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Activities and Seminars

Evelyn Eger. Understanding the representation of number in human cortex by fMRI pattern recognition
 
Date: Feb 21, 2013

What: Understanding the representation of number in human cortex by fMRI pattern recognition

Where: BCBL auditorium

Who: Evelyn Eger, INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, Paris

When: 12 noon


The ability to approximately enumerate a set of objects is a basic capacity shared by humans and many other animals. Since this function is thought to provide a foundation for mathematical competence and correlates with higher mathematical achievements, its neurophysiological underpinnings are of considerable interest. Numerical processing involves brain areas along the dorsal visual pathway / parietal cortex, as evidenced by macaque neurophysiology as well as neuropsychological and functional imaging findings in humans. However, fMRI studies just measuring overall regional activity in- or decreases provide limited understanding of the information encoded by neuronal populations at a given level of the cortical hierarchy. In this context, the talk will present findings from experiments using multivariate pattern recognition demonstrating that human parietal cortex encodes information discriminative of individual numerosities, allowing to investigate the format of this number representation and to draw closer parallels to findings from macaque neurophysiology.