Playing Mathematical Instruments: Emerging Perceptuomotor Integration With an Interactive Mathematics Exhibit

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Ricardo NemirovskySan Diego State University

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Molly L. KeltonSan Diego State University

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Bohdan RhodehamelSan Diego State University

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Research in experimental and developmental psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience suggests that tool fluency depends on the merging of perceptual and motor aspects of its use, an achievement we call perceptuomotor integration. We investigate the development of perceptuomotor integration and its role in mathematical thinking and learning. Just as expertise in playing a piano relies on the interanimation of finger movements and perceived sounds, we argue that mathematical expertise involves the systematic interpenetration of perceptual and motor aspects of playing mathematical instruments. Through 2 microethnographic case studies of visitors who engaged with an interactive mathematics exhibit in a science museum, we explore the real-time emergence of perceptuomotor integration and the ways in which it supports mathematical imagination.

Contributor Notes

Ricardo Nemirovsky, Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education, 6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA, 92120-5013; nemirovsky@sciences.sdsu.edu

Molly L. Kelton, Mathematics and Science Education Joint Doctoral Program, San Diego State University and University of California San Diego, 6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA, 92120-5013; mollylou.kelton@gmail.com

Bohdan Rhodehamel, Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education, 6475 Alvarado Road, Suite 206, San Diego, CA, 92120-5013; bohdanr561@yahoo.com

(Corresponding author is Nemirovsky nemirovsky@sciences.sdsu.edu)
(Corresponding author is Kelton mollylou.kelton@gmail.com)
(Corresponding author is Rhodehamel bohdanr561@yahoo.com)
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