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The present study investigates the relation between resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of cytoarchitectonically defined subdivisions of the parietal cortex at the end of 1st grade and arithmetic performance at the end of 2nd grade. Results revealed a dissociable pattern of relations between rsFC and arithmetic competence among subdivisions of intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and angular gyrus (AG). rsFC between right hemisphere IPS subdivisions and contralateral IPS subdivisions positively correlated with arithmetic competence. In contrast, rsFC between the left hIP1 and the right medial temporal lobe, and rsFC between the left AG and left superior frontal gyrus, were negatively correlated with arithmetic competence. These results suggest that strong inter-hemispheric IPS connectivity is important for math development, reflecting either neurocognitive mechanisms specific to arithmetic processing, domain-general mechanisms that are particularly relevant to arithmetic competence, or structural 'cortical maturity'. Stronger connectivity between IPS, and AG, subdivisions and frontal and temporal cortices, however, appears to be negatively associated with math development, possibly reflecting the ability to disengage suboptimal problem-solving strategies during mathematical processing, or to flexibly reorient task-based networks. Importantly, the reported results pertain even when controlling for reading, spatial attention, and working memory, suggesting that the observed rsFC-behavior relations are specific to arithmetic competence.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
The development of math skills is a critical component of early education and a strong indicator of later school and economic success. Recent research utilizing population-normed, standardized measures of math achievement suggest that structural and functional integrity of parietal regions, especially the intraparietal sulcus, are closely related to the development of math skills. However, it is unknown how these findings relate to in-school math learning. The present study is the first to address this issue by investigating the relationship between regional differences in grey matter (GM) volume and performance in grade-level mathematics as measured by a state-wide, school-based test of math achievement (TCAP math) in children from 3rd to 8th grade. Results show that increased GM volume in the bilateral hippocampal formation and the right inferior frontal gyrus, regions associated with learning and memory, is associated with higher TCAP math scores. Secondary analyses revealed that GM volume in the left angular gyrus had a stronger relationship to TCAP math in grades 3-4 than in grades 5-8 while the relationship between GM volume in the left inferior frontal gyrus and TCAP math was stronger for grades 5-8. These results suggest that the neuroanatomical architecture related to in-school math achievement differs from that related to math achievement measured by standardized tests, and that the most related neural structures differ as a function of grade level. We suggest, therefore, that the use of school-relevant outcome measures is critical if neuroscience is to bridge the gap to education.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE - Efficiency in scale design reduces respondent burden. A brief but reliable measure of numeracy may provide a useful research tool eligible for integration into large epidemiological studies or clinical trials. Our goal was to validate a 3-item version of the Subjective Numeracy Scale (SNS-3).
DESIGN AND SETTING - We examined 7 separate cross-sectional data sets: patients in the emergency department (n = 208), clinic (n = 205), and hospital (n = 460; n = 2053) and patients with chronic kidney disease (n = 147), with diabetes (n = 318), and on hemodialysis (n = 143).
MEASUREMENTS - Internal reliability of the SNS-3 was assessed with Cronbach's α. Criterion validity was determined by nonparametric correlations of the SNS-3 with SNS-8 and other measures of numeracy; construct validity was determined by correlations with measures of health literacy and education.
RESULTS - The SNS-3 had good internal reliability (median Cronbach's α = 0.78) and correlated highly with the full SNS (median ρ = 0.91). The SNS-3 was significantly correlated with other measures of numeracy (e.g., median ρ = 0.57 with the Wide Range Achievement Test 4), health literacy (e.g., median ρ = 0.35 with the Shortened Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults), and education (median ρ = 0.41), providing good evidence of criterion and construct validity.
CONCLUSION - The SNS-3 is sufficiently reliable and valid to be used as a measure of subjective numeracy.
© The Author(s) 2015.
