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Verbal Numerosity Estimation Deficit in the Context of Spared Semantic Representation of Numbers: A Neuropsychological Study of a Patient with Frontal Lesions

Patients with frontal lobe damage have been shown to produce implausible answers in cognitive estimation, a task requiring approximate answers to quantity-related questions of general semantic knowledge. We investigated a patient with frontal lobe damage who presented executive deficits and difficulties in cognitive estimation. The patient also showed difficulties in verbal numerosity estimation (approximately evaluating the quantity of visually presented sets of items), as he produced extreme answerswell outside healthy participantsí range of answers. A series of tasks evidenced intact number processing and well preserved semantic representation of numbers. Detailed investigation of estimation processes suggested a deficit at the level of translation from an intact semantic representation of numbers to output, whether verbal or non-symbolic. This case study allows disentangling different processes involved in estimation and contributes to a better understanding of the cognitive estimation deficits frequently reported for patients with frontal lesions.



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