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  1. Analog Mental Representation.Jacob Beck - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science.
    Over the past 50 years, philosophers and psychologists have perennially argued for the existence of analog mental representations of one type or another. This study critically reviews a number of these arguments as they pertain to three different types of mental representation: perceptual representations, imagery representations, and numerosity representations. Along the way, careful consideration is given to the meaning of “analog” presupposed by these arguments for analog mental representation, and to open avenues for future research.
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  2. Frege's Theorem and Mathematical Cognition.Lieven Decock - 2022 - In Francesca Boccuni & Andrea Sereni (eds.), Origins and Varieties of Logicism: On the Logico-Philosophical Foundations of Logicism. New York: Routledge. pp. 372-394.
  3. Numbers, Numerosities, and New Directions.Jacob Beck & Sam Clarke - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:1-20.
    In our target article, we argued that the number sense represents natural and rational numbers. Here, we respond to the 26 commentaries we received, highlighting new directions for empirical and theoretical research. We discuss two background assumptions, arguments against the number sense, whether the approximate number system represents numbers or numerosities, and why the ANS represents rational numbers.
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  4. A Momentum Effect in Temporal Arithmetic.Mario Bonato, Umberto D'Ovidio, Wim Fias & Marco Zorzi - 2021 - Cognition 206:104488.
    The mental representation of brief temporal durations, when assessed in standard laboratory conditions, is highly accurate. Here we show that adding or subtracting temporal durations systematically results in strong and opposite biases, namely over-estimation for addition and under-estimation for subtraction. The difference with respect to a baseline temporal reproduction task changed across durations in an operation-specific way and survived correcting for the effect due to operation sign alone, indexing a reliable signature of arithmetic processing on time representation. A second experiment (...)
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  5. The Number Sense Represents (Rational) Numbers.Sam Clarke & Jacob Beck - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:1-57.
    On a now orthodox view, humans and many other animals possess a “number sense,” or approximate number system, that represents number. Recently, this orthodox view has been subject to numerous critiques that question whether the ANS genuinely represents number. We distinguish three lines of critique – the arguments from congruency, confounds, and imprecision – and show that none succeed. We then provide positive reasons to think that the ANS genuinely represents numbers, and not just non-numerical confounds or exotic substitutes for (...)
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  6. Finger-Counting and Numerical Structure.Karenleigh A. Overmann - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 2021 (12):723492.
    Number systems differ cross-culturally in characteristics like how high counting extends and which number is used as a productive base. Some of this variability can be linked to the way the hand is used in counting. The linkage shows that devices like the hand used as external representations of number have the potential to influence numerical structure and organization, as well as aspects of numerical language. These matters suggest that cross-cultural variability may be, at least in part, a matter of (...)
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  7. Numerical Origins: The Critical Questions.Karenleigh Anne Overmann - 2021 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 5 (21):449-468.
    Four perspectives on numerical origins are examined. The nativist model sees numbers as an aspect of numerosity, the biologically endowed ability to appreciate quantity that humans share with other species. The linguistic model sees numbers as a function of language. The embodied model sees numbers as conceptual metaphors informed by physical experience and expressed in language. Finally, the extended model sees numbers as conceptual outcomes of a cognitive system that includes material forms as constitutive components. If numerical origins are to (...)
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  8. A New Look at Old Numbers, and What It Reveals About Numeration.Karenleigh Anne Overmann - 2021 - Journal of Near Eastern Studies 2 (80):291-321.
    In this study, the archaic counting systems of Mesopotamia as understood through the Neolithic tokens, numerical impressions, and proto-cuneiform notations were compared to the traditional number-words and counting methods of Polynesia as understood through contemporary and historical descriptions of vocabulary and behaviors. The comparison and associated analyses capitalized on the ability to understand well-known characteristics of Uruk-period numbers like object-specific counting, polyvalence, and context-dependence through historical observations of Polynesian counting methods and numerical language, evidence unavailable for ancient numbers. Similarities between (...)
