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8 - Numerical Cognition in Nonhuman Primates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2022

Bennett L. Schwartz
Affiliation:
Florida International University
Michael J. Beran
Affiliation:
Georgia State University
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Summary

How is number represented without language? Research on numerical cognition in humans and nonhuman primates suggests two possible shared systems of processing. The most widely demonstrated system comes from research with humans, nonhuman primates, and a wide variety of other species. This system, known as the approximate number system, is characterized by ratio-dependent representation of a wide range of numerical values. A smaller body of research points to a second system, the object file system, which represents small numerical values with precision. In addition to reviewing this literature, we will also attend to the role of training in numerical discrimination, the use of number when other continuous variables are present, and the arithmetic abilities of nonhuman primates.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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