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Teresa Guillemot

Teacher Education Programme, Mathematics and Computing

**toc99001@student.mdh.se ABSTRACT
**

Dyscalculia is a mathematical learning disorder where the mathematical ability is far below expected for a person’s age, intelligence and education. Researchers have found evidence that such a disability exists and due to their findings there is a need to address dyscalculia as an important educational issue in mathematics. Students with these mathematical learning disabilities in the Swedish school system today have the opportunity to be diagnosed through special tests. If these students are diagnosed with dyscalculia then they can receive special education corresponding to their needs. The concept of dyscalculia is being discussed, researched, tested and scrutinized in several institutions around the world. Test results indicate that somewhere between 3-6 % of the population suffers from severe mathematical learning disorders, even to the extent that it impairs the daily life. Recently there have been discoveries made suggesting that different mathematical operations and number handling are connected to specific areas in the brain. If these neuropsychological findings can be scientifically justified, researchers are one step closer to solve the puzzle of dyscalculia, also known as number blindness. The aim of this article is to discuss the different views of dyscalculia, both supporting and critical towards treating dyscalculia as an important educational issue, and illuminate the possible advantages of diagnosing mathematical learning disabilities. early as in 1924 The German researcher Gerstmann examined patients that had lost their ability to perform mathematical operations due to damage to the left side of the brain. This disability was later called Gerstmann’s syndrome (Butterworth, 1999). This article begins with the definitions of the topics discussed, followed by a survey of recent work of authors in the field of research. The research suggesting neurophysiologic basis for dyscalculia is important because of frequent opinion that learning difficulties are solely the result of lack of student’s diligence and attentiveness. Also, even if a neurophysiological picture of the disorder can provide an explanation, the fact that the brain exhibits remarkable plasticity remains, which leaves us with the question: is it possible by exercise to remedy the neuropsychological state linked to dyscalculia? A discussion of the surveyed work follows in the end of the article. References in the text are given as endnotes.

Definitions

Dyscalculia is a broad term that includes many different kinds of difficulties in learning mathematics. Dyscalculia is also used for naming general difficulties in learning basic mathematics. Some of the different definitions include: • Developmental dyscalculia: according to a number of researchers (Kosc, 1974, Shalev & Gross-Tsur, 1993, 2001, Wilson & Dehaene2, 2007) this type of dyscalculia originates from a specific impairment in the brain function. However, this definition has not always been fully acknowledged by the research community. The neuroscience research field has though progressed, where studies are conducted concerning the brain (Wilson & Dehaene, 2007). Acalculia: where a person has lost all sense of meaning of numbers or where the person still understands numbers but is unable to perform basic calculations like addition and multiplication, due to a neurological damage.

Keywords

Dyscalculia, Learning disabilities, Mathematics education

INTRODUCTION

In cognitive science and the pedagogical and neuropsychological fields, different views exist of mathematical learning disorders. Dyscalculia has been defined as a specific mathematical learning disorder (MLD), where the mathematical ability is far below expected for a person’s age, intelligence, and education. Researchers and scientists in the field have different opinions on whether dyscalculia as a diagnosis is possible to establish scientifically or not, or where it originates from in case it exists. This survey is focused on recent work from both perspectives, looking into possible explanations of the phenomenon. Teachers, parents and students are often aware of the fact that there are a number of persons with special difficulties in learning mathematics. Pupils with learning disorders may feel uncomfortable in learning situations, unless they are being treated in a way that facilitates their learning. In order to give the proper education to a pupil with a learning disorder, it is essential to understand the most suitable ways in which students with learning disabilities can acquire mathematical understanding, which is closely associated with abstract thinking. Findings pointing towards an area in the brain connected to abstract thinking were published by the French neurologist Broca already in 1861 (Butterworth1, 1999). As 1 •

**• Pseudo-dyscalculia: finding math difficult, based on emotional blockage or a confidence problem.
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There are also several different theories of causes of dyscalculia: • The Core deficit hypothesis: analogies are made between dyslexia3 and dyscalculia. Even though “the knowledge of its behavioural manifestations is incomplete” (Wilson & Dehaene, 2007), neuroimaging results point to a specific region in the brain when it comes to numerical handling. Some types of dyscalculia are caused by an impairment of function in different regions in the brain (Butterworth, 1999; Gersten & Chard, 1999; Robinson, Menchetti & Torgesen, 2002). Working memory hypothesis; Wilson and Dehaene (2007) suggest a controversial explanation of dyscalculia, namely a

