Representation of the Numerosity 'zero' in the Parietal Cortex of the Monkey

Sumito Okuyama, Toshinobu Kuki, Hajime Mushiake

研究成果: Article査読

21 被引用数 (Scopus)


Zero is a fundamental concept in mathematics and modern science. Empty sets are considered a precursor of the concept of numerosity zero and a part of numerical continuum. How is numerosity zero (the absence of visual items) represented in the primate cortex? To address this question, we trained monkeys to perform numerical operations including numerosity zero. Here we show a group of neurons in the posterior parietal cortex of the monkey activated in response to numerosity 'zero'. 'Zero' neurons are classified into exclusive and continuous types; the exclusive type discretely encodes numerical absence and the continuous type encodes numerical absence as a part of a numerical continuum. "Numerosity-zero" neurons enhance behavioral discrimination of not only zero numerosity but also non-zero numerosities. Representation of numerosity zero in the parietal cortex may be a precursor of non-verbal concept of zero in primates.

ジャーナルScientific reports
出版ステータスPublished - 2015 5 22

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 一般


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