The Role of Cognitive Flexibility in Pattern Understanding
Allison Bock, Kelly B. Cartwright, Christian Gonzalez, Sarah O’Brien, Melissa F. Robinson, Katrina Schmerold, Amber Shriver, Robert Pasnak

The ability to discover a regularity among an ordered set of units, termed patterning, is a crucial cognitive ability that precedes pre-algebraic mathematics skills and possibly reading. However, there is limited research on the cognitive underpinnings of patterning. There is some suggestion that there is a relation between cognitive flexibility, which is the ability to switch attention between two aspects of a stimulus, and patterning. However, no research has focused on this relation in children during early school years, which is when these skills are developing. The current study examined the relation between patterning, cognitive flexibility, and reading in first-grade children in the expectation that they would be related. Performance on the patterning and the card sorting cognitive flexibility measures were significantly related. However, reading and cognitive flexibility were not significantly related. This study is one of the first to show that cognitive flexibility may be an important underlying component of patterning ability.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v4n1a3