Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Numerical cognition is critical for modern life; however, the precise neural mechanisms underpinning numerical magnitude allocation in humans remain obscure. Based upon previous reports demonstrating the close behavioral and neuro-anatomical relationship between number allocation and spatial attention, we hypothesized that these systems would be subject to similar control mechanisms, namely dynamic interhemispheric competition. We employed a physiological paradigm, combining visual and vestibular stimulation, to induce interhemispheric conflict and subsequent unihemispheric inhibition, as confirmed by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). This allowed us to demonstrate the first systematic bidirectional modulation of numerical magnitude toward either higher or lower numbers, independently of either eye movements or spatial attention mediated biases. We incorporated both our findings and those from the most widely accepted theoretical framework for numerical cognition to present a novel unifying computational model that describes how numerical magnitude allocation is subject to dynamic interhemispheric competition. That is, numerical allocation is continually updated in a contextual manner based upon relative magnitude, with the right hemisphere responsible for smaller magnitudes and the left hemisphere for larger magnitudes.

Original publication




Journal article


Cereb Cortex

Publication Date





2311 - 2324


VOR, dynamic interhemispheric competition, mental number line, numerical magnitude, vestibular cognition, Adolescent, Adult, Animals, Attention, Brain, Cognition, Ear Canal, Eye Movements, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Male, Mathematical Concepts, Models, Neurological, Neural Inhibition, Nystagmus, Physiologic, Physical Stimulation, Space Perception, Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, Vision, Binocular, Young Adult