Research done on CMA Programme in 2010


It was jointly funded by the National University of Singapore Asia Research Institute and Global Asia Institute (AC-2010-1-004), John E. Fetzer Memorial Trust, John Templeton Foundation, Yonsei University New Faculty Seed Grant, and the Yonsei University Institute of Convergence Science Center for Science and Engineering Applications in Social Science.


  • Principal investigator: Dr. So Wing Chee, Psychology/FASS/National University of Singapore (centre)
  • Co-investigator: Dr. Philip Cho, Asia Research Institute/National University of Singapore (standing on left)
  • CMA Founder, Mr. Tay (standing on right)


It was reviewed by: Firat Soylu, University of Alabama, United States and Michael S. Dempsey, Boston University, United States

Details of Research on CMA Singapore's students


  • Abacus gestures promote learning as a physical action.
  • Spontaneous gestures allow learners to grasp complex calculations.
  • Automated motor programs can be executed with little conscious effort or demand on working memory.
  • Learners at different skill levels of mental arithmetic improved in their use of visual strategies.
  • Abacus gestures act as motor programs that complement visual-motor representation.
  • Behavioral and neurophysiological studies indicate that motor and visual spatial learning are two complementary systems.
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