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CLC number: B842

On-line Access: 2015-08-04

Received: 2014-10-27

Revision Accepted: 2015-06-08

Crosschecked: 2015-07-08

Cited: 2

Clicked: 3229

Citations:  Bibtex RefMan EndNote GB/T7714


Jian Huang


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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B 2015 Vol.16 No.8 P.661-671


Numerical magnitude processing in abacus-trained children with superior mathematical ability: an EEG study

Author(s):  Jian Huang, Feng-lei Du, Yuan Yao, Qun Wan, Xiao-song Wang, Fei-yan Chen

Affiliation(s):  1Bio-X Laboratory, Department of Physics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China; more

Corresponding email(s):   chenfy@zju.edu.cn

Key Words:  Electroencephalography (EEG), Abacus training, Distance effect, Numerical magnitude processing, Child

Jian Huang, Feng-lei Du, Yuan Yao, Qun Wan, Xiao-song Wang, Fei-yan Chen. Numerical magnitude processing in abacus-trained children with superior mathematical ability: an EEG study[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 2015, 16(8): 661-671.

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author="Jian Huang, Feng-lei Du, Yuan Yao, Qun Wan, Xiao-song Wang, Fei-yan Chen",
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publisher="Zhejiang University Press & Springer",

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%T Numerical magnitude processing in abacus-trained children with superior mathematical ability: an EEG study
%A Jian Huang
%A Feng-lei Du
%A Yuan Yao
%A Qun Wan
%A Xiao-song Wang
%A Fei-yan Chen
%J Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B
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%N 8
%P 661-671
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%D 2015
%I Zhejiang University Press & Springer
%DOI 10.1631/jzus.B1400287

T1 - Numerical magnitude processing in abacus-trained children with superior mathematical ability: an EEG study
A1 - Jian Huang
A1 - Feng-lei Du
A1 - Yuan Yao
A1 - Qun Wan
A1 - Xiao-song Wang
A1 - Fei-yan Chen
J0 - Journal of Zhejiang University Science B
VL - 16
IS - 8
SP - 661
EP - 671
%@ 1673-1581
Y1 - 2015
PB - Zhejiang University Press & Springer
ER -
DOI - 10.1631/jzus.B1400287

distance effect has been regarded as the best established marker of basic numerical magnitude processes and is related to individual mathematical abilities. A larger behavioral distance effect is suggested to be concomitant with lower mathematical achievement in children. However, the relationship between distance effect and superior mathematical abilities is unclear. One could get superior mathematical abilities by acquiring the skill of abacus-based mental calculation (AMC), which can be used to solve calculation problems with exceptional speed and high accuracy. In the current study, we explore the relationship between distance effect and superior mathematical abilities by examining whether and how the AMC training modifies numerical magnitude processing. Thus, mathematical competencies were tested in 18 abacus-trained children (who accepted the AMC training) and 18 non-trained children. electroencephalography (EEG) waveforms were recorded when these children executed numerical comparison tasks in both Arabic digit and dot array forms. We found that: (a) the abacus-trained group had superior mathematical abilities than their peers; (b) distance effects were found both in behavioral results and on EEG waveforms; (c) the distance effect size of the average amplitude on the late negative-going component was different between groups in the digit task, with a larger effect size for abacus-trained children; (d) both the behavioral and EEG distance effects were modulated by the notation. These results revealed that the neural substrates of magnitude processing were modified by AMC training, and suggested that the mechanism of the representation of numerical magnitude for children with superior mathematical abilities was different from their peers. In addition, the results provide evidence for a view of non-abstract numerical representation.




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