Search Results for: Subitising

Subitising

The school report of Emily, our 4 year old grandchild, said that she could subitise up to the number 6, and I had no idea what this meant. Subitising is a technical term that comes from the Latin root subito … Continue reading

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Weber’s Law

Weber’s Law expresses a general relationship between an initial stimulus, a quantity or intensity, and the increased stimulus required for a change in the stimulus to be detected. The task is to tell apart, or discriminate, two things that differ … Continue reading

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Place Value

Laplace “The ingenious method of expressing every possible number using a set of ten symbols (each symbol having a place value and an absolute value) emerged in India. The idea seems so simple nowadays that its significance and profound importance … Continue reading

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Jevons’es Data

In 1871 the early economist and logician William Stanley Jevons published an article in Nature “The Power of Numerical Discrimination” (Jevons 1871) According to Jevons, Sir William Hamilton had clearly stated the problem: “Assuming that the mind is not limited to … Continue reading

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Otto Koehler

Numerical Competence in Animals The German zoologist Otto Koehler (1889-1974) was the first scientist to convincingly demonstrate numerical competence in animals. The first part of this post is based upon a panel from Counting on neurons: the neurobiology of numerical competence” (Nieder … Continue reading

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Primed Number Lines

As noted in the previous post, there is a right brain hemisphere dominance in attending to visuospatial and numerical information. (Rogers et al 2013) So when patients with a right parietal lesion and therefore a spatial deficit for left side stimuli, … Continue reading

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Even 3-day-old Chicks Do It

An interesting series of experiments has recently been reported in Science.  (Regani et al 2015). These strongly support the idea that many animals and humans represent numbers by a mental number line where smaller values are located on the left … Continue reading

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Seriation

This is Archie, our then 3 year old grandson, after spontaneously reassembling a sawn up branch and being asked to pose with it for his delighted grandfather. Seriation is defined as “the forming of an orderly sequence” and was apparently first used in this sense in the 1650s. … Continue reading

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Number Names and Words

Number Names George Lakoff has pointed out that we do not normally distinguish numbers from what might be more properly be called number names. (Lakoff 1989)  The most common number naming systems adopt base-10 and use ten single-digit number names, … Continue reading

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What Counts

Numerical Abilities As well as being able to roughly compare continuous quantities, humans and animals of various sorts share a method of recognising small numbers of objects or sequences of events that is independent of language.  See Subitising and  Counting Ants Both … Continue reading

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