•

Sjöberg presented his conclusions in a thesis where he studied 200 pupils from grade five in the Swedish compulsory school to the second year of education in the upper secondary school during a six year period. genetically determined learning disability in a child with average intelligence” and “a learning disability in mathematics. spelling and the children also possessed emotional and behavioural problems. describing a study made at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Zürich. Von Aster found similar dyslexic conditions. mathematical anxiety. in England by Lewis. A total of 100 classroom observations were made and 40 of them were video recorded. ADHD and other disabilities. Hitch and Walker (1994). a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to block the energy activation of the brain on one side at a time.deficit in the components of the working memory. This study confirmed the results of earlier studies. not only the pupil with the assumed mathematical learning disorder. disturbance in the classroom environment. included disabilities with most mathematical thinking. When blocking the right side of the brain. The range was interpreted as a consequence of different definitions of developmental dyscalculia. Several other studies have been made in other countries showing similar figures. since it was not made clear whether developmental dyscalculia and the effects produced through TMS could be classified as identical deficits. In order to cope with ambiguous results regarding left and right side of the brain. Material was gathered regularly in which pupils filled in questionnaires. which was 6. Klauer (1992). Shalev and Gross-Tsur (2000) acknowledged that other authors emphasized other reasons than brain dysfunctions for dyscalculia. since the children with these difficulties had a tendency to show poorer arithmetical skills than those only having dyscalculia. had a role in the ability to recognize numbers. “a speciﬁc. Research results on Dyscalculia Von Aster (2000) wrote about the state of dyscalculia. in Switzerland by Von Aster (1997). 13 were having specific mathematical problems. especially when counting mentally. Sjöberg claimed that the research results showing that 6 % of compulsory school pupils suffered from dyscalculia were incorrectly interpreted. Kosc regarded the children with results below the 10th percentile as dyscalculic. His opinion was that the results from previous studies were inconclusive when pointing towards dyscalculia as an indication of difficulties in mathematics. dyslexia. lower social and economic status. On two occasions Sjöberg conducted in-depth interviews with the 13 pupils who had specific mathematical problems. The definitions of dyscalculia were not precise and Shalev. GrossTsur et al. comorbidity7 and number processing represented in more than one brain area. The margin of errors in these studies were affected by reading difficulties. Sjöberg noticed other components that were possibly affecting the pupil’s low understanding of math like a low work rate during the lessons. In Germany by Badian (1983). However. Subtraction was the most problematic operation but also remembering methods of counting. “To determine prevalence we must develop a scientiﬁc and clinical consensus as to what constitutes a learning disability and which deﬁnition best describes the problem. Developmental disorders often generate multiple problems. and six of the children also had Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The latest study found refuting the existence of dyscalculia as a phenomenon was made by Sjöberg in 2006. called the Pervasive subtype. but the findings made Sjöberg draw the conclusion that diagnosing dyscalculia should be exercised cautiously. large groups and also emotional stress in test situations. cognitive deﬁcits due to instances of biological damage and neurocognitive damage causing developmental dyscalculia which might result in . Different mathematical assignments of basic character were used. (2000) suggested a prevalence of 3–6 % school children with dyscalculia. 2000). The idea that the pupils had not put enough effort and time into their work with math was a more likely scenario. Gross-Tsur et al. Unlike Sjöberg. All the students in his study finished math studies in upper secondary school with satisfying results. as opposed to the persons that were being tested without the blocking. But according to careful studies of the fMRI no other areas showed any activity during the automatic magnitude processing. The Arabic subtype of dyscalculia included children with problems reading Arabic numbers out loud and writing them after hearing the numbers. referred to different options like. The results of the study did not refute the existence of dyscalculia as a phenomenon. where there was no appearance of dyscalculic behaviour. which is supported by Adler (2001). This led Sjöberg to the conclusion that in order to make a diagnose properly the whole environment has to be examined. Kadosh was using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in order to show that the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). How is it possible to sort out the dyscalculia? Rubinstein and Henik focused on three different views. Figure A: Right side of the brain and the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) [6] Rubinstein and Henik (2009) regarded the IPS findings as surprising. The Verbal subtype was found in children with the largest difficulty when counting. according to Rubinstein and Henik. the test persons appeared to obtain dyscalculic behaviour. the diagnosis of which is established when arithmetic 2 performance is substantially below that expected for age. The experimenters also took into consideration that other areas of the brain that were communicating at the same time could be affected by the TMS. Shalev. single restricted biological deﬁcit. the researchers did not claim to have found the cause of dyscalculia after this test. defining three subtypes of dyscalculia. Some students claim to get blackouts during tests due to experiencing a high stress level. Children with the Verbal subtypes also had other learning disabilities. writing. one of them made by Butterworth (2006). In nine of eleven children in the study. not using pen and paper. It is important to notice that only five subjects were tested.” (Shalev. Gross-Tsur et al. illustrated in figure A. Kadosh4 (2007) discovered through tests that a specific part of the brain was associated with automatic magnitude processing5. The experimental procedures were carefully described in the report. The first study of dyscalculic prevalence was made by Kosc in Bratislava in 1974. large classes and less well thought-through curricula and teaching.. but these children had no further learning disabilities. if at all. The reasons they stated were heterogeneous behavioural deﬁcits. Of these students. The third group of dyscalculia.4 % of the 375 fifth-graders participating in the study. intelligence and education”. also using fMRI and identifying the IPS as the centre responsible for the handling of number information.

