Mental calculation in a prodigy is sustained by right prefrontal and medial temporal areas

Mauro Pesenti, Laure Zago, Fabrice Crivello, Emmanuel Mellet, Dana Samson, Bruno Duroux, Xavier Seron, Bernard Mazoyer, Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer
Nat Neurosci. 2001-01-01; 4(1): 103-107
DOI: 10.1038/82831

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1. Nat Neurosci. 2001 Jan;4(1):103-7.

Mental calculation in a prodigy is sustained by right prefrontal and medial
temporal areas.

Pesenti M(1), Zago L, Crivello F, Mellet E, Samson D, Duroux B, Seron X, Mazoyer
B, Tzourio-Mazoyer N.

Author information:
(1)Unité de Neuropsychologie Cognitive, Université Catholique de Louvain, place
Mercier 10, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

Comment in
Nat Neurosci. 2001 Jan;4(1):11-2.

Calculating prodigies are individuals who are exceptional at quickly and
accurately solving complex mental calculations. With positron emission tomography
(PET), we investigated the neural bases of the cognitive abilities of an expert
calculator and a group of non-experts, contrasting complex mental calculation to
memory retrieval of arithmetic facts. We demonstrated that calculation expertise
was not due to increased activity of processes that exist in non-experts; rather,
the expert and the non-experts used different brain areas for calculation. We
found that the expert could switch between short-term effort-requiring storage
strategies and highly efficient episodic memory encoding and retrieval, a process
that was sustained by right prefrontal and medial temporal areas.

DOI: 10.1038/82831
PMID: 11135652 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus