Why Chinese are better in Maths in general? Stansilas Dehaene

“The extraordinary overlap between human and chimpanzee genomes does not result in an equal overlap between human and chimpanzee thoughts, sensations, perceptions, and emotions; there are considerable similarities but also considerable differences between human and nonhuman primate brains. “From Monkey Brain to Human Brain” uses the latest findings in cognitive psychology, comparative biology, and neuroscience to look at the complex patterns of convergence and divergence in primate cortical organization and function.” This is the essence of the work published by ‘Stanislas Dehaene’ who I had the chance to listen to yesterday thanks to the internet. He also published earlier another book: The number sense: how the mind creates Mathematics.

“But how then did the brain leap from this basic number ability to trigonometry, calculus, and beyond? Dehaene shows that it was the invention of symbolic systems of numerals that started us on the climb to higher mathematics, and in a marvelous chapter he traces the history of numbers, from early times when people indicated a number by pointing to a part of their body (even today, in many societies in New Guinea, the word for six is” wrist”), to early abstract numbers such as Roman numerals (chosen for the ease with which they could be carved into wooden sticks), to modern numbers. On our way, we also discover many fascinating facts: for example, because Chinese names for numbers are so short, Chinese people can remember up to nine or ten digits at a time–English-speaking people can only remember seven. Dehaene also explores the unique abilities of idiot savants and mathematical geniuses, asking what might explain their special mathematical talent.” I rejoice now because I have arguments to my belief and accepted general saying in my younger days that Chinese are better in maths. No, it is not a racist statement,the differentiation is cultural from educational methods. I understand and accept that my statement is a general statement and may be statically valid with large variances.


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