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Language & task demands

How does language contribute to the human ability to quickly adapt to novel tasks demands? Is it thanks to higher order semantic representations, grounded in sensorimotor information, that bypass idiosyncratic lower-level aspects? Performing task-appropriate behaviors requires (at a minimum) three stages: linguistic processing, semantic understanding, and sensorimotor implementation of the instructions received. Thus, it should be possible to track the corresponding spatiotemporal shift in representational content across cortical areas: from low level linguistic features to high-level semantics and sensorimotor control signals.

Mathematical Cognition

Borghesani, V., de Hevia, M. D., Viarouge, A., Chagas, P. P., Eger, E., & Piazza, M. (2018). Processing number and length in the parietal cortex: Sharing resources, not a common code. Cortex

Ten is more than seven. And 5 cm are more than 3 cm. How similar are the neural processes in action to perform these comparisons? Univariate analysis of fMRI data suggest that both numerical and spatial magnitude comparisons recruit a bilateral occipito-parietal network. However, multivariate analysis indicate that the underlying representational content differ. Thus numerical and spatial magnitudes appear to share common neural resources, yet not a common neural code.

Pedemonte, B, Watson, C., Borghesani V., Ebbert. M., Allen, I., Pinheiro-Chagas, P., De Leon, J., Miller, Z., Tee, B.L., Gorno-Tempini, M.L. A novel approach to subtypes of developmental dyscalculia (submitted)

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