Developmental and evolutionary building blocks for the human mathematical mind

3 marzo 2022
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Organizzato da: 
Doctorate in Cognitive and Brain Sciences, CIMeC
Alumni UniTrento
Professionisti del settore
Dipendenti UniTrento
Ingresso libero
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2 marzo 2021, 23:59
David Sastre Yagüe, Alireza Karami, Federica Sigismondi
Elizabeth M. Brannon, Full Professor, Dept. of Psychology, The University of Pennsylvania

The ability to use numbers is one of the most complex cognitive abilities that humans possess and is often held up as a defining feature of the human mind. Alongside the uniquely human symbolic system for representing number we possess an approximate number system (ANS) that is evolutionarily ancient and developmentally conservative. In my talk I will illustrate the signatures of the ANS with experimental data from human babies and nonhuman primates. I will describe behavioral and neurobiological data that demonstrates how the human and nonhuman primate mind privileges numerical information over other types of quantitative information. I will argue that this numerical privilege implicates the biological importance of number in our evolutionary history. I will demonstrate characteristics of ANS representations that constrain models of nonverbal numerical cognition.  Finally I will evaluate evidence that we may be able to harness the ANS to improve math performance.

Prof. Elizabeth Brannon's close-up