Neuropsychology Review

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 179–231 | Cite as

Acalculia and Dyscalculia

  • Alfredo Ardila
  • Mónica Rosselli


Even though it is generally recognized that calculation ability represents a most important type of cognition, there is a significant paucity in the study of acalculia. In this paper the historical evolution of calculation abilities in humankind and the appearance of numerical concepts in child development are reviewed. Developmental calculation disturbances (developmental dyscalculia) are analyzed. It is proposed that calculation ability represents a multifactor skill, including verbal, spatial, memory, body knowledge, and executive function abilities. A general distinction between primary and secondary acalculias is presented, and different types of acquired calculation disturbances are analyzed. The association between acalculia and aphasia, apraxia and dementia is further considered, and special mention to the so-called Gerstmann syndrome is made. A model for the neuropsychological assessment of numerical abilities is proposed, and some general guidelines for the rehabilitation of calculation disturbances are presented.

acalculia dyscalculia numerical knowledge calculation ability 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfredo Ardila
    • 1
  • Mónica Rosselli
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersFlorida International UniversityMiami
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFlorida Atlantic UniversityDavie

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