Neural Correlates of Mental Rotation in Preschoolers With High or Low Working Memory Capacity: An fNIRS Study

Frontiers in Psychology 11 (2020)
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Abstract

This study explored the differentiated neural correlates of mental rotation in preschoolers with high and low working memory capacity using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Altogether 38 Chinese preschoolers completed the Working Memory Capacity test, the Mental Rotation, and its Control tasks. They were divided into High-WMC and Low-WMC groups based on the WMC scores. The behavioral and fNIRS results indicated that: there were no significant differences in MR task performance between the High-WMC and Low-WMC group ; the Low-WMC group activated BA6, BA8, BA 9, and BA 44, whereas the High-WMC group activated BA8, BA10 and BA 44 during mental rotation; significant differences were found in the activation of BA44 and BA9 between the High-WMC and Low-WMC groups during mental rotation; and the High-WMC and Low-WMC groups differed significantly in the activation of BA 9 and BA10 during the control tasks, indicating that both areas might be responsible for the group differences in working memory.

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Hui Li
National University of Singapore

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