Functional lateralization of arithmetic processing

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Functional lateralization of arithmetic processing in the intraparietal sulcus is associated with handedness.

Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 04;10(1):1775

Authors: Artemenko C, Sitnikova MA, Soltanlou M, Dresler T, Nuerk HC

Abstract
Functional lateralization is established for various cognitive functions, but was hardly ever investigated for arithmetic processing. Most neurocognitive models assume a central role of the bilateral intraparietal sulcus (IPS) in arithmetic processing and there is some evidence for more pronounced left-hemispheric activation for symbolic arithmetic. However, evidence was mainly obtained by studies in right-handers. Therefore, we conducted a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study, in which IPS activation of left-handed adults was compared to right-handed adults in a symbolic approximate calculation task. The results showed that left-handers had a stronger functional right-lateralization in the IPS than right-handers. This finding has important consequences, as the bilateral IPS activation pattern for arithmetic processing seems to be shaped by functional lateralization and thus differs between left- and right-handers. We propose three possible accounts for the observed functional lateralization of arithmetic processing.

PMID: 32020021 [PubMed – in process]

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