Abstract

Past research has identified anatomically specific sites within the posterior inferior temporal gyrus (PITG) and the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) areas that are engaged during arithmetic processing. Although a small region of the PITG (known as the number form area) is selectively engaged in the processing of numerals, its surrounding area is activated during both digit and number word processing. In eight participants with intracranial electrodes, we compared the timing and selectivity of electrophysiological responses in the number form area-surround and IPS regions during arithmetic processing with digits and number words. Our recordings revealed stronger electrophysiological responses in the high-frequency broadband range in both regions to digits than number words, with the difference that number words elicited delayed activity in the IPS but not PITG. Our findings of distinct profiles of responses in the PITG and the IPS to digits compared with number words provide novel information that is relevant to existing theoretical models of mathematical cognition.

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