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    Brain activity during a visuospatial working memory task predicts arithmetical performance 2 years later

    Dumontheil, Iroise and Klingberg, T. (2012) Brain activity during a visuospatial working memory task predicts arithmetical performance 2 years later. Cerebral Cortex 22 (5), pp. 1078-1085. ISSN 1047-3211.

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    Visuospatial working memory (WM) capacity is highly correlated with mathematical reasoning abilities and can predict future development of arithmetical performance. Activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during visuospatial WM tasks correlates with interindividual differences in WM capacity. This region has also been implicated in numerical representation, and its structure and activity reflect arithmetical performance impairments (e.g., dyscalculia). We collected behavioral (N = 246) and neuroimaging data (N = 46) in a longitudinal sample to test whether IPS activity during a visuospatial WM task could provide more information than psychological testing alone and predict arithmetical performance 2 years later in healthy participants aged 6–16 years. Nonverbal reasoning and verbal and visuospatial WM measures were found to be independent predictors of arithmetical outcome. In addition, WM activation in the left IPS predicted arithmetical outcome independently of behavioral measures. A logistic model including both behavioral and imaging data showed improved sensitivity by correctly classifying more than twice as many children as poor arithmetical performers after 2 years than a model with behavioral measures only. These results demonstrate that neuroimaging data can provide useful information in addition to behavioral assessments and be used to improve the identification of individuals at risk of future low academic performance.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Cerebral Cortex following peer review. The version of record is available online at:
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): child development, fMRI, mathematics, numerical abilities, working memory
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Educational Neuroscience, Centre for, Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 01 May 2013 09:55
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:03


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