The parietal distance effect appears in both the congenitally blind and matched sighted controls in an acoustic number comparison task

Dénes Szücs, Valéria Csépe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Visual world experience is thought to play a significant role in the development of an abstract representation of quantity in the human brain. Nevertheless, some congenitally blind individuals demonstrate excellent numerical abilities. We show that blind adults have a phenomenologically normal semantic representation of number. Electro-encephalography data demonstrate that the numerical distance effect has similar parietal correlates both in the blind and in matched sighted controls. Our interpretation is that number comparison in the blind relies on a compensation network in the initial phase of number comparison. In a second phase, an evolutionarily hardwired parietal system is exploited. The representation of number meaning has both plastic and evolutionarily hardwired components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume384
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2005

Keywords

  • Brain plasticity
  • Cognition in the blind
  • Distance effect
  • Event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP)
  • Number comparison
  • Numerical processing
  • Time-frequency analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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