The authors pointed out that the causes for mathematical learning disorders were still under investigation. second and third grade. Manor. Backward Digit Recall is a standard format backward digit span12 (Geary et al. The Working Memory Test Battery for Children10 was composed by nine subtests in order to assess “the central executive11. In the analysis were proficiency scores. the numbers remembered increased by one. 2005) when discussing predictions of the percentage of children diagnosed with a mathematical learning disorder. Working memory has come to develop a central role in the area of MLD. the maze was increased with one wall. decomposition9 or other/mixed strategy. 2009) Number estimation was assessed through number lines. fingers8. like Block Recall. (2009) referred to other authors (Gross-Tsur. Geary et al. To further asses the children’s addition strategies. 1999). first. Ostad. but without pen and paper and the answer was to be told out loud. (2009) to measure the speed and correctness of the basic number and quantity recognition in children. Comparisons between normally achieving children and children with a MLD have been made. After a successful trial. The child could use any strategy to get the answer. Listening Recall. 2009). except for the children in kindergarten who were tested one time in spring. To find the most accurate measure to predict third grade mathematics achievement. (2009) noted that children with MLD made errors throughout the test when the first chip was counted twice like “one – one – two – three – etc”. maybe in another order. & Shalev. The latter group’s counting strategies were less mature. Pupils with results above the 30th percentile were considered normally achieving. The tests were conducted every term for each age group. The Visuospatial sketchpad was tried with other span tasks13. Geary et al. The percentage of correct direct-retrieval trials for simple problems was correlated with the mathematics achievement scores. The Phonological loop was examined with Digit Recall. A board was set up with nine one-sided numbered blocks in a “random” arrangement. Series of words were presented to the child in the Word List Matching task. Geary et al. a mix of simple and complex addition problems was shown one at a time. The child’s task was to replicate the solution when the picture was removed. 1998. specifically. and Nonword List Recall. (2009).. most of the time in a quiet place. To get to the next level after that. the numbers could only be seen by the experimenter. Figure B: A part of the Number Sets Test (Geary et al. Kosc.. A picture of an identical maze with one solution drawn was presented. Shalev. Participants in the test were 228 children from kindergarten. Then the experimenter touched series of blocks and the child should repeat the order. Each problem should be solved as quickly and correctly as possible. not related.. Injury in the IPS area could thus result in dyscalculia. according to Rubinstein and Henik (2009). The further developed test was meant to serve as a quick screening to find sensitivity for numbers and predict MLD. 2009). and not double-calculated. a blank line with two endpoints. & Gross-Tsur. counting fingers. The assignment was to mark on the line where the number presented should be placed. The score was defined as the absolute difference between the marking of the number and the correct position of the number.. Wechsler. all measures were compared in . Mazes Memory task was conducted like this. for instance by repeating words spoken by the experimenter in the same order. verbal counting. The test ended when the child failed three times in a row. their understanding of counting was not fully developed and they had continuous difficulties learning math and recalling basic arithmetic facts stored in the long-term memory. Children with MLD probably have a dysfunction in the basic recognition of numbers and their magnitude (Geary et al. and used in the analysis by Geary et al. Word List Recall. 0 and 100. 1996. A score below the 15th percentile on the mathematics achievement test characterized the child as having a MLD.several. even if some conclusions had been drawn about the main areas contributing to the disorder. and then remember the number of counted dots at the end of a series of cards. The early stages of mathematical learning were essential for the later outcome in the education. Results between the 15th and 30th percentiles were being considered as “low achieving” (Geary et al. where four were to be remembered to get to the next level. then determine if the sentence was true or false and then repeat the last word in a series of sentences. The score for this part of the test was calculated as a percentage of the number of times the child successfully identified wrong calculations. working memory and mathematical cognition test scores taken into consideration. Examples of understanding numbers are given in figure B. Focusing on single brain-behaviour deﬁcits exclusively could prevent understanding of the variety of deﬁcits connected to developmental dyscalculia and MLD. 2009). (2009) classified the trials into six different categories. The authors recommended future researchers to examine the whole brain. retrieval. Then the words were presented again. which was found to be in the range from 5 to 10 %. The location of the tests was at the children’s schools. Measuring the children’s counting ability was made by letting the child look at a puppet counting red and blue chips. The overall score was calculated as the mean of 3 these differences across the trials. It was regarded critical on multiple levels that a diagnosis should be made at an early stage.. The reason to that was for measures to be taken early in order to help the child develop their mathematical abilities in the future. No comments were made on high achieving children in the test. The third test. the child got a picture of a maze with more than one solution. and the child had to decide whether the second list had the same order as the first list. The IQ scores were measured using the test by Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI. 1974. Some of the children’s tests were executed on the university campus or in a mobile testing van. The second test then demanded of the child to count a set of dots on a card. The Number Sets Tests were designed by Geary et al. since developmental disorders were considered heterogeneous. phonological loop and visuospatial sketchpad” (Geary et al. The central executive was investigated through three different tests. The tests had six items from one to six to one to nine. behavioural disorders. Counting Recall and Backward Digit Recall. IQ in the first year. maximum seven. yet standardized tests of arithmetic computation could be a helpful screening tool to detect and separate dyscalculia from MLD. Rubinstein and Henik considered brain dysfunction as a possible reason for dyscalculia and stated that evidence has been found that IPS was involved in attention and related cognitive processes. The idea of the first test was to let the child listen to a sentence. 2009). Manor. The child had to tell if the puppet had made a correct calculation.

