Multitudes Are Adaptable Magnitudes In The Estimation Of Number

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Response or Comment

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Behavioral And Brain Sciences


Visual number comparison does not require participants to choose a unit, whereas units are fundamental to the definition of number. Studies using magnitude estimation rather than comparison show that number perception is compressed dramatically past about 20 units. Even estimates of 5–20 items are increasingly susceptible to effects of visual adaptation, suggesting a rather narrow range in which subitizing-like categorization processes blend into greater reliance on adaptable magnitude information.


Open peer commentary in response to: Leibovich, T., Katzin, N., Harel, M., & Henik, A. (2017). From “sense of number” to “sense of magnitude”: The role of continuous magnitudes in numerical cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, E164. doi:10.1017/S0140525X16000960