Arithmetic facts without meaning

Cortex. 1997 Dec;33(4):697-710. doi: 10.1016/s0010-9452(08)70727-5.


The paper presents a single-case study of patient J.G. showing severe calculation problems (and also agraphia, finger agnosia, right-left disorientation and apraxia) after the surgery of a left parietal tumor. Although the patient completely lost conceptual knowledge of arithmetic, she preserved part of memorised fact knowledge (multiplications and some additions and subtractions). The study indicates that arithmetic facts can be represented at a superficial level without understanding of the operation performed. The study completes a valid double dissociation between two types of knowledge involved in calculation (memorised facts and conceptual knowledge).

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery
  • Concept Formation / physiology
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Mathematics*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Mental Processes / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / surgery
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed