Mathematical Abilities in School-Aged Children: A Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analysis With Radiomics
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AuthorPina Paredes, Violeta
School-aged childrenMachine learningMathematical performancesMRIRadiomics
Pina V... [et al.] (2022) Mathematical Abilities in School-Aged Children: A Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analysis With Radiomics. Front. Neurosci. 16:819069. doi: [10.3389/fnins.2022.819069]
SponsorshipPSI2017-84556-P funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033; “ERDF A way of making Europe; European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under grant agreement number 825903 (euCanSHare project)
Structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) studies have shown that children that differ in some mathematical abilities show differences in gray matter volume mainly in parietal and frontal regions that are involved in number processing, attentional control, and memory. In the present study, a structural neuroimaging analysis based on radiomics and machine learning models is presented with the aim of identifying the brain areas that better predict children’s performance in a variety of mathematical tests. A sample of 77 school-aged children from third to sixth grade were administered four mathematical tests: Math fluency, Calculation, Applied problems and Quantitative concepts as well as a structural brain imaging scan. By extracting radiomics related to the shape, intensity, and texture of specific brain areas, we observed that areas from the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes, basal ganglia, and limbic system, were differentially related to children’s performance in the mathematical tests. sMRI-based analyses in the context of mathematical performance have been mainly focused on volumetric measures. However, the results for radiomics-based analysis showed that for these areas, texture features were the most important for the regression models, while volume accounted for less than 15% of the shape importance. These findings highlight the potential of radiomics for more in-depth analysis of medical images for the identification of brain areas related to mathematical abilities.