Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 791–797 | Cite as

Role of the parietal associative area of the cortex for “counting” behavior in dogs

  • M. E. Varga
  • O. G. Pavlova
  • V. N. Mats


Experiments were performed on six dogs to study the effects of simultaneous and separate ablation of fields 5 and 7 of the parietal cortex on “counting” behavior. Dogs were trained to discriminate series of five sound clicks presented with variable interstimulus intervals from similar series consisting of three clicks. A food-related operant response (elevation of the right forepaw to place it on the feeder) was used to develop asymmetrical differentiation; the positive signal was a series of five clicks with variable interstimulus intervals and the negative (unreinforced) stimulus was a series of three clicks. Simultaneous bilateral ablation of fields 5 and 7 of the parietal cortex, like bilateral ablation only of field 5, produced profound impairment of differentiation lasting 2–3 months. Isolated bilateral ablation of field 7 produced no impairment of differentiation. These data led to the conclusion that field 5 of the parietal cortex is important for discriminating the numbers of sequential signals.

Key words

“counting” behavior discrimination of sound signals by animals parietal cortex field 5 field 7 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    O. S. Adrianov and T. A. Mering, Atlas of the Dog Brain [in Russian], Meditsina, Moscow (1959).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. N. Bregadze, “Individual responses of dogs to a sequential ‘count’,” Byull. Éksperim. Biol. Med., 2, No. 2, 113–114 (1936).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. N. Bregadze, “Acquisition of an individual response to a complex sequential ‘count’ in the dog”, Trudy Inst. Fiziol. imeni I. S. Beritashvili (Tbilisi) (Reports of the I. S. Beritashvili Institute of Physiology, Tbilisi), No. 3, 415–430 (1937).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. E. Varga, “Characteristics of the discrimination of the numbers of sequential signals in dogs,” Zh. Vyssh. Nerv. Deyat., 46, No. 4, 732–739 (1996).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. E. Varga, “Chats of discrimination of the numbers of identical signals in dogs,” in: Proceedings of the XXVIII Congress on Studies of Higher Nervous Activity Celebrating the 140th Anniversary of Academician I. P. Pavlov [in Russian], Nauka, Leningrad (1989), p. 204.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. E. Varga and G. V. Nikolaev, “Formation of conditioned reflexes to the numbers of sequential stimuli in dogs,” Zh. Vyssh. Nerv. Deyat., 33, No. 2, 267–276 (1983).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. E. Varga and Ya. M. Pressman, “Reflection of quantitative parameters of series of unreinforced signals of different modalities in cortical evoked potentials,” Zh. Vyssh. Nerv. Deyat., 30, No. 6, 1248–1255 (1980).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. O. Gurevich and G. Kh. Bykhovskaya, “The architectonics of the dog cerebral cortex (isocortex),” Med. Biol. Zh., No. 2, 58–84 (1927).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Z. A. Zorina, A. A. Smirnova, and O. F. Lazareva, “Can ravens ‘count’?” Priroda, No. 2, 72–79 (2001).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. A. Usievich, “Solution of a difficult task by the dog nervous system,” in: Trudy Fiziol. Lab. Imeni I. P. Pavlova (Studies at the I. P. Pavlov Physiology Laboratories), No. 3, 315–320 (1938).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    V. K. Fedorov, “Studies of higher nervous activity in dogs of the unrestrained type,” in: Trudy Fiziol. Lab. imeni I. P. Pavlova (Studies at the I. P. Pavlov Physiology Laboratories), No. 15, 241–301 (1949).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    L. S. Tsvetkova, “Impairment and recovery of counting (in conditions of local brain lesions,” in: Neurophysiological Studies [in Russian], A. R. Luriya (ed.), Moscow State University Press, Moscow (1972).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    V. V. Yakovleva, “The physiological mechanism forming difficult differentiation,” Trudy Fiziol. Lab. imeni I. P. Pavlova (Studies at the I. P. Pavlov Physiology Laboratories), No. 9, 230–269 (1940).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    D. Ansari, B. Dhital, and S. C. Siong, “Parametric effects of numerical distance on the intraparietal sulcus during passive viewing of rapid numerosity changes,” Brain Res., 1067, No. 1, 181–188 (2006).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    P. Buser and P. Borenstein, “Responses somesthesique, visuelles et auditivees, recueillies au niveau du cortex ‘associatif’ suprasylvien chez le chat curarise non anesthesie,” EEG Clin. Neurophysiol., 11, No. 1, 285–304 (1959).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    F. Chochon, L. Cohen, P. F. van de Moortele, and S. Dehaene, “Differential contributions of the left and right inferior parietal lobules to number processing,” J. Cogn. Neurosci., 11, No. 6, 617–630 (1999).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    L. Cohen, S. Dehaene, F. Chochon, S. Lehericy, and L. Naccache, “Language and calculation within the parietal lobe: a combined cognitive, anatomical and fMRI study,” Neuropsychologia, 38, No. 10, 1426–1440 (2000).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    J. Dabrowska, “On the mechanism of go-no-go symmetrically reinforced task in dogs,” Acta Neurobiol. Exper., 32, No. 2, 345–359 (1972).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    H. Davis and J. Memmott, “Counting behavior in animals: a critical evaluation,” Psychol. Bull., 92, No. 3, 547–571 (1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    T. Hyvarinen, “Posterior parietal lobe of primate brain,” Physiol. Rev., 62, No. 3, 1060–1129 (1982).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    J. Kong, C. Wang, K. Kwong, M. Vangel, E. Chua, and R. Gollub, “The neural substrate of arithmetic operations and procedure complexity,” Brain Res. Cogn. Brain Res., 22, No. 3, 397–405 (2005).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    J. Konorski, Integrative Activity of the Brain (An Interdisciplinary Approach), University of Chicago Press (1967).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    A. Nieder and E. K. Miller, “A parietofrontal network for visual numerical information in the monkey,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101, No. 19, 7457–7462 (2004).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    H. Sawamura, K. Shima, and J. Tanji, “Numerical representation for action in the parietal cortex of the monkey,” Nature, 415, 918–922 (2002).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    M. Shuman and N. Kanwisher, “Numerical magnitude in the human parietal lobe; tests of representational generality and domain specificity,” Neuron, 44, No. 3, 557–569 (2004).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Y. Takayama, M. Sugishita, I. Akiguchi, and J. Kimura, “Isolated acalculia due to left parietal lesion,” Arch. Neurol., 51, No. 3, 286–291 (1994).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    R. F. Thompson, K. S. Mayers, R. T. Robertson, and C. J. Patterson, “Number coding in association cortex of the cat,” Science, 168, No. 3928, 271–273 (1970).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    M. E. Varga, “The number of consecutive clicks in the train as positive or differential conditioned stimulus in dogs,” Acta Neurobiol. Exper., 42, No. 1, 69–74 (1982).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    M. E. Varga and I. N. Tveritskaya, “’Counting’ of clicks, as reflected in amplitude of potentials evoked in auditory cortex of the dog,” Acta Neurobiol. Exper., 34, No. 3, 329–338 (1974).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    A. M. Y. Wagman, “Effect of frontal lobe lesions upon behavior requiring use of response-produced cues,” J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol., 66, 69–76 (1968).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Varga
    • 1
  • O. G. Pavlova
    • 1
  • V. N. Mats
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and NeurophysiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscow

Personalised recommendations