EEG Asymmetry Analysis of the Left and Right Brain Activities During Simple versus Complex Arithmetic Learning

Hyungkyu Kwon, Jangsik Cho, Eunjung Lee


Introduction. Repeated practice of simple arithmetic such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication has been widely used for effective math education. Brain activity patterns during simple and complex arithmetic calculation have been explored by several research groups using magnetic resonance images (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI), and some have reported that the balanced whole brain (both left and right brain) activities during simple arithmetic in contrast to the predominant left brain activities during complex arithmetic. Methods. In this work, we have identified the characteristic brainwaves and asymmetric activation patterns of the left and right brain during the process of simple and complex arithmetic by measuring theta, alpha, Sensory Motor Response (SMR), and beta brainwaves of 24 participants from the location FP1 (left brain) and FP2 (right brain) using EEG. Results. Simple statistics analysis showed the significantly different beta activities from the left brain during complex arithmetic compared to simple arithmetic process, and through the asymmetry analysis of the left and right brain activities, less symmetrical brain activation during complex calculation, that is, specifically higher SMR, and beta brainwaves in the left hemisphere more than right hemisphere was identified, which is consistent with recent fMRI findings. Conclusion. The results imply that simple arithmetic process may improve the whole brain activities in a balanced way while complex arithmetic induce unbalanced activities of the left and right brain.

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