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Sources of mathematical thinking: behavioral and brain-imaging evidence.

Science (New York, N.Y.) | May 7, 1999

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10320379

Does the human capacity for mathematical intuition depend on linguistic competence or on visuo-spatial representations? A series of behavioral and brain-imaging experiments provides evidence for both sources. Exact arithmetic is acquired in a language-specific format, transfers poorly to a different language or to novel facts, and recruits networks involved in word-association processes. In contrast, approximate arithmetic shows language independence, relies on a sense of numerical magnitudes, and recruits bilateral areas of the parietal lobes involved in visuo-spatial processing. Mathematical intuition may emerge from the interplay of these brain systems.

Pubmed ID: 10320379 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Adult | Brain Mapping | Evoked Potentials | Female | Frontal Lobe | Humans | Intuition | Language | Magnetic Resonance Imaging | Male | Mathematics | Parietal Lobe | Thinking

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD23103

SumsDB (Data, Activation Foci)

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