Simultaneous and sequential subitizing are separate systems, and neither predicts math abilities, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, (178), 86-103.

Small quantities of visual objects can be rapidly estimated without error, a phenomenon known as subitizing. Larger quantities can also be rapidly estimated, but with error, and the error rate predicts math abilities. This study addressed two issues: (a) whether subitizing generalizes over modalities and stimulus formats and (b) whether subitizing correlates with math abilities. We measured subitizing limits in primary school children and adults for visual and auditory stimuli presented either sequentially (sequences of flashes or sounds) or simultaneously (visual presentations, dot arrays). The results show that (a) subitizing limits for adults were one item larger than those for primary school children across all conditions; (b) subitizing for simultaneous visual stimuli (dots) was better than that for sequential stimuli; (c) subitizing limits for dots do not correlate with subitizing limits for either flashes or sounds; (d) subitizing of sequences of flashes and subitizing of sequences of sounds are strongly correlated with each other in children; and (e) regardless of stimuli sensory modality and format, subitizing limits do not correlate with mental calculation or digit magnitude knowledge proficiency. These results suggest that although children can subitize sequential numerosity, simultaneous and temporal subitizing may be subserved by separate systems. Furthermore, subitizing does not seem to be related to numerical abilities.

Motion-induced compression of perceived numerosity, Sci Rep, 1 (8), 6966.

It has been recently proposed that space, time, and number might share a common representation in the brain. Evidence supporting this idea comes from adaptation studies demonstrating that prolonged exposure to a given stimulus feature distorts the perception of different characteristics. For example, visual motion adaptation affects both perceived position and duration of subsequent stimuli presented in the adapted location. Here, we tested whether motion adaptation also affects perceived numerosity, by testing the effect of adaptation to translating or rotating stimuli moving either at high (20 Hz) or low (5 Hz) speed. Adaptation to fast translational motion yielded a robust reduction in the apparent numerosity of the adapted stimulus (~25%) while adaptation to slow translational or circular motion (either 20 Hz or 5 Hz) yielded a weaker but still significant compression. Control experiments suggested that none of these results could be accounted for in terms of stimulus masking. Taken together, our results are consistent with the extant literature supporting the idea of a generalized magnitude system underlying the representation of numerosity, space and time via common metrics. However, as changes in perceived numerosity co-varied with both adapting motion profile and speed, our evidence also suggests complex and asymmetric interactions between different magnitude representations.