Number bias for the discrimination of large visual sets in infancy.


Journal Article

This brief report attempts to resolve the claim that infants preferentially attend to continuous variables over number [e.g. Psychol. Sci. 10 (1999) 408; Cognit. Psychol.44 (2002) 33] with the finding that when continuous variables are controlled, infants as young as 6-months of age discriminate large numerical values [e.g. Psychol. Sci. 14 (2003) 396; Cognition 89 (2003) B15; Cognition 74 (2000) B1]. In two parallel experiments, we compare 6-month-old infants' ability to discriminate number and ignore continuous variables with their ability to form a representation of a cumulative surface area and ignore number. We find that infants discriminate a 2-fold change in number but fail to discriminate a 2-fold change in cumulative surface area. The results point to a more complicated relationship between discrete and continuous dimensions than implied by previous literature.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Brannon, EM; Abbott, S; Lutz, DJ

Published Date

  • September 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 93 / 2

Start / End Page

  • B59 - B68

PubMed ID

  • 15147939

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15147939

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7838

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0010-0277

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cognition.2004.01.004


  • eng