A functional MRI study of simple arithmetic - A comparison between children and adults

Ryuta Kawashima, Masato Taira, Katsuo Okita, Kentaro Inoue, Nobumoto Tajima, Hajime Yoshida, Takeo Sasaki, Motoaki Sugiura, Job Watanabe, Hiroshi Fukuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to examine brain areas involved in simple arithmetic, and to compare these areas between adults and children. Eight children (four girls and four boys; age, 9-14 years) and eight adults (four women and four men; age, 40-49 years) were subjected to this study. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed during mental calculation of addition, subtraction, and multiplication of single digits. In each group, the left middle frontal, bilateral inferior temporal and bilateral lateral occipital cortices were activated during each task. The adult group showed activation of the right frontal cortex during addition and multiplication tasks, but the children group did not. Activation of the intraparietal cortex was observed in the adult group during each task. Although, activation patterns were slightly different among tasks, as well as between groups, only a small number of areas showed statistically significant differences. The results indicate that cortical networks involved in simple arithmetic are similar among arithmetic operations, and may not show significant changes in the structure during the second decade of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb


  • Adults
  • Children
  • Functional MRI study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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