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Bridging the gap between intuitive and formal number concepts: An epidemiological perspective

  • Helen De Cruz (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 11 December 2008

The failure of current bootstrapping accounts to explain the emergence of the concept of natural numbers does not entail that no link exists between intuitive and formal number concepts. The epidemiology of representations allows us to explain similarities between intuitive and formal number concepts without requiring that the latter are directly constructed from the former.

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F. Castelli , D. Glaser & B. Butterworth (2006) Discrete and analogue quantity processing in the parietal lobe: A functional MRI study. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103:4693–98.

H. De Cruz (2006) Why are some numerical concepts more successful than others? An evolutionary perspective on the history of number concepts. Evolution and Human Behavior 27:306–23.

M. H. Fischer (2003) Cognitive representation of negative numbers. Psychological Science 14:278–82.

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S. Nichols (2002) On the genealogy of norms: a case for the role of emotion in cultural evolution. Philosophy of Science 69:234–55.

J. Vlassis (2004) Making sense of the minus sign or becoming flexible in “negativity”. Learning and Instruction 14:469–84.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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