During the last two decades, we have learned much about the brain networks supporting number processing and arithmetic in adults. However, we still know relatively little about how those networks might be altered in adults who have been struggling with number processing and arithmetic from childhood. Developmental dyscalculia is a deficit in the acquisition of basic number processing and arithmetic and affects 5 to 7 per cent of the general population. Furthermore, developmental dyslexia, a specific learning disorder affecting the development of reading, is also often accompanied by arithmetic difficulties.
Using functional brain imaging we found that adults with developmental dyslexia activated a wider bilateral network during multiplication and showed less modulation by arithmetic operation than adults without developmental dyslexia. Research on neural networks supporting arithmetic in adults with dyscalculia is currently ongoing.
Dr Göbel's areas of expertise include numerical development, numerical cognition in adults and number processing and arithmetic in adults with dyslexia.