Two cohorts of intellectually talented 13-year-olds were identified in the 1970s (1972-1974 and 1976-1978) as being in the top 1% of mathematical reasoning ability (1,037 males, 613 females). About four decades later, data on their careers, accomplishments, psychological well-being, families, and life preferences and priorities were collected. Their accomplishments far exceeded base-rate expectations: Across the two cohorts, 4.1% had earned tenure at a major research university, 2.3% were top executives at "name brand" or Fortune 500 companies, and 2.4% were attorneys at major firms or organizations; participants had published 85 books and 7,572 refereed articles, secured 681 patents, and amassed $358 million in grants. For both males and females, mathematical precocity early in life predicts later creative contributions and leadership in critical occupational roles. On average, males had incomes much greater than their spouses', whereas females had incomes slightly lower than their spouses'. Salient sex differences that paralleled the differential career outcomes of the male and female participants were found in lifestyle preferences and priorities and in time allocation.
© The Author(s) 2014.
Population-based studies indicate that between 5 and 9 percent of US children exhibit significant deficits in mathematical reasoning, yet little is understood about the brain morphological features related to mathematical performances. In this work, deformation-based morphometry (DBM) analyses have been performed on magnetic resonance images of the brains of 79 third graders to investigate whether there is a correlation between brain morphological features and mathematical proficiency. Group comparison was also performed between Math Difficulties (MD-worst math performers) and Normal Controls (NC), where each subgroup consists of 20 age and gender matched subjects. DBM analysis is based on the analysis of the deformation fields generated by non-rigid registration algorithms, which warp the individual volumes to a common space. To evaluate the effect of registration algorithms on DBM results, five nonrigid registration algorithms have been used: (1) the Adaptive Bases Algorithm (ABA); (2) the Image Registration Toolkit (IRTK); (3) the FSL Nonlinear Image Registration Tool; (4) the Automatic Registration Tool (ART); and (5) the normalization algorithm available in SPM8. The deformation field magnitude (DFM) was used to measure the displacement at each voxel, and the Jacobian determinant (JAC) was used to quantify local volumetric changes. Results show there are no statistically significant volumetric differences between the NC and the MD groups using JAC. However, DBM analysis using DFM found statistically significant anatomical variations between the two groups around the left occipital-temporal cortex, left orbital-frontal cortex, and right insular cortex. Regions of agreement between at least two algorithms based on voxel-wise analysis were used to define Regions of Interest (ROIs) to perform an ROI-based correlation analysis on all 79 volumes. Correlations between average DFM values and standard mathematical scores over these regions were found to be significant. We also found that the choice of registration algorithm has an impact on DBM-based results, so we recommend using more than one algorithm when conducting DBM studies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that uses DBM to investigate brain anatomical features related to mathematical performance in a relatively large population of children.
There is currently a lack of valid instruments to measure adolescent diabetes numeracy. The Diabetes Numeracy Test (DNT) was adapted for type 1 diabetes and was administered to 2 samples of adolescents. Sample 1 was administered the 39-item version of the DNT (DNT-39) with measures of self-management, responsibility, reading, and glycemic control (A1C). Sample 2 was administered the 14-item version of the DNT (DNT-14) with measures of self-management, responsibility, problem solving, and A1C. Both versions of the DNT showed adequate internal reliability. In Sample 1, the DNT-39 and DNT-14 were related (r = .87, p = .001), and both DNT versions were related to parent education (for DNT-14, r = .31, p = .02; for DNT-39, r = .29, p = .03) and reading (for DNT-14, r = .36, p = .005; for DNT-39, r = .40, p = .001). In Sample 2, the DNT-14 was related to A1C (r = -.29, p = .001), reading skills (r = .36, p = .005), diabetes problem solving (r = .27, p = .02), adolescent age (r = .19, p = .03), and parent education (r = .31, p = .02). In combined analyses, 75% of items were answered correctly on the DNT-14 (range = 7-100), and performance was associated with age (r = .19, p = .03), pump use (r = .33 p = .001), and A1C (r = -.29, p = .001). The DNT-14 is a feasible, reliable, and valid numeracy assessment that indicated adolescents with type 1 diabetes have numeracy deficits that may affect their glycemic control.
Youth identified before age 13 (N = 320) as having profound mathematical or verbal reasoning abilities (top 1 in 10,000) were tracked for nearly three decades. Their awards and creative accomplishments by age 38, in combination with specific details about their occupational responsibilities, illuminate the magnitude of their contribution and professional stature. Many have been entrusted with obligations and resources for making critical decisions about individual and organizational well-being. Their leadership positions in business, health care, law, the professoriate, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) suggest that many are outstanding creators of modern culture, constituting a precious human-capital resource. Identifying truly profound human potential, and forecasting differential development within such populations, requires assessing multiple cognitive abilities and using atypical measurement procedures. This study illustrates how ultimate criteria may be aggregated and longitudinally sequenced to validate such measures.
