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Cognitive Processing

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 139–146 | Cite as

Does finger sense predict addition performance?

  • Sharlene D. NewmanEmail author
Research Report

Abstract

The impact of fingers on numerical and mathematical cognition has received a great deal of attention recently. However, the precise role that fingers play in numerical cognition is unknown. The current study explores the relationship between finger sense, arithmetic and general cognitive ability. Seventy-six children between the ages of 5 and 12 participated in the study. The results of stepwise multiple regression analyses demonstrated that while general cognitive ability including language processing was a predictor of addition performance, finger sense was not. The impact of age on the relationship between finger sense, and addition was further examined. The participants were separated into two groups based on age. The results showed that finger gnosia score impacted addition performance in the older group but not the younger group. These results appear to support the hypothesis that fingers provide a scaffold for calculation and that if that scaffold is not properly built, it has continued differential consequences to mathematical cognition.

Keywords

Finger gnosia Cognition Number Arithmetic 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was funded by a Grant from Indiana University (FRSP). I would like to thank Roy Seo, Jessica Denton, Galen Hartman, Priyanka Ghosh and Taylor Hurst for the assistance with data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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