Increased arithmetic complexity is associated with domain-general but not domain-specific magnitude processing in children: A simultaneous fNIRS-EEG study

Increased arithmetic complexity is associated with domain-general but not domain-specific... The investigation of the neural underpinnings of increased arithmetic complexity in children is essential for developing educational and therapeutic approaches and might provide novel measures to assess the effects of interventions. Although a few studies in adults and children have revealed the activation of bilateral brain regions during more complex calculations, little is known about children. We investigated 24 children undergoing one-digit and two-digit multiplication tasks while simultaneously recording functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and electroencephalography (EEG) data. FNIRS data indicated that one-digit multiplication was associated with brain activity in the left superior parietal lobule (SPL) and intraparietal sulcus (IPS) extending to the left motor area, and two-digit multiplication was associated with activity in bilateral SPL, IPS, middle frontal gyrus (MFG), left inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and motor areas. Oscillatory EEG data indicated theta increase and alpha decrease in parieto-occipital sites for both one-digit and two-digit multiplication. The contrast of two-digit versus one-digit multiplication yielded greater activity in right MFG and greater theta increase in frontocentral sites. Activation in frontal areas and theta band data jointly indicate additional domain-general cognitive control and working memory demands for heightened arithmetic complexity in children. The similarity in parietal activation between conditions suggests that children rely on domain-specific magnitude processing not only for two-digit but—in contrast to adults—also for one-digit multiplication problem solving. We conclude that in children, increased arithmetic complexity tested in an ecologically valid setting is associated with domain-general processes but not with alteration of domain-specific magnitude processing. Cognitive, Affective, & Behaviorial Neuroscience Springer Journals

Increased arithmetic complexity is associated with domain-general but not domain-specific magnitude processing in children: A simultaneous fNIRS-EEG study

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Springer US
Copyright © 2017 by Psychonomic Society, Inc.
Psychology; Cognitive Psychology; Neurosciences
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