Spatial Attention Determines the Nature of Nonverbal Number Representation

@article{Hyde2011SpatialAD,
  title={Spatial Attention Determines the Nature of Nonverbal Number Representation},
  author={Daniel C. Hyde and Justin N. Wood},
  journal={Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience},
  year={2011},
  volume={23},
  pages={2336-2351}
}
Coordinated studies of adults, infants, and nonhuman animals provide evidence for two systems of nonverbal number representation: a “parallel individuation” system that represents individual items and a “numerical magnitude” system that represents the approximate cardinal value of a group. However, there is considerable debate about the nature and functions of these systems, due largely to the fact that some studies show a dissociation between small (1–3) and large (>3) number representation… 

Two Systems of Non-Symbolic Numerical Cognition

  • D. Hyde
  • Psychology
    Front. Hum. Neurosci.
  • 2011
A hypothesis that may explain the puzzling findings and testable predictions as to when each system will be engaged are provided, which provide a basis on which researchers can further investigate the role of each system in the development of uniquely human numerical thought.

Two core systems of numerical representation in infants

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Set size, individuation, and attention to shape

Capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) treat small and large numbers of items similarly during a relative quantity judgment task

Data indicate a difference in the performance of monkeys to that of adult humans, and specifically that monkeys do not show improved discrimination performance for small sets relative to large sets when the relative numerical differences are held constant.

Parallel Individuation Supports Numerical Comparisons in Preschoolers

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