Document Detail


Neural signatures of number processing in human infants: evidence for two core systems underlying numerical cognition.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21399717     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Behavioral research suggests two cognitive systems are at the foundations of numerical thinking: one for representing 1-3 objects in parallel and one for representing and comparing large, approximate numerical magnitudes. We tested for dissociable neural signatures of these systems in preverbal infants, by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) as 6-7.5 month-old infants (n = 32) viewed dot arrays containing either small (1-3) or large (8-32) sets of objects in a number alternation paradigm. If small and large numbers are represented by the same neural system, then the brain response to the arrays should scale with ratio for both number ranges, a behavioral and brain signature of the approximate numerical magnitude system obtained in animals and in human adults. Contrary to this prediction, a mid-latency positivity (P500) over parietal scalp sites was modulated by the ratio between successive large, but not small, numbers. Conversely, an earlier peaking positivity (P400) over occipital-temporal sites was modulated by the absolute cardinal value of small, but not large, numbers. These results provide evidence for two early developing systems of non-verbal numerical cognition: one that responds to small quantities as individual objects and a second that responds to large quantities as approximate numerical values. These brain signatures are functionally similar to those observed in previous studies of non-symbolic number with adults, suggesting that this dissociation may persist over vast differences in experience and formal training in mathematics.
Authors:
Daniel C Hyde; Elizabeth S Spelke
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental science     Volume:  14     ISSN:  1467-7687     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Sci     Publication Date:  2011 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-11-28     Completed Date:  2012-06-11     Revised Date:  2013-06-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814574     Medline TA:  Dev Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  360-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Laboratory for Developmental Studies, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. dchyde@fas.harvard.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Brain / physiology*
Brain Mapping
Brain Waves
Cognition / physiology*
Evoked Potentials*
Female
Humans
Infant
Male
Mathematical Concepts*
Reaction Time
Visual Perception*
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
HD23103/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 HD023103-27/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 HD023103-28/HD/NICHD NIH HHS
Comments/Corrections

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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