Apr 18, 2020

Comprehension of computer code relies primarily on domain-general executive resources

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Anna A. IvanovaE. Fedorenko

Abstract

Computer programming is a novel cognitive tool that has transformed modern society. An integral part of programming is code comprehension: the ability to process individual program tokens, combine them into statements, which, in turn, combine to form a program. What cognitive and neural mechanisms support this ability to process computer code? Here, we used fMRI to investigate the role of two candidate brain systems in code comprehension: the multiple demand (MD) system, typically recruited for math, logic, problem solving, and executive function, and the language system, typically recruited for linguistic processing. Across two experiments, we examined brain responses to code written in two programing languages: Python, a text-based programming language (Experiment 1) and ScratchJr, a graphical programming language for children (Experiment 2). To isolate neural activity evoked by code comprehension per se rather than by processing program content, we contrasted responses to code problems with responses to content-matched sentence problems. We found that the MD system exhibited strong bilateral responses to code in both experiments. In contrast, the language system responded strongly to sentence problems, but only weakly or not...Continue Reading

  • References
  • Citations

References

  • We're still populating references for this paper, please check back later.
  • References
  • Citations

Citations

  • This paper may not have been cited yet.

Mentioned in this Paper

Zone
Antibiotic throat preparations
Spatial Distribution
Antifungal Antibiotics, Topical
Anatomical Space Structure
Antibiotics, Gynecological
Metabolic Inhibition
Microbial
Resistance Process
Simulation

Related Feeds

Antifungals (ASM)

An antifungal, also known as an antimycotic medication, is a pharmaceutical fungicide or fungistatic used to treat and prevent mycosis such as athlete's foot, ringworm, candidiasis, cryptococcal meningitis, and others. Discover the latest research on antifungals here.

Antifungals

An antifungal, also known as an antimycotic medication, is a pharmaceutical fungicide or fungistatic used to treat and prevent mycosis such as athlete's foot, ringworm, candidiasis, cryptococcal meningitis, and others. Discover the latest research on antifungals here.

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.