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  9. Bootstrapping of Integer Concepts: The Stronger Deviant-Interpretation Challenge.Markus Pantsar - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):5791-5814.
    Beck presents an outline of the procedure of bootstrapping of integer concepts, with the purpose of explicating the account of Carey. According to that theory, integer concepts are acquired through a process of inductive and analogous reasoning based on the object tracking system, which allows individuating objects in a parallel fashion. Discussing the bootstrapping theory, Beck dismisses what he calls the "deviant-interpretation challenge"—the possibility that the bootstrapped integer sequence does not follow a linear progression after some point—as being general to (...)
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  10. Cognitive Structuralism: Explaining the Regularity of the Natural Numbers Progression.Paula Quinon - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (1):127-149.
    According to one of the most powerful paradigms explaining the meaning of the concept of natural number, natural numbers get a large part of their conceptual content from core cognitive abilities. Carey’s bootstrapping provides a model of the role of core cognition in the creation of mature mathematical concepts. In this paper, I conduct conceptual analyses of various theories within this paradigm, concluding that the theories based on the ability to subitize, or on the ability to approximate quantities, or both, (...)
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  11. Failure to Replicate the Benefit of Approximate Arithmetic Training for Symbolic Arithmetic Fluency in Adults.Emily Szkudlarek, Joonkoo Park & Elizabeth M. Brannon - 2021 - Cognition 207:104521.
    Previous research reported that college students' symbolic addition and subtraction fluency improved after training with non-symbolic, approximate addition and subtraction. These findings were widely interpreted as strong support for the hypothesis that the Approximate Number System (ANS) plays a causal role in symbolic mathematics, and that this relation holds into adulthood. Here we report four experiments that fail to find evidence for this causal relation. Experiment 1 examined whether the approximate arithmetic training effect exists within a shorter training period than (...)
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  12. The Small Number System.Eric Margolis - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):113-134.
    I argue that the human mind includes an innate domain-specific system for representing precise small numerical quantities. This theory contrasts with object-tracking theories and with domain-general theories that only make use of mental models. I argue that there is a good amount of evidence for innate representations of small numerical quantities and that such a domain-specific system has explanatory advantages when infants’ poor working memory is taken into account. I also show that the mental models approach requires previously unnoticed domain-specific (...)
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  13. The Curious Idea That Māori Once Counted by Elevens, and the Insights It Still Holds for Cross-Cultural Numerical Research.Karenleigh Anne Overmann - 2020 - Journal of the Polynesian Society 1 (129):59-84.
    The idea the New Zealand Māori once counted by elevens has been viewed as a cultural misunderstanding originating with a mid-nineteenth-century dictionary of their language. Yet this “remarkable singularity” had an earlier, Continental origin, the details of which have been lost over a century of transmission in the literature. The affair is traced to a pair of scientific explorers, René-Primevère Lesson and Jules Poret de Blosseville, as reconstructed through their publications on the 1822–1825 circumnavigational voyage of the Coquille, a French (...)
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  14. What’s new: innovation and enculturation of arithmetical practices.Jean-Charles Pelland - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):3797-3822.
    One of the most important questions in the young field of numerical cognition studies is how humans bridge the gap between the quantity-related content produced by our evolutionarily ancient brains and the precise numerical content associated with numeration systems like Indo-Arabic numerals. This gap problem is the main focus of this paper. The aim here is to evaluate the extent to which cultural factors can help explain how we come to think about numbers beyond the subitizing range. To do this, (...)
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  15. Fermat’s Last Theorem Proved by Induction (and Accompanied by a Philosophical Comment).Vasil Penchev - 2020 - Metaphilosophy eJournal (Elsevier: SSRN) 12 (8):1-8.
    A proof of Fermat’s last theorem is demonstrated. It is very brief, simple, elementary, and absolutely arithmetical. The necessary premises for the proof are only: the three definitive properties of the relation of equality (identity, symmetry, and transitivity), modus tollens, axiom of induction, the proof of Fermat’s last theorem in the case of.
