Only a subset of adults acquires specific advanced mathematical skills, such as integral calculus. The representation of more sophisticated mathematical concepts probably evolved from basic number systems; however its neuroanatomical basis is still unknown. Using fMRI, we investigated the neural basis of integral calculus while healthy participants were engaged in an integration verification task. Solving integrals activated a left-lateralized cortical network including the horizontal intraparietal sulcus, posterior superior parietal lobe, posterior cingulate gyrus, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Our results indicate that solving of more abstract and sophisticated mathematical facts, such as calculus integrals, elicits a pattern of brain activation similar to the cortical network engaged in basic numeric comparison, quantity manipulation, and arithmetic problem solving.
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