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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of age-related changes and stabilities in numerical cognition. For each component (i.e. approximate and exact number system, quantification, and arithmetic) of numerical cognition, we review changes in participants’ performance during normal and pathological aging in a wide variety of tasks (e.g. number comparison, subitizing, counting, and simple or complex arithmetic problem-solving). We discuss both behavioral and neural mechanisms underlying these performance variations. Moreover, we highlight the importance of taking into account strategic variations. Indeed, investigating strategy repertoire (i.e. how young and older adults accomplish numerical cognitive tasks), selection (i.e. how participants choose strategies on each problem), execution (i.e. how strategies are implemented once selected), and distribution (i.e. how often participants use each available strategy) enables to determine sources of aging effects and individual differences in numerical cognition. Finally, we discuss potential future research to further our understanding of age-related changes in numerical cognition.

Keywords: aging, numerical cognition, strategies, individual differences, brain

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