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Dissociation between physical and mental number line bisection in right hemisphere brain damage

Nature Neuroscience volume 8, pages 16631665 (2005) | Download Citation

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Abstract

To compare numeric quantities, humans make use of a 'mental number line' with smaller quantities located to the left of larger ones; it is unclear, however, whether orienting along the number line is like orienting along a physical line. We found that in brain-damaged subjects with defective leftward orienting, rightward deviation in the bisection of numeric and physical intervals is doubly dissociated. Deviation in numeric interval bisection was associated with prefrontal damage and spatial working memory deficit.

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Acknowledgements

F.D. wishes to thank D. Bueti and A. Doricchi for discussing the paper and H. Bowles for text revision. This study was supported by grants from the Fondazione Santa Lucia and from the Ministero della Università e della Ricerca Scientifica.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS - LENA (Laboratoire Europeen Neuroscience de l'Action), Rome, Italy.

    • Fabrizio Doricchi
    •  & Paola Guariglia
  2. Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy.

    • Fabrizio Doricchi
    •  & Paola Guariglia
  3. Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche–Va Cattedra, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy.

    • Marina Gasparini
  4. Auxilium Vitae Volterra, Volterra, Pisa, Italy.

    • Francesco Tomaiuolo

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fabrizio Doricchi.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1563

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