Dehaene, Stanislas

Read here pertinent facts about someone whose work is critical to a proper comprehension of scale.


Stanislas Dehaene (b. 1965) is a French-born trained mathematician, Chair of Experimental Psychology at the Collège de France., and (since 1989) director of INSERM Unit 562, "Cognitive Neuroimaging,". He has worked on a number of topics, including numerical cognition, the neural basis of reading and the neural correlates of consciousness. Dehaene was one of ten people to be awarded the James S. McDonnell Foundation Centennial Fellowship in 1999 for his work on the "Cognitive Neuroscience of Numeracy".
In “The Number Sense”, Stanislas Dehaene proposed that the human capacity for arithmetic finds its ultimate roots in a basic cerebral system for perception and mental manipulation of approximate numbers, very ancient in evolution. According to this theory, we share this system with many animal species, and it appears very early in human development, independently of langauge. Of course, it is a primitive system, capable only of basic computations such as estimation, comparison, addition and subtraction of approximate numbers. On this shared basis, various human cultures invent increasingly elaborate cultural tools such as Arabic symbols, counting routines, algorithms for exact addition, multiplication etc. Thus, the origins of human arithmetic lie in both a universal core system of approximate quantity, and on various cultural tools for exact arithmetic


Dehaene 2006: “Conscious, preconscious, and subliminal processing: a testable taxonomy” by Stanislas Dehaene, Jean-Pierre Changeux, Lionel Naccache, Jerome Sackur and Claire Sergent, in Trends in Cognitive Sciences Vol. 10 No. 5 May 2006 pp. 204-211