Number-Space Mapping in Human Infants
de Hevia, Maria Dolores
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Citationde Hevia, Maria Dolores and Elizabeth S. Spelke. 2010. Number-space mapping in human infants. Psychological Science 21(5): 653-660.
AbstractMature representations of number are built on a core system of numerical representation that connects to spatial representations in the form of a mental number line. The core number system is functional in early infancy, but little is known about the origins of the mapping of numbers onto space. In this article, we show that preverbal infants transfer the discrimination of an ordered series of numerosities to the discrimination of an ordered series of line lengths. Moreover, infants construct relationships between numbers and line lengths when they are habituated to unordered pairings that vary positively, but not when they are habituated to unordered pairings that vary inversely. These findings provide evidence that a predisposition to relate representations of numerical magnitude to spatial length develops early in life. A central foundation of mathematics, science, and technology therefore emerges prior to experience with language, symbol systems, or measurement devices.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10236028
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