The organization of arithmetic facts in memory: evidence from a brain-damaged patient

Brain Cogn. 1992 Nov;20(2):345-66. doi: 10.1016/0278-2626(92)90026-i.


We report a single case study of a brain-damaged patient with impaired arithmetic performance. Three principal findings are presented: First, in a task involving production of answers to simple arithmetic problems, the patient's performance was far better for subtraction than for addition or multiplication. Second, in all arithmetic operations performance was generally much better for problems potentially solvable by rule (e.g., 5 + 0) than for problems requiring retrieval of specific facts (e.g., 5 + 3). Third, the dissociation between subtraction and the other arithmetic operations obtained in the production task was not observed in a verification task. The implications of these findings for claims concerning the organization of stored arithmetic facts are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology
  • Cerebral Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / psychology
  • Concept Formation / physiology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics*
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Problem Solving / physiology*
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology