• Full Screen
  • Wide Screen
  • Narrow Screen
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Irene Togoli

E-mail Print PDF

Irene Togoli

PhD Student in Neuroscience, University of Florence



  • Email: irene.togoli ( AT ) gmail.com

Research laboratories

  • Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Pharmacology and Child Health, Univesity of Florence
  • CNR Institute of Neuroscience, Pisa




  • 2014-present: PhD course in Neuroscience - Dottorato Toscano di Neuroscienze.
  • 2010-2012: Master degree in Psychology - Experimental Psychology. University of Florence.
  • 2005-2009: Bachelor in General and Experimental Psychology. University of Florence.


Current research and interests

    • Numerosity perception
    • Visual adaptation
    • Multi-sensory perception




Fornaciai, M., Togoli, I. & Arrighi, R. (2018). Motion-induced compression of perceived numerosity, Sci Rep, 1 (8), 6966. PDF

It has been recently proposed that space, time, and number might share a common representation in the brain. Evidence supporting this idea comes from adaptation studies demonstrating that prolonged exposure to a given stimulus feature distorts the perception of different characteristics. For example, visual motion adaptation affects both perceived position and duration of subsequent stimuli presented in the adapted location. Here, we tested whether motion adaptation also affects perceived numerosity, by testing the effect of adaptation to translating or rotating stimuli moving either at high (20 Hz) or low (5 Hz) speed. Adaptation to fast translational motion yielded a robust reduction in the apparent numerosity of the adapted stimulus (~25%) while adaptation to slow translational or circular motion (either 20 Hz or 5 Hz) yielded a weaker but still significant compression. Control experiments suggested that none of these results could be accounted for in terms of stimulus masking. Taken together, our results are consistent with the extant literature supporting the idea of a generalized magnitude system underlying the representation of numerosity, space and time via common metrics. However, as changes in perceived numerosity co-varied with both adapting motion profile and speed, our evidence also suggests complex and asymmetric interactions between different magnitude representations.


Anobile, G., Arrighi, R., Togoli, I. & Burr, D. C. (2016). A shared numerical representation for action and perception, Elife, (5), PDF

Humans and other species have perceptual mechanisms dedicated to estimating approximate quantity: a sense of number. Here we show a clear interaction between self-produced actions and the perceived numerosity of subsequent visual stimuli. A short period of rapid finger-tapping (without sensory feedback) caused subjects to underestimate the number of visual stimuli presented near the tapping region; and a period of slow tapping caused overestimation. The distortions occurred both for stimuli presented sequentially (series of flashes) and simultaneously (clouds of dots); both for magnitude estimation and forced-choice comparison. The adaptation was spatially selective, primarily in external, real-world coordinates. Our results sit well with studies reporting links between perception and action, showing that vision and action share mechanisms that encode numbers: a generalized number sense, which estimates the number of self-generated as well as external events.


Arrighi, R., Togoli, I. & Burr, D. C. (2014). A generalized sense of number, Proc R Soc B (2014) PDF

Much evidence has accumulated to suggest that many animals, including young human infants, possess an abstract sense of approximate quantity, a number sense. Most research has concentrated on apparent numerosity of spatial arrays of dots or other objects, but a truly abstract sense of number should be capable of encoding the numerosity of any set of discrete elements, however displayed and in whatever sensory modality. Here, we use the psychophysical technique ofadaptation to study the sense of number for serially presented items. We show that numerosity of both auditory and visual sequences is greatly affected by prior adaptation to slow or rapid sequences of events. The adaptation to visual stimuli was spatially selective (in external, not retinal coordinates), pointing to a sensory rather than cognitive process. However, adaptation generalized across modalities, from auditory to visual and vice versa. Adaptation also generalized across formats: adapting to sequential streams of flashes affected the perceived numerosity of spatial arrays. All these results point to a perceptual system that transcends vision and audition to encode an abstract sense of number in space and in time.



  • Burr D., Togoli I., Arrighi R. (2013). Evidence for an abstract multi-modal sense of number. In Vision Sciences Society 13th Annual Meeting,Waldorf Astoria Naples, Naples, Florida.
  • Arrighi R., Togoli I., Burr D. (2012). A cross-modal, cross-dimensional mechanism for numerosity perception. In European Conference on Visual Perception 36th edition, Alghero, Italy






  • Togoli, I. “Ruolo della dimensione temporale sui meccanismi di stima della numerosità”, University of Florence, Faculty of Psychology (2012).
You are here: People Former Lab Members Irene Togoli