Blog on Math Blogs

Mathematical Digest


Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Downloaded at Birth": A review of The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics by Stanislas Dehaene. Reviewed by Steven Rose. New York Times Book Review, 8 February 1998, page 16.

A review of The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics by Stanislas Dehaene. Reviewed by Laurence A. Marschall. The Sciences, March/April 1998, page 46.

This book explores the question of whether certain aspects of mathematical understanding are innate in humans and other animals. According to the Barschall review, Dehaene, who has expertise in mathematics and neuropsychology, "offers a series of informative and entertaining answers" to this question. In particular, Dehaene describes his observations of some of the surprising changes changes in mathematical abilities that occur in brain-damaged individuals. The Rose review says that "Dehaene builds his thesis from rich and varied sources of evidence---cultural, psychological and biological."

See also "Useful Invention or Absolute Truth: What is Math?".

--- Allyn Jackson