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  16. Aritmética e conhecimento simbólico: notas sobre o Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus e o ensino de filosofia da matemática.Gisele Dalva Secco - 2020 - Perspectiva Filosófica 47 (2):120-149.
    Departing from and closing with reflections on issues regarding teaching practices of philosophy of mathematics, I propose a comparison between the main features of the Leibnizian notion of symbolic knowledge and some passages from the Tractatus on arithmetic. I argue that this reading allows (i) to shed a new light on the specificities of the Tractarian definition of number, compared to those of Frege and Russell; (ii) to highlight the understanding of the nature of mathematical knowledge as symbolic or formal (...)
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  17. Introduction.Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis - 2019 - In Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 1-13.
    There has been little overt discussion of the experimental philosophy of logic or mathematics. So it may be tempting to assume that application of the methods of experimental philosophy to these areas is impractical or unavailing. This assumption is undercut by three trends in recent research: a renewed interest in historical antecedents of experimental philosophy in philosophical logic; a “practice turn” in the philosophies of mathematics and logic; and philosophical interest in a substantial body of work in adjacent disciplines, such (...)
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  18. Learning the Natural Numbers as a Child.Stefan Buijsman - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):3-22.
    How do we get out knowledge of the natural numbers? Various philosophical accounts exist, but there has been comparatively little attention to psychological data on how the learning process actually takes place. I work through the psychological literature on number acquisition with the aim of characterising the acquisition stages in formal terms. In doing so, I argue that we need a combination of current neologicist accounts and accounts such as that of Parsons. In particular, I argue that we learn the (...)
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  19. What Frege Asked Alex the Parrot: Inferentialism, Number Concepts, and Animal Cognition.Erik Nelson - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (2):206-227.
    While there has been significant philosophical debate on whether nonlinguistic animals can possess conceptual capabilities, less time has been devoted to considering 'talking' animals, such as parrots. When they are discussed, their capabilities are often downplayed as mere mimicry. The most explicit philosophical example of this can be seen in Brandom's frequent comparisons of parrots and thermostats. Brandom argues that because parrots (like thermostats) cannot grasp the implicit inferential connections between concepts, their vocal articulations do not actually have any conceptual (...)
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  20. The Material Origin of Numbers: Insights From the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East.Karenleigh Anne Overmann - 2019 - Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA: Gorgias Press.
    What are numbers, and where do they come from? A novel answer to these timeless questions is proposed by cognitive archaeologist Karenleigh A. Overmann, based on her groundbreaking study of material devices used for counting in the Ancient Near East—fingers, tallies, tokens, and numerical notations—as interpreted through the latest neuropsychological insights into human numeracy and literacy. The result, a unique synthesis of interdisciplinary data, outlines how number concepts would have been realized in a pristine original condition to develop into one (...)
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  21. Concepts and How They Get That Way.Karenleigh Anne Overmann - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (1):153-168.
    Drawing on the material culture of the Ancient Near East as interpreted through Material Engagement Theory, the journey of how material number becomes a conceptual number is traced to address questions of how a particular material form might generate a concept and how concepts might ultimately encompass multiple material forms so that they include but are irreducible to all of them together. Material forms incorporated into the cognitive system affect the content and structure of concepts through their agency and affordances, (...)
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  22. Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge: Approaches From Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Science.Markus Pantsar - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):432-435.
    Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge: Approaches from Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Science. Edited by Bangu Sorin.
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  23. The Enculturated Move From Proto-Arithmetic to Arithmetic.Markus Pantsar - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
    The basic human ability to treat quantitative information can be divided into two parts. With proto-arithmetical ability, based on the core cognitive abilities for subitizing and estimation, numerosities can be treated in a limited and/or approximate manner. With arithmetical ability, numerosities are processed (counted, operated on) systematically in a discrete, linear, and unbounded manner. In this paper, I study the theory of enculturation as presented by Menary (2015) as a possible explanation of how we make the move from the proto-arithmetical (...)
