This study investigated time, numerosity and space processing in a patient (CB) with a right hemisphere lesion. We tested whether these magnitude dimensions share a common magnitude system or whether they are processed by dimension-specific magnitude systems. Five experimental tasks were used: Tasks 1-3 assessed time and numerosity independently and time and numerosity jointly. Tasks 4 and 5 investigated space processing independently and space and numbers jointly. Patient CB was impaired at estimating time and at discriminating between temporal intervals, his errors being underestimations. In contrast, his ability to process numbers and space was normal. A unidirectional interaction between numbers and time was found in both the patient and the control subjects. Strikingly, small numbers were perceived as lasting shorter and large numbers as lasting longer. In contrast, number processing was not affected by time, i.e. short durations did not result in perceiving fewer numbers and long durations in perceiving more numbers. Numbers and space also interacted, with small numbers answered faster when presented on the left side of space, and the reverse for large numbers. Our results demonstrate that time processing can be selectively impaired. This suggests that mechanisms specific for time processing may be partially independent from those involved in processing numbers and space. However, the interaction between numbers and time and between numbers and space also suggests that although independent, there maybe some overlap between time, numbers and space. These data suggest a partly shared mechanism between time, numbers and space which may be involved in magnitude processing or may be recruited to perform cognitive operations on magnitude dimensions.
|Numero di pagine||17|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2009|
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