Thirtysomethings flex their number sense

Insight into quantities maxes out in adulthood and may influence math achievement

By Bruce Bower, 14:15 PM June 25, 2012

Even 6-month-old babies can rapidly estimate approximate numbers of items without counting. But surprisingly, an apparently inborn sense for numbers doesn’t top out until around age 30.

Number sense precision gradually declines after that, generally falling to preteen levels by about age 70, say psychologist Justin Halberda of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and his colleagues. They report the findings, based on Internet testing of more than 10,000 volunteers ages 11 to 85, online the...

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