Link between cognitive neuroscience and education: The case of clinical assessment of developmental dyscalculia

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In recent years, cognitive neuroscience research has identified several biological and cognitive features of number processing deficits that may now make it possible to diagnose mental or educational impairments in arithmetic, even earlier and more precisely than is possible using traditional assessment tools. We provide two sets of recommendations for improving cognitive assessment tools, using the important case of mathematics as an example. (1) neurocognitive tests would benefit substantially from incorporating assessments (based on findings from cognitive neuroscience) that entail systematic manipulation of fundamental aspects of number processing. Tests that focus on evaluating networks of core neurocognitive deficits have considerable potential to lead to more precise diagnosis and to provide the basis for designing specific intervention programs tailored to the deficits exhibited by the individual child. (2) implicit knowledge, derived from inspection of variables that are irrelevant to the task at hand, can also provide a useful assessment tool. Implicit knowledge is powerful and plays an important role in human development, especially in cases of psychiatric or neurological deficiencies (such as math learning disabilities or math anxiety).

Original languageEnglish
Article number304
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberMay
StatePublished - 28 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Rubinsten.


  • Clinical assessments
  • Dyscalculia
  • Implicit processes
  • Neurocognitive processes
  • Numerical knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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