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:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ... on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural ... views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: ... souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is ... Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to ... and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the ... medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring ... transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... --  West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), a ... today shared the results of a study highlighting the ... administration of polio vaccines. The study results were presented ... by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical Trials and ... and recently published in the journal Vaccine. i ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for Disease ... end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the end ... mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the end ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Fla. , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens ... company formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime ... its new brand, which included the unveiling of new ... , as well as at a few other ... the new brand to patients, some of whom will ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: