AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 1, 2018


Big and Small Numbers are Processed in Different Sides of the Brain

New research suggests that individuals process small numbers in the right side of the brain but process large numbers in the left side of the brain. Findings from this study by scientists from Imperial College London could help form new treatments for patients with conditions such as dyscalculia, which causes difficulty in processing numbers. Previous studies have highlighted a general area in the brain where all numbers were thought to be processed. However, research and observations on stroke patients, who often suffer damage to the right side of their brains, suggest large and small numbers are handled on different sides. Dr. Qadeer Arshad, lead author of the study from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, said: “Following early insights from stroke patients we wanted to find out exactly how the brain processes numbers. In our new study, in which we used healthy volunteers, we found the left side processes large numbers, and the right side processes small numbers. So for instance if you were looking at a clock, the numbers one to six would be processed on the right side of the brain, and six to twelve would be processed on the left.” Click here to read more. 

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