Representation of the Quantity of Visual Items in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex

  title={Representation of the Quantity of Visual Items in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex},
  author={Andreas Nieder and David J. Freedman and Earl K. Miller},
  pages={1708 - 1711}
Deriving the quantity of items is an abstract form of categorization. To explore it, monkeys were trained to judge whether successive visual displays contained the same quantity of items. Many neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex were tuned for quantity irrespective of the exact physical appearance of the displays. Their tuning curves formed overlapping filters, which may explain why behavioral discrimination improves with increasing numerical distance and why discrimination of two… 

The role of neural tuning in quantity perception

Temporal and Spatial Enumeration Processes in the Primate Parietal Cortex

It is found that temporal and spatial enumeration processes engaged different populations of neurons in the intraparietal sulcus of behaving monkeys, suggesting distinct neural processing stages for different numerical formats, but also a final convergence of the segregated information to form most abstract quantity representations.

Behavioral and Prefrontal Representation of Spatial Proportions in the Monkey

Spatial Neuronal Integration Supports a Global Representation of Visual Numerosity in Primate Association Cortices

These findings show that neurons in frontal and parietal cortices integrate abstract visuospatial stimuli to give rise to global and spatially released number representations as required for number perception.

Supramodal numerosity selectivity of neurons in primate prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices

  • A. Nieder
  • Psychology, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2012
The finding of neurons responding to numerosity irrespective of the sensory modality supports the idea of a nonverbal, supramodal neuronal code of numerical quantity in the primate brain.

Attentional amplification of neural codes for number independent of other quantities along the dorsal visual stream

A dedicated extraction mechanism for numerosity that operates independently of other quantitative dimensions of the stimuli is revealed, and it is suggested that later stages along the dorsal stream are most important for the explicit manipulation of numerical quantity.

Stable numerosity representations irrespective of magnitude context in macaque prefrontal cortex

The data suggest that numerosity detectors in the PFC do not adapt their response properties to code stimuli according to changing magnitude context, and numerosity representations seem to rely on a sparse and stable ‘labeled line’ code.

Neuronal correlates of a visual “sense of number” in primate parietal and prefrontal cortices

Visual numerosity is spontaneously represented as a perceptual category in a dedicated parietofrontal network, which may form the biological foundation of a spontaneous number sense, allowing primates to intuitively estimate the number of visual items.

A Comparison of Primate Prefrontal and Inferior Temporal Cortices during Visual Categorization

The ITC seems more involved in the analysis of currently viewed shapes, whereas the PFC showed stronger category signals, memory effects, and a greater tendency to encode information in terms of its behavioral meaning.



Ordering of the numerosities 1 to 9 by monkeys.

Rhesus monkeys represent the numerosities 1 to 9 on an ordinal scale and detect their ordinal disparity, and use numerical representations computationally to represent visual stimuli.

A probabilistic model for the discrimination of visual number

A probabilistic model of how humans identify the number of dots within a briefly presented visual display is proposed, and it was concluded that the classical span of subitizing numerosity is but a special case of the span of discrimination.

Sources of mathematical thinking: behavioral and brain-imaging evidence.

A series of behavioral and brain-imaging experiments provides evidence for both sources of linguistic competence and mathematical intuition, and suggests that mathematical intuition may emerge from the interplay of these brain systems.

Numerical representation for action in the parietal cortex of the monkey

The anterior part of the parietal association area in the cerebral cortex of primates has been implicated in the integration of somatosensory signals, which generate neural images of body parts and

Numerical representations in primates.

It appears that nonhuman primates such as rhesus monkeys may also have access to arithmetical representations, although alternative explanations must be considered for both primate species.

Development of Elementary Numerical Abilities: A Neuronal Model

The computer simulations account for several phenomena in the numerical domain, including the distance effect and Fechner's law for numbers, and demonstrate that infants' numerosity detection abilities may be explained without assuming that infants can count.

Ordinal Judgments of Numerical Symbols by Macaques (Macaca Mulatta)

Two rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) learned that the arabic numerals 0 through 9 represented corresponding quantities of food pellets by manipulating a joystick, and made ordinal judgments of numerical symbols in accordance with their absolute or relative values.

Spontaneous number representation in semi–free–ranging rhesus monkeys

The range of success achieved by rhesus monkeys in this spontaneous–number task matches the range achieved by human infants and corresponds to the range encoded in the syntax of natural languages.