Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
Event-related potentials of single-digit comparison, addition, subtraction and multiplication
There has been a great deal of research on the neural correlates of one-digit arithmetic (e.g.: comparison, addition, subtraction and multiplication). The research could give us some insights on the nature of representation of arithmetic facts. However, the previous findings on each type of operation were inconsistent, which might come from the variations of experimental designs (e.g., the definition of control condition). The aim of current research was to investigate whether Chinese adults have differential neural correlates for one-digit comparison, addition, subtraction and multiplication. 20 Chinese undergraduates were asked to respond to the four types of operations. The hypothesis was that, comparatively, simple multiplication would elicit greater load on perisylvian language areas because of the early experience of acquisition of multiplication facts (rote verbal memory) and repeated practice. The ERP technique showed that (1) there was greater negativity at 300ms (N300) for multiplication than for comparison, addition and subtraction around Broca’s area; (2) comparison elicited greater negativity at approximately 100ms in frontal lobe; (3)There was problem-size effect for comparison and multiplication at 160ms in frontal lobe. The involvement of Broca’s area suggest that the representation of multiplication facts depend on verbal code more intensively than do the representation of other types of arithmetic facts.