Individual structural differences in left inferior parietal area are associated with schoolchildrens' arithmetic scores

Abstract

Arithmetic skill is of critical importance for academic achievement, professional success and everyday life, and childhood is the key period to acquire this skill. Neuroimaging studies have identified that left parietal regions are a key neural substrate for representing arithmetic skill. Although the relationship between functional brain activity in left parietal regions and arithmetic skill has been studied in detail, it remains unclear about the relationship between arithmetic achievement and structural properties in left inferior parietal area in schoolchildren. The current study employed a combination of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) for high-resolution T1-weighted images and fiber tracking on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine the relationship between structural properties in the inferior parietal area and arithmetic achievement in 10-year-old schoolchildren. VBM of the T1-weighted images revealed that individual differences in arithmetic scores were significantly and positively correlated with the gray matter (GM) volume in the left intraparietal sulcus (IPS). Fiber tracking analysis revealed that the forceps major, left superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF) were the primary pathways connecting the left IPS with other brain areas. Furthermore, the regression analysis of the probabilistic pathways revealed a significant and positive correlation between the fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the left SLF, ILF and bilateral IFOF and arithmetic scores. The brain structure-behavior correlation analyses indicated that the GM volumes in the left IPS and the FA values in the tract pathways connecting left IPS were both related to children's arithmetic achievement. The present findings provide evidence that individual structural differences in the left IPS are associated with arithmetic scores in schoolchildren.

DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00844

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@inproceedings{Li2013IndividualSD, title={Individual structural differences in left inferior parietal area are associated with schoolchildrens' arithmetic scores}, author={Yongxin Li and Yuzheng Hu and Yunqi Wang and Jian Weng and Feiyan Chen}, booktitle={Front. Hum. Neurosci.}, year={2013} }