Meta-analyses of developmental fMRI studies investigating typical and atypical trajectories of number processing and calculation

Dev Neuropsychol. 2011;36(6):763-87. doi: 10.1080/87565641.2010.549884.


The main aim of the present coordinate-based meta-analysis is to identify brain regions that are commonly activated in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies (fMRI) investigating number processing and calculation in children. Here, we include 19 developmental fMRI papers, five of which also examine children diagnosed with developmental dyscalculia and/or mathematical disability. Results reveal that children produce consistent fronto-parietal activation patterns in response to number processing and calculation. Importantly, activation patterns are clearly modulated by notation, task complexity, and competence level. Activation differences between children with and without dyscalculia are observable in number-relevant parietal regions as well as in (pre)frontal and occipital cortex.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Dyscalculia / physiopathology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / psychology
  • Mathematical Concepts*
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Young Adult