NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ919436
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Number versus Continuous Quantity in Numerosity Judgments by Fish
Agrillo, Christian; Piffer, Laura; Bisazza, Angelo
Cognition, v119 n2 p281-287 May 2011
In quantity discrimination tasks, adults, infants and animals have been sometimes observed to process number only after all continuous variables, such as area or density, have been controlled for. This has been taken as evidence that processing number may be more cognitively demanding than processing continuous variables. We tested this hypothesis by training mosquitofish to discriminate two items from three in three different conditions. In one condition, continuous variables were controlled while numerical information was available; in another, the number was kept constant and information relating to continuous variables was available; in the third condition, stimuli differed for both number and continuous quantities. Fish learned to discriminate more quickly when both number and continuous information were available compared to when they could use continuous information only or number only; there was no difference in the learning rate between the two latter conditions. Our results do not support the hypothesis that processing numbers imposes a higher cognitive load than processing continuous variables. Rather, they suggest that availability of multiple information sources may facilitate discrimination learning.
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A