Numerical cognition  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Numerical cognition is a subdiscipline of cognitive science that studies the cognitive, developmental and neural bases of numbers and mathematics. As with many cognitive science endeavors, this is a highly interdisciplinary topic, and includes researchers in cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, neuroscience and cognitive linguistics. This discipline, although it may interact with questions in the philosophy of mathematics is primarily concerned with empirical questions.

Topics included in the domain of numerical cognition include:

  • How do non-human animals process numerosity?
  • How do infants acquire an understanding of numbers (and how much is inborn)?
  • How do humans associate linguistic symbols with numerical quantities?
  • How do these capacities underlie our ability to perform complex calculations?
  • What are the neural bases of these abilities, both in humans and in non-humans?
  • What metaphorical capacities and processes allow us to extend our numerical understanding into complex domains such as the concept of infinity, the infinitesimal or the concept of the limit in calculus?

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Numerical cognition" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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