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ERIC Number: EJ1157280
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-2194
The Mental Number Line in Dyscalculia: Impaired Number Sense or Access from Symbolic Numbers?
Lafay, Anne; St-Pierre, Marie-Catherine; Macoir, Joël
Journal of Learning Disabilities, v50 n6 p672-683 Nov-Dec 2017
Numbers may be manipulated and represented mentally over a compressible number line oriented from left to right. According to numerous studies, one of the primary reasons for dyscalculia is related to improper understanding of the mental number line. Children with dyscalculia usually show difficulty when they have to place Arabic numbers on a physical number line. However, it remains unclear whether they have a deficit with the mental number line per se or a deficit with accessing it from nonsymbolic and/or symbolic numbers. Quebec French-speaking 8- to 9-year-old children with (24) and without (37) dyscalculia were assessed with transcoding tasks ("number-to-position" and "position-to-number") designed to assess the acuity of the mental number line with Arabic and spoken numbers as well as with analogic numerosities. Results showed that children with dyscalculia produced a larger percentage absolute error than children without mathematics difficulties in every task except the number-to-position transcoding task with analogic numerosities. Hence, these results suggested that children with dyscalculia do not have a general deficit of the mental number line but rather a deficit with accessing it from symbolic numbers.
SAGE Publications and Hammill Institute on Disabilities. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Raven Progressive Matrices; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A