Examining Mathematics Anxiety of Undergraduates Using a Brain-Based Measurement, EEG

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Scientific Research Publishing


This paper reports on an investigation of mathematics anxiety (MA) among 40 Korean undergraduate students, using cognitive neuroscience. In Spring 2015, we collected data on correct response rates and reaction times from computer-based activities related to quadratic functions. We also measured brain response through event related potentials (ERP). Results demonstrate that students with higher mathematics anxiety (HMA) took more time than students with lower mathematics anxiety (LMA), both in translating equations to graphs and in translating graphs to equations. Moreover, based on analysis of ERP, brain waves of the HMA group recorded higher amplitude. In specific, both groups showed higher amplitude in translation from graphs to equation than vice versa. Higher amplitudes indicate greater demands on working memory, which we discuss in the concluding section, especially with regard to MA.



Algebra, Electroencephalography, Function, Mathematics Anxiety, Neuroimaging, Undergraduate