Developmental neuroscience of time and number: implications for autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities

Front Integr Neurosci. 2012 Mar 6;6:7. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2012.00007. eCollection 2011 Oct 14.


Estimations of time and number share many similarities in both non-humans and man. The primary focus of this review is on the development of time and number sense across infancy and childhood, and neuropsychological findings as they relate to time and number discrimination in infants and adults. Discussion of these findings is couched within a mode-control model of timing and counting which assumes time and number share a common magnitude representation system. A basic sense of time and number likely serves as the foundation for advanced numerical and temporal competence, and aspects of higher cognition-this will be discussed as it relates to typical childhood, and certain developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder. Directions for future research in the developmental neuroscience of time and number (NEUTIN) will also be highlighted.

Keywords: cortico-striatal circuits; counting; mode-control models; numerical cognition; temporal cognition; timing and time perception.