Based on adaptive control of thought-rational (ACT-R), a cognitive architecture for cognitive modeling, researchers have developed an information-processing model to predict the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response of functional MRI in symbol manipulation tasks. As an extension of this research, the current event-related functional MRI study investigates the effect of relatively extensive practice on the activation patterns of related brain regions. The task involved performing transformations on equations in an artificial algebra system. This paper shows that the base-level activation learning in the ACT-R theory can predict the change of the BOLD response in practice in a left prefrontal region reflecting retrieval of information. In contrast, practice has relatively little effect on the form of BOLD response in the parietal region reflecting imagined transformations to the equation or the motor region reflecting manual programming.
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