Beyond the number domain.


Journal Article (Review)

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.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Cantlon, JF; Platt, ML; Brannon, EM

Published Date

  • February 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 83 - 91

PubMed ID

  • 19131268

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19131268

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1364-6613

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.tics.2008.11.007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England