# Exact and Approximate Arithmetic in an Amazonian Indigene Group

@article{Pica2004ExactAA, title={Exact and Approximate Arithmetic in an Amazonian Indigene Group}, author={Pierre Pica and Cathy Lemer and V{\'e}ronique Izard and Stanislas Dehaene}, journal={Science}, year={2004}, volume={306}, pages={499 - 503} }

Is calculation possible without language? Or is the human ability for arithmetic dependent on the language faculty? To clarify the relation between language and arithmetic, we studied numerical cognition in speakers of Mundurukú, an Amazonian language with a very small lexicon of number words. Although the Mundurukú lack words for numbers beyond 5, they are able to compare and add large approximate numbers that are far beyond their naming range. However, they fail in exact arithmetic with…

## 1,135 Citations

### Non-symbolic halving in an Amazonian indigene group.

- PsychologyDevelopmental science
- 2013

This study tests whether an intuition of a more complex calculation, division, exists in an indigene group in the Amazon, the Mundurucu, and concludes that a halving calculation is part of the suite of intuitive operations supported by the ANS.

### Number as a cognitive technology: Evidence from Pirahã language and cognition

- Linguistics, PsychologyCognition
- 2008

### Number and language: how are they related?

- PsychologyTrends in Cognitive Sciences
- 2005

### Language and the Origin of Numerical Concepts

- LinguisticsScience
- 2004

The research findings indicate that, whether or not humans have an extensive counting list, they share with nonverbal animals a language-independent representation of number, with limited, scale-invariant precision.

### Links Between the Intuitive Sense of Number and Formal Mathematics Ability.

- PsychologyChild development perspectives
- 2013

Evidence for the relationship between the nonverbal Approximate Number System and culturally invented system of exact numbers is reviewed, describing how group and individual differences in the ANS correlate with and even predict formal math ability.

### Exact Number Concepts Are Limited to the Verbal Count Range

- PsychologyPsychological science
- 2022

Previous findings suggest that mentally representing exact numbers larger than four depends on a verbal count routine (e.g., “one, two, three . . .”). However, these findings are controversial…

### Cultural Variation in Numeration Systems and Their Mapping Onto the Mental Number Line

- Psychology
- 2011

The ability to exactly assess large numbers hinges on cultural tools such as counting sequences and thus offers a great opportunity to study how culture interacts with cognition. To obtain a more…

### Linguistic and cultural variables in the psychology of numeracy

- Psychology
- 2008

Although anthropologists pride themselves on paying attention to the small details of everyday life, experimental psychologists arguably have an even smaller scale of research – examining variables…

### Education Enhances the Acuity of the Nonverbal Approximate Number System

- PsychologyPsychological science
- 2013

It is found that education significantly enhances the acuity with which sets of concrete objects are estimated, and it is hypothesized that symbolic and nonsymbolic numerical thinking mutually enhance one another over the course of mathematics instruction.

### Exact Equality and Successor Function: Two Key Concepts on the Path towards Understanding Exact Numbers

- BiologyPhilosophical psychology
- 2008

This work focuses on two fundamental properties of the exact numbers as prerequisites to the concept of EXACT NUMBERS: the fact that all numbers can be generated by a successor function and the fact of equality betweenNumbers can be defined in an exact fashion.

## 55 References

### Numerical Cognition Without Words: Evidence from Amazonia

- LinguisticsScience
- 2004

Results of numerical tasks with varying cognitive demands show that numerical cognition is clearly affected by the lack of a counting system in the Pirahã tribe, suggesting an analog estimation process.

### Approximate quantities and exact number words: dissociable systems

- Psychology, BiologyNeuropsychologia
- 2003

### Nonverbal Counting in Humans: The Psychophysics of Number Representation

- Psychology, Biology
- 1999

The results support the hypothesis that adult humans share with nonverbal animals a system for representing number by magnitudes that have scalar variability (a constant coefficient of variation) and provide a formal model of the underlying nonverbal meaning of the symbols.

### Two mental calculation systems: A case study of severe acalculia with preserved approximation

- PsychologyNeuropsychologia
- 1991

### Numbers, language, and the human mind

- Linguistics
- 2003

Introduction 1. Numbers and objects 2. What does it mean to be a number? 3. Can words be numbers? 4. The language legacy 5. Children's route to number: from iconic representations to numerical…

### Abstract representations of numbers in the animal and human brain

- Psychology, BiologyTrends in Neurosciences
- 1998

### Addition and subtraction by human infants

- PsychologyNature
- 1992

5-month-old infants can calculate the results of simple arithmetical operations on small numbers of items, which indicates that infants possess true numerical concepts, and suggests that humans are innately endowed with arathmetical abilities.