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From cognitive processes to brain hodology

WorkgroupJunior Research Group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity
FundingMinisterium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg, European Social Fund (ESF)
Project description

In this habilitation project the neural foundations of number processing and calculation as well as neural plasticity in (numerical) learning are investigated. A central aspect of this research is how neuro-functional brain areas interact with each other in cognitive processes via neuro-structural connections within the brain and how this interaction changes through learning processes.

In a first step, the neural areas and their connections for the processing of numbers are investigated. For this purpose, both the magnitude representation (e.g. "Is 9 greater than 3?” or "50 persons in a bus, is that many or few?") as well as verbally mediated overlearned fact knowledge (e.g. multiplication tables) will be investigated in different populations (healthy adults, adults with cerebral lesions, typically or atypically developing children). In the second step, it will then be investigated how far structures and processes identified for numerical cognition in the first step can be integrated into a more general cross-domain notion of brain hodology, for instance, by identifying a joint cross-domain network for number and language processing.

The aim of the project is to use the results obtained to design new interventional programs for both, children’s numerical development (in educational and school contexts) as well as rehabilitation of numerical competencies (e.g. following a stroke).

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans-Otto Karnath, University Hospital Tuebingen

  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Willmes, University Hospital RWTH Aachen

  • Klein, E., Willmes, K., Bieck, S. M., Bloechle, J., & Moeller, K. (2019). White matter neuro-plasticity in mental arithmetic: Changes in hippocampal connectivity following arithmetic drill training. Cortex, 114, 115-123.

  • Bloechle, J., Huber, S., Bahnmueller, J., Rennig, J., Willmes, K., Cavdaroglu, S., Moeller, K., & Klein, E. (2016). Fact learning in complex arithmetic – The role of the angular gyrus revisited. Human Brain Mapping, 37, 3061-3079.

  • Klein, E., Suchan, J., Moeller, K., Karnath, H.-O., Knops, A., Wood, G., Nuerk, H.-C., & Willmes, K. (2016). Considering structural connectivity in the triple code model of numerical cognition: Differential connectivity for magnitude processing and arithmetic facts. Brain Structure & Function, 221(2), 979-95.