Sensitivity to number: Reply to Gebuis and Gevers

Cognition. 2011 Nov 1;121(2):253-255. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2011.04.002.


Past research showing a bias towards the larger non-symbolic number by adults and children in line bisection tasks (de Hevia & Spelke, 2009) has been challenged by Gebuis and Gevers, suggesting that area subtended by the stimulus and not number is responsible for the biases. I review evidence supporting the idea that although sensitivity to number might be relatively affected by visual cues, number is a major, salient property of our environment. The influence of non-numerical cues might be seen as the concurrent processing of dimensions that entail information of magnitude, without implying that number is constructed out of those dimensions.

Keywords: line bisection; non-numerical cues; number; spatial biases.