PURPOSE - The purpose of this study is to describe the association between numeracy and self-reported dietary intake in patients with type 2 diabetes.
METHODS - Numeracy and dietary intake were assessed with the validated Diabetes Numeracy Test and a validated food frequency questionnaire in a cross-sectional study of 150 primary care patients enrolled in a randomized clinical trial at an academic medical center between April 2008 and October 2009. Associations between numeracy and caloric and macronutrient intakes were examined with linear regression models.
RESULTS - Patients with lower numeracy consumed a higher percentage of calories from carbohydrates and lower percentages from protein and fat. However, no differences in energy consumption or the percentage of energy intake owing to carbohydrates, fat, or protein were observed in adjusted analyses. Patients with lower numeracy were significantly more likely to report extremely high or low energy intake inconsistent with standard dietary intake.
CONCLUSIONS - Numeracy was not associated with dietary intake in adjusted analyses. Low numeracy was associated with inaccurate dietary reporting. Providers who take dietary histories in patients with diabetes may need to consider numeracy in their assessment of dietary intake.
BACKGROUND - Limited literacy skills are common in the United States (US) and are related to lower HIV knowledge and worse health behaviors and outcomes. The extent of these associations is unknown in countries like Mozambique, where no rigorously validated literacy and numeracy measures exist.
METHODS - A validated measure of literacy and numeracy, the Wide Range Achievement Test, version 3 (WRAT-3) was translated into Portuguese, adapted for a Mozambican context, and administered to a cross-section of female heads-of-household during a provincially representative survey conducted from August 8 to September 25, 2010. Construct validity of each subscale was examined by testing associations with education, income, and possession of socioeconomic assets, stratified by Portuguese speaking ability. Multivariable regression models estimated the association among literacy/numeracy and HIV knowledge, self-reported HIV testing, and utilization of prenatal care.
RESULTS - Data from 3,557 women were analyzed; 1,110 (37.9%) reported speaking Portuguese. Respondents' mean age was 31.2; 44.6% lacked formal education, and 34.3% reported no income. Illiteracy was common (50.4% of Portuguese speakers, 93.7% of non-Portuguese speakers) and the mean numeracy score (10.4) corresponded to US kindergarten-level skills. Literacy or numeracy was associated (p<0.01) with education, income, age, and other socioeconomic assets. Literacy and numeracy skills were associated with HIV knowledge in adjusted models, but not with HIV testing or receipt of clinic-based prenatal care.
CONCLUSION - The adapted literacy and numeracy subscales are valid for use with rural Mozambican women. Limited literacy and numeracy skills were common and associated with lower HIV knowledge. Further study is needed to determine the extent to which addressing literacy/numeracy will lead to improved health outcomes.
Although low health literacy and suboptimal medication adherence are more prevalent in racial/ethnic minority groups than Whites, little is known about the relationship between these factors in adults with diabetes, and whether health literacy or numeracy might explain racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes medication adherence. Previous work in HIV suggests health literacy mediates racial differences in adherence to antiretroviral treatment, but no study to date has explored numeracy as a mediator of the relationship between race/ethnicity and medication adherence. This study tested whether health literacy and/or numeracy were related to diabetes medication adherence, and whether either factor explained racial differences in adherence. Using path analytic models, we explored the predicted pathways between racial status, health literacy, diabetes-related numeracy, general numeracy, and adherence to diabetes medications. After adjustment for covariates, African American race was associated with poor medication adherence (r = -0.10, p < .05). Health literacy was associated with adherence (r = .12, p < .02), but diabetes-related numeracy and general numeracy were not related to adherence. Furthermore, health literacy reduced the effect of race on adherence to nonsignificance, such that African American race was no longer directly associated with lower medication adherence (r = -0.09, p = .14). Diabetes medication adherence promotion interventions should address patient health literacy limitations.