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PIAGET'S CONCEPT OF FORMAL OPERATIONAL REASONING AND WHOLE BRAIN FUNCTION: EVIDENCE FROM EEG ALPHA COHERENCE DURING TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION

PIAGET'S CONCEPT OF FORMAL OPERATIONAL REASONING AND WHOLE BRAIN FUNCTION: EVIDENCE FROM EEG ALPHA COHERENCE DURING TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION

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Published by johnsorflaten
ABSTRACT

No clear relationships have been drawn between Piaget’s concept of formal operation reasoning and neuropsychological models of brain function such as left-right hemisphere specialization. At least one popular science educator suggests that formal reasoning is solely a left-hemisphere function and fails to tap aptitudes for right hemisphere intuitive and metaphoric thought. On the other hand, Piaget’s writings describe the “structured whole” and the need for “all possibilities” in a way that suggests that formal reasoning indeed requires right as well as left hemisphere functions.

An EEG alpha coherence index of F3F4 + F3C3 + F4C4 - O1O2 (FLR-O index) was measured on 58 college students during a “standard cognitive state,” Transcendental Meditation (TM). Greater mean FLR-O indexes were found for groups scored formal on three clinically administered tasks: Shadows (testing for quantitative proportional reasoning), Correlations, and Chemicals Combinations.

The group scored formal on the Communicating Vessels tasks, a test of the INRC group schema, demonstrated significantly greater (p ≤ .05) FLR-O index than the non-formal group. As expected, significantly more males passed the Shadows task than females. Surprisingly, no significant interaction was found between gender and task on the FLR-O index or any of the individual derivations.
These results give weak but positive support for the hypothesis. However, additional support was found when studying the neuropsychological correlates of a formal operational “stage.”

Subjects failing all four tasks were considered to lack the logical relations characteristic of the formal stage. Fail group subjects measured less on the FLR-O index than subjects who passed at least one of the tasks (p = .0558, and p = .050 when adjusted for age and gender). These results lend credence to the hypothesis that formal reasoning is a “whole-brain” activity.

In speculating on neuropsychological theory of equilibration and development of formal reasoning, I suggest that improvement in frontal executive control enhances pre-attentive orientation towards a task and simultaneous pre-attentive habituation to distraction. This dual process supports accomodation and permits the cycle of differentiation and integration to continue unimpeded leading, ultimately, to formal operational reasoning.

I suggest that EEG alpha anterior coherence represents temporal and spatial coordination that supports improved information transfer and global brain functioning.
ABSTRACT

No clear relationships have been drawn between Piaget’s concept of formal operation reasoning and neuropsychological models of brain function such as left-right hemisphere specialization. At least one popular science educator suggests that formal reasoning is solely a left-hemisphere function and fails to tap aptitudes for right hemisphere intuitive and metaphoric thought. On the other hand, Piaget’s writings describe the “structured whole” and the need for “all possibilities” in a way that suggests that formal reasoning indeed requires right as well as left hemisphere functions.

An EEG alpha coherence index of F3F4 + F3C3 + F4C4 - O1O2 (FLR-O index) was measured on 58 college students during a “standard cognitive state,” Transcendental Meditation (TM). Greater mean FLR-O indexes were found for groups scored formal on three clinically administered tasks: Shadows (testing for quantitative proportional reasoning), Correlations, and Chemicals Combinations.

The group scored formal on the Communicating Vessels tasks, a test of the INRC group schema, demonstrated significantly greater (p ≤ .05) FLR-O index than the non-formal group. As expected, significantly more males passed the Shadows task than females. Surprisingly, no significant interaction was found between gender and task on the FLR-O index or any of the individual derivations.
These results give weak but positive support for the hypothesis. However, additional support was found when studying the neuropsychological correlates of a formal operational “stage.”

Subjects failing all four tasks were considered to lack the logical relations characteristic of the formal stage. Fail group subjects measured less on the FLR-O index than subjects who passed at least one of the tasks (p = .0558, and p = .050 when adjusted for age and gender). These results lend credence to the hypothesis that formal reasoning is a “whole-brain” activity.

In speculating on neuropsychological theory of equilibration and development of formal reasoning, I suggest that improvement in frontal executive control enhances pre-attentive orientation towards a task and simultaneous pre-attentive habituation to distraction. This dual process supports accomodation and permits the cycle of differentiation and integration to continue unimpeded leading, ultimately, to formal operational reasoning.

I suggest that EEG alpha anterior coherence represents temporal and spatial coordination that supports improved information transfer and global brain functioning.

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Published by: johnsorflaten on Jul 23, 2009
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PIAGET'S CONCEPT OF FORMAL OPERATIONAL REASONINGAND WHOLE BRAIN FUNCTION: EVIDENCE FROMEEG ALPHA COHERENCE DURING TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATIONbyJohn W. SorflatenAn AbstractOf a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirementsfor the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education(Instructional Design and Technology)in the Graduate College of The University of IowaMay 1994Thesis co-supervisors:Professor Barry Bratton
 
2Professor Darrell G. Phillips
 
1ABSTRACTNo clear relationships have been drawn between Piaget’s concept of formaloperation reasoning and neuropsychological models of brain function such as left-righthemisphere specialization. At least one popular science educator suggests that formalreasoning is solely a left-hemisphere function and fails to tap aptitudes for righthemisphere intuitive and metaphoric thought. On the other hand, Piaget’s writingsdescribe the “structured whole” and the need for “all possibilities” in a way that suggeststhat formal reasoning indeed requires right as well as left hemisphere functions.An EEG alpha coherence index of F3F4 + F3C3 + F4C4 - O1O2 (FLR-O index)was measured on 58 college students during a “standard cognitive state,” TranscendentalMeditation (TM). Greater mean FLR-O indexes were found for groups scored formal onthree clinically administered tasks: Shadows (testing for quantitative proportionalreasoning), Correlations, and Chemicals Combinations. The group scored formal on theCommunicating Vessels tasks, a test of the INRC group schema, demonstratedsignificantly greater (
 p
.05) FLR-O index than the non-formal group. As expected,
 significantly more males passed the Shadows task than females. Surprisingly, nosignificant interaction was found between gender and task on the FLR-O index or any of the individual derivations.These results give weak but positive support for the hypothesis. However,additional support was found when studying the neuropsychological correlates of a

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