Innate Numbers

Let’s get mathy. When we show up into the world do we come pre-wired with an understanding of numbers? Research shows that we do (within 24 hours babies can identify changes in quantity), but they are not the same kinds of numbers that we think of today. In fact our sense of numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc) may be deeply at odds with how we experience quantities intuitively. This piece gets spooky in a hurry. Because it suggests that the numbers we are living with today may be, in some very real way, a lie.

Listen to Innate Numbers

Story starts at approx: 4:15

To comment or download, visit: http://www.radiolab.org/2009/nov/30/innate-numbers/


Photo by: Koen Vereeken

A Note on Listening: Due to varying lengths of intro credits, the exact start time changes weekly. I’ve provided an approximate start time, which should get you close. If you’d like to download an mp3, follow the link to the original broadcast page. Thanks!