Developing, mature, and unique functions of the child's brain in reading and mathematics.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Cognitive development research shows that children use basic "child-unique" strategies for reading and mathematics. This suggests that children's neural processes will differ qualitatively from those of adults during this developmental period. The goals of the current study were to 1) establish whether a within-subjects neural dissociation between reading and mathematics exists in early childhood as it does in adulthood, and 2) use a novel, developmental intersubject correlation method to test for "child-unique", developing, and adult-like patterns of neural activation within those networks. Across multiple tasks, children's reading and mathematics activity converged in prefrontal cortex, but dissociated in temporal and parietal cortices, showing similarities to the adult pattern of dissociation. "Child-unique" patterns of neural activity were observed in multiple regions, including the anterior temporal lobe and inferior frontal gyri, and showed "child-unique" profiles of functional connectivity to prefrontal cortex. This provides a new demonstration that "children are not just little adults" - the developing brain is not only quantitatively different from adults, it is also qualitatively different.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kersey, AJ; Wakim, K-M; Li, R; Cantlon, JF

Published Date

  • October 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 /

Start / End Page

  • 100684 -

PubMed ID

  • 31398551

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6886692

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-9307

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1878-9293

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100684


  • eng