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Principles underlying the design of "The Number Race", an adaptive computer game for remediation of dyscalculia.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Adaptive game software has been successful in remediation of dyslexia. Here we describe the cognitive and algorithmic principles underlying the development of similar software for dyscalculia. Our software is based on current understanding of the cerebral representation of number and the hypotheses that dyscalculia is due to a "core deficit" in number sense or in the link between number sense and symbolic number representations. METHODS: "The Number Race" software trains children on an entertaining numerical comparison task, by presenting problems adapted to the performance level of the individual child. We report full mathematical specifications of the algorithm used, which relies on an internal model of the child's knowledge in a multidimensional "learning space" consisting of three difficulty dimensions: numerical distance, response deadline, and conceptual complexity (from non-symbolic numerosity processing to increasingly complex symbolic operations). RESULTS: The performance of the software was evaluated both by mathematical simulations and by five weeks of use by nine children with mathematical learning difficulties. The results indicate that the software adapts well to varying levels of initial knowledge and learning speeds. Feedback from children, parents and teachers was positive. A companion article 1 describes the evolution of number sense and arithmetic scores before and after training. CONCLUSION: The software, open-source and freely available online, is designed for learning disabled children aged 5-8, and may also be useful for general instruction of normal preschool children. The learning algorithm reported is highly general, and may be applied in other domains.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-00089885
Contributor : Delphine Autard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, August 24, 2006 - 2:45:03 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 9, 2020 - 7:10:06 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 4:47:47 PM

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Anna Wilson, Stanislas Dehaene, Philippe Pinel, Susannah Revkin, Laurent D. Cohen, et al.. Principles underlying the design of "The Number Race", an adaptive computer game for remediation of dyscalculia.. Behavioral and Brain Functions, BioMed Central, 2006, 2, pp.19. ⟨10.1186/1744-9081-2-19⟩. ⟨inserm-00089885⟩

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