Math disability affects about 6% of the childhood population and continues into adolescence, and therefore, represents a major biomedical issue. Neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies in adults have implicated the intra-parietal sulcus and middle frontal gyrus in quantity comparison (e.g. subtraction), but have implicated the temporo- parietal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in verbal retrieval of math facts (e.g. multiplication). Neuroimaging research in adults has also suggested that reliance on the verbal retrieval system increases with practice and it is utilized more for easier problems. Behavioral research suggests there are developmental increases in the reliance on the verbal retrieval system and that some children with math disability show pronounced deficits in this system. Behavioral research has also shown that some children with math disability have a reading disability, and some have suggested that children with a math and reading disability (MD+RD) should have a deficit in the verbal retrieval system, whereas children with a math disability only (MD) should have a deficit in the quantity comparison system. Although there has been a substantial amount of neuroimaging research in adults and behavioral research in children, very little is known about the neural basis of math development or of math disability in children. This project will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural development of quantity comparison (i.e. subtraction) and verbal retrieval (i.e. multiplication) in typically developing children (10- to 14-year-olds) and to examine the neural bases of math disability in children with and without co-morbid reading disability. The PIs will examine differences in signal intensity using conventional fMRI analyses, but will also examine differences in effective connectivity using dynamic causal modeling (DCM). This project will employ easier versus harder tasks to more effectively delineate brain regions involved in different forms of math processing, a longitudinal design to examine whether early functioning predicts later development, and reading tasks to determine their inter-relations with math processing. The results of this project to examine the neural basis of mathematical development in typically developing children and in children math disability with and without co-morbid reading disability will have implications for the diagnosis and remediation of math disability.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-RRG-K (05))
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Mann Koepke, Kathy M
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Other Health Professions
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Suárez-Pellicioni, Macarena; Booth, James R (2018) Fluency in symbolic arithmetic refines the approximate number system in parietal cortex. Hum Brain Mapp 39:3956-3971
Gullick, Margaret M; Demir-Lira, Özlem Ece; Booth, James R (2016) Reading skill-fractional anisotropy relationships in visuospatial tracts diverge depending on socioeconomic status. Dev Sci 19:673-85
Demir-Lira, Özlem Ece; Prado, Jérôme; Booth, James R (2016) Neural Correlates of Math Gains Vary Depending on Parental Socioeconomic Status (SES). Front Psychol 7:892
Demir, Özlem Ece; Prado, Jérôme; Booth, James R (2015) Parental socioeconomic status and the neural basis of arithmetic: differential relations to verbal and visuo-spatial representations. Dev Sci 18:799-814
Berteletti, I; Man, G; Booth, J R (2015) How number line estimation skills relate to neural activations in single digit subtraction problems. Neuroimage 107:198-206
Prado, Jérôme; Mutreja, Rachna; Booth, James R (2014) Developmental dissociation in the neural responses to simple multiplication and subtraction problems. Dev Sci 17:537-52
Berteletti, Ilaria; Prado, Jérôme; Booth, James R (2014) Children with mathematical learning disability fail in recruiting verbal and numerical brain regions when solving simple multiplication problems. Cortex 57:143-55
Demir, Özlem Ece; Prado, Jérôme; Booth, James R (2014) The differential role of verbal and spatial working memory in the neural basis of arithmetic. Dev Neuropsychol 39:440-58
Prado, Jerome; Mutreja, Rachna; Booth, James R (2013) Fractionating the neural substrates of transitive reasoning: task-dependent contributions of spatial and verbal representations. Cereb Cortex 23:499-507
Prado, Jerome; Mutreja, Rachna; Zhang, Hongchuan et al. (2011) Distinct representations of subtraction and multiplication in the neural systems for numerosity and language. Hum Brain Mapp 32:1932-47

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