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Children with number sense may have greater mathematical ability

A study published by John Hopkins University has found that some children, as young as 3 years of age, have a “number sense.”

Previous studies have indicated that a “number sense” is a basic talent to humans, but these tests tested older children who might have been influenced by the quality of their instruction. This university study tested 3- and 4-year-olds who did not have any formal education and has found that mathematical ability is an intuitive part of some children who have a “number sense.”

The researchers measured this ability by displaying flashing groups of green and yellow dots.  The children had to estimate which group of dots was larger in number, therefore using their number sense. The children were also made to count images on a screen, read Arabic numbers and do some other, very simple, math problems.