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In this graph, each person is a dot that emerges as we reach their age at the time of testing and then fades away. The color of their dot is the person's self-reported school mathematics ability, and their dot appears at a position indicating the precision of their Approximate Number System (ANS): their acuity (Weber fraction (w)) and Response Time (ms) during the ANS dots test.
Some things to try:
Drag the age cursor to move the data cloud.
Click Group Means to turn ovals on and off.
Press Filter Ability to turn groups on and off.
Dragging the age cursor yourself can be helpful if the movie looks choppy.
People freely navigated to our website to test their own Number Sense (visit panamath.org to test yourself). They saw brief flashes of dots and had to decide if there were more blue or more yellow dots in the flash. Individuals with a more precise Number Sense are more accurate (i.e., a smaller Weber fraction) and faster (i.e., a low Response Time).
The ovals in the plot indicate the 10th - 90th percentile range in ANS precision (w, Response Time) and the '+' indicates the mean precision for a group. The color indicates the group's mean mathematical ability. Notice that the red oval tends to be on the lower left (ie., better ANS performance) and the green & yellow ovals tend to be on the upper right (i.e., worse ANS performance).
Seeing patterns among 10,000+ data points can be challenging. This interactive plot can help. Some things you may notice:
Three major movements in the data:
First movement (≈ 10-16 yrs.) — The data cloud emerges as Response Times move down towards 600 ms. - watch
Second movement (≈ 16-30 yrs.) — The data cloud shifts towards the lower left of the graph (better performance) and forms a hotspot; best performance occurs at approximately 30 years of age. - watch
Third movement (≈ 30-81 yrs.) — The data cloud dissolves, becomes erratic, and performance drifts up and out from the lower left hotspot (towards worse performance). - watch
This relationship is best viewed by clicking on the "Filter Ability" button which brings up checkboxes next to the Mathematical Ability rainbow bar. Clicking on the two boxes next to the blue and cyan values (40 - 80 on the rainbow) will remove these points from the graph. Among the remaining values, the cloud tends to be redder on the lower left corner (better performance) and greener on the upper right (worse performance). This is particularly evident during the years of better performance (15 - 30 yrs.), seen by dragging the age cursor.
Green dots are people who report they were not good in mathematics class in school (and they are doing worse on the ANS task — upper right of cloud).
Red dots are people who report they were good in mathematics class in school (and they are doing better on the ANS task — lower left of cloud).
You may also notice that Green dots tend to be more diffuse while Red dots show more of a hotspot in the lower left corner — this is consistent with Green individuals presenting with more variable abilities.
Saving Your Movies
We've made this interactive data graph recordable so that you can create a copy of the movie to show in your own presentations without being connected to the web. The recordable movie will look like the one you are currently watching. You can change the graph settings and record several distinct movies.
Save Movie (Animated GIF: ≈ 4 MB)
Clicking the Save Movie button above opens a dialog box where you can name the file and save it to your own computer. The movie will be an animated .gif file approximately 4 MB in size. To play the movie, open this file in QuickTime, a web browser, or copy it to Microsoft Powerpoint and view it in Slide Show mode.