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Number Sense and Quantifier Comprehension

Dr. Robin Clark

Tuesday, October 17, 2006, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

University of Pennsylvania, Department of Linguistics

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Humans have both a sense of precise number and expressive language
containing a variety of expressions for quantity.  While it seems natural
to suppose that these capacities are linked in some way, the precise
connections between language and number sense remain, to some degree,
mysterious.  In this talk, I will present some experimental evidence, drawn
from behavioral and imaging studies, from both normal subjects and
acalculics (specifically, patients with corticobasal degeneration, on the
connections between quantifier comprehension and number sense.  Arguably,
our ability to interpret quantified expressions rests on our number sense.
Furthermore, we will show that different types of quantifiers---associated
with different levels of complexity---marshal different neuroanatomical
resources.

Dr. Robin Clark