Topographic maps representing haptic numerosity reveals distinct sensory representations in supramodal networks

Shir Hofstetter, Yuxuan Cai, Ben M Harvey, Serge O Dumoulin

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Dedicated maps for cognitive quantities such as timing, size and numerosity support the view that topography is a general principle of brain organization. To date, however, all of these maps were driven by the visual system. Here, we ask whether there are supramodal topographic maps representing cognitive dimensions irrespective of the stimulated sensory modality. We measured haptically and visually driven numerosity-selective neural responses using model-based analyses and ultra-high field (7T) fMRI. We found topographically organized neural populations tuned to haptic numerosity. The responses to visual or haptic numerosity shared a similar cortical network. However, the maps of the two modalities only partially overlap. Thus, although both visual and haptic numerosities are processed in a similar supramodal functional network, the underlying neural populations may be related, but distinct. Therefore, we hypothesize that overlap between modality-specific maps facilitates cross-modal interactions and supramodal representation of cognitive quantities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2021


  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fingers/physiology
  • Hand/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motion
  • Motor Activity/physiology
  • Nerve Net/physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Touch/physiology
  • Visual Perception/physiology


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