Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version

Acalculia

  • Kelly BroxtermanAffiliated withSchool Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Email author 
  • , Natalie WahmhoffAffiliated with Department of Educational Psychology, University of Utah
  • , Elaine ClarkAffiliated with Department of Educational Psychology, University of Utah
  • , Alyssa BeukemaAffiliated withSchool Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Synonyms

Mathematics disability

Definition

Acalculia is an acquired impairment in which people have difficulty performing mathematical tasks, such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Acalculia deficits can manifest in a wide variety of number processing and calculation abilities.

Categorization

Generally, authors have agreed on two major distinctions: primary and secondary acalculia (Growth-Marnat 2000). These terms were first described by Berger in 1926 (Boller and Grafman 1983). Primary acalculia refers to a basic defect in computational abilities, not resulting from separate cognitive deficits. It is also known as anarithmetia. Deficits in primary acalculia include poor estimation, number comparison difficulties, and difficulty understanding procedural rules and numerical signs. In primary acalculia, these deficits will exist regardless of whether tasks are presented in an oral or written format (Ardila and Rosselli 2002).

Secondary acalculia refers to calculation ...

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