Daniel Ansari, PhD
University of Western Ontario
Wednesday, April 1st from 1:00-2:15 pm EST via Zoom
**Register here for Zoom using your university/institution email address**
Humans share with animals the ability to process numerical quantities in non-symbolic formats (e.g., collections of objects). Unlike other species, however, over cultural history, humans have developed symbolic representations (such as number words and digits) to represent numerical quantities exactly and abstractly. These symbols and their semantic referents form the foundations for higher-level numerical and mathematical skills. It is commonly assumed that symbols for number acquire their meaning by being mapped onto the pre-existing, phylogenetically ancient system for the approximate representation of non-symbolic number over the course of learning and development. In this talk I will challenge this hypothesis for how numerical symbols acquire their meanings (“the symbol grounding problem”). To do so, I will present a series of behavioral and neuroimaging studies with both children and adults that demonstrate that symbolic and non-symbolic processing of number is dissociated at both the behavioral and brain levels of analysis. I will discuss the implications of these data for theories of the origins of numerical symbol processing and its breakdown in children with mathematical learning disorders, such as Developmental Dyscalculia.
Bio: Daniel Ansari received his PhD from University College London in 2003. Presently, Daniel Ansari is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology and the Brain & Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, where he heads the Numerical Cognition Laboratory (www.numericalcognition.org). Ansari and his team explore the developmental trajectory underlying both the typical and atypical development of numerical and mathematical skills, using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods.
Click here to see the full BIRC Speaker Series schedule and access recordings of past talks.
Here are some brief updates, which won’t impact any of you on the list serve (please note a virtual-only talk on 4/1 Wed).
In-person research continues to be suspended and now until 5/11 or until further notice.
In-person clinical is now suspended until 5/11 or until further notice.
We will continue to provide virtual services.
BIRC will start hosting virtual-only talks if there seems to be interest. Dr. Daniel Ansari will kick us off on Wednesday, 4/1 at 1:00-2:15pm EST. He is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology and the Brain & Mind Institute at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Dr. Ansari is an expert in educational neuroscience and MRI imaging of numerical processing. Please mark your calendars. Zoom in information and additional information TBA.
Staff will continue to check in on the facility and equipment twice a week. No disinfection will be done.
If you have any questions, as always, please contact us.
Stay safe and please find humor in your daily lives in these challenging times.
PS: For your entertainment, with the lockdown (in SF), this is my life right now. Perhaps it’s yours, too. 🙂
With many states and counties advancing into lockdown (SF is stating lockdown of the whole city together with neighboring counties effective tonight – just announced! I believe it will come our way to CT sooner than we think/hope. I hope I am wrong), we have made some adjustments.
We technically remain open until the university announcement, but …
We have cancelled all research scans until 4/6 and will continue to discourage scanning unless you can convince us 🙂
While UCHC has decided to only cancel elective surgery at this point, and no outpatient services are cancelled, we have agreed to cancel/postpone all clinical scans as well. We will scan the remaining patients if there are critical needs but have suspended all clinical scans at least until 4/6 as well. We are currently not booking any new patients. Thanks for Leo Wolansky (UCHC Radiology Department Chair)’s understanding in the service of protecting our staff.
Hence no disinfection will be done as complete telecommuting has started.
If you have critical needs please contact me.
Stay safe and happy…
A quick update to you all.
We are currently technically open. But we do not have any research scans until the weekend (and they are non-EEG) and will likely close as soon as we get guidance from VPR. They are in discussions and will propose recommendations to the President this afternoon. We are urging the university to stop all non-critical/essential research that does not impact human health ASAP. We should have updates before any further research scans are done.
We are in discussions with UCHC Radiology to stop clinical MRI as well as they are non-priority scans.
We remain open virtually for any consultations or training that can be done remotely. We will suspend in person MRI safety training until further notice. LMK if this impacts your research plans.
Please do not come in to use the conference rooms or data room unless necessary. While we have staff telecommute, we will not be disinfecting the areas as we had originally planned and was doing last week. If you do need to come in to BIRC, please contact me.
At this time BIRC will continue to be fully operational. Any scheduled research will not be impacted, and investigators can schedule additional research times as needed.
Please note that we will be complying with the University’s request to have staff and faculty telecommute when possible and may not be in the facility during normal business hours; however, please feel free to email any questions to Fumiko Hoeft, Roeland Hancock, or Elisa Medeiros.