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East and west speakers make different calculations

Source: scenta

Native English speakers calculate mathematical problems much differently to those who learned Chinese as their first language.



By completing simple arithmetic, the two nationalities were observed to use different parts of their brain, according to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers utilised brain imagining techniques to determine which parts of the brain were active when participants completed basic sums, such as four plus five equals nine.

All arithmetic questions were with Arabic numbers, a numeral system familiar in both cultures.

Both the Chinese and English groups utilised a region of the brain known as the inferior parietal cortex, an area connected to quantity representation and reading.

English speakers, however, displayed more activity in the language processing area of the brain, while their Chinese counterparts used the area of the brain that deals with processing visual information.

Lead author Yiyuan Tang of Dalian Univer…