Alessandro Chinello, Veronica Cattani, Claudia Bonfiglioli, Stanislas Dehaene and Manuela Piazza
In the primate brain, sensory information is processed along two partially segregated cortical streams: the ventral stream, mainly coding for objects' shape and identity, and the dorsal stream, mainly coding for objects' quantitative information (including size, number, and spatial position). Here we collected, in a large sample of young children and adults, behavioural measures on an extensive set of functions typically associated with either the dorsal or the ventral stream. Results show that during the early stages of development dorsal- and ventral-related functions follow two clearly uncorrelated developmental trajectories, and that, within each stream, some functions show strong correlations: finger gnosis, non-symbolic numerical abilities and spatial abilities within the dorsal stream, and object and face recognition abilities within the ventral stream. This pattern of between stream segregation and within-stream cross-task correlations seems to be lost in adults.