Tag: Anxiety

Trypophobia: The Fear Of Holes Driven By The Internet And Mathematics

Since the advent of the internet, people have been able to discuss their symptoms with others globally. Sometimes people with very unusual symptoms discover others with similar experiences, which they are then able to discuss without fear of ridicule. Discussion forums and support groups are formed and eventually a new medical condition may be recognised. A case in point is visual snow, which individuals experience as bright dots persistently floating like snow across their vision. Another is trypophobia.

Trypophobia a fear of holes is a condition which triggers individuals to suffer an emotional reaction when viewing seemingly innocuous images of clusters of objects, usually holes. The condition was first described on the internet in 2005 though it is not yet a recognised medical diagnosis.

The images responsible for the emotion include natural objects such as honeycomb or the lotus seed head, and man-made objects such as aerated chocolate or stacked industrial pipes viewed end-on. Despite their seemingly innocuous nature, images such as these (ideal for sharing on the internet) can induce a variety of symptoms including cognitive changes that reflect anxiety, bodily symptoms that are skin-related (such as itchiness and goose-bumps), and physiological changes (such as nausea, a racing heart, or trouble catching breath).

The images that induce the emotional reaction would not normally be conceived of as threatening so, in this respect, trypophobia differs from many other phobias.

Mathematical properties

Phobias are anxiety disorders that are normally thought to arise because of learning (a dog bite may lead to a fear of dogs) or because of innate evolutionary mechanisms such as may underlie a fear of spiders and snakes. Usually, there is a threat, specific or general, real or imagined.

In the case of trypophobia, there is no obvious threat, and the range of images that induce the phobia have very little in common with one another, other than their configuration.

It appears that it is this configuration that holds the key to the emotion that the images induce. Individuals who do not profess trypophobia still find trypophobic images aversive, although they do not experience the emotion. They do so because the configuration gives the image mathematical properties that are shared by most images that cause visual discomfort, eyestrain or headache.

Images with these mathematical properties cannot be processed efficiently by the brain and therefore require more brain oxygenation. In a paper, Paul Hibbard and I proposed that the discomfort occurs precisely because people avoid looking at the images because they require excessive brain oxygenation. (The brain uses about 20% of the bodys energy, and its energy usage needs to be kept to a minimum.)

Uncomfortable? You may have a dose of trypophobia. Theen Moy, CC BY-NC-SA

So trypophobic images are among those that are intrinsically uncomfortable to look at, and we are now investigating why it is that some people and not others experience an emotional response.

Images of contaminants such as mould and skin diseases can provoke disgust in most people, not just those with trypophobia. The disgust is probably an evolutionary mechanism that promotes avoidance and has survival value.

Images of mould and skin lesions have mathematical properties similar to those of images that are trypophobic and our current work explores whether they also induce a large oxygenation of the brain in addition to being generally uncomfortable. Perhaps discomfort is a useful mechanism not only for avoiding excessive oxygenation, but also for rapidly avoiding objects that provide a threat in terms of contamination. It may be that in people with trypophobia, the mechanism is overworking.

Top image credit:Feeling nauseous? Leo Reynolds/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/brain/trypophobia-fear-holes-driven-internet-and-mathematics

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Math Puzzles and Anxiety

Puzzles can be a great way to overcome your anxiety about math … or not!  Check out this article I read about sudoku and overcoming math anxieties.  What do you think? No more fears of learning math?  🙂

 

Math Puzzles And Conquering Anxiety
 
Ever tried the addictive number puzzle game that is a certified craze worldwide? Sudoku, or Su Doku, is a deceptively game of logic. The rules seem easy. There is a nine-by-nine grid composed of nine three-by-three boxes. Some numbers are already filled in to a few of the 81 squares. The goal is to fill in all the squares so that each row, column and box contains the numbers 1 through 9 only once.
Sudoku has a fascinating history. “Su” means number in Japanese, and “Doku” refers to the single place on the puzzle board that each number can fit into. It also connotes someone who is single. Hence, one way to describe the game is “solitaire with numbers.”

Sometimes Sudoku is misspelled as “soduko” or “sudoko.” Although its name is Japanese, its origins are actually European and American. Unlike many games which spring from one culture and are then absorbed by others, Sudoku’s development represents the best in cross-cultural propagation.

Though this puzzle seems to be very enjoyable for the math savvy, there are still others who seem not to enjoy numbers that much. Generally, when we see numbers, we instantly think of math. Math and numbers which are difficult to avoid as they are everywhere. In fact, many people get nervous at the thought of studying or using math.

