Math Fundamentals

Seeking 2nd and 3rd graders interested in number sense training

Seeking 2nd and 3rd graders with and without difficulties in math who do not have reading or attention difficulties - to participate in an exciting 3 year study to increase our understanding of math skill development and how the brain changes with math learning.

Participants receive:

  1. $200 honorarium for completing the study
  2. $150 for completing follow-up visit one year later and $150 for follow-up visit two years later
  3. Participants will receive free 1-on-1 tutoring with math games 3 days a week for 4 weeks at a time that is convenient for them
  4. Pictures of their brain!

Participants complete:

  1. Cognitive and educational assessments
  2. 2 Brain imaging (MRI scans) 1 month apart.
  3. Participants will recieve 4 weeks of free tutoring
  4. Follow-up visits one and two years after the study to assess long-term learning and brain development using brain scans while playing math games


The goal of this project is two-fold. In typically developing children, the goal is to examine the behavioral and neural bases of mathematical learning. In children with math difficulties, the goal is to assess the neural changes that occur in the brain as a child goes through math training. Long term development will be assessed by neuropsychological testing and brain scans in the same children in 3rd/4th and 4th/5th grade.

In the first year, 2nd and 3rd grade participants will complete two neuropsychological assessments , (some will recieve a one-on-one number sense training program for 4 weeks), and two MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans.

We would like all participants to come back in subsequent years to monitor changes in their brains and in their learning.

The full study consists of 6 steps:

  1. The first two sessions are focused on a neuropsychological assessment. The assessments include an IQ test as well as memory and math skills tests.
    Each assessment is broken up into 2 two-hour appointments that must be a minimum of 2 hours apart and a maximum of 1 week apart. You get a total of $50 for the two neuropsych appointments.
  2. The second session involves an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. During the MRI scan, participants will respond to computer-based tasks while pictures of their brain are taken. An MRI scan is a safe, non-invasive procedure that does not use x-rays or radiation. To read more about fMRI please click here. Participants get familiar with fMRI procedures and get to watch a DVD of their choice while pictures are taken of their brain. This session lasts 2 to 3 hours and compensation is $50.
  3. Participants who qualify will then receive one-on-one number sense training three days a week after school for 4 weeks. Each session is 1 hour. Others will only complete the brain scans.
  4. When participants complete the tutoring and the brain scan following the tutoring, they will be compensated an additional $100.
  5. Participants return for 2 visits one year later to complete another neuropsychological assessment and an MRI scan and are compensated $150.
  6. Participants then return for 2 visits in the next year to complete another neuropsychological assessment and an MRI scan and are compensated $150.

The neuropsychological assessments as well as tutoring for local residents will take place at the Stanford Math Project building at 1070 Arastradero Road in Palo Alto. MRI scans will take place at the Lucas Center on Welch Road and Pasteur Drive. To see where the sessions are located, please click here.

Questions? See our FAQs or get in touch