Is it logical to count on quantifiers? Dissociable neural networks underlying numerical and logical quantifiers

Vanessa Troiani, Jonathan E. Peelle, Robin Clark, Murray Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined the neural substrate of two classes of quantifiers: numerical quantifiers like "at least three" which require magnitude processing, and logical quantifiers like "some" which can be understood using a simple form of perceptual logic. We assessed these distinct classes of quantifiers with converging observations from two sources: functional imaging data from healthy adults, and behavioral and structural data from patients with corticobasal degeneration who have acalculia. Our findings are consistent with the claim that numerical quantifier comprehension depends on a lateral parietal-dorsolateral prefrontal network, but logical quantifier comprehension depends instead on a rostral medial prefrontal-posterior cingulate network. These observations emphasize the important contribution of abstract number knowledge to the meaning of numerical quantifiers in semantic memory and the potential role of a logic-based evaluation in the service of non-numerical quantifiers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Comprehension
  • Number
  • Semantic memory
  • fMRI

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