Developmental changes in the association between approximate number representations and addition skills in elementary school children

  • The approximate number system (ANS) is assumingly related to mathematical learning but evidence supporting this assumption is mixed. The inconsistent findings might be attributed to the fact that different measures have been used to assess the ANS and mathematical skills. Moreover, associations between the performance on a measure of the ANS and mathematical skills may be discontinuous, i.e., stronger for children with lower math scores than for children with higher math scores, and may change with age. The aim of the present study was to examine the development of the ANS and arithmetic skills in elementary school children and to investigate how the relationship between the ANS and arithmetic skills develops. Individual markers of children's ANS (internal Weber fractions and mean reaction times in a non-symbolic numerical comparison task) and addition skills were assessed in their first year of school and 1 year later. Children showed improvements in addition performance and in the internal Weber fractions, whereas mean reaction times in the non-symbolic numerical comparison task did not change significantly. While children's addition performance was associated with the internal Weber fractions in the first year, it was associated with mean reaction times in the non-symbolic numerical comparison task in the second year. These associations were not found to be discontinuous and could not be explained by individual differences in reasoning, processing speed, or inhibitory control. The present study extends previous findings by demonstrating that addition performance is associated with different markers of the ANS in the course of development.

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Author:Jan Lonnemann, Janosch LinkersdörferORCiDGND, Marcus HasselhornGND, Sven LindbergGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2013/10/24
Date of first Publication:2013/10/24
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/10/31
Tag:approximate number system; arithmetic; development; elementary school; non-symbolic numerical comparison
Page Number:8
Copyright © 2013 Lonnemann, Linkersdörfer, Hasselhorn and Lindberg. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung (DIPF)
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung / 370 Bildung und Erziehung
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0