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The relation between non-symbolic and symbolic number processing

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ABSTRACT : The most common view on the relation between non-symbolic (i.e. dot patterns) and symbolic (i.e. digits) processing assumes that the meaning of symbols is acquired by mapping them on an innate approximate number system (ANS). This view is evidenced by the presence of similar behavioral effects and the activation of the same brain regions. In this presentation we will challenge two crucial assumptions of this hypothesis. First, we will challenge the validity of the ANS and how it is typically measured: Can the ANS be considered as a system that can extract numerical information independent from other visual information, or is number a product of visual cues? Second, we will present behavioral and neuroimaging evidence that challenge the assumption that symbolic numbers built upon an innate non-symbolic system of number.

This talk is part of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education (CNE) series.

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