Is math lateralised on the same side as language? Right hemisphere aphasia and mathematical abilities

Carlo Semenza, Margarete Delazer, Laura Bertella, Alessia Granà, Ileana Mori, Fabio M. Conti, Riccardo Pignatti, Lisa Bartha, Frank Domahs, Thomas Benke, Alessandro Mauro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The main purpose of the present study was to learn how mathematical abilities are located and develop in the brain with respect to language. Mathematical abilities were assessed in six right-handed patients affected by aphasia following a lesion to their non-dominant hemisphere (crossed aphasia) and in two left-handed aphasics with a right-sided lesion. Acalculia, although in different degrees, was found in all cases. The type of acalculia depended on the type of aphasia, following patterns that have been previously observed in the most common aphasias resulting from left hemisphere lesions. No sign of right hemisphere or spatial acalculia (acalculia in left lateralised right-handed subjects) was detected. These results suggest that, as a rule, language and calculation share the same hemisphere. A primitive computational mechanism capable of recursion may be the precursor of both functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-288
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume406
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 9 2006

Keywords

  • Acalculia
  • Crossed aphasia
  • Math abilities
  • Recursion
  • Right hemisphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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