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The purpose of the this article is to provide an overview of the current state of research concerning the development, determining factors and effects of mathematics anxiety, particularly with regard to young elementary school age level populations. Assessment instruments, potential risk-factors, consequences of mathematics anxiety, as well as approaches to intervention are summarized. Owing to the small number of studies focusing on mathematics anxiety in young children, findings from adult studies are briefly recapitulated. The available data emphasizes the need for systematic research that focuses on the one hand on the onset of mathematics anxiety at a young age, and on the other follows the development of longer periods of time. Furthermore, multi-method research designs may be the means to gain deeper insight into the dynamics of causes and effects when the interaction of mathematics anxiety and mathematical abilities are under scrutiny. Only by implementing longitudinal studies that involve different types of data and the formulation of complex models of the dynamics of mathematics anxiety over time, can its determining factors and its effects be generated.
Basic research has established a strong relationship between stimulus induced human motivation for approach-related behavior and left-frontal electrophysiological activity in the alpha band, i.e. frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA). Since approach motivation is also of interest for various fields of applied research, several recent studies investigated the usefulness of FAA as a diagnostic tool of stimulus induced motivational changes. The present review introduces the theory and the methods commonly used in approach/ withdrawal motivation research, and summarizes work on applied FAA with a focus on product design, marketing, brain-computer communication and mental health studies, where approach motivation is of interest. Studies investigating and developing the application of FAA training in the treatment of affective disorders such as major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder are also introduced, highlighting some of the future possibilities.