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Effet du calcul mental et de la comparaison de nombres sur la performance de mouvements complexes

Abstract : Numbers and operations on numbers help shape our relationship to the environment. It is thus unexceptional that several studies aimed at understanding the mechanisms of numerical cognition in the human brain and in particular those concerning the neural basis of dyscalculia. These studies have suggested that mathematical representations may be rooted in bodily experiences and/or that numerical cognition and movement preparation may share similar cerebral mechanisms. Several results have suggested that the performance of numerical and arithmetical tasks may be influenced by segmental and/or whole-body movements. The reverse influence of such tasks on motor performance remained however to be fully clarified especially in the case of maximal-intensity complex movements. This possibility has been approached by two studies involving a total of 206 male students (undergraduate students) at the Faculty of Public Health of the Lebanese University (Beirut, Lebanon). A first study including two series of two experiments examined the effects of number reading and mental subtraction (complex) on the height of a squat vertical jump (SVJ) and on the response time of a manual-pointing movement (MPM). In each series these effects have been examined in separate experiments using numbers written as words and in Arabic digits. A second study examined the effect of different arithmetical tasks on the response time of a MPM. Three experiments (1-3) examined the effect of mental subtraction (complex) and, respectively, of: (1) mental addition (simple or complex), (2) mental multiplication (simple or complex) and (3) the comparison of dot sets and number comparison. Each number was written in Arabic. In both studies the obtained data have been analyzed using a multilevel linear mixed-effect model. The results of the first study have shown a moderate increase of SVJ height (although statistically significant: p < .05) after number reading as words and a clear-cut increase of both MPT and SVJ performance after mental subtraction with Arabic digits (p < .001). The results of the second study have shown a statistically significant improvement of MPM performance only after the complex calculations (p < .001) and after number comparison (p < .003). These results suggest that the relationship between an arithmetical task and the performance of a high-intensity movement is influenced by the numerical format. It was found that the use of Arabic digits (but not the use of numbers written as words or represented by dot sets) is a condition to a positive effect of an arithmetical task upon motor performance. The results also showed that this condition is not sufficient. Motor performance was found to be improved only after arithmetical tasks (with Arabic digits) favoring the use of procedural strategies and not by arithmetical tasks favoring the use of retrieval strategies (of arithmetical facts). With regard to the literature, the effects of the complex calculations (subtraction, addition and multiplication) and of number comparison, with Arabic notation, on motor performance may be explained by different mechanisms. The effect of complex calculations and number comparison, with Arabic digits, on motor performance might be linked to mechanisms of encoding and/or memorization specific to this numerical format. Attention to the optimal path of movement might also has been favored by the spatial representation of numbers used to realize complex additions or subtraction and, possibly, to compare numbers. The influence of complex calculation and of number comparison, with Arabic digits, on motor performance might also be driven by a possible involvement, during actual calculation and comparison, of motor regions in the brain.
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Joy Khayat. Effet du calcul mental et de la comparaison de nombres sur la performance de mouvements complexes. Education. Université de Lyon; Université libanaise, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE1313⟩. ⟨tel-02955509⟩

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