Thinking about “20” in a multilingual world

Lecture held in English


Prof. Christine Schiltz
Full professor in Cognitive Neuroscience
Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences


How do we learn the meaning of abstract numerical concepts, such as the number “20”? And how is numerical thinking and learning impacted by the multilingualism prevailing in Luxembourg? The present conference addresses these questions in the light of research on numerical cognition conducted at the University of Luxembourg since its creation in 2003. Combining behavioural experiments and brain imaging, we show that the language used in numerical tasks influences a wide array of domains, such as the way children read numbers or solve arithmetic problems. But even in adults, we find traces of language(s) when they think about and work with numbers.