Abstract

Our sense of number rests on the activity of neurons that are tuned to the number of items and show great invariance across display formats and modalities. Whether numerosity coding becomes abstracted from local spatial representations characteristic of visual input is not known. We mapped the visual receptive fields (RFs) of numerosity-selective neurons in the pFC and ventral intraparietal area in rhesus monkeys. We found numerosity selectivity in pFC and ventral intraparietal neurons irrespective of whether they exhibited an RF and independent of the location of their RFs. RFs were not predictive of the preference of numerosity-selective neurons. Furthermore, the presence and location of RFs had no impact on tuning width and quality of the numerosity-selective neurons. These findings show that neurons in frontal and parietal cortices integrate abstract visuospatial stimuli to give rise to global and spatially released number representations as required for number perception.

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