Dyscalculia, numeracy, quantitative reasoning, cognition, number sense


Developmental Dyscalculia (DD) is a learning disorder affecting the ability to acquire school-level arithmetic skills, affecting approximately 3-6% of individuals. Progress in understanding the root causes of DD and how best to treat it have been impeded by lack of widespread research and variation in characterizations of the disorder across studies. However, recent years have witnessed significant growth in the field, and a growing body of behavioral and neuroimaging evidence now points to an underlying deficit in the representation and processing of numerical magnitude information as a potential core deficit in DD. An additional product of the recent progress in understanding DD is the resurgence of a distinction between ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ developmental dyscalculia. The first appears related to impaired development of brain mechanisms for processing numerical magnitude information, while the latter refers to mathematical deficits stemming from external factors such as poor teaching, low socio-economic status, and behavioral attention problems or domain-general cognitive deficits. Increased awareness of this distinction going forward, in combination with longitudinal empirical research, offers great potential for deepening our understanding of the disorder and developing effective educational interventions.



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