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Developmental cognitive neuroscience (1)
Infancy : the official journal of the International Society on Infant Studies (1)
Bookheimer, Susan (1)
Bramen, Jennifer (1)
Brannon, Elizabeth M. (1)
Dapretto, Mirella (1)
Kan, Eric (1)
Katzir, Tami (1)
Libertus, Melissa E. (1)
Nuñez, S. Christopher (1)
Sowell, Elizabeth R. (1)
Starr, Ariel (1)
Starr, Ariel B. (1)
Year of Publication
Infants Show Ratio-dependent Number Discrimination Regardless of Set Size
Libertus, Melissa E.
Brannon, Elizabeth M.
Infancy : the official journal of the International Society on Infant Studies
Evidence for approximate number system (ANS) representations in infancy is robust but has typically only been found when infants are presented with arrays of four or more elements. In addition, several studies have found that infants fail to discriminate between small numbers when continuous variables such as surface area and contour length are controlled. These findings suggest that under some circumstances, infants fail to recruit either the ANS or object file representations for small sets. Here, we used a numerical change detection paradigm to assess 6-month-old infants’ ability to represent small values. In Experiment 1, infants were tested with 1 versus 3, 1 versus 2, and 2 versus 3 dots. Infants successfully discriminated 1 versus 3 and 1 versus 2, but failed with 2 versus 3. In Experiment 2, we tested whether infants could compare small and large values with a 2 versus 4 condition. Across both experiments, infants’ performance exhibited ratio dependence, the hallmark of the ANS. Our results indicate that infants can attend to the purely numerical attributes of small sets and that the numerical change detection paradigm accesses ANS representations in infancy regardless of set size.
fMRI of syntactic processing in typically developing children: structural correlates in the inferior frontal gyrus
Nuñez, S. Christopher
Sowell, Elizabeth R.
Developmental cognitive neuroscience
Development of syntactic processing was examined to evaluate maturational processes including left language lateralization functions and increased specialization of brain regions important for syntactic processing. We utilized multimodal methods, including indices of brain activity from fMRI during a syntactic processing task, cortical thickness measurements from structural MRI, and neuropsychological measures. To evaluate hypotheses about increasing lateralization and specialization with development, we examined relationships between cortical thickness and magnitude and spatial activation extent within the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and its right hemisphere homologue. We predicted that increased activation in the left and decreased activation in the right IFG would be associated with increased syntactic proficiency. As predicted, a more mature pattern of increased thickness in the right pars triangularis was associated with decreased activation intensity and extent in the right IFG. These findings suggest a maturational shift towards decreased involvement of the right IFG for syntactic processing. Better syntactic skills were associated with increased activation in the left IFG independent from age, suggesting increased specialization of the left IFG with increased proficiency. Overall, our findings show relationships between structural and functional neurodevelopment that co-occur with improved syntactic processing in critical language regions of the IFG in typically developing children.
Syntax; language; typical development; lateralization; fMRI; multimodal
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