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      Visuo-Spatial Processes as a Domain-General Factor Impacting Numerical Development in Atypical Populations


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          In the past few years, the role of both domain-specific and domain-general factors on numerical development and mathematics achievement has been debated. In this paper, we focus on the role of visuo-spatial processes. We will more particularly review the numerical abilities of populations presenting atypical visuo-spatial processes: individuals with blindness, hemineglect, children presenting low visuo-spatial abilities, non-verbal learning disorder or Williams syndrome. We will show that math abilities of each population are relatively unique and are not necessarily associated with generalized math impairment. We will show that a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each population gives further insights into our conceptual understanding of the development of numerical cognition. We will finally demonstrate how the comparison across disorders can impact on practical rehabilitation and educational strategies.

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          Most cited references119

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          The ventriloquist effect results from near-optimal bimodal integration.

          Ventriloquism is the ancient art of making one's voice appear to come from elsewhere, an art exploited by the Greek and Roman oracles, and possibly earlier. We regularly experience the effect when watching television and movies, where the voices seem to emanate from the actors' lips rather than from the actual sound source. Originally, ventriloquism was explained by performers projecting sound to their puppets by special techniques, but more recently it is assumed that ventriloquism results from vision "capturing" sound. In this study we investigate spatial localization of audio-visual stimuli. When visual localization is good, vision does indeed dominate and capture sound. However, for severely blurred visual stimuli (that are poorly localized), the reverse holds: sound captures vision. For less blurred stimuli, neither sense dominates and perception follows the mean position. Precision of bimodal localization is usually better than either the visual or the auditory unimodal presentation. All the results are well explained not by one sense capturing the other, but by a simple model of optimal combination of visual and auditory information.
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            The mental representation of parity and number magnitude.

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              Interactions between number and space in parietal cortex.

              Since the time of Pythagoras, numerical and spatial representations have been inextricably linked. We suggest that the relationship between the two is deeply rooted in the brain's organization for these capacities. Many behavioural and patient studies have shown that numerical-spatial interactions run far deeper than simply cultural constructions, and, instead, influence behaviour at several levels. By combining two previously independent lines of research, neuroimaging studies of numerical cognition in humans, and physiological studies of spatial cognition in monkeys, we propose that these numerical-spatial interactions arise from common parietal circuits for attention to external space and internal representations of numbers.

                Author and article information

                J Numer Cogn
                Journal of Numerical Cognition
                J. Numer. Cogn.
                22 December 2017
                : 3
                : 2
                : 344-364
                [a ]Centre for Mind/Brain Science, University of Trento, Mattarello, Italy
                [b ]Institut de Recherches en Sciences Psychologiques (IPSY), Université Catholique de Louvain , Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
                [c ]Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS), Université Catholique de Louvain , Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
                [4] University of York , York, United Kingdom
                [5] Humboldt-Universität Berlin , Berlin, Germany
                [6] Universität Tübingen , Tübingen, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ]Centre for Mind/Brain Science, University of Trento, Corso Bettini, 31, 38068 Rovereto, Italy. virginie.crollen@ 123456unitn.it
                Copyright @ 2017

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 10 May 2016
                : 13 April 2017
                Theoretical Contributions

                hemineglect,number,space,Williams syndrome,blindness,NVLD
                hemineglect, number, space, Williams syndrome, blindness, NVLD


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