# PSYC 355 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Lightning, Absolute Difference, Habituation

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23 Feb 2017
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LECTURE 4: COUNTING
Counting
1. Timing and Number
2. The Approximate Number System
3. Operations
4. Ordinality
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1. TIMING AND NUMBER
Meck & Church (1983) & Roberts et al. (1995): with rats and pigeons
Training
- Trained to press one lever if 2 sounds, another key if 8
sounds
- Number and time are confounded
Testing
- 2 or 8 sounds in 4s
- 4 sounds over 2s or 8s
RESULTS
- Do well on both conditions
- Timing and counting are processed simultaneously
Platt & Johnson (1971) & Cordes et al. (2001)
- Rats press lever certain amount of times to get food reward
- Humans tap key
- If they go under or over = no reward
RESULTS
- For both, the variance increased as the number to be counted
increased
- The pacemaker also serves as a bridge for not just a time
accumulator, but also a count accumulator
“o far…
- Timing and counting are processed simultaneously
- The variance increased as the number to be counted increased
- Now research focuses on number over time, mores specifically
how number is represented in the mind
2. THE APPROXIMATE NUMBER SYSTEM (ANS)
- A cognitive system that represents an imprecise estimate of the number of discrete entities in a set (ie. the
numerosity)
o Discrete entities = number of sounds/ flashes
o Interparietal sulcus is involved in quantitative calculation
- A real-world value is represented in the mind as an analog of that value
o Analog magnitude representation
o Representation of some real-world quantity/ value
o ANS is the system that creates this representation
- Supports the comparison and estimation of numerosities
o Comparing quantities: important for foraging species, social species
- Analog magnitude representation is noisy
o Cannot figure out an exact number of objects, just know an estimate
o The variance increased as the number to be counted increased
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