Senior Research Associate, National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS, Belgium)

10, place Cardinal Mercier

1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

Bureau C350

+32 (0)10 47 88 22


Research Interests

My research projects aim at defining the functional components of calculation and number processing and at finding their neuroanatomical correlates. My work is carried out in three directions using different but complementary methodologies: the study of cerebral activations with functional imaging techniques, the study of brain-damaged patients performance, and mental chronometric studies in healthy adults. Integrating the functional and neuroanatomical levels of analysis in the same theoretical questioning seems to me essential to further our understanding of cognitive processes and to improve the validity of current models of numerical cognition.

In the last years, I have been funded by grants from the National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium), the Fonds de Developpement Scientifique (UCLouvain), and the PAI/IUAP Program from the Belgian Government.

Some representative publications

For a complete list: click here.


Pesenti, M., Seron, X., & Van der Linden, M. (1994). Selective impairment as evidence for mental organisation of arithmetical facts: BB, a case of preserved subtraction? Cortex, 30, 661-671.

Pesenti, M., Thioux, M., Seron, X., & De Volder, A. (2000). Neuroanatomical substrate of Arabic number processing, numerical comparison and simple addition: A PET study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 12 (3), 461-479.

Pesenti, M., Zago, L. Crivello, F., Mellet, E., Samson, D., Duroux, B., Seron, X., Mazoyer, B., & Tzourio-Mazoyer, N. (2001). Mental calculation in a prodigy is sustained by right prefrontal and medial-temporal areas. Nature Neuroscience, 4 (1), 103-107.

Andres, M., Di Luca, S., & Pesenti, M. (2008). Finger counting: The missing tool? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31, 642-643.

Di Luca, S., & Pesenti, M. (2008). Masked priming effect with canonical finger numeral configurations. Experimental Brain Research, 185(1), 27–39.

Dormal, V., & Pesenti, M. (2009). Common and specific contributions of the intraparietal sulci to numerosity and length processing. Human Brain Mapping, 30(8), 2466-2476.

Pesenti, M., & Andres, M. (2009). Common mistakes about numerical representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32 (3-4), 346-347.

Badets, A., & Pesenti, M. (2010). Creating number semantics through finger movement perception. Cognition, 115, 46-53.

Andres, M., Michaux, N., & Pesenti, M. (2012). Common substrate for mental arithmetic and finger representation in the parietal cortex. NeuroImage, 62, 1520-1528.

Di Luca, S., Pesenti, M., Vallar, G., & Girelli, L. (2013). Numbers reorient visuo-spatial attention during cancellation tasks. Experimental Brain Research, 225, 549-557.

Dormal, V., Javadi, A.H., Andres, M., Pesenti, M., Walsh, V., & Cappelletti, M. (2016). Enhancing duration discrimination with parietal transcranial Random Noise Stimulation (tRNS), Neuropsychologia, 85, 272-277.

Masson, N., Letesson, C., & Pesenti, M. (2018). Time course of overt attentional shifts in mental arithmetic: evidence from gaze metrics. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(4), 1009-1019.


Pesenti, M., & Seron, X. (Eds.), (2000). Neuropsychologie des troubles du calcul et du traitement des nombres. Marseille: Editions Solal, p. 273.

Pesenti, M., & Seron, X. (Eds.), (2004). La cognition numérique. Paris: Lavoisier-Hermès Science Editions, p. 287.

Pesenti, M. (2005). Calculation abilities in expert calculators. In J.I.D. Campbell (Ed.) Handbook of Mathematical Cognition. Psychology Press, pp. 413-430.

Andres, M., & Pesenti, M. (2014). Finger-based representation of mental arithmetic. In R. Cohen Kadosh & A. Dowkers (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Mathematical Cognition.

Teaching charges

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POUR LES ETUDIANT·E·S DE MASTER - Stages et mémoires sous ma direction

Les étudiant·e·s de masters en Sciences Psychologiques ou en Logopédie de l'UCLouvain intéressé·e·s par la réalisation d'un stage ou d'un mémoire sous ma direction et/ou celle d'un·e membre de mon groupe trouveront:

- des informations sur les thématiques de recherche du groupe en cliquant ici;

- des exemples de stages et mémoires en cours ou récemment terminés en cliquant ici.

Pour plus d'informations, je les invite à prendre contact avec moi ou un·e membre du groupe.