Contribution of frontal cortex to the spatial representation of number

Elena Rusconi, Domenica Bueti, Vincent Walsh, Brian Butterworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies have suggested that prefrontal cortex may be involved in non-verbal number processing, when relevant for current behavioural goals. More precisely, it has been suggested that an intact right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) in humans may be necessary to the use of a spatial representation of numbers, also known as mental number line. In a popular model of spatial functions (e.g., Corbetta et al., 2008), rIFG is part of a right-lateralised ventral fronto-parietal network that conveys signals to a dorsal network supporting attentional orienting in contralateral space. Within the dorsal network, the frontal eye fields (FEF) are known to contribute to visual scene analysis and visual conjunction search tasks when eye movement commands are not required. In the present study, we hypothesised they might also be involved in exploring a conceptual space, such as the mental number line. We examined the proposed functions of the human rIFG and right Frontal Eye Field (rFEF) by interfering with their normal functioning with repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) while participants performed numerical tasks. The results suggest that, when number magnitude is relevant to the task, rIFG supports orienting to the entire mental number line while rFEF are crucial for contralateral orienting (that is towards small numbers).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-13
Number of pages12
JournalCortex
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Fingerprint

Frontal Lobe
Prefrontal Cortex
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Eye Movements

Cite this

Rusconi, Elena ; Bueti, Domenica ; Walsh, Vincent ; Butterworth, Brian. / Contribution of frontal cortex to the spatial representation of number. In: Cortex. 2011 ; Vol. 47, No. 1. pp. 2-13.
@article{4ad81b85cca6493b8e46e9be1a84a5fa,
title = "Contribution of frontal cortex to the spatial representation of number",
abstract = "Neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies have suggested that prefrontal cortex may be involved in non-verbal number processing, when relevant for current behavioural goals. More precisely, it has been suggested that an intact right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) in humans may be necessary to the use of a spatial representation of numbers, also known as mental number line. In a popular model of spatial functions (e.g., Corbetta et al., 2008), rIFG is part of a right-lateralised ventral fronto-parietal network that conveys signals to a dorsal network supporting attentional orienting in contralateral space. Within the dorsal network, the frontal eye fields (FEF) are known to contribute to visual scene analysis and visual conjunction search tasks when eye movement commands are not required. In the present study, we hypothesised they might also be involved in exploring a conceptual space, such as the mental number line. We examined the proposed functions of the human rIFG and right Frontal Eye Field (rFEF) by interfering with their normal functioning with repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) while participants performed numerical tasks. The results suggest that, when number magnitude is relevant to the task, rIFG supports orienting to the entire mental number line while rFEF are crucial for contralateral orienting (that is towards small numbers).",
author = "Elena Rusconi and Domenica Bueti and Vincent Walsh and Brian Butterworth",
year = "2011",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.cortex.2009.08.005",
language = "English",
volume = "47",
pages = "2--13",
journal = "Cortex",
issn = "0010-9452",
publisher = "Masson SpA",
number = "1",

}

Rusconi, E, Bueti, D, Walsh, V & Butterworth, B 2011, 'Contribution of frontal cortex to the spatial representation of number', Cortex, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 2-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2009.08.005

Contribution of frontal cortex to the spatial representation of number. / Rusconi, Elena; Bueti, Domenica; Walsh, Vincent; Butterworth, Brian.

In: Cortex, Vol. 47, No. 1, 01.2011, p. 2-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Contribution of frontal cortex to the spatial representation of number

AU - Rusconi, Elena

AU - Bueti, Domenica

AU - Walsh, Vincent

AU - Butterworth, Brian

PY - 2011/1

Y1 - 2011/1

N2 - Neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies have suggested that prefrontal cortex may be involved in non-verbal number processing, when relevant for current behavioural goals. More precisely, it has been suggested that an intact right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) in humans may be necessary to the use of a spatial representation of numbers, also known as mental number line. In a popular model of spatial functions (e.g., Corbetta et al., 2008), rIFG is part of a right-lateralised ventral fronto-parietal network that conveys signals to a dorsal network supporting attentional orienting in contralateral space. Within the dorsal network, the frontal eye fields (FEF) are known to contribute to visual scene analysis and visual conjunction search tasks when eye movement commands are not required. In the present study, we hypothesised they might also be involved in exploring a conceptual space, such as the mental number line. We examined the proposed functions of the human rIFG and right Frontal Eye Field (rFEF) by interfering with their normal functioning with repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) while participants performed numerical tasks. The results suggest that, when number magnitude is relevant to the task, rIFG supports orienting to the entire mental number line while rFEF are crucial for contralateral orienting (that is towards small numbers).

AB - Neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies have suggested that prefrontal cortex may be involved in non-verbal number processing, when relevant for current behavioural goals. More precisely, it has been suggested that an intact right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG) in humans may be necessary to the use of a spatial representation of numbers, also known as mental number line. In a popular model of spatial functions (e.g., Corbetta et al., 2008), rIFG is part of a right-lateralised ventral fronto-parietal network that conveys signals to a dorsal network supporting attentional orienting in contralateral space. Within the dorsal network, the frontal eye fields (FEF) are known to contribute to visual scene analysis and visual conjunction search tasks when eye movement commands are not required. In the present study, we hypothesised they might also be involved in exploring a conceptual space, such as the mental number line. We examined the proposed functions of the human rIFG and right Frontal Eye Field (rFEF) by interfering with their normal functioning with repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) while participants performed numerical tasks. The results suggest that, when number magnitude is relevant to the task, rIFG supports orienting to the entire mental number line while rFEF are crucial for contralateral orienting (that is towards small numbers).

U2 - 10.1016/j.cortex.2009.08.005

DO - 10.1016/j.cortex.2009.08.005

M3 - Article

VL - 47

SP - 2

EP - 13

JO - Cortex

JF - Cortex

SN - 0010-9452

IS - 1

ER -