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Costa, Annelise Ju lio; Lopes Silva, Ju lia Beatriz; Pinheiro Chagas, Pedro; Krinzinger, Helga; Lonnemann, Jan; Willmes, Klaus; Wood, Guilherme; Haase, Vitor Geraldi:

A hand full of numbers: a role for offloading in arithmetics learning?

In: Frontiers in Psychology, 2 (2011) , 368

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Document type
3a. Beiträge in begutachteten Zeitschriften; Beitrag in Sonderheft

Arithmetik, Brasilien, Empirische Untersuchung, Fertigkeit, Kognitive Kompetenz, Lernschwierigkeit, Mathematische Kompetenz, Messung, Neuropsychologie, Rechenschwierigkeit, Test, Zahlbegriff

Finger counting has been associated to arithmetic learning in children. We examined children with (n = 14) and without (n = 84) mathematics learning difficulties with ages between 8 and 11 years. Deficits in finger gnosia were found in association to mathematical difficulties. Finger gnosia was particularly relevant for the performance in word problems requiring active manipulation of small magnitudes in the range between 1 and 10. Moreover, the deficits in finger gnosia could not be attributed to a shortage in working memory capacity but rather to a specific inability to use fingers to transiently represent magnitudes, tagging to be counted objects, and reducing the cognitive load necessary to solve arithmetic problems. Since finger gnosia was more related to symbolic than to non-symbolic magnitude processing, finger-related representation of magnitude seems to be an important link for learning the mapping of analog onto discrete symbolic magnitudes.

Education and Human Development