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Brain-mechanistic responses to varying difficulty levels of approximate solutions to arithmetic problems.

Xiang Y, Jiang Y, Chao X, Wu Q, Mo L - Sci Rep (2016)

Bottom Line: The studies on the "difficulty effect" seen in approximate complex arithmetic have long been neglected.In the fronto-central region, early P2 (150-250 ms) and an N400-like wave (250-700 ms) were significantly different between different difficulty levels.In addition, differences were found in the fronto-central region, which may reflect the regulatory role of this part of the cortex in approximate strategy execution when solving complex arithmetic problems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, P. R. China.

ABSTRACT
Approximate strategies are crucial in daily human life. The studies on the "difficulty effect" seen in approximate complex arithmetic have long been neglected. Here, we aimed to explore the brain mechanisms related to this difficulty effect in the case of complex addition, using event-related potential-based methods. Following previous path-finding studies, we used the inequality paradigm and different split sizes to induce the use of two approximate strategies for different difficulty levels. By comparing dependent variables from the medium- and large-split conditions, we anticipated being able to dissociate the effects of task difficulty based on approximate strategy in electrical components. In the fronto-central region, early P2 (150-250 ms) and an N400-like wave (250-700 ms) were significantly different between different difficulty levels. Differences in P2 correlated with the difficulty of separation of the approximate strategy from the early physical stimulus discrimination process, which is dominant before 200 ms, and differences in the putative N400 correlated with different difficulties of approximate strategy execution. Moreover, this difference may be linked to speech processing. In addition, differences were found in the fronto-central region, which may reflect the regulatory role of this part of the cortex in approximate strategy execution when solving complex arithmetic problems.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Grand averaged event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited at the midline, lateral electrodes during small split and middle split arithmetic.
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f2: Grand averaged event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited at the midline, lateral electrodes during small split and middle split arithmetic.

Mentions: To verify the previous reports on strategy control, we analyzed the effect of the small- versus medium-split contrast on ERPs. The time windows and brain regions were consistent with previous studies910. Setting the ERP total average amplitude as the dependent variable, we compared the average amplitude in response to the small-split task with that in response to the medium-split task in the midline electrodes (Fz, Cz, Pz, and Oz, a total of four electrode locations) (Fig. 2) and in the lateral electrodes (AF4, AF3, F3, F7, F4, F8, C3, FC5, T7, C4, FC6, T8, CP1, CP5, P3, CP2, CP6, and P4). The midline electrodes were analyzed using a split effect (small, medium) × electrode location (Fz, Cz, Pz, and Oz) in a two-factor repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). The lateral electrodes were analyzed using split effect (small, medium) × brain hemisphere (left, right) × regions (frontal: F3, F7, FC1, F4, F8, and FC2; central: C3, FC5, T3, C4, FC6, and T4; and parietal: CP1, CP5, P3, CP2, CP6, and P4) in a three-factor repeated-measures ANOVA. The time window of analysis was 0–2000 ms. All results used Greenhouse−Geisser parameters to revise the P values, while the Bonferroni−Holm method was used to correct for multiple testing.


Brain-mechanistic responses to varying difficulty levels of approximate solutions to arithmetic problems.

Xiang Y, Jiang Y, Chao X, Wu Q, Mo L - Sci Rep (2016)

Grand averaged event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited at the midline, lateral electrodes during small split and middle split arithmetic.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4829836&req=5

f2: Grand averaged event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited at the midline, lateral electrodes during small split and middle split arithmetic.
Mentions: To verify the previous reports on strategy control, we analyzed the effect of the small- versus medium-split contrast on ERPs. The time windows and brain regions were consistent with previous studies910. Setting the ERP total average amplitude as the dependent variable, we compared the average amplitude in response to the small-split task with that in response to the medium-split task in the midline electrodes (Fz, Cz, Pz, and Oz, a total of four electrode locations) (Fig. 2) and in the lateral electrodes (AF4, AF3, F3, F7, F4, F8, C3, FC5, T7, C4, FC6, T8, CP1, CP5, P3, CP2, CP6, and P4). The midline electrodes were analyzed using a split effect (small, medium) × electrode location (Fz, Cz, Pz, and Oz) in a two-factor repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). The lateral electrodes were analyzed using split effect (small, medium) × brain hemisphere (left, right) × regions (frontal: F3, F7, FC1, F4, F8, and FC2; central: C3, FC5, T3, C4, FC6, and T4; and parietal: CP1, CP5, P3, CP2, CP6, and P4) in a three-factor repeated-measures ANOVA. The time window of analysis was 0–2000 ms. All results used Greenhouse−Geisser parameters to revise the P values, while the Bonferroni−Holm method was used to correct for multiple testing.

Bottom Line: The studies on the "difficulty effect" seen in approximate complex arithmetic have long been neglected.In the fronto-central region, early P2 (150-250 ms) and an N400-like wave (250-700 ms) were significantly different between different difficulty levels.In addition, differences were found in the fronto-central region, which may reflect the regulatory role of this part of the cortex in approximate strategy execution when solving complex arithmetic problems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, P. R. China.

ABSTRACT
Approximate strategies are crucial in daily human life. The studies on the "difficulty effect" seen in approximate complex arithmetic have long been neglected. Here, we aimed to explore the brain mechanisms related to this difficulty effect in the case of complex addition, using event-related potential-based methods. Following previous path-finding studies, we used the inequality paradigm and different split sizes to induce the use of two approximate strategies for different difficulty levels. By comparing dependent variables from the medium- and large-split conditions, we anticipated being able to dissociate the effects of task difficulty based on approximate strategy in electrical components. In the fronto-central region, early P2 (150-250 ms) and an N400-like wave (250-700 ms) were significantly different between different difficulty levels. Differences in P2 correlated with the difficulty of separation of the approximate strategy from the early physical stimulus discrimination process, which is dominant before 200 ms, and differences in the putative N400 correlated with different difficulties of approximate strategy execution. Moreover, this difference may be linked to speech processing. In addition, differences were found in the fronto-central region, which may reflect the regulatory role of this part of the cortex in approximate strategy execution when solving complex arithmetic problems.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus