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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on typical trajectories of numerical cognition from infancy all the way through to adulthood (please note that atypical pathways of numerical cognition will be dealt in‘Brain Correlates of Numerical Disabilities’). Despite the fact that developmental imaging studies are still scarce to date there is converging evidence that (1) neural signatures of non-verbal number processing may be observed already in infants; and (2) developmental changes in neural responsivity are characterized by increasing functional specialization of number-relevant frontoparietal brain regions. It has been suggested that age and competence-related modulations of brain activity manifest as an anterior-posterior shift. On the one hand, the recruitment of supporting frontal brain regions decreases, while on the other hand, reliance on number-relevant (fronto-)parietal neural networks increases. Overall, our understanding of the neurocognitive underpinnings of numerical development grew considerably during the last decade. Future research is expected to benefit substantially from the fast technological advances enabling researchers to gain more fine-grained insights into the spatial and temporal dynamics of the neural signatures underlying numerical development.

Keywords: numerical development, brain imaging, developmental change, functional specialization, developmental dynamic calculation models

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