Invited book review of Stanislas Debaene, The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997) [Book Review]

Journal of Scientific Exploration 26 (4):928-930 (2012)
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What Stanislas Debaene dubs "the number sense" is a natural ability humans share with other animals, enabling us to "count" to four virtually instantaneously. This so-called "accumulator" provides "a direct intuition of what numbers mean". Beyond four, our ability to perceive numbers becomes approximate, though concepts enable us to move beyond approximation. Because humans typically learn number concepts in early childhood, we easily forget that our brains retain the number sense throughout life. This book examines the biological basis for this intuitive ability, with nine chapters organized into three readily graspable groups of three. Aside from its frustrating lack of a clear referencing system, the book is a pleasure to read.
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