login
english version rss feed
Short view
Log or linear? Distinct intuitions of the number scale in Western and Amazonian indigene cultures.
Dehaene S., Izard V., Spelke E., Pica P.
Science 320, 5880 (2008) 1217-20 - http://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-00285215
 (18511690) 
Log or linear? Distinct intuitions of the number scale in Western and Amazonian indigene cultures.
Stanislas Dehaene () 1, Véronique Izard1, Elizabeth Spelke2, Pierre Pica3
1:  LCogn - Neuroimagerie cognitive
http://www.unicog.org
INSERM : U562 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud – CEA : DSV/I2BM/NEUROSPIN
CEA 4, Place du General Leclerc 91401 ORSAY CEDEX
France
2:  Departement of Psychology
http://wjh.harvard.edu
University of Harvard
Harvard University 33 Kirkland St Cambridge MA 02138
United States
3:  SFL - Structures Formelles du Langage
http://www.umr7023.cnrs.fr/
CNRS : UMR7023 – Université Paris VIII - Vincennes Saint-Denis
Bâtiment D salle 324 2 rue de la Liberté 93526 Saint-Denis
France
The mapping of numbers onto space is fundamental to measurement and to mathematics. Is this mapping a cultural invention or a universal intuition shared by all humans regardless of culture and education? We probed number-space mappings in the Mundurucu, an Amazonian indigene group with a reduced numerical lexicon and little or no formal education. At all ages, the Mundurucu mapped symbolic and nonsymbolic numbers onto a logarithmic scale, whereas Western adults used linear mapping with small or symbolic numbers and logarithmic mapping when numbers were presented nonsymbolically under conditions that discouraged counting. This indicates that the mapping of numbers onto space is a universal intuition and that this initial intuition of number is logarithmic. The concept of a linear number line appears to be a cultural invention that fails to develop in the absence of formal education.
Life Sciences/Neurons and Cognition
English
0036-8075

Article in peer-reviewed journal
10.1126/science.1156540
Science (Science)
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN 0036-8075 (eISSN : 1095-9203)
international
2008-05-30
320
5880
1217-20

Attached file list to this document: 
PDF
DehaeneNumberSpace.pdf(259.4 KB)
inserm-00285215_edited.pdf(508.2 KB)
ANNEX
1156540s.pdf(251.1 KB)
XHTML
index.xhtml(35.8 KB)