Poster C68, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Magnitude Processing in Bilingual Developmental Dyscalculia
Alejandro Martinez1, Elena Salillas1; 1Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (BCBL)
Developmental Dyscalculia (DD) is a learning difficulty in children with normal intelligence which affects the acquisition of school level arithmetic skills and magnitude representation. Most research has focused on monolingual children and little is known about how bilingual DD children process magnitude. Given the impact that the language for early math learning (Language of Learning math - LLmath) has in our core magnitude processing (Salillas and Carreiras, 2014; Salillas et al., 2015) here we explore the implications of having one preferred language for math in an already defective DD numerical knowledge. We compared the distance effect in bilingual DD children and their matched controls in both languages: LLmath and in the Other Language (OL) in a numerical adaptation task where the deviants’ numerical distance relative to the standards was manipulated. The stimulus were sequences presented in LLmath or in OL. Both groups showed a significant ERP distance effect for LLmath albeit with different scalp distribution. However, a distance effect did not appear for the DD group with input in OL. Additionally, source estimation analyses of the ERP distance effects showed focal posterior parietal activations in LLmath for the control group but an involvement of frontal areas for OL. The DD group showed activations in left hemisphere perisilvian, frontal and inferior parietal when computing distance from LLmath. These results suggest that bilinguals process magnitudes differently in the two languages; whereas bilingual DD can only process magnitudes in the preferred language (LLmath) by using additional executive and linguistic regions in the process.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other