Numbers: Calculation

C. Semenza, A. Granà

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A modularly organized brain mechanism, specialized for number appreciation and processing, seems to have been developed by evolution. The process of capturing numerosity and accessing the corresponding mental representation is performed via three basic tasks: subitizing, counting, and estimation. Number representation is believed to be analogical. Calculation relies on a general ability, conceptual knowledge, on specific abilities for dealing with procedures and on a specialized memory system for rote arithmetical knowledge. Neuropsychological investigations have revealed several independent subsystems in both number processing and calculation, and partly clarified their complex relation with processing of language.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Language & Linguistics
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780080448541
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Arithmetical conceptual knowledge
  • Arithmetical facts
  • Arithmetical procedures
  • Arithmetical rules
  • Arithmetical signs
  • Calculation
  • Cardinality
  • Counting
  • Estimation
  • Number processing
  • Ordinality
  • Subitizing
  • Transcoding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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