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  24. The Cultural Challenge in Mathematical Cognition.Andrea Bender, Dirk Schlimm, Stephen Crisomalis, Fiona M. Jordan, Karenleigh A. Overmann & Geoffrey B. Saxe - 2018 - Journal of Numerical Cognition 2 (4):448–463.
    In their recent paper on “Challenges in mathematical cognition”, Alcock and colleagues (Alcock et al. [2016]. Challenges in mathematical cognition: A collaboratively-derived research agenda. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2, 20-41) defined a research agenda through 26 specific research questions. An important dimension of mathematical cognition almost completely absent from their discussion is the cultural constitution of mathematical cognition. Spanning work from a broad range of disciplines – including anthropology, archaeology, cognitive science, history of science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology – we (...)
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  25. Testimony and Children’s Acquisition of Number Concepts.Helen De Cruz - 2018 - In Sorin Bangu (ed.), Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge. Approaches from Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Science. London, UK: pp. 172-186.
    An enduring puzzle in philosophy and developmental psychology is how young children acquire number concepts, in particular the concept of natural number. Most solutions to this problem conceptualize young learners as lone mathematicians who individually reconstruct the successor function and other sophisticated mathematical ideas. In this chapter, I argue for a crucial role of testimony in children’s acquisition of number concepts, both in the transfer of propositional knowledge (e.g., the cardinality concept), and in knowledge-how (e.g., the counting routine).
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  26. Constructing a Concept of Number.Karenleigh Overmann - 2018 - Journal of Numerical Cognition 2 (4):464–493.
    Numbers are concepts whose content, structure, and organization are influenced by the material forms used to represent and manipulate them. Indeed, as argued here, it is the inclusion of multiple forms (distributed objects, fingers, single- and two-dimensional forms like pebbles and abaci, and written notations) that is the mechanism of numerical elaboration. Further, variety in employed forms explains at least part of the synchronic and diachronic variability that exists between and within cultural number systems. Material forms also impart characteristics like (...)
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  27. Updating the “Abstract–Concrete” Distinction in Ancient Near Eastern Numbers.Karenleigh Overmann - 2018 - Cuneiform Digital Library Journal 1:1–22.
    The characterization of early token-based accounting using a concrete concept of number, later numerical notations an abstract one, has become well entrenched in the literature. After reviewing its history and assumptions, this article challenges the abstract–concrete distinction, presenting an alternative view of change in Ancient Near Eastern number concepts, wherein numbers are abstract from their inception and materially bound when most elaborated. The alternative draws on the chronological sequence of material counting technologies used in the Ancient Near East—fingers, tallies, tokens, (...)
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  28. Early Numerical Cognition and Mathematical Processes.Markus Pantsar - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (2):285-304.
    In this paper I study the development of arithmetical cognition with the focus on metaphorical thinking. In an approach developing on Lakoff and Núñez, I propose one particular conceptual metaphor, the Process → Object Metaphor, as a key element in understanding the development of mathematical thinking.
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  29. Numbers Through Numerals. The Constitutive Role of External Representations.Dirk Schlimm - 2018 - In Sorin Bangu (ed.), Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge: Approaches from Psychology and Cognitive Science. New York, NY, USA: pp. 195–217.
    Our epistemic access to mathematical objects, like numbers, is mediated through our external representations of them, like numerals. Nevertheless, the role of formal notations and, in particular, of the internal structure of these notations has not received much attention in philosophy of mathematics and cognitive science. While systems of number words and of numerals are often treated alike, I argue that they have crucial structural differences, and that one has to understand how the external representation works in order to form (...)
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  30. Infants, Animals, and the Origins of Number.Eric Margolis - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
    Where do human numerical abilities come from? This article is a commentary on Leibovich et al.’s “From 'sense of number' to 'sense of magnitude' —The role of continuous magnitudes in numerical cognition”. Leibovich et al. argue against nativist views of numerical development by noting limitations in newborns’ vision and limitations regarding newborns’ ability to individuate objects. I argue that these considerations do not undermine competing nativist views and that Leibovich et al.'s model itself presupposes that infant learners have numerical representations.
