Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Numerosity and the Brain

Numerosity. I don’t recall that word in my vocabulary list as a child. Not even when I was memorizing words for a spelling bee that I never won. Now I understand more about the reason for that. The cerebral division that contains functions that help us learn to spell accurately is very energy-exhausting in my brain. Fortunately, there is spell check. All I need to do is remember to use it consistently. Back to Numerosity. A good friend just sent me an article entitled “Is ‘Numerosity’ Humans’ Sixth Sense?” What is numerosity? It differs from symbolism or mathematical ability and refers to numerical amounts only. Ben Harvey, a neuroscientist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, explained that people vary somewhat in their ability to distinguish numerosity. “At the extreme, you have savants—individuals, many of whom have autism or a similar disorder, who possess extraordinary abilities in math, art or other areas. Some savants can look at a pile of pick-up sticks, for example, and instantly know how many there are.” Of on the flip side you have people who . . .  You might find the article interesting reading. I certainly did.

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