Numerical Transcoding Proficiency in 10-Year-Old Schoolchildren is Associated with Gray Matter Inter-Individual Differences: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study.
Front. Psychol.. 2013-04-25; 4:
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1. Front Psychol. 2013 Apr 25;4:197. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00197. eCollection 2013.
Lubin A(1), Rossi S, Simon G, Lanoë C, Leroux G, Poirel N, Pineau A, Houdé O.
(1)Laboratory for the Psychology of Child Development and Education, Sorbonne,
CNRS, Unit 3521 Paris, France ; Sorbonne-Paris-Cité Alliance for Higher Education
and Research, Paris Descartes University Paris, France.
Are individual differences in numerical performance sustained by variations in
gray matter volume in schoolchildren? To our knowledge, this challenging question
for neuroeducation has not yet been investigated in typical development. We used
the Voxel-Based Morphometry method to search for possible structural brain
differences between two groups of 10-year-old schoolchildren (N = 22) whose
performance differed only in numerical transcoding between analog and symbolic
systems. The results indicated that children with low numerical proficiency have
less gray matter volume in the parietal (particularly in the left intraparietal
sulcus and the bilateral angular gyri) and occipito-temporal areas. All the
identified regions have previously been shown to be functionally involved in
transcoding between analog and symbolic numerical systems. Our data contribute to
a better understanding of the intertwined relationships between mathematics
learning and brain structure in healthy schoolchildren.