Children understand numbers differently than adults. For kids, one and two seem much further apart then 101 and 102, because two is twice as big as one, and 102 is just a little bigger than 101It's only after years of schooling that we're persuaded to see the numbers in both sets as only one integer apart on a number line.
Now Dror Dotan, a doctoral student at Tel Aviv University's School of Education and Sagol School of Neuroscience and Prof. Stanislas Dehaene of the Collège de France, a leader in the field of numerical cognition, have found new evidence that educated adults retain traces of their childhood, or innate, number sense—and that it's more powerful than many scientists think.
"We were surprised when we saw that people never completely stop thinking about numbers as they did when they were children," said Dotan. "The innate human number sense has an impact, even on thinking about double-digit numbers." The findings, a significant step forward in understanding how people process numbers, could contribute to the development of methods to more effectively educate or treat children with learning disabilities and people with brain injuries.