Sources of numeric knowledge
Human infants possess representations that have numerical content: they can represent numerical quantity while abstracting away non-numerical aspects of stimuli, and they can use these representations to compute the results of simple operations. However, while this “core” cognition captures many properties of numbers, infants’ early representations are not powerful enough represent our princeps concept of number, the type of numbers children first encounter in language and at school: Integers. In this talk, I will present two series of studies where we probed children’s knowledge of fundamental properties of Integers, i.e. properties that serve as foundations for formal descriptions of Integers. To assess the role of culture-specific tools in accessing knowledge of Integers, our experiments involve infants and children from numerate countries, as well as people from an Amazonian group, the Mundurucu.