Defective number sense or impaired access? Differential impairments in different subgroups of children with mathematics difficulties

Tin Yau Terry WONG, Suk Han Connie HO, Joey TANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Developmental dyscalculia (DD) is a specific learning disability in mathematics that affects around 6% of the population. Currently, the core deficit of DD remains unknown. While the number sense deficit hypothesis suggests that the core deficit of DD lies in the inability to represent nonsymbolic numerosity, the access deficit hypothesis suggests that the origin of this disability lies in the inability to associate numbers with the underlying magnitude representation. The present study compared the performance of DDs with their low-achieving (LA) and normally achieving peers in nonsymbolic numerosity processing and number-magnitude mapping over 1 year (from kindergarten to 1st grade). The results demonstrated differential impairments in different subgroups of children with mathematics difficulties. While DDs showed deficits in both nonsymbolic numerosity processing and number-magnitude mapping, LAs showed deficit only in the number-magnitude mapping. Furthermore, the deficit in number-magnitude mapping among the DD group was partially explained by their number sense deficit. The number sense deficit hypothesis is supported. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Hammill Institute on Disabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
JournalJournal of Learning Disabilities
Volume50
Issue number1
Early online dateJun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Citation

Wong, T. T. Y., Ho, C. S. H., & Tang, J. (2017). Defective number sense or impaired access? Differential impairments in different subgroups of children with mathematics difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50(1), 49-61.

Keywords

  • Mathematics
  • Dyscalculia

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