Do subitizing deficits in developmental dyscalculia involve pattern recognition weakness?
Article first published online: 18 OCT 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 35–46, January 2013
How to Cite
Ashkenazi, S., Mark-Zigdon, N. and Henik, A. (2013), Do subitizing deficits in developmental dyscalculia involve pattern recognition weakness?. Developmental Science, 16: 35–46. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01190.x
- Issue published online: 21 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 18 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 15 SEP 2010
The abilities of children diagnosed with developmental dyscalculia (DD) were examined in two types of object enumeration: subitizing, and small estimation (5–9 dots). Subitizing is usually defined as a fast and accurate assessment of a number of small dots (range 1 to 4 dots), and estimation is an imprecise process to assess a large number of items (range 5 dots or more). Based on reaction time (RT) and accuracy analysis, our results indicated a deficit in the subitizing and small estimation range among DD participants in relation to controls. There are indications that subitizing is based on pattern recognition, thus presenting dots in a canonical shape in the estimation range should result in a subitizing-like pattern. In line with this theory, our control group presented a subitizing-like pattern in the small estimation range for canonically arranged dots, whereas the DD participants presented a deficit in the estimation of canonically arranged dots. The present finding indicates that pattern recognition difficulties may play a significant role in both subitizing and subitizing deficits among those with DD.