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The change of the brain activation patterns as children learn algebra equation solving
In a brain imaging study of children learning algebra, it is shown that the same regions are active in children solving equations as are active in experienced adults solving equations. As with adults, practice in symbol manipulation produces a reduced activation in prefrontal cortex area. However, unlike adults, practice seems also to produce a decrease in a parietal area that is holding an image of the equation. This finding suggests that adolescents' brain responses are more plastic and change more with practice. These results are integrated in a cognitive model that predicts both the behavioral and brain imaging results.