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Neuropsychology. 2008 Sep;22(5):571-84. doi: 10.1037/0894-4105.22.5.571.

Aberrant spatiotemporal activation profiles associated with math difficulties in children: a magnetic source imaging study.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Children's Learning Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, TX, USA. ahis.simos@gmail.com


The study investigates the relative degree and timing of cortical activation in parietal, temporal, and frontal regions during simple arithmetic tasks in children who experience math difficulties. Real-time brain activity was measured with magnetoencephalography during simple addition and numerosity judgments in students with math difficulties and average or above average reading skills (MD group, N = 14), students with below average scores on both math and basic reading tests (MD/RD group, N = 16) and students with above average scores on standardized math tests (control group, N = 25). Children with MD showed increased degree of neurophysiological activity in inferior and superior parietal regions in the right hemisphere compared to both controls and MD/RD students. Left hemisphere inferior parietal regions did not show the expected task-related changes and showed activity at a significant temporal delay. MD students also showed increased early engagement of prefrontal cortices. Taken together, these findings may indicate increased reliance on a network of right hemisphere parietal (and possibly frontal areas as well) for simple math calculations in students who experience math difficulties but perform within normal range in reading.

PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved.

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