MATHWAVES research focuses on the dynamics of early mathematical learning in the developing brain. Currently a researcher at Stanford University, Amandine Van Rinsveld will join the Laboratory of Translational Neuroanatomy and Neuroimaging at ULB in the fall of 2023, where she will conduct her ERC project.

Mathematical thinking is one of the most remarkable human cognitive abilities, yet not all individuals are equal in their ability. Learning mathematics is a lengthy process that can be fraught with difficulties, and the early stages are of paramount importance. However, the brain bases that support these early abilities and the pathway to inter-individual differences remain poorly understood. The MATHWAVES project aims to investigate the developmental changes in the enduring or transient properties of brain functional organisation associated with early learning.

The use of magnetoencephalography will allow us to understand the dynamics of neuroplastic changes associated with the emergence of these abilities. Characterising the neurocognitive mechanisms of early mathematical learning at different time scales represents an innovative way to study human mathematical thinking and its individual differences. This project addresses the broader question of how learning reshapes the developing brain and could open up new avenues for research, future diagnostics and remediation techniques.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant  agreement No GA 101075383).