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  31. The Psychology and Philosophy of Natural Numbers.Oliver R. Marshall - 2017 - Philosophia Mathematica (1):nkx002.
    ABSTRACT I argue against both neuropsychological and cognitive accounts of our grasp of numbers. I show that despite the points of divergence between these two accounts, they face analogous problems. Both presuppose too much about what they purport to explain to be informative, and also characterize our grasp of numbers in a way that is absurd in the light of what we already know from the point of view of mathematical practice. Then I offer a positive methodological proposal about the (...)
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  32. Thinking Materially: Cognition as Extended and Enacted.Karenleigh A. Overmann - 2017 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 17 (3-4):354-373.
    Human cognition is extended and enacted. Drawing the boundaries of cognition to include the resources and attributes of the body and materiality allows an examination of how these components interact with the brain as a system, especially over cultural and evolutionary spans of time. Literacy and numeracy provide examples of multigenerational, incremental change in both psychological functioning and material forms. Though we think materiality, its central role in human cognition is often unappreciated, for reasons that include conceptual distribution over multiple (...)
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  33. Numerical Infinities and Infinitesimals: Methodology, Applications, and Repercussions on Two Hilbert Problems.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2017 - EMS Surveys in Mathematical Sciences 4 (2):219–320.
    In this survey, a recent computational methodology paying a special attention to the separation of mathematical objects from numeral systems involved in their representation is described. It has been introduced with the intention to allow one to work with infinities and infinitesimals numerically in a unique computational framework in all the situations requiring these notions. The methodology does not contradict Cantor’s and non-standard analysis views and is based on the Euclid’s Common Notion no. 5 “The whole is greater than the (...)
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  34. Numerical Cognition and Mathematical Realism.Helen De Cruz - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
    Humans and other animals have an evolved ability to detect discrete magnitudes in their environment. Does this observation support evolutionary debunking arguments against mathematical realism, as has been recently argued by Clarke-Doane, or does it bolster mathematical realism, as authors such as Joyce and Sinnott-Armstrong have assumed? To find out, we need to pay closer attention to the features of evolved numerical cognition. I provide a detailed examination of the functional properties of evolved numerical cognition, and propose that they prima (...)
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  35. Significant Inter-Test Reliability Across Approximate Number System Assessments.Nicholas K. DeWind & Elizabeth M. Brannon - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  36. The Exact (Up to Infinitesimals) Infinite Perimeter of the Koch Snowflake and its Finite Area.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2016 - Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation 31 (1-3):21–29.
    The Koch snowflake is one of the first fractals that were mathematically described. It is interesting because it has an infinite perimeter in the limit but its limit area is finite. In this paper, a recently proposed computational methodology allowing one to execute numerical computations with infinities and infinitesimals is applied to study the Koch snowflake at infinity. Numerical computations with actual infinite and infinitesimal numbers can be executed on the Infinity Computer being a new supercomputer patented in USA and (...)
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  37. The Difficulty of Prime Factorization is a Consequence of the Positional Numeral System.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2016 - International Journal of Unconventional Computing 12 (5-6):453–463.
    The importance of the prime factorization problem is very well known (e.g., many security protocols are based on the impossibility of a fast factorization of integers on traditional computers). It is necessary from a number k to establish two primes a and b giving k = a · b. Usually, k is written in a positional numeral system. However, there exists a variety of numeral systems that can be used to represent numbers. Is it true that the prime factorization is (...)
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  38. Ratio Dependence in Small Number Discrimination is Affected by the Experimental Procedure.Christian Agrillo, Laura Piffer, Angelo Bisazza & Brian Butterworth - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  39. Analogue Magnitude Representations: A Philosophical Introduction.Jacob Beck - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):829-855.
