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Mathematical Problem-Solving: Behavioral and Neuroimaging Studies

Student: Kseniia Konopkina

Supervisor: Marie Arsalidou

Faculty: Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience

Educational Programme: Cognitive Sciences and Technologies: From Neuron to Cognition (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2019

Arithmetics is an essential skill that we use on a daily basis. Neuroscientists widely study mathematical processing, and we are aware of the brain regions, which are associated with numerical tasks and calculations, nonetheless, it remains unclear which brain areas are specifically involved in different types of mathematical operations. Using activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses, we revealed common and distinct brain regions associated with solving problems of addition, subtraction, and multiplication in terms of spatial extend of clusters and hemispheric asymmetry. In addition, we conducted the behavioral and fMRI study in order to investigate brain activity in response to increasing task complexity. For the first time, we used parametric design across four main mathematical operations and discussed results with reference to models of mental arithmetic, corresponding brain functions, and presumptive executing strategies. Overall, we elaborated topographical atlases, in stereotaxic coordinates, for mathematical processes in healthy adults.

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