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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

May 1997, Vol. 9, No. 3, Pages 409-417
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.1997.9.3.409)
© 1997 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Localizing Arithmetic Processes in the Brain: Evidence from a Transient Deficit During Cortical Stimulation
Article PDF (1.29 MB)

Although substantial progress has been made in characterizing the cognitive processes involved in simple arithmetic, the localization of these processes in the brain is not yet well understood. In this article we consider the localization of a specific arithmetic process, the retrieval of arithmetic table facts from memory. We report a single-patient study in which cortical stimulation was used to create transient disruption of brain activity in localized regions of the cortex. We show that stimulation at a left parietal site impaired performance on simple multiplication problems and further that the impairment reflected stimulation-induced disruption of arithmetic fact retrieval. Our findings support the hypothesis (e.g., Warrington, 1982) that the left parietal lobe is implicated in the arithmetic fact retrieval process.