• Exploring the relationship between gamma-band activity and maths anxiety

      Batashvili, Michael; Staples, Paul; Baker, Ian; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2019-03-18)
      Previous research has outlined high anxiety in connection with gamma modulation, identifying that gamma-band activity (40–100 Hz) correlates with processing of threat perception, attention and anxiety. Maths anxiety research has also noted the involvement of these aspects, yet this has not been investigated from a neurophysiological standpoint. Electroencephalography (EEG) was used to research gamma-band activity in relation to maths anxiety over two studies. The first measured gamma differences during the processing of complex addition and multiplication stimuli. Results identified differences between high and low maths anxious individuals; significantly greater gamma power was observed in those with high maths anxiety than those with low maths anxiety. As a control condition was not used, the second study replicated the design, but also applied a non-numerical control condition amongst the other stimuli sets. This showed significantly greater gamma activity in high maths anxious individuals across numerical conditions, but not in the non-numerical condition. High maths anxious individuals likely show attentional bias and threat perception to numerical-based stimuli, as indexed by gamma power. This study provides the first evidence of greater gamma-band activity in high maths anxious individuals and serves as a foundation for the exploration of gamma activity in high maths anxious individuals.