A Brain for Numbers: The Biology of the Number Instinct, Nieder, Andreas

A Brain for Numbers: The Biology of the Number Instinct

Authors: Nieder, Andreas
Publisher: MIT Press
BISAC/Subject: SCI089000, PSY008000
ISBN: 9780262354325, Related ISBNs: 0262042789, 0262354322, 9780262042789, 9780262354325
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 392
Audience: General/trade
Synopsis: How our intuitive understanding of numbers is deeply rooted in our biology, traceable through both evolution and development.

Humans' understanding of numbers is intuitive. Infants are able to estimate and calculate even before they learn the words for numbers. How have we come to possess this talent for numbers? In A Brain for Numbers, Andreas Nieder explains how our brains process numbers. He reports that numerical competency is deeply rooted in our biological ancestry; it can be traced through both the evolution of our species and the development of our individual minds. It is not, as it has been traditionally explained, based on our ability to use language. We owe our symbolic mathematical skills to the nonsymbolic numerical abilities that we inherited from our ancestors. The principles of mathematics, Nieder tells us, are reflections of the innate dispositions wired into the brain.

Nieder explores how the workings of the brain give rise to numerical competence, tracing flair for numbers to dedicated “number neurons” in the brain. Drawing on a range of methods including brain imaging techniques, behavioral experiments, and twin studies, he outlines a new, integrated understanding of the talent for numbers. Along the way, he compares the numerical capabilities of humans and animals, and discusses the benefits animals reap from such a capability. He shows how the neurobiological roots of the brain's nonverbal quantification capacity are the evolutionary foundation of more elaborate numerical skills. He discusses how number signs and symbols are represented in the brain; calculation capability and the “neuromythology” of mathematical genius; the “start-up tools” for counting and developmental of dyscalculia (a number disorder analogous to the reading disorder dyslexia); and how the brain processes the abstract concept of zero.

LightSail includes up to 6,000 high interest, Lexile aligned book titles with every student subscription. Other titles are available for individual purchase.

Watch the power of

Lightsail in action

×

SUPPORT GROWING READERS

Immediately Engage Students
Immediately Engage Students
Simple intuitive design has classrooms reading within minutes.
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Students love the LightSail experience and naturally spend more time reading.
Accelerate Literacy Development
Accelerate Literacy Development
Students reading 25 minutes a day on LightSail are seeing 2+ years of Lexile growth in a single year.

LightSail Education is a comprehensive Lexile and standards-aligned, literacy platform and digital e-book library. Including multimodal learning functionality and featuring books from leading publishers, LightSail holistically assesses and nurtures each student on their reading and writing-to-learn journey, throughout elementary, middle, and high school.

LightSail Blog
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Believe it or not, test prep season is upon us. With just a few adjustments to your normal LightSail reading block, you can use our platform to help students prepare… Read more
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
November was Native American Heritage Month. Did you know that more than five million people of Native American decent currently live in the United States? The U.S. is home to… Read more
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
At Rosen-LightSail, we are committed to celebrating diversity everyday. From September 15th – October 15th, we specifically celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx… Read more

*LightSail offers a 2,000 or a 6,000 title bundle with its student subscriptions. Other titles are available for individual purchase.