Mental arithmetic - mechanisms and implications

ARGOMENTI: International Area

Si segnala il seminario tenuto dal Dr. Andrè Knops, del CIMEC di Rovereto, Universita' di Trento, sul tema "Mental arithmetic - mechanisms and implications".
Il seminario si terra' in auletta seminari del Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della Socializzazione, via Venezia 8, giovedi 28 Maggio 2008 alle ore 14,30.

While they share with other animals an innate capacity to perceive and represent numerical information present in the environment humans are unique in having invented symbolic mathematical procedures and systems that allow for much more precise and complex arithmetical operations. Does this imply the development of a completely new mental architecture or do approximate (i.e. non-symbolic) and exact (i.e. symbolic) mental arithmetic rely (at least in part) on the same mental architecture, using the same brain circuits?
I will present results from behavioral and brain imaging studies suggesting (i) that very similar characteristics determine both symbolic and non-symbolic arithmetic, (ii) that overlapping brain circuits are involved in both types of arithmetic, and (iii) a spatial organization of numerical magnitude representation. The present findings are consistent with the view that mental arithmetic co-opts parietal circuitry associated with spatial coding.

Rif. M. Zorzi

Rif. int M. Pavon