Notation-dependent and -independent representations of numbers in the parietal lobes.
Cohen Kadosh R., Cohen Kadosh K., Kaas A., Henik A., Goebel R.
It is a commonly held view that numbers are represented in an abstract way in both parietal lobes. This view is based on failures to find differences between various notational representations. Here we show that by using relatively smaller voxels together with an adaptation paradigm and analyzing subjects on an individual basis it is possible to detect specialized numerical representations. The current results reveal a left/right asymmetry in parietal lobe function. In contrast to an abstract representation in the left parietal lobe, the numerical representation in the right parietal lobe is notation dependent and thus includes nonabstract representations. Our results challenge the commonly held belief that numbers are represented solely in an abstract way in the human brain.