Number

The Thoughtful Animal

Category archives for Number

Behold! The second installment of the Science Online Lemur Cognition series. If you missed the first installment, you should check out the cyborg lemurs of the Duke Lemur Center. There’s some pretty good evidence that numerical cognition emerged fairly early in the primate lineage, at least, if not significantly earlier in evolution. Most of the…

“When men wish to construct or support a theory, how they torture facts into their service!” Even in 1852, psychologists like Charles Mackay, who wrote those words in his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, were well aware of the dangers of confirmation bias. I was reminded of the pervasiveness of this…

Earlier this week I wrote about the developmental and evolutionary origins of large number representation. A series of studies in human infants, monkeys, rats, and fish demonstrated that animals and humans spontaneously represent large (>4), abstract, approximate numerosities. Animals, human infants, and human adults, show the same ratio signatures (based on Weber’s Law). Adult tamarins…

This post considering the evolutionary origins of numerical cognition, specifically in terms of the approximation of large numbers, is meant as a companion to this week’s series on the developmental origins of numerical cognition and developmental dyscalculia, at Child’s Play. What are the origins of number representation in the mind? Are there any innate building…

Imagine with me, for a moment, that the zombie invasion has begun. You try to escape, but the zombies are just too much to handle. You can’t run fast enough. They’re everywhere. Your favorite science bloggers have been turned into zombies and they’re coming for you. Figure 1: Thanks to Joseph Hewitt of Ataraxia Theatre…

Bonobo Week continues! I’m donating whatever proceeds I receive from my blogging shenanigans for the entire month of June to help the bonobos at Lola Ya Bonobo. Imagine that you’re wandering in the desert and you come across two magic lamps. One lamp grants three wishes. It’s your standard sort of magic lamp with a…