Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Proto-numerosities and concepts of number: Biologically plausible and culturally mediated top-down mathematical schemas

Rafael E. Núñeza1

a1 Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0515


Early quantitative skills cannot be directly extended to provide the richness, precision, and sophistication of the concept of natural number. These skills must interact with top-down mathematical schemas, which can be explained by bodily grounded everyday mechanisms for abstraction and imagination (e.g., conceptual metaphor, blending) that are both biologically plausible and culturally shaped (established beyond the child's mind).

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