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ISBN 9783843922944

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978-3-8439-2294-4, Reihe Psychologie

Franziska Schleger
Magnetoencephalographic signatures of numerosity discrimination in fetuses, neonates, and adults

117 Seiten, Dissertation Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen (2015), Softcover, A5

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

Numerosity processing - the processing of the numerical quantity of stimulus sets - has been hypothesized to be an innate ability. Although it has previously been examined in adults and neonates, it is not clear at which point in human development numerosity processing emerges. The neuroimaging method of fetal magnetoencephalography (fMEG) allows non-invasive investigation of neural responses before birth.

The present thesis gives an introduction to numerosity processing and numerosity discrimination tasks. Further, it examines numerosity discrimination in fetuses with fMEG and compares their neural responses to adult and neonatal control groups with a series of oddball paradigms.

The results demonstrate magnetic mismatch responses in all three subject groups in response to changes in numerosity as well as duration. Thus, the data provide evidence for fetal auditory numerosity discrimination during the last trimester of pregnancy.

These findings indicate that numerosity discrimination is present already before birth and therefore is an innate ability.