2 Distinct Circuits in the Brain Believed Involved in Doing Math
One for exact calculations, one for rough estimates
In a series of experiments involving bilingual college students, the researchers discovered that:
one circuit gives names to numbers and carries out exact calculations.
A second circuit operates intuitively and is used for estimating quantities and other numerical relationships.
The researchers concluded that knowledge about exact problems is stored in a language area because subjects had to translate internally to solve the problem. But in approximating answers, no translation time is required, suggesting that this ability is stored independently from language.