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Proto-numerosities and concepts of number: Biologically plausible and culturally mediated top-down mathematical schemas

  • Rafael E. Núñez (a1)

Early quantitative skills cannot be directly extended to provide the richness, precision, and sophistication of the concept of natural number. These skills must interact with top-down mathematical schemas, which can be explained by bodily grounded everyday mechanisms for abstraction and imagination (e.g., conceptual metaphor, blending) that are both biologically plausible and culturally shaped (established beyond the child's mind).

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S. Dehaene (2002) Single-neuron arithmetic. Science 297:1652–53.

V. Gallese & G. Lakoff (2005) The brain's concepts: The role of the sensory-motor system in conceptual knowledge. Cognitive Neuropsychology 22:455–79.

R. E. Núñez (2006) Do real numbers really move? Language, thought, and gesture: The embodied cognitive foundations of mathematics. In: 18 unconventional essays on the nature of mathematics, ed. R. Hersh , pp. 160–81. Springer.

R. E. Núñez & E. Sweetser (2006) With the future behind them: Convergent evidence from Aymara language and gesture in the crosslinguistic comparison of spatial construals of time. Cognitive Science 30:401–50.

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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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