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Abstract Title: Physics Learning Facilitates Enhanced Resting-State Brain Connectivity in Problem-Solving Network
Abstract: Modeling how students think about physics is often measured via observation of students solving physics problems [1]. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) may inform how these processes occur, but currently no neuroimaging studies have examined how students develop physics problem-solving skills. To provide insight into the neural nature of physics learning we conducted a meta-analysis identifying the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) as the region most consistently implicated across problem-solving tasks. We then examined resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in brain regions supporting problem-solving. Resting-state fMRI data were acquired pre/post instruction in 7 undergraduate, first-time enrollees in introductory physics. Correspondence between post-instruction rsFC and meta-analytic results suggests a semester of university physics may facilitate enhanced recruitment of posterior brain regions involved in reasoning. Increased IFG-correlated activity from pre to post instruction indicates intrinsic brain connectivity may be modulated as a result of educational experience.
[1]Reif et al, Educ Psych 17 (1982).
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jessica E Bartley
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33199
Phone: 3053480464
and Co-Presenter(s)
Matthew T. Sutherland, Shannon M. Pruden, Eric Brewe , Angela R. Laird