Why mental arithmetic counts: Brain activation during single digit arithmetic predicts high school math scores

Gavin R. Price, Michèle M M Mazzocco, Daniel Ansari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Do individual differences in the brain mechanisms for arithmetic underlie variability in high school mathematical competence? Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we correlated brain responses to single digit calculation with standard scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) math subtest in high school seniors. PSAT math scores, while controlling for PSAT Critical Reading scores, correlated positively with calculation activation in the left supramarginal gyrus and bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, brain regions known to be engaged during arithmetic fact retrieval. At the same time, greater activation in the right intraparietal sulcus during calculation, a region established to be involved in numerical quantity processing, was related to lower PSAT math scores. These data reveal that the relative engagement of brain mechanisms associated with procedural versus memory-based calculation of single-digit arithmetic problems is related to high school level mathematical competence, highlighting the fundamental role that mental arithmetic fluency plays in the acquisition of higher-level mathematical competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2013

Fingerprint

Aptitude Tests
Mental Competency
Parietal Lobe
Brain
Gyrus Cinguli
Individuality
Reading
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Why mental arithmetic counts : Brain activation during single digit arithmetic predicts high school math scores. / Price, Gavin R.; Mazzocco, Michèle M M; Ansari, Daniel.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 33, No. 1, 02.01.2013, p. 156-163.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Price, Gavin R. ; Mazzocco, Michèle M M ; Ansari, Daniel. / Why mental arithmetic counts : Brain activation during single digit arithmetic predicts high school math scores. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 2013 ; Vol. 33, No. 1. pp. 156-163.
@article{0f355dbe25344bf48b3ce31d58508d85,
title = "Why mental arithmetic counts: Brain activation during single digit arithmetic predicts high school math scores",
abstract = "Do individual differences in the brain mechanisms for arithmetic underlie variability in high school mathematical competence? Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we correlated brain responses to single digit calculation with standard scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) math subtest in high school seniors. PSAT math scores, while controlling for PSAT Critical Reading scores, correlated positively with calculation activation in the left supramarginal gyrus and bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, brain regions known to be engaged during arithmetic fact retrieval. At the same time, greater activation in the right intraparietal sulcus during calculation, a region established to be involved in numerical quantity processing, was related to lower PSAT math scores. These data reveal that the relative engagement of brain mechanisms associated with procedural versus memory-based calculation of single-digit arithmetic problems is related to high school level mathematical competence, highlighting the fundamental role that mental arithmetic fluency plays in the acquisition of higher-level mathematical competence.",
author = "Price, {Gavin R.} and Mazzocco, {Mich{\`e}le M M} and Daniel Ansari",
year = "2013",
month = "1",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2936-12.2013",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "33",
pages = "156--163",
journal = "Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0270-6474",
publisher = "Society for Neuroscience",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Why mental arithmetic counts

T2 - Brain activation during single digit arithmetic predicts high school math scores

AU - Price, Gavin R.

AU - Mazzocco, Michèle M M

AU - Ansari, Daniel

PY - 2013/1/2

Y1 - 2013/1/2

N2 - Do individual differences in the brain mechanisms for arithmetic underlie variability in high school mathematical competence? Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we correlated brain responses to single digit calculation with standard scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) math subtest in high school seniors. PSAT math scores, while controlling for PSAT Critical Reading scores, correlated positively with calculation activation in the left supramarginal gyrus and bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, brain regions known to be engaged during arithmetic fact retrieval. At the same time, greater activation in the right intraparietal sulcus during calculation, a region established to be involved in numerical quantity processing, was related to lower PSAT math scores. These data reveal that the relative engagement of brain mechanisms associated with procedural versus memory-based calculation of single-digit arithmetic problems is related to high school level mathematical competence, highlighting the fundamental role that mental arithmetic fluency plays in the acquisition of higher-level mathematical competence.

AB - Do individual differences in the brain mechanisms for arithmetic underlie variability in high school mathematical competence? Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we correlated brain responses to single digit calculation with standard scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) math subtest in high school seniors. PSAT math scores, while controlling for PSAT Critical Reading scores, correlated positively with calculation activation in the left supramarginal gyrus and bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, brain regions known to be engaged during arithmetic fact retrieval. At the same time, greater activation in the right intraparietal sulcus during calculation, a region established to be involved in numerical quantity processing, was related to lower PSAT math scores. These data reveal that the relative engagement of brain mechanisms associated with procedural versus memory-based calculation of single-digit arithmetic problems is related to high school level mathematical competence, highlighting the fundamental role that mental arithmetic fluency plays in the acquisition of higher-level mathematical competence.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84871820013&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84871820013&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2936-12.2013

DO - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2936-12.2013

M3 - Article

C2 - 23283330

AN - SCOPUS:84871820013

VL - 33

SP - 156

EP - 163

JO - Journal of Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0270-6474

IS - 1

ER -