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


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.




Copyright 2008 Neuropsychology. This is a post-print version of a published paper that is available at: http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2008-11707-003. Recommended citation: Simos, Panagiotis G., Kassiani Kanatsouli, Jack M. Fletcher, Shirin Sarkari, Jennifer Juranek, Paul Cirino, Antony Passaro, and Andrew C. Papanicolaou. "Aberrant Spatiotemporal Activation Profiles Associated with Math Difficulties in Children: A Magnetic Source Imaging Study." Neuropsychology 22, no. 5 (2008): 571-584. doi: 10.1037/0894-4105.22.5.571. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author's permission.