I intuitively would have guessed that reading code partially involves areas of the brain related to language, but it appears not to be the case. From an MIT study published in December 2020:
Instead, it activates a distributed network called the multiple demand network, which is also recruited for complex cognitive tasks such as solving math problems or crossword puzzles.
However, although reading computer code activates the multiple demand network, it appears to rely more on different parts of the network than math or logic problems do, suggesting that coding does not precisely replicate the cognitive demands of mathematics either.
The fact that understanding code is a distinct skill makes sense but it’s interesting that there is evidence of that in brain activity.