Study: Babies have inherent number sense

February 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: Iran relaunches space ambitions after uproar over satellites

Related Stories

Whatever happened to the Zika virus?

September 7, 2017

If I asked if you'd heard of the Zika virus before 2015, chances are the answer would be no. In fact, many scientists working in the field of mosquito-transmitted diseases probably wouldn't have heard of it. If they had, ...

Skin lightening: the dangerous obsession that's worth billions

September 4, 2017

Millions of people across the world want to make their skin lighter – but the treatments they use can be dangerous. Mary-Rose Abraham meets beauticians, dermatologists and their clients to walk the line between aesthetic ...

Recommended for you

Quantum data takes a ride on sound waves

September 22, 2017

Yale scientists have created a simple-to-produce device that uses sound waves to store quantum information and convert it from one form to another, all inside a single, integrated chip.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.