The functional neuroanatomy of simple calculation and number repetition: A parametric PET activation study

S. F. Cowell, G. F. Egan, C. Code, J. Harasty, J. D.G. Watson

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We examined cerebral activation patterns with positron emission tomography (PET) in 12 right-handed normal volunteers while they were completing simple calculation tasks or merely repeating numbers. Using a parametric experimental design, during calculation we found activation in the medial frontal/cingulate gyri, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left anterior insular cortex and right anterior insular cortex/putamen, left lateral parietal cortex, and the medial thalamus. Number repetition engaged bilateral inferior sensorimotor cortex, bilateral temporal areas, and left inferior frontal cortex. These results suggest a functional anatomical network for simple calculation, which includes aspects of attention, auditory, and motor processing and the phonological store and articulatory loop components of working memory; they add some support for a special role of the parietal cortex in calculation tasks. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-573
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Calculation
  • Mental arithmetic
  • Parietal cortex
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Repetition
  • Working memory

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