Thursday, 21 June 2018

Inhibitory control and counterintuitive science and maths reasoning in adolescence

A paper that I wrote with my PhD supervisors has just been published in the journal PLoS ONE. The paper describes a behavioural study with 90 teenagers, where we investigated the role of inhibitory control in counterintuitive science and maths reasoning.

We found that adolescents who were better at inhibitory control (stopping an automatic response) were also better at counterintuitive science and maths reasoning. This suggests that teenagers are using their inhibitory control in order to suppress the intuitive, incorrect answer when reasoning about counterintuitive concepts. The paper forms part of my research investigating the cognitive and neural bases of science and maths reasoning in adolescents.

The paper is freely accessible here.

Update:

Professor Michael Thomas spoke about these new results in his talk at the London Festival Science, and this led to our paper receiving the following media coverage.

"Neuroscientists urge teachers to give pupils time" in Tes.
"Take your time to get things right" in Birkbeck news.
"Pupils should take their time to get things right, research reveals" in UCL Institute of Education news and events.

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