Neural investigation on the impact of a visual language on arithmetic processing: an fMRI approach
Investigate the neural network, brain structures and cognitive processes involved in arithmetic processing for native ASL signers compared to hearing English speakers. Brain activation from adults performing single digit arithmetic problems, subtraction and multiplication problems, will be recorded. Different brain areas will be independently localized to identify which cognitive components are involved and to which extent depending on language modality. We will adopt a numerical processing localizer, a verbal rhyming localizer (ASL or English) and a hand movement localizer. Within the areas identifies by the localizers we expect to find similar numerical quantity processes across language modality groups. We expect language based activation for multiplication processes if both groups rely on verbal retrieval memory, regardless of modality. We expect increased motor movement activation in the ASL signing group given the observation in previous studies that ASL signers activate motor and supplementary motor areas when processing linguistic information regardless of whether presented in written English or ASL.