There is a need to agree on criteria that will help recognizing and analysing dyscalculia. A diagnosis also prevents a person from being discarded as “dumb”. Shalev. even though the results are interesting and in need of further testing. then the extra support from home can help the children in their learning process. writing and spelling until they received a diagnosis of their disability which opened up a whole new world of understanding to them and also of them. if trying to teach a child with dyscalculia math of the wrong kind. Dyslexia has previously been established as a proper diagnose of the learning disorder concerning reading. Despite the research work. the number line scores predicted 27 %. In many Swedish upper secondary schools a pupil must have a proper diagnosis to receive special education. Arabic and Pervasive subtypes. (2009) the Number Sets Test was a potential screening tool for discovering children prone to MLD at an early stage. Discussion Dyscalculia is a topic widely discussed in pedagogical and neuropsychological forums. 2009). the statistics of the results are not reliable. Further. 2006). Manor O. If the parents are involved and aware of the children’s difficulties. although the same tests are done every year in the first grade. A diagnosis of dyscalculia could help the affected children to find a way to not feel excluded from the possibility to understand a core subject like mathematics. the best way to teach math to children with dyscalculia is in individual sessions. Today the classroom situation does not make it easy for children with dyscalculia. Shalev RS. The number line measure appeared to somewhat assess the children’s intuitive understanding of numerical quantity. and give an explanation to why it is hard to learn a specific matter. Adler has been providing tests to diagnose dyscalculia for at least a couple of years. (2009) have developed tests to examine the working memory and its impact on the mathematical ability to discover and predict learning disabilities in young school 4 children. Of the non-MLD children in third grade 96 % were correctly identified in first grade. Parameters pointed out are large groups. leading to decreasing interest in mathematics. large classes and less well thought-through curricula and bad teaching as affecting parameters to difficulty in mathematical learning situations. Gross-Tsur V. Sometimes the school’s economical situation still cannot allow extra individual teaching. Gross-Tsur et al. It is however not proven whether this mathematical ability is in need of other parts of the brain to fully function. Sjöberg (2006) means that dyscalculia has not yet been defined and that there are other reasons for pupil’s mathematical problems. Klauer KJ. Later performed studies by other researchers (Von Aster. Kosc (1974) was one of the first researchers to make a large scale test on mathematical disorders. bad teaching and mathematical anxiety (Sjöberg. which indicate that the disability is more complex than just a calculating issue. A diagnosis may have the effect to make a person feel understood. which in turn can affect the interest in other school subjects in a negative way. only with better understanding of the nature of developmental dyscalculia can we devise effective ways of helping the millions of our fellow citizens whose lives are blighted by it” (Butterworth. the situation for the child can even worsen. even with early indications of dyscalculia. 2000. Personally I look forward to the day when I as a teacher . (2000) disagree to that dyscalculia is perfectly defined due to the margin of errors in other researchers interpretations of test results. Language understanding and disorders like ADHD are factors contributing to difficulties in the learning process. Waiting for the problems to solve themselves will probably have the effect of making the children dislike math even more in the future. Geary et al. He came up with the result that 3-6 % of the tested children suffered from a mathematical learning disorder. with results confirming the IPS on the right side of the brain as a centre for number cognition. (2007) have performed clinical studies on the brain using fMRI. This would lead to early remedial services to a low cost according to Geary et al. spelling and writing but after years of controversies between the researchers in the fields of neuroscience and cognitive theory. The main reason to why research on dyscalculia is conducted is hopefully to give a remedy to the persons with mathematical learning disabilities. up to second grade. since it is hard to understand why there is a problem learning math on your own. But when it comes to mathematics they no longer feel like intelligent well functioning persons that they really are and for some of them their whole world falls apart. disturbing environments. and rather mean that dyscalculia is depending on a range of various disorders. Competencies assessed by the sensitivity score were unrelated to reading achievement and achievement in general or to IQ or working memory (Geary et al. The researchers claimed that their results provided initial support for their hypothesis. 2006). in the IPS. mathematical anxiety. Sjöberg’s test subjects later succeeded in finishing mathematics courses in upper secondary school. More recent research has although been made in this area. To discover dyscalculia at an early stage may prevent these children from developing a negative self-image. 1996. To enable further tests. intelligent adolescents with seemingly no disorders. The recommendations are to examine the whole environment and not only the student with the mathematical learning disorder. Kadosh et al. social. The classes have many pupils and there is not much time left for individual teaching. Dyscalculia on the other hand has not yet reached the same status as dyslexia. indicating that mathematical abilities can be connected to both sides of the brain. “Finally. The central executive and sensitivity measures predicted 25 % in the variation. The results from the test in first grade could be used to detect 67 % of children risking MLD at the end of third grade and correctly identify nearly 90 % of non-MLD children. The authors emphasized that the Number Sets Test was not yet ready for use as a diagnostic tool since the test was not normed and it could not be used for making predictions later than the third grade. According to Adler (2001). the fact remains that there still are pupils in school with difficulties when it comes to learning mathematics. According to Geary et al. Benefits of early identification of children at risk for MLD would be early remedial services and low costs. We teachers see more and more students who are having severe problems learning mathematics. Going deeper into the cognitive perception of mathematics. In lectures I have learned that persons with dyslexia have felt excluded from learning reading. That the student’s mathematical abilities decrease with the years is an alarming trend that demands immediate attention from the authorities. the authors were willing to provide the test on request.independent regressions.. These pupils are normally functioning. The scores on mathematical tests are getting lower each year. Sjöberg's opinion is supported by Shalev and Gross-Tsur (2000) who propose lower social and economical status. Rubinstein and Henik (2009) are not satisfied with defining dyscalculia as being a separate disorder. In Sweden. who also identified the IPS as the centre responsible for the handling of number information. Von Aster (2000) even defines three different subtypes of dyscalculia. A diagnosis could give meaning to the children and their parents and give resources to teachers to better help students with disabilities. Due to the small amount of gathered data. Kadosh’s study is confirming the findings made by Butterworth (2006). 1992) show around the same percentage. Verbal.

