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ERIC Number: EJ1050248
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Number Trumps Area for 7-Month-Old Infants
Libertus, Melissa E.; Starr, Ariel; Brannon, Elizabeth M.
Developmental Psychology, v50 n1 p108-112 Jan 2014
Over the past few decades, there has been extensive debate as to whether humans represent number abstractly and, if so, whether perceptual features of a set such as cumulative surface area or contour length are extracted more readily than number from the external world. Here we show that 7-month-old infants are sensitive to smaller ratio changes in number than cumulative area when each variable is tested separately and that infants prefer to look at number changes compared with area changes when the 2 variables are pitted directly against each other. Our results provide strong evidence that number is a more salient dimension to young infants than cumulative surface area and that infants' ability to discriminate sets on the basis of number is more finely tuned than their ability to discriminate sets on the basis of cumulative surface area.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: RO1 HD059108-06A2; 095 1690