Neural correlates of mental rotation in preschoolers with high or low working memory capacity: An fNIRS study

Jinfeng YANG, Dandan WU, Jiutong LUO, Sha XIE, Chunqi CHANG, Hui LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

This study explored the differentiated neural correlates of mental rotation (MR) in preschoolers with high and low working memory capacity using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Altogether 38 Chinese preschoolers (M = 5.0 years, SD = 0.69 years) completed the Working Memory Capacity (WMC) test, the Mental Rotation (MR), and its Control tasks (without MR). They were divided into High-WMC (N₁ = 9) and Low-WMC (N₂ = 18) groups based on the WMC scores. The behavioral and fNIRS results indicated that: (1) there were no significant differences in MR task performance between the High-WMC (Mmr = 23.44, SD = 0.88) and Low-WMC group (Mmr = 23.67, SD = 0.59); (2) 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; (3) significant differences were found in the activation of BA44 and BA9 between the High-WMC and Low-WMC groups during mental rotation; and (4) 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. Copyright © 2020 Yang, Wu, Luo, Xie, Chang and Li.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume11
Early online date04 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Citation

Yang, J., Wu, D., Luo, J., Xie, S., Chang, C., & Li, H. (2020). Neural correlates of mental rotation in preschoolers with high or low working memory capacity: An fNIRS study. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.568382

Keywords

  • Neural network
  • Mental rotation
  • Working memory
  • Chinese preschoolers
  • Functional near-infrared spectroscopy

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