Our understanding of how the human brain performs mathematical calculations is far from complete. But in recent years there have been many exciting scientific discoveries, some aided by new imaging techniques--which allow us for the first time to watch the living mind at work--and others by ingenious experiments conducted by researchers all over the world. There are still perplexing mysteries--how, for instance, do idiot savants perform almost miraculous mathematical feats?--but the picture is growing steadily clearer. In The Number Sense, Stanislas Dehaene offers general readers a first look at these recent stunning discoveries, in an enlightening exploration of the mathematical mind.
Dehaene, a mathematician turned cognitive neuropsychologist, begins with the eye-opening discovery that animals--including rats, pigeons, raccoons, and chimpanzees--can perform simple mathematical calculations, and he describes ingenious experiments that show that human infants also have a rudimentary number sense (American scientist Karen Wynn, for instance, using just a few Mickey Mouse toys and a small puppet theater, proved that five-month-old infants already have the ability to add and subtract). Further, Dehaene suggests that this rudimentary number sense is as basic to the way the brain understands the world as our perception of color or of objects in space, and, like these other abilities, our number sense is wired into the brain. But how then did the brain leap from this basic number ability to trigonometry, calculus, and beyond? Dehaene shows that it was the invention of symbolic systems of numerals that started us on the climb to higher mathematics, and in a marvelous chapter he traces the history of numbers, from early times when people indicated a number by pointing to a part of their body (even today, in many societies in New Guinea, the word for six is "wrist"), to early abstract numbers such as Roman numerals (chosen for the ease with which they could be carved into wooden sticks), to modern numbers. On our way, we also discover many fascinating facts: for example, because Chinese names for numbers are so short, Chinese people can remember up to nine or ten digits at a time--English-speaking people can only remember seven. Dehaene also explores the unique abilities of idiot savants and mathematical geniuses, asking what might explain their special mathematical talent. And we meet people whose minute brain lesions render their mathematical ability useless--one man, in fact, who is certain that two and two is three. Using modern imaging techniques (PET scans and MRI), Dehaene reveals exactly where in the brain numerical calculation takes place. But perhaps most important, The Number Sense reaches many provocative conclusions that will intrigue anyone interested in mathematics or the mind. Dehaene argues, for instance, that many of the difficulties that children face when learning math, and which may turn into a full-blown adult "innumeracy," stem from the architecture of our primate brain, which has not evolved for the purpose of doing mathematics. He also shows why the human brain does not work like a computer, and that the physical world is not based on mathematics--rather, mathematics evolved to explain the physical world the way that the eye evolved to provide sight.
A truly fascinating look at the crossroads where numbers and neurons intersect, The Number Sense offers an intriguing tour of how the structure of the brain shapes our mathematical abilities, and how our mathematics opens up a window on the human mind.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
This may surprise those who have trouble carrying the remainder in division or figuring out a 15 percent tip on a $20 lunch bill, but according to mathematician and psychologist Stanislas Dehaene, mathematics is an inborn skill. In The Number Sense, Dehaene makes a compelling case for the human mind's innate grasp of mathematics. Take, for example, the fact that place value systems (such as the Arabic numeral system we use) arose independently in four separate civilizations--evidence of a universal sense of number. Dehaene's book is filled with examples to support his thesis, from young babies' ability to "count" (i.e., to react when single objects are replaced by two or more) to examples of how brain damage affects various individuals' number sense. Even more fascinating is his discussion of the relationship between language and numbers. Though Dehaene's book is about mathematics, even those readers with the worst math anxiety will find The Number Sense an intriguing exploration of the world of numbers--and the human mind.About the Author:
About the Author:
Stanislas Dehaene is Research Affiliate at the Institute de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, in Paris, France.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description -. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The Number Sense:How The Mind Creates Mathematics. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780140261349
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd (London), 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The Number Sense:How The Mind Creates Mathematics. This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140261349
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd (London) 04/03/1999, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 6545-9780140261349
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd (London) 04/03/1999, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 2341-9780140261349
Book Description Oxford University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Bookseller Inventory # G0140261346I4N00
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001534252
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Bookseller Inventory # GOR007883096
Book Description Penguin Books, London, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. First Thus. A paperback book in very good condition, dated 1999. How the mind creates mathematics. Bookseller Inventory # 051717
Book Description Oxford University Press, 1999. Book Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 0140261346-2-4
Book Description Oxford University Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. New Ed. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Bookseller Inventory # 0140261346