Al-Rifaie on BBC

AISB Committee member and Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, Dr Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie was interviewed by the BBC (in Farsi) along with his colleague Mohammad Ali Javaheri Javid on the 6 November 2014. He was a...


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Rose wins the Loebne...

After 2 hours of judging at Bletchley Park, 'Rose' by Bruce Wilcox was declared the winner of the Loebner Prize 2014, held in conjunction with the AISB.  The event was well attended, film live by Sky News and the special guest jud...


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AISB Convention 2015

The AISB Convention is an annual conference covering the range of AI and Cognitive Science, organised by the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour. The 2015 Convention will be held at the Uni...


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Yasemin Erden on BBC

AISB Committee member, and Philosophy Programme Director and Lecturer, Dr Yasemin J. Erden interviewed for the BBC on 29 October 2013. Speaking on the Today programme for BBC Radio 4, as well as the Business Report for BBC world N...


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Mark Bishop on BBC ...

Mark Bishop, Chair of the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour, appeared on Newsnight to discuss the ethics of ‘killer robots’. He was approached to give his view on a report raising questions on the et...


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AISB YouTube Channel

The AISB has launched a YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AISBTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/AISBTube). The channel currently holds a number of videos from the AISB 2010 Convention. Videos include the AISB round t...


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Notice

AISB event Bulletin Item

TODAY! Whitehead Lecture, Yulia Kovas, Goldsmiths College


The fourth Whitehead lecture of autumn term 2010 will be given by Dr. Yulia Kovas, Goldsmiths, University of London at 4 pm on Wednesday 17th November 2010, and will be entitled "One step forward, two steps back: explaining the slow progress with understanding the origins of individual differences in mathematics". An abstract for the lecture and short biography for the speaker are appended below.

The lecture will take place on 17th November at 4pm in the Ben Pimlott lecture theatre at Goldsmiths College .

PLEASE ADVERTISE: a colour display poster can be downloaded from 


One step forward, two steps back: explaining the slow progress with understanding the origins of individual differences in mathematics
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- Dr. Yulia Kovas, Goldsmiths, University of London

ABSTRACT: Recent twin research has revealed a strong genetic basis to mathematics.  Molecular genetic research has begun to identify DNA polymorphisms that contribute to variation in mathematical ability. However, our research suggests that the mechanisms of this contribution are extremely complex, which explains why the progress in this area has been slow.  The complexity is further increased due to potential cultural effects on different aspects of mathematical cognition.  Here I present two lines of investigation.   First, I discuss the results from the UK longitudinal, population-based Twins' Early Development Study demonstrating complex gene-environment mechanisms.  Second, I discuss the cross-cultural work into numerical cognition.  In terms of genetics, our research suggests that many DNA polymorphisms contribute to mathematical ability, and each of them has only a small and probabilistic contribution to the person's position on the 'mathematical ability continuum'.  Although many of the same genetic effects continue to be important for mathematics across development, new genetic effects also come on line at each age.  In addition, many of the DNA polymorphisms that contribute to variation in mathematical ability at a particular age also contribute to variation in other learning abilities at the same age, but less so at other ages.  Our research also shows that the effects of genes on mathematical ability may not be the same in different environments.  For example, genetic risk of poor mathematical performance seems to be mediated by the way children experience and perceive their learning environment  so that the effects of the risk genes are suppressed when the child's classroom experiences are positive.  Our cross-cultural research suggests multiple sources of cultural contributions to numerical and mathematical variation. Understanding these complexities is of great importance for future research and for ultimate progress in understanding the origins of mathematical achievement and underachievement.

BRIEF BIO: Yulia Kovas received her Ph.D. in 2007 from the SGDP Centre, Institute of Psychiatry. She received a degree in Literature and Linguistics as well as teaching qualifications from the University of St Petersburg, Russia in 1996 and taught children of all ages for 6 years. She received a B.Sc in Psychology from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2003 and an MSc in Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry from the SGDP Centre, King's College.  Her current interests include genetic and environmental etiology of individual differences in mathematical ability and disability and the etiology of covariation and comorbidity between different learning abilities and disabilities.  Dr Kovas is the head of the InLab  an international, interdisciplinary research lab dedicated to numerical ability and other STEM fields.  She is leading the genetically-sensitive mathematics research in the Twins Early Development Study at the SGDP Centre, King's College, London and is involved in a number of cross-cultural studies dedicated to understanding sources of variation in numerical ability and achievement.