Number and Size Matter: Discrete versus continuous entities

Abstract

The distinction between discrete and continuous entities plays an important role in understanding of quantities as well as in categorical knowledge. There is a robust literature both in the domain of quantity perception and in noun learning concerning the factors relevant to this distinction; however, there has been little joint investigation of these issues. Here, we investigated the effects of number and size of named entities on the interpretation of a novel noun as an object or continuous mass. We found that number and size matter and may relate deeply to current distinctions between discrete and continuous estimators of quantity.


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