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From theories to practice: Alex, what does “1”mean ?

Many authors have paid attention to the etiology of dyscalculia (here I use dyscalculia or math disability as equivalent terms, even is not very purist). In this post, we  address some of the most famous theories in this field and how we can link them to the real practice.
Almost everybody agrees with the two most famous theories in this area, which are actually an amazing work in numerical cognition. These theories propose that number troubles come from a weakness in number sense or numerosity coding.

mental-number-system

Mental Number Line

 

  1. The Theory of the Approximate Number System (ANS), and how we use it for representing large and approximate numbers via a mental number line (Dehaene, 2011).
    Is “8” big or small? – If we consider that a number lower than 5 is small.
    Is “6” big or small?
    Probably it´s much easier for a kid to say that 10 is a big number, due to the “mental line distribution”
  2. The Numerosity- Coding Hypothesis proposed by Butterworth (2010), which states that Math Disability is caused by a deficit in the processing of smaller and exact sets of numbers.
    These theories state that we all have a preverbal ability which contributes to the foundation for the Symbolic Number System that we use to learn mathematics.

 

numerosity

Blue or Yellow? – In the easy task, the blue stars are much more salient but in the difficult task, a number of stars are quite similar, thus the RT increases.

 

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