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NumBraInf SIGNED

The Role of Prefrontal Cortex in Functional Brain Organization of Number Processing in Infants

Total Cost €

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EC-Contrib. €

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Partnership

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Project "NumBraInf" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.

Coordinator
EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN 

Organization address
address: GESCHWISTER-SCHOLL-PLATZ
city: TUEBINGEN
postcode: 72074
website: www.uni-tuebingen.de

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 264˙669 €
 EC max contribution 264˙669 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-GF
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-11-01   to  2023-04-01

 Partnership

Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    EBERHARD KARLS UNIVERSITAET TUEBINGEN DE (TUEBINGEN) coordinator 264˙669.00
2    PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE US (CAMBRIDGE) partner 0.00

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 Project objective

One of the most critical quests of neuroscientists is the discovery of the origin of human cognition, such as number processing. Previous studies have shown that the ability to process numerical information in adulthood can be traced back to the first months of life. Although the natural number concept is not expressed until childhood it is built upon a nonsymbolic competency (e.g., child A has more toys than child B) that has an evolutionary origin and is available early in life. The human infant brain is the only known system, which is able to master a natural language and symbolic knowledge that represents the external world. Fascinatingly, infants are able to represent and discriminate quantities, solve addition and subtraction problems, calculate probabilities, and understand ordinality. These abilities rely on two core systems: (1) track a small number of individuals and (2) estimate the numerosity of large sets across different sensory modalities. However, the role of supportive cognitive abilities in number processing has been overlooked in both behavioral and neuroimaging studies in infants. Studies in adults, and even more in children, frequently reveal that in addition to the above-mentioned magnitude processing ability – understanding the quantities – different cognitive abilities – e.g., working memory, inhibition, sustained attention – are needed for number processing and arithmetic. These cognitive abilities mainly rely on prefrontal activation. Furthermore, as an index of maturation, myelination in the prefrontal cortex takes place before that in several other brain regions, such as the temporal lobe. Infant studies in other domains have already revealed the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in response to the mother’s voice, and when working memory is elicited. So, in this project, I investigate the role of prefrontal cognitive abilities in number processing in infancy, which might be crucial to explaining human learning.

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