The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics, Revised and Updated Edition

Paperback | May 1, 2011

byStanislas Dehaene

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Our understanding of how the human brain performs mathematical calculations is far from complete, but in recent years there have been many exciting breakthroughs by scientists all over the world. Now, in The Number Sense, Stanislas Dehaene offers a fascinating look at this recent research, inan enlightening exploration of the mathematical mind. Dehaene begins with the eye-opening discovery that animals - including rats, pigeons, raccoons, and chimpanzees - can perform simple mathematical calculations, and that human infants also have a rudimentary number sense. Dehaene suggests thatthis rudimentary number sense is as basic to the way the brain understands the world as our perception of color or of objects in space, and, like these other abilities, our number sense is wired into the brain. These are but a few of the wealth of fascinating observations contained here. We also discover, for example, that because Chinese names for numbers are so short, Chinese people can remember up to nine or ten digits at a time - English-speaking people can only remember seven. The book also exploresthe unique abilities of idiot savants and mathematical geniuses, and we meet people whose minute brain lesions render their mathematical ability useless. This new and completely updated edition includes all of the most recent scientific data on how numbers are encoded by single neurons, and whichbrain areas activate when we perform calculations. Perhaps most important, The Number Sense reaches many provocative conclusions that will intrigue anyone interested in learning, mathematics, or the mind.

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Our understanding of how the human brain performs mathematical calculations is far from complete, but in recent years there have been many exciting breakthroughs by scientists all over the world. Now, in The Number Sense, Stanislas Dehaene offers a fascinating look at this recent research, inan enlightening exploration of the mathemati...

Stanislas Dehaene teaches at the College de France and is Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Research Unit at INSERM.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:May 1, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199753873

ISBN - 13:9780199753871

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised and Expanded EditionPreface to the First EditionIntroductionPart I: Our Numerical Heritage1. Talented and Gifted Animals2. Babies Who Count3. The Adult Number LinePart II: Beyond Approximation4. The Language of Numbers5. Small Heads for Big Calculations6. Geniuses and ProdigiesPart III: Of Neurons and Numbers7. Losing Number Sense8. The Computing Brain9. What Is a Number?Epilogue. The Contemporary Science of Number and BrainAppendixNotes and ReferencesBibliographyMain books consultedUseful web resourcesDetailed bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Dehaene weaves the latest technical research into a remarkably lucid and engrossing investigation. Even readers normally indifferent to mathematics will find themselves marveling at the wonder of minds making numbers." --Booklist