    Empirical discussions of mental representation appeal to a wide variety of representational kinds. Some of these kinds, such as the sentential representations underlying language use and the pictorial representations of visual imagery, are thoroughly familiar to philosophers. Others have received almost no philosophical attention at all. Included in this latter category are analogue magnitude representations, which enable a wide range of organisms to primitively represent spatial, temporal, numerical, and related magnitudes. This article aims to introduce analogue magnitude representations to a (...)
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  40. The Cognitive Advantages of Counting Specifically: A Representational Analysis of Verbal Numeration Systems in Oceanic Languages.Andrea Bender, Dirk Schlimm & Sieghard Beller - 2015 - Topics in Cognitive Science 7 (4):552-569.
    The domain of numbers provides a paradigmatic case for investigating interactions of culture, language, and cognition: Numerical competencies are considered a core domain of knowledge, and yet the development of specifically human abilities presupposes cultural and linguistic input by way of counting sequences. These sequences constitute systems with distinct structural properties, the cross-linguistic variability of which has implications for number representation and processing. Such representational effects are scrutinized for two types of verbal numeration systems—general and object-specific ones—that were in parallel (...)
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  41. Two Steps to Space for Numbers.Martin H. Fischer & Samuel Shaki - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  42. Commentary: A Pointer About Grasping Numbers.Martin H. Fischer, Elena Sixtus & Silke M. Göbel - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  43. Basic Mathematical Cognition.David Gaber & Dirk Schlimm - 2015 - WIREs Cognitive Science 4 (6):355-369.
    Mathematics is a powerful tool for describing and developing our knowledge of the physical world. It informs our understanding of subjects as diverse as music, games, science, economics, communications protocols, and visual arts. Mathematical thinking has its roots in the adaptive behavior of living creatures: animals must employ judgments about quantities and magnitudes in the assessment of both threats (how many foes) and opportunities (how much food) in order to make effective decisions, and use geometric information in the environment for (...)
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  44. Spatial Coding of Ordinal Information in Short- and Long-Term Memory.Vã©Ronique Ginsburg & Wim Gevers - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  45. Spatial Biases During Mental Arithmetic: Evidence From Eye Movements on a Blank Screen.Matthias Hartmann, Fred W. Mast & Martin H. Fischer - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  46. Identifying and Counting Objects: The Role of Sortal Concepts.Nick Leonard & Lance J. Rips - 2015 - Cognition 145:89-103.
    Sortal terms, such as table or horse, are count nouns (akin to a basic-level terms). According to some theories, the meaning of sortals provides conditions for telling objects apart (individuating objects, e.g., telling one table from a second) and for identifying objects over time (e.g., determining that a particular horse at one time is the same horse at another). A number of psychologists have proposed that sortal concepts likewise provide psychologically real conditions for individuating and identifying things. However, this paper (...)
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  47. Language Influences Number Processing – A Quadrilingual Study.Korbinian Moeller, Samuel Shaki, Silke M. Göbel & Hans-Christoph Nuerk - 2015 - Cognition 136:150-155.
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  48. How Space-Number Associations May Be Created in Preliterate Children: Six Distinct Mechanisms.Hans-Christoph Nuerk, Katarzyna Patro, Ulrike Cress, Ulrike Schild, Claudia K. Friedrich & Silke M. Göbel - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  49. The Olympic Medals Ranks, Lexicographic Ordering and Numerical Infinities.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2015 - The Mathematical Intelligencer 37 (2):4-8.
    Several ways used to rank countries with respect to medals won during Olympic Games are discussed. In particular, it is shown that the unofficial rank used by the Olympic Committee is the only rank that does not allow one to use a numerical counter for ranking – this rank uses the lexicographic ordering to rank countries: one gold medal is more precious than any number of silver medals and one silver medal is more precious than any number of bronze medals. (...)
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  50. Newborn Chicks Need No Number Tricks. Commentary: Number-Space Mapping in the Newborn Chick Resembles Humans' Mental Number Line.Samuel Shaki & Martin H. Fischer - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
1 — 50 / 183