Modal-independent Pattern Recognition Deficit in Developmental Dyscalculia Adults: Evidence from Tactile and Visual Enumeration

Zahira Z. Cohen, Yarden Gliksman, Avishai Henik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Developmental dyscalculia (DD) is characterized by lower numerical and finger-related skills. Studies of enumeration among those DD that suggested core deficiency in pattern recognition, working memory or/and attention were mostly carried out in the visual modality. In our study, we examined visual (dots) enumeration of 1–10 stimuli and tactile (vibration) enumeration of 1–10 fingers among DD and matched-control adults. We used 800-ms stimuli exposure time of either random/non-neighboring or canonical/neighboring stimuli arrangements (visual/tactile). Compared to controls, those with DD responded faster in visual random enumeration and did not differ in reaction time (RT) of canonical stimuli arrangements. However, while the control group had near perfect accuracy in random stimuli arrangements of up to five stimuli, DD participants performed accurately for only up to four stimuli, and they were less accurate in the canonical stimuli arrangements in the counting range. In the tactile task, DD participants showed less accurate tactile enumeration only for neighboring arrangements, more profoundly for finger counting (FC) patterns. The longer exposure time in the visual task enabled us to explore pattern recognition effects when working memory and attention loads were low. We discuss possible modal-independent deficits in pattern recognition and working memory on enumeration performance among those with DD and the unique role of fingers in ordinal and cardinal representation of numbers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2019


  • embodied cognition
  • finger counting
  • subitizing
  • vibro-tactile stimuli
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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