Navigation Links
Steps Start to Add Up to a Math Path in the Brain

With functional MRI, researchers see that numbers trigger distinct activity patterns,,

THURSDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Careful observation and analysis of brain activity enables scientists to determine what number a person has just looked at or how many dots they've just been shown, a French study has found.

The researchers said their findings confirm the theory that numbers are encoded in the brain through detailed and specific activity patterns, something they say could help improve the investigation of humans' high-level numerical abilities.

While "number-tuned" neurons have been identified in monkeys, scientists previously had only been able to identify number-related brain regions in humans.

In the new study, the researchers used functional MRI to scan the brains of 10 volunteers as they were shown either number symbols or dots. They then used a multivariate analysis method to determine which number or how many dots the volunteers had seen.

The study was published online Sept. 24 in Current Biology.

"It was not at all guaranteed that with functional imaging it would be possible to pick this up," Evelyn Eger of Inserm, a biological, medical and public health research institute in France, said in a news release from the journal's publisher.

"In the monkey, neurons preferring one or the other numerosity appear highly intermixed among themselves as well as with neurons responding to other things, so it might seem highly unlikely that with [functional] MRI at 1.5 mm resolution -- where one voxel contains many thousands of neurons -- one would be able to detect differences in activity patterns between individual numbers," Eger said. "The fact that this worked means that there is probably a somewhat more structured layout of preferences for individual numbers that has yet to be revealed by neurophysiological methods."

"With these codes, we are only beginning to access the most basic building blocks that symbolic math probably relies on," she said. "We still have no clear idea of how these number representations interact and are combined in mathematical operations, but the fact that we can resolve them in humans gives hope that at some point we can come up with paradigms that let us address this."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about the brain.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Cell Press, news release, Sept. 24, 2009

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Small Steps May Speed Recovery in ICU Patients
2. Payless and Shoppers Take Steps In the Fight Against Breast Cancer This October
3. Yoga Sandals(R) Footwear Steps up with Donations for Womens Health
4. Fight Against Obesity Takes Off! 16 Mayors and More Than 80 Cities Take Steps Toward Wellness
5. YMCA Promotes Small Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle During America On the Move Week With the YMCA, Sept. 20-27, 2009
6. Its Healthy Aging Month: SCAN Health Plan Arizona Offers Insight and 10 Simple Steps for Protecting Your Health
7. Independence Blue Cross Takes Steps to Prepare for H1N1 and Seasonal Flu
8. Red Cross Survey Finds Overwhelming Majority of Public Taking Steps against H1N1 Flu Virus
9. Confusing New PBM Drug Pricing Terms Leave Payors Unsure of Next Steps
10. 10 Steps to Affordable Health Care Overhaul: NCPA Proposes Reforms to Protect Choices, Control Costs and Preserve Access
11. New Research Reveals the Majority of Parents Overlook Key Steps to Keep Curious Toddlers Safe at Home
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Steps Start to Add Up to a Math Path in the Brain
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion ... off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a ... company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... VVA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... motto of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing ... The conference will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Keeping in mind challenges faced by parents ... consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based marketplace for extra-curricular activities for children ... and bring advice from parenting experts within their reach. As a part of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Avid collector, Andrew Hawley from Vintage Rock Posters, announces ... This is one of Joplin's most famous and beautiful concert posters. The concert was ... in Ann Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It is hard to believe that Joplin's ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... and Cambridge, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 26, ... ... the availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo ... X-rays, mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic medical record ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , Niederlande, November 27, 2015 ... fotodynamischer Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> ... Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> ... Bremachlorin-Therapie bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   Clinical ... --> Clinical Cancer Research vom ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ) ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier ... Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, Instrumentation Review, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... november 2015 AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge ... investering aan van ten minste $15,8 miljoen ... het mondiale hoofdkantoor in Wilmington, ... in extra kantoorruimte en extra capaciteit voor ... behoeften van de farmaceutische en biotechnologische markten. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: