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Musical training as an alternative method for rehabilitation of numerical cognition in children with Developmental Dyscalculia

Grant number: 14/24319-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Cognitive Psychology
Principal researcher:Flávia Heloísa dos Santos
Grantee:Jéssica Mendes Do Nascimento
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências (FC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The Developmental Dyscalculia (DD) is a learning disability quite prevalent with a persistent character. In our country the amount of studies conducted on the subject, especially regarding to the possible numerical cognition rehabilitation methods are incipient. Neuroimaging evidences indicate that musical training stimulates brain areas which are crucial for mathematical skills and produces neuroplasticity, therefore it is a plausible tool for the rehabilitation of DD. Previous studies from our Lab (FAPESP 08 / 54970-2 processes, No.11 / 01907-4, and No. 13 / 12071-0) indicate that musical stimulation can improve working memory and some aspects of numerical cognition; therefore, it is time for more specific approaches. The present study aims to investigate the effects a musical training designed specifically to stimulate the four components of numerical cognition. Participate in the study, 40 students aged between 8 and 10 years, of both sexes, the city of Bauru, from schools in the urban area; divided into two groups: children with developmental dyscalculia profile (DD = 20) and children with typical development (TD = 20). All children will undergo two neurocognitive assessments, pre- and post- the musical training program respectively, which include tools to verify the following skills: working memory, numerical cognition, visuospatial reasoning and emotional aspects. The Musical Training will be held in mixed groups, for eight weekly sessions of one hour each. The study is blind for the professor of music and for the children in regards to the neurocognitive assessment.

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