Subitizing and counting in typical and atypical development

Authors


Karin Landerl, Department of Psychology, University of Tuebingen, Christophstr. 2, 72074 Tuebingen, Germany; e-mail: Karin.Landerl@uni-tuebingen.de

Abstract

Enumeration performance in standard dot counting paradigms was investigated for different age groups with typical and atypically poor development of arithmetic skills. Experiment 1 showed a high correspondence between response times and saccadic frequencies for four age groups with typical development. Age differences were more marked for the counting than the subitizing range. In Experiment 2 we found a discontinuity between subitizing and counting for dyscalculic children; however, their subitizing slopes were steeper than those of typically developing control groups, indicating a dysfunctional subitizing mechanism. Across both experiments a number of factors could be identified that affect enumeration in the subitizing and the counting range differentially. These differential patterns further support the assumption of two qualitatively different enumeration processes.

Ancillary