1998. Schuhmann T. Developmental cognitive neuropsychology of number processing and calculation: varieties of developmental dyscalculia. Butterworth B. 2006. In Human behaviour. University of Missouri.. Henik A. Journal of Learning Disabilities. 2007 Acknowledgements I would like to thank my course leaders Jan Gustafsson and Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic for their support and enthusiasm. learning and the developing brain: Atypical development.kb..1177/002221947400700309 Osaka N.in mathematics have better tools to help all of my students. London. Number 3. If it isn’t dyscalculia – then what is it? A multimethod study of the pupil with mathematics problems from a longitudinal perspective. Académie des sciences..org) Baddeley A. pages: 212–238.. Paris. 2000. Kosc L. and D’Esposito M. 2009. Cohen Kadosh K. Gross-Tsur V. 2000.The Number Sets Test. (http://urn. 2001 (See also http://www.. Glaser D. Auerbach J. 7. 2009. answering questions and helping their students managing the deadlines... Oxford University Press. The cognitive neuroscience of working memory. 1999. Predicting Mathematical Achievement and Mathematical Learning Disability With a Simple Screening Tool . Logie R.. Developmental Dyscalculia. What is dyscalculia? NU-förlag. 2006 (http://www.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-777) Von Aster M. 5 . Developmental dyscalculia: prevalence and prognosis..org/content/103/12/4693. Discrete and analogue quantity processing in the parietal lobe: A functional MRI study. Elsevier. ISBN 91-7264-047-2. Kaas A. Thank you! References Adler B.full) Cohen Kadosh R. Steinkopff Verlag. DOI: 10. Wilson A. Sjöberg G. and Sack AT. Castelli F. Manor O. 2007 Geary D. 1974.pnas.. and Hoard M. Volume 27. Vol. Bailey D. Number sense and developmental dyscalculia. and Henik A. Working memory.. S. Virtual Dyscalculia Induced by Parietal-Lobe TMS Impairs Automatic Magnitude Processing. and Butterworth B. New York. succeed in mathematics. Goebel R. Shalev R. Printed in Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment..dyscalculiainfo. The Mathematical Brain: Macmillan. 9: II/41–II/57 © Steinkopff Verlag. 2007 Rubinstein O. Developmental Dyscalculia: heterogeneity might not mean different mechanisms. Dehaene S. including the ones with learning disabilities.

