Beyond the number domain.
In a world without numbers, we would be unable to build a skyscraper, hold a national election, plan a wedding or pay for a chicken at the market. The numerical symbols used in all these behaviors build on the approximate number system (ANS) which represents the number of discrete objects or events as a continuous mental magnitude. Here, we first discuss evidence that the ANS bears a set of behavioral and brain signatures that are universally displayed across animal species, human cultures and development. We then turn to the question of whether the ANS constitutes a specialized cognitive and neural domain - a question central to understanding how this system works, the nature of its evolutionary and developmental trajectory and its physical instantiation in the brain.
Cantlon, JF; Platt, ML; Brannon, EM
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)