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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that as a group 6-month-old infants successfully discriminate numerical changes when the values differ by at least a 1:2 ratio but fail at a 2:3 ratio (e.g. 8 vs. 16 but not 8 vs. 12). However, no studies have yet examined individual differences in number discrimination in infancy. Using a novel numerical change detection paradigm, we present more direct evidence that infants’ numerical perception is ratio-dependent even within the range of discriminable ratios and thus adheres to Weber’s Law. Furthermore, we show that infants’ numerical discrimination at 6 months reliably predicts their numerical discrimination abilities but not visual short-term memory at 9 months. Thus, individual differences in numerical discrimination acuity may be stable within the first year of life and provide important avenues for future longitudinal research exploring the relationship between infant numerical discrimination and later developing math achievement.