WHAT ABACUS EDUCATION OUGHT TO BE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RIGHT BRAIN
Humans have the highly developed cerebral neocortex that can create nerve cells. This cerebral neocortex does not fully function at the time of birth. In the following years, suitable stimuli start to activate (to connect motor nerves and sensory nerves) the nerve cells in the neocortex. This is why children grow up well in many aspects if they receive appropriate stimuli that develop the nerve cells in the neocortex. In order to activate the nerve cells in the neocortex, information or stimuli from outside the brain have first to be perceived as “pleasant” by the archicortex. This is when the activation of the brain improves and the systems to process information in the neocortex are most efficiently completed.
Nerve cells in the neocortex consist of 14 billion sets of motor nerves and sensory nerves. These sets create the network (synapses) in which they contact each other and make up a living nervous system. The importance lies in how many sets of nerve cells we can activate in our lives. We can activate the nerve cells by providing “stimuli”. Moving fingers and talking aloud lead to activation by providing appropriate stimuli in the large part of sensory to motor domains in the cerebral neocortex. In this sense, starting abacus learning as young as possible is useful in activating the brains of young children. However, if children learn to use the abacus without wanting to do it, there will be no positive effects. If they come to like learning the abacus and move the beads on the abacus with fun, they will receive benefits from this experience. There is a key in making abacus-learning fun for young children so that they will grow to like it.
Source: Dr. Toshio Hayashi, Professor, Osaka Prefecture University (Director, Research Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, RIAST)