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How does attention matter to developing numeracy?


This project began (in 2011-2014) by focusing on understanding why attention and executive functions in preschoolers relate to developing number cognition. We are now (2016-2019) pursuing further longitudinal and mechanistic questions about why and how attention and executive functions matter to early numeracy. We are using a number of complementary approaches to investigating this question: studying concurrent and longitudinal relationships, training and experimental manipulations.

Lead Researchers

Rebecca Merkley was the lead researcher in the first part of this work, as part of her DPhil here. Rebecca is now a close collaborator, and postdoctoral researcher with Daniel Ansari, at the Numerical Cognition Lab, University of Western Ontario, Canada.

With Rebecca and Daniel, co-Investigators on the ongoing project funded by the Nuffield Foundation (see below) are Prof Vicky Murphy (Education, Oxford) and Dr Ann Dowker (Psychology, Oxford) with a team of expert advisors (Prof Kathy Sylva, Keely Cook). Lead researchers on the Nuffield project are Emma Dove and Annelot de Rechteren van Hemert.

Funded by

Clarendon Fund & Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada grants to Rebecca

Nuffield Foundation project "Cognitive and Educational Foundations of Preschool Mathematics: (not) as easy as 1,2,3" to Gaia and Co-investigators