Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. David Landy


Certain learning domains come naturally to humans. Evidence supports that core knowledge systems of objects, number, action and space are innate for infants (Spelke, 2007). These core domains remain throughout development and they also give rise to more complex cognitive skills (Spelke, 2000). As we develop, we form new concepts that transcend the core learning domains (Carey, 2009). These new concepts, unlike core knowledge, are not innate and are learned under social and cultural pressures (Carey, 2009). This means that there is a transition from practicing core knowledge that is learned naturally and higher-functioning cognitive skills that must be specifically taught. In math, this would look like the transition from learning to count to learning algebra. In algebra, students need to be specifically taught how to manipulate the mathematical language that makes up expressions and equations. Though they are both learned, these abilities are theorized to be functions of separate processing systems.

Included in

Psychology Commons