Research Interests :
My main interest of research consists in the investigation of magnitude estimation processing (quantity, numerosity, duration, length,...).
By using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, TMS, ERPs,...), the main aim of our work is to lead to a better understanding of the representational and cerebral organisation of the magnitude system.
Adults, infants and animals process and represent numerosity, time and length and they use these quantitative dimensions to guide learning and behaviour. From a broad range of behavioural, physiological, developmental, lesional and neuroanatomical data on magnitude processing, Walsh (2003) recently proposed the existence of a generalised magnitude system located in the parietal cortex.
In a series of behavioural, neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies with healthy adult participants, we assessed the functional interactions between these magnitudes, we isolated the common and specific brain areas underlying their processing, and we tested the causal role played by these areas. Our results demonstrate for the first time in within-participant designs the implication of an area along the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS) commonly activated in numerosity, duration and length processing. However, this common area appears causally involved only in numerosity and length judgements, as demonstrated by transcranial magnetic stimulation studies.
Together, our findings support the idea that the IPS holds both a common and partially distinct and specific representations and/or mechanisms for numerosity, time and length processing.
3. Dormal, V., Andres M., & Pesenti, M. (2008). Dissociation of numerosity and duration processing in the left intraparietal sulcus: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Cortex, 44 (4), 462-469.,
8. Dormal, V., & Pesenti, M. (2012). Processing numerosity, length and duration in a three-dimensional Stroop-like task: towards a gradient of processing automaticity? Psychological Research, DOI: 10.1007/s00426-012-0414-3
Chapter of book
1. Dormal, V., & Pesenti, M. (2012). Processing magnitudes within the parietal cortex. In A. Costa, & E. Villalba (Eds.), Horizons in Neuroscience Research (Vol.8). pp107-140. Nova Science Publishers: New-York.
| 19/11/2012 |