SIG22 Neuroscience and Education meeting location:Amsterdam, The Netherlands date:23-25 June 2016
Title Neural activity patterns associated with retrieval and procedural strategy use in typically developing children.
Introduction Adult fMRI studies have indicated that activation in the arithmetic brain network is modulated by strategy use. In children, alternate activation has been suggested by manipulating problem size, but a trial-by-trial testing to check the children’s actual strategy use was yet to be done, leaving it unclear how brain activity alters as different strategies are used.
Method Participants were 23 typically developing 4th graders (9- to 10-year-olds). In a behavioral session, they were asked to solve 100 subtraction and multiplication items, and to verbally report how they solved them. In the fMRI scanning session, the children were presented with 80 of those items. With an event-related design, we were able to analyze the brain responses during retrieval or procedural strategy use, based on the children’s verbal reports in the behavioral session.
Results During retrieval, we observed increased activity in the bilateral middle temporal gyrus, hippocampus, medial frontal gyrus and inferior parietal lobe (supramarginal to angular gyrus). For procedural strategies, activation increases were observed in the bilateral superior parietal lobe (intraparietal sulcus), middle and inferior frontal gyri, insula and inferior occipital gyrus. There were no differences between multiplication and subtraction, meaning that differences across items are mainly driven by strategy use, instead of operation.