All Numbers Are Not Equal: An Electrophysiological Investigation of Small and Large Number Representations

& Behavioral and brain imaging research indicates that human infants, humans adults, and many nonhuman animals represent large nonsymbolic numbers approximately, discriminating between sets with a ratio limit on accuracy. Some behavioral evidence, especially with human infants, suggests that these representations differ from representations of small numbers of objects. To investigate neural signatures of this distinction, event-related potentials were recorded as adult humans passively viewed the sequential presentation of dot arrays in an adaptation paradigm. In two studies, subjects viewed successive arrays of a single number of dots interspersed with test arrays presenting the same or a different number; numerical range (small numerical quantities 1–3 vs. large numerical..
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