Numerical cognition: A meta-analysis of neuroimaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation and brain-damaged patients studies


  • Faye Alexandrine
  • Jacquin-Courtois Sophie
  • Reynaud Emanuelle
  • Lesourd Mathieu
  • Besnard Jérémy
  • Osiurak François


  • Triple code model
  • Symbolic format
  • Non-symbolic format
  • Numerical magnitude
  • Intraparietal sulcus
  • Angular Gyrus

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This article offers the first comprehensive review examining the neurocognitive bases of numerical cognition from neuroimaging, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and brain-damaged patients studies. We focused on the predictions derived from the Triple Code Model (TCM), particularly the assumption that the re- presentation of numerical quantities rests on a single format-independent representation (i.e., the analogical code) involving both intraparietal sulci (IPS). To do so, we conducted a meta-analysis based on 28 neuroimaging, 12 TMS and 12 brain-damaged patients studies, including arithmetic and magnitude tasks in symbolic and non- symbolic formats. Our findings generally agree with the TCM predictions indicating that both IPS are engaged in all tasks. Nonetheless, the results of brain-damaged patients studies conflicted with neuroimaging and TMS studies, suggesting a right hemisphere lateralization for non-symbolic formats. Our findings also led us to discuss the involvement of brain regions other than IPS in the processing of the analogical code as well as the neural substrate of other codes underlying numerical cognition (i.e., the auditory-verbal code).

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