Numerical Processing Areas of the Brain



Parietal areas are shown to have considerable involvement in numerical processing, especially in the left hemisphere (Cohen, et al., 1999).

  • Also in the parietal lobe, the intraparietal sulcus has shown to be key for calculation to occur (Dehaene, et al., 2004).

Aside from the parietal lobe the precentral and inferior prefrontal cortex has shown activation when performing calculations (Dehaene, et al., 2004) and the angular gyrus is suspected to cause primary acalculia (Ardila, 2008).


Shown above the medical surface of the left cerebral hemisphere.


In addition, the fusiform gyrus with the nearby visual association cortex provides useful to mathematical abilities (Gitelman, 2003).

Just like many of the other processes our brain executes, numerical calculation does not rely on any one brain area.  The specific function, however, of each of these areas to calculation is not clear at this point.  All that is really known is that lesions in any of these brain areas can have some effect on numerical processing.

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