Mathematics as a subject is perceived to be difficult, obscure and are only meant for the supremely intelligent. It is almost as though it is normal that one is afraid of math or is no good at the subject. Often, this perception causes people to suffer from math anxiety. Anxiety is stress, tension, and strain on one’s body and mind. Anxiety can be broken down into two types: Somatic or the loss control of body. Some symptoms are sweaty palms, pain in neck or sick to the stomach. The other is Cognitive or loss of concentration. Its symptoms include negative self-talk, feelings of doubt, or mind wanders from test or tasks.

Many students might say that anxiety in class inhibits them or reduces their ability to perform well. In the case of mathematics, they would be correct. Psychological researches have somehow ascertained that math anxiety causes students of all levels to perform poorly in math.

For some students, trouble in math is driven by problems with language. These children may also experience difficulty with reading, writing, and speaking. In math, however, their language problem is confounded by the naturally difficult terminology, some of which, they only hear in math class. These students have an uncomfortable time understanding written or verbal directions or explanations, and find word problems especially hard to translate. A common difficulty also experienced by people with math problems is the inability to easily connect the abstract aspects of math with reality. Understanding what symbols represent in the physical world is important to how well and how easily a child will remember a concept.

Some key methods to conquering math anxiety center on not avoiding the problem. Just because they believe it’s tough, one will presume that it can not overcome the anxiety. Whereas in most cases, it is seen that this is a mind block and one could be really good at math if he put his or her mind into it. Thinking things like “I don’t have a Math mind” can lead nowhere. They are self-defeating games — games you play on oneself. If a student knows what these games are, the student might be able to see oneself playing and actually enjoying them like the Sudoku. The exact cause of math anxiety are not known, but those who overcome it will perform normally and eventually be puzzled no more.

By: Alberto D Martinez

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Read about hamstring rehabilitation and hamstring tendonitis at the Hamstring Injury Recovery website.

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Teaching Tips For Helping Children To Learn Math

The perception that some children are gifted, born with “math know how” and learn math easily is not a truism!

If you are a teacher and want to effectively help your young students learn math, Jennifer Dobson has written a good article (which GoArticles.com published), and titled it:

How to Effectively Teach Young Children Math 

Here is her article.

For a great number of students, mathematics creates an overload of anxiety. And many children dismiss math as a subject that they will have no use for in the “real world”. As an educator, you know that it is important for your students to develop strong math skills, but you likely find it difficult to motivate your students to learn math. The tips that follow will lighten the load for teachers as they help their students tackle the math monster and overcome their apprehension of math in general.

Stay Positive

Are you anxious about your own math skills? Are you worried that you cannot present math lessons properly? Many people are, and a lot of professionals were poor students in math themselves. Now that you are teaching math, you must keep a positive outlook on the subject as children can pick up on your emotions and learn your secret. Remember that is your students give up on their ability to do math now, they may miss some of the rudimentary basic skills that they need to do more advanced math later on in life.

Ensure Understanding

Understanding math is challenging, and this is especially true for young children. If a student is struggling with a homework assignment or worksheet, ask the student to explain the assignment to you, or to explain how to complete a particular problem; this helps you to gauge their understanding on particular concepts so that you will know how to better help them.

Exploring Math in Daily Life

It is easy for you to incorporate math into your daily life, and helping children understand how math affects their daily routines also helps to make them understand why math is necessary. For instance, create a math problem for subtraction by having the students to count the minutes left on your classroom clock before lunch, or ask them to multiply the number of boys in the class by the number of girls. This can help to reinforce the necessity of math and how it can apply to the real life.

Make Math Fun

Kids learn more effectively when they are enjoying themselves, so making math fun is important. Create worksheets and games that will add a fun element to each math unit. Games can be played with flash cards that allow kids to use math skills they are currently learning, or you can create a “Jeopardy” type game where students compete against one another to solve problems. Computer games also provide effective means for teaching math skills.

Get Parents Involved

You will find that involving parents in the learning process and maintaining communication with parents about each student’s progress in math will help motivate the student to achieve. Identifying any math problems and working with them to make sure homework is completed will go a long way towards helping the student meet the goals that are set for their grade level. Don’t be surprised to find out that many parents are insecure in their own abilities to do math as well. These students may need extra classroom help to make up for the help they cannot receive at home.

About the Author

Jennifer Dobson invites you to take a look at one of her favorite online preschool teaching supplies store, MPM School Supplies. The website has over 20,000 products including a great selection of classroom decoration supplies, art materials, furniture, and more! Visit today and save 10% on your first purchase!

 

 

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