ERIC Number: EJ1031099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Developmental Dissociation in the Neural Responses to Simple Multiplication and Subtraction Problems
Prado, Jérôme; Mutreja, Rachna; Booth, James R.
Developmental Science, v17 n4 p537-552 Jul 2014
Mastering single-digit arithmetic during school years is commonly thought to depend upon an increasing reliance on verbally memorized facts. An alternative model, however, posits that fluency in single-digit arithmetic might also be achieved via the increasing use of efficient calculation procedures. To test between these hypotheses, we used a cross-sectional design to measure the neural activity associated with single-digit subtraction and multiplication in 34 children from 2nd to 7th grade. The neural correlates of language and numerical processing were also identified in each child via localizer scans. Although multiplication and subtraction were undistinguishable in terms of behavior, we found a striking developmental dissociation in their neural correlates. First, we observed grade-related increases of activity for multiplication, but not for subtraction, in a language-related region of the left temporal cortex. Second, we found grade-related increases of activity for subtraction, but not for multiplication, in a region of the right parietal cortex involved in the procedural manipulation of numerical quantities. The present results suggest that fluency in simple arithmetic in children may be achieved by both increasing reliance on verbal retrieval and by greater use of efficient quantity-based procedures, depending on the operation.
Descriptors: Hypothesis Testing, Numeracy, Arithmetic, Computation, Multiplication, Subtraction, Elementary School Students, Middle School Students, Junior High School Students, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Neurology, Cognitive Processes, Age Differences, Brain Hemisphere Functions, Correlation, Mathematical Concepts
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6; Grade 7; Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A