However, basic math understanding and language skills uses same neural network.
FRANCE – For a long time scientists have debated whether the brain uses the same neural networks to solve mathematical problems than those related to language and especially what happens when two “universes” intersect, as in algebra.
In an attempt not to pursue this discussion, researchers at the Paris-Sud University and the Universite Paris-Saclay have convened a group of 30 volunteers (15 mathematicians and 15 well educated people but had no relation to the mathematics) and subjected to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they answered “true” or “false” to several questions, some of which required thinking mathematically.
In the article, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Marie Amalric and Stanislas Dehaene, said that when the two groups were asked questions unrelated to math, their brains showed a link to language processes. But when questions involving higher mathematical level, the brain regions related to mathematical thinking (the parietal cortex, prefrontal and inferior temporal) were activated.
The authors’ conclusion is that the human brain has different neural networks for processing math and language skills, but when it comes to understanding mathematics in a basic manner the brain uses the same neural network, regardless of whether one is an expert or not.
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