Kelsey A. Clayback



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Longitudinal data is currently being collected in order to examine the relationship between children’s Spontaneous Focusing on Numerosity (SFON) and children’s cognitive control skills, or executive functioning (EF). SFON refers to a child’s tendency to focus on the characteristic of number in his/her environment without being explicitly instructed to do so. Previous research has shown that both SFON and EF are important predictors of children’s mathematical ability. However, literature has not yet examined what influences SFON or how it develops. This data, collected in fall of 2014 and currently in spring of 2015, includes a battery of assessments of children’s EF and SFON skills. I hypothesize that EF skills influence SFON and children with more developed EF skills will also have a higher level of SFON. Since evidence has shown that both EF and SFON influence mathematical ability, a relationship between the two predictors seems likely. Research is ongoing; however, a significant relationship between SFON and two EF skills, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility, was observed in the data from fall 2014. This research will offer insight into the role EF plays in SFON of preschoolers.

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Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Mary Fuhs

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project


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The Relationship Between Executive Functioning Skills (EF) and Spontaneous Focusing on Numerosity (SFON) in Preschoolers