gif The presence of one or more disorders.. University College London.Endnotes 1 Brian Butterworth. (Geary et al. Wikipedia). parietal lobe functions and neurocognitive mechanisms amongst other areas.net/uploaded_images/vis_perf. Dyslexia: learning disability involving difficulties in processing language in reading. researcher in numerical cognition. 6 . has a Masters degree in applied mathematics and Computer science. 2009) WMTB-C. spelling. professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at University College. Pickering & Gathercole. 2009) 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 The central executive. and writing 3 (http://www. (Geary et al. PhD in Experimental Psychology. a neuropsychological explaining model of a central attentional control system in the brain (Baddeley. “7 + 8 by decomposing 8 into 5 and 3 and then adding 7 + 3 = 10. 10 + 5 = 15”. Automatic magnitude processing: determining the magnitude of a number when compared to another number that also differs in appearance and physical size.com/dictionary/dyslexia) 4 Roi Cohen Kadosh. 2007.. Logie & D’Esposito. Professor at Collège de France. from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. The span is about how long the list of remembered and repeated items is (Osaka. 1998) Recalling numbers in reversed order (Wikipedia) 12 13 Span tasks are about repeating information directly after being presented to it. chair of Experimental Cognitive Psychology. 2001. “Fingers” means showing fingers. London 2 Stanislas Dehaene. Figure taken from http://dericbownds.merriam-webster.

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