Oral Numerosity Perception

Garmt Dijksterhuis*, Hendrik Gunawan, Krista Overvliet, Jan B.F. Erp, van

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Numerosity is normally assessed by processes of enumeration (subitizing, counting, estimation). This can be done using different sensory
modalities, like vision, audition or (manual) haptics. It can also be done orally, by feeling how many objects there are in one’s mouth.
In this study we asked 25 participants to orally enumerate 1-9 candies. We asked for an immediate response (to determine the subitizing range)
and a delayed response which enabled counting or estimating. The results show that enumeration is possible in the mouth. Oral subitizing
resulted in 24 participants correctly mentioning one to three candies. This is approximately the same as the limit of haptic subitizing, as it is
indeed the haptic sense that feels objects in the mouth.
Counting/estimating resulted in 16 participants correctly mentioning one to four candies. The task thus appeared more difficult than visual or
(manual) haptic counting.
Oral numerosity perception has no evolutionary use that we can think of. From the fact that humans possess this skill to some extent we
tentatively conclude that subitizing is such a basic cognitive skill that we ca
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event19th NVP Dutch Society for Brain and Cognition Winter Conference - Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Dec 202316 Dec 2023


Conference19th NVP Dutch Society for Brain and Cognition Winter Conference
CityEgmond aan Zee


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