id: 06655861
dt: j
an: 2016f.00835
au: de Hevia, Maria Dolores; Addabbo, Margaret; Nava, Elena; Croci, Emanuela;
Girelli, Luisa; Macchi Cassia, Viola
ti: Infants’ detection of increasing numerical order comes before detection
of decreasing number.
so: Cognition 158, 177-188 (2017).
py: 2017
pu: Elsevier, Amsterdam
la: EN
cc: F21 C31
ut: number; infants; ordinal; increasing order
ci: ME 2015b.00556
li: doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2016.10.022
ab: Summary: Ordinality is a fundamental aspect of numerical cognition.
However, preverbal infants’ ability to represent numerical order is
poorly understood. In the present study we extended the evidence
provided by {\it V. Macchi Cassia} et al. [ibid. 124, No. 2, 183‒193
(2012; ME 2015b.00556)], showing that 4-month-old infants detect
ordinal relationships within size-based sequences, to numerical
sequences. In three experiments, we showed that at 4months of age
infants fail to represent increasing and decreasing numerical order
when numerosities differ by a 1:2 ratio (Experiment 1), but they
succeed when numerosities differ by a 1:3 ratio (Experiments 2 and 3).
Critically, infants showed the same behavioral signature (i.e.,
asymmetry) described by Macchi Cassia et al. [loc. cit.] for
discrimination of ordinal changes in area: they succeed at detecting
increasing but not decreasing order (Experiments 2 and 3). These
results support the idea of a common (or at least parallel) development
of ordinal representation for the two quantitative dimensions of size
and number. Moreover, the finding that the asymmetry signature,
previously reported for size-based sequences, extends to numerosity,
points to the existence of a common constraint in ordinal magnitude
processing in the first months of life. The present findings are
discussed in the context of possible evolutionary and developmental
sources of the ordinal asymmetry, as well as their implication for
other related cognitive abilities.
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