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Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch of Tehran
Abstract:   (1349 Views)
Background & Objective: One of the most important factors in students’ educational failure is learning disabilities. Specific learning disorder in dyscalculia refers to an inability in the skills related to calculation despite the fact that the person is endowed with natural intelligence and enough training. Treatment interventions in children with learning disabilities during primary school can reduce some of their problems. One of the relatively new methods that, accompanied by other therapies, has multiple clinical confirmations is neurofeedback. Thus, the present study was carried out aiming at investigating the effect of neurofeedback in continuous attention function and math anxiety in students with specific learning disorder in dyscalculia.
Methods: This is a semi-experimental (pretest – posttest with control group) undertaking. The statistical population consisted of all male students with dyscalculia referring to several special centers of learning disorder in Tehran in 2017-2018 academic year, out of which 30 students in the fourth and fifth grades of the elementary school who were eager to participate were selected through convenience sampling and were randomly assigned into two experimental and control groups (each included 15 people). The experimental group received neurofeedback treatment for 20 sessions of 60 minutes, 2 days a week, and the control group received no training. The present study applied two treatment protocols, the first of which was alpha / theta protocol at Pz point aiming at increasing alpha and decreasing theta. The second protocol was to reinforce beta (15 to 18 Hz) and SMR (12-15 Hz), and to inhibit theta (4-7 Hz) and high beta (22-28 Hz) in C3 and C4 regions. In the end, both groups were evaluated in pre-test and post-test with Continuous Performance Test (CPT) and Lang Math Anxiety. Data analysis was done by SPSS-23 software using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA).
Results: There was a significant difference between the mean scores of pretest and post-test in the experimental and control groups (p<0.001); this means that neurofeedback was effective in improving continuous attention and the reduction of math anxiety in students with dyscalculia. In the continuous performance test, those students in the neurofeedback group, compared with the ones in the control group, showed less negligence error (experiment 2.26±1.09, control 4.26±1.03), less response error (experiment 3.20±0.67, control 5.33±1.58), and less reaction time (experiment 453.26±19.51, control 690.26±25.86). On the other hand, they got more correct answers (experiment 139.93±2.98, control 127.06±3.15). Also, math anxiety decreased in the neurofeedback group compared with the control group (experiment 5.06 ±1.09, control 7.53 ±1.84).
Conclusion: Based on the findings of the present research, neurofeedback can be used as a suitable treatment with very limited side effects for people with dyscalculia. Considering the significance of mathematics in educational systems, the application of neurofeedback as a way to reduce the failure of executive functions in schools is suggested.
     
Type of Study: Original Research Article | Subject: Psychology
Received: 2019/05/21 | Accepted: 2019/07/23

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