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Non-verbal number acuity correlates with symbolic mathematics achievement: but only in children

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journal contribution
posted on 29.11.2011, 14:14 by Matthew Inglis, Nina Attridge, Sophie Batchelor, Camilla Gilmore
The process by which adults develop competence in symbolic mathematics tasks is poorly understood. Nonhuman animals, human infants, and human adults all form nonverbal representations of the approximate numerosity of arrays of dots and are capable of using these representations to perform basic mathematical operations. Several researchers have speculated that individual differences in the acuity of such nonverbal number representations provide the basis for individual differences in symbolic mathematical competence. Specifically, prior research has found that 14-year-old children’s ability to rapidly compare the numerosities of two sets of colored dots is correlated with their mathematics achievements at ages 5–11. In the present study, we demonstrated that although when measured concurrently the same relationship holds in children, it does not hold in adults. We conclude that the association between nonverbal number acuity and mathematics achievement changes with age and that nonverbal number representations do not hold the key to explaining the wide variety of mathematical performance levels in adults.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Volume

18

Pages

1222 - 1229

Citation

INGLIS, M. ... et al, 2011. Non-verbal number acuity correlates with symbolic mathematics achievement: but only in children. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 18 (6), pp. 1222-1229

Publisher

Springer © Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2011

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review [Springer © Psychonomic Society, Inc.]. The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com.

ISSN

1069-9384

Language

en

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