Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Sorry, this might be slightly off topic: there's a word for the ability to look at a small set of items are know how many are there without counting them, but I can't remember what it is and I can't find it on google. Can anyone tell me what this word is?

For instance, if you put a four apples in front of a very young child and ask how many there are, they will probably have to count them to tell you (especially if they are not in a "conventional" layout of four items). However, an older person has this ability and can immediately answer without counting them.

share|cite|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Subitizing. (Apparently there's a lower bound on characters in an answer - please excuse the parentheses.)

share|cite|improve this answer
Perfect, thanks! – sh1ftst0rm Sep 11 '13 at 18:56

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.