The science behind Vektor
Humans have a tendency to associate numbers and space. Learning about numbers and arithmetics using the number line is therefore a natural and efficient way to learn. Using the number line gives children a good start on which to build future mathematical learning.
More general cognitive skills are also important for mathematics, including reasoning, spatial abilities and working memory (reference 1-3). Vektor therefore includes these elements in a combined mathematical-cognitive training. Improving working memory is also a goal in itself. Children who improve their working memory through training also get better at remembering instructions and are more attentive in everyday life (reference 4-6).
While traditional education teaches facts, Vektor provides the individual with the cognitive ability necessary for learning and problem solving.
Several studies have shown that training with the number line is effective (reference 7-9). A new study at Karolinska Institutet included 286 six year old children, where half of them trained with the number line using Vektor during 8 weeks, and children in a control group trained on reading tasks (reference 10). Children who trained on Vektor improved significantly more on a combined measure of three mathematical tasks that were not part of the training program. The largest improvements were seen in a group combining number-line training with working memory training. This group improved 0.7 standard deviations on mathematics, which is generally an improvement seen during one year in school. The same group also improved about 1 standard deviation on working memory tasks.
Articles about the role of working memory and reasoning for mathematics
1. Geary, D.C. Cognitive predictors of achievement growth in mathematics: a 5-year longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology 47, 1539-1552 (2011).
2. Dumontheil, I. & Klingberg, T. Brain Activity during a Visuospatial Working Memory Task Predicts Arithmetical Performance 2 Years Later. Cerebral Cortex (2011).
3. Gathercole, S.E., Pickering, S.J., Knight, C.; Stegmann, Z. Working memory skills and educational attainment: Evidence from national curriculum assessments at 7 and 14 years of age. Applied Cognitive Psychology 18, 1-16 (2003).
Articles about the effect of working memory training
4. Bergman-Nutley, S. & Klingberg, T. Effect of working memory training on working memory, arithmetic and following instructions. Psychological Research 78, 869-877 (2014).
5. Klingberg, T. Training and plasticity of working memory. Trends Cogn Sci. 14, 317-324 (2010).
6. Spencer-Smith, M. & Klingberg, T. Benefits of a working memory training program for inattention in daily life: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS One 10, e0119522 (2015).
Articles about training using the number line
7. Kaser, T., et al. Design and evaluation of the computer-based training program Calcularis for enhancing numerical cognition. Frontiers in Psychology 4, 489 (2013).
8. Kucian, K., et al. Mental number line training in children with developmental dyscalculia. Neuroimage 57, 782-795 (2011).
9. Link, T.M., K; Huber, S.; Fischer, U.; Nuerk, H-C. Walk the number line - An embodied training of numerical concepts. Trends in Neuroscience and Education 2, 74-84 (2013).
10. Behavior and Neuroimaging at Baseline Predict Individual Response to Combined Mathematical and Working Memory Training in Children (2016) Nemmi, F., Helander, E., Helenius, O., Almeida, R., Hassler, M., Räsänen, P., Klingberg, T. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.