positive impact followed by working memory tasks. Both reasoning and memory training outperformed rotation training when it came to mathematical improvement.

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