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A genetic and cross-linguistic Brazilian-German approach to children's numerical development

Project of the former Junior Research Group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity
Duration03/2018 – 12/2019
Project description

Numeracy is critical for individual life and career prospects. However, persistent difficulties with numeracy occur in about 3-6% of the population. Numerical difficulties seem to have several causes ranging from cognitive to environmental to genetic influences. This project aims at integrating research on the cognitive and genetic underpinnings of typical and atypical numerical development in children.

On the cognitive dimension, the project sets off to specify cross-linguistic influences on the development of numerical transcoding skills in Brazilian and German children. Therefore, it will particularly consider specificities of the respective languages’ number word systems such as unit-decade inversion in German number words (e.g., 24 à “vierundzwanzig”, literally “fourandtwenty”) and the composition of hundreds in Portuguese as specific words (e.g., 200 à “duzentos” instead of “dos cents”). In addition to simply evaluating these determinants of numerical development, the current project will go beyond latest cognitive research and also evaluate the genetic determinants of numerical development with a specific focus on dyscalculia. To accomplish these goals the German-Brazilian project team is composed of experts in the field of numerical cognition and its development (Germany: Prof. Moeller, Dr. Bahnmueller; Brazil: Prof. Haase, Prof. Lopes Silva) and genetics (Germany, Prof. Meitinger, Brazil: Prof. Carvalho) of both countries

  • Prof. Dr. Vitor Geraldi Haase, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Prof. Júlia Beatriz Lopes Silva, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Prof. Dr. Maria Raquel Santos Carvalho, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Meitinger, Helmholtz Zentrum München