Numbers in the cultural brain

Yi Yuan Tang, Yijun Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Recent functional neuroimaging studies have indicated that culture may contribute to differential representation of Arabic numbers in the brain of Chinese and English speakers. The brain networks underlying even very simple arithmetic operation differ among these groups. To what extent do different cultures lead to differences in functional connectivity among the distributed brain areas that constitute the network supporting numerical and arithmetic processes? Key cultural differences are educational system, learning strategy, reading experience, and even genetic background; which ones are important? This review addresses these questions and summarizes findings from recent research on number/arithmetic cognition as well related studies in other cognitive domains. Future directions are also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in brain research
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabic numbers
  • cultural influences
  • fMRI connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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