Neural and Behavioral Foundations of Early Numeracy

March 4, 2015, 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Wisconsin Idea Room 159, Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall

Daniel C. Hyde

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Daniel C. Hyde

Mathematics is traditionally thought of as a novel subject to be introduced to and learned by young children. The last two decades of cognitive development research, however, suggest that humans have at least two non-verbal cognitive systems that allow for reasoning about numbers well before instruction or formal education. Hyde will present a series of recent studies exploring the relationship between core systems of number and conceptual development using correlational, experimental, and neuro-scientific methods. He also will discuss ongoing experimental work using computer-based training games with preschoolers to leverage their existing intuitive numerical knowledge and thereby accelerate their understanding of early number concepts. Together, this research suggests it may be beneficial to ground early mathematic instruction in the non-verbal systems that preceed it.