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Poster E142

The Neural Basis for Number Processing and Its Relation to Individual Differences in Adults’ Math Competence

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Xueying Ren1,2 (, Marc N. Coutanche1,2, Julie A. Fiez1,2, Melissa E. Libertus1,2; 1Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, 2Learning Research and Development Center

Number processing is a fundamental skill for math competence. In this study, we will explore whether variations in brain activations associated with number processing are predictive of adults’ math achievements. To this end, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to 1) characterize brain regions involved in number processing and 2) investigate the relations between the brain activation in various brain regions and adults’ math abilities. We collected fMRI data from 104 adults while they completed a number comparison and a phonological comparison task with two types of number stimuli: Arabic digits and hand images. Participants’ math competence was measured using the math subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement in a separate behavioral session. Univariate analyses of the task contrast within two types of stimuli revealed a set of brain regions (e.g., early visual cortex, precentral gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, etc.) supporting number processing. Correlations between brain activation in various brain regions such as the early visual cortex and participants’ math abilities will be further discussed.

Topic Area: THINKING: Problem solving


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April 13–16  |  2024