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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we review research on the processes that underlie the development of mathematical abilities. It is proposed that numerical deficiencies might arise from domain specific problems. The approximate number system that supports reasoning with non-symbolic numbers, on the one hand, and the symbolic number system on the other hand were put forth as possible candidates. To gain insight into the two different systems, we will describe the development of non-symbolic and symbolic number processing and introduce the two main theories about numerical deficiencies: the approximate number system and the access deficit hypothesis. The paradigms used to study both accounts differ in several ways and are of importance for research on the relation between non-symbolic and symbolic number and mathematical abilities. Then, we will review how the studies investigating both accounts relate to two different sets of developmental models that describe the neural representation of number.

Keywords: number representation, symbolic, non-symbolic

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