Study: Babies have inherent number sense

Feb 15, 2006

Duke University scientists have found 7-month-old babies have an inherent sense of numerical concepts, regardless of their mathematical abilities.

Neuroscientists Professor Elizabeth Brannon and graduate student Kerry Jordan previously demonstrated rhesus monkeys have a natural ability to match the number of voices they hear to the number of individuals they expect to see. The researchers expected the same to be true of human babies, despite studies that failed to demonstrate such ability in human infants, Scientific American reported Wednesday.

In their own study the Duke researchers found babies spent more time looking at videos showing the same number of unfamiliar human faces as those represented in a simultaneous soundtrack of "look" sounds.

"As a result of our experiments, we conclude that the babies are showing an internal representation of 'two-ness' or 'three-ness' that is separate from the (sounds and sights) and, thus, reflects an abstract internal process," they wrote.

The research is detailed in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: US company sells out of Ebola toys

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Trekking tourists to become wild gorilla guardians

Jun 23, 2014

An online awareness raising campaign has been launched in a bid to minimise the risk of disease transmission from human to gorilla during treks to see these magnificent great apes in the wild.

Recommended for you

US company sells out of Ebola toys

Oct 17, 2014

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

New progress of the Neogene Suidae research

Oct 17, 2014

Dr. Hou Sukuan and Prof. Deng Tao from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology(IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences reported a new species of Chleuastochoerus from the Linxia Basin, Gansu ...

Gypsies and travellers on the English Green Belt

Oct 17, 2014

The battle between Gypsies, Travellers and the settled community over how land can be used has moved to the Green Belt, observes Peter Kabachnik of the City University of New York.

Cadavers beat computers for learning anatomy

Oct 16, 2014

Despite the growing popularity of using computer simulation to help teach college anatomy, students learn much better through the traditional use of human cadavers, according to new research that has implications ...

User comments : 0