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Brian Butterworth

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Nationality  British
Role  Professor
Education  Merton College, Oxford
Spouse  Diana Laurillard
Books  What counts
Name  Brian Butterworth

Brian Butterworth Dyscalculia Number games Nature News amp Comment
Institutions  Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London
Fields  Mathematical psychology, Dyslexia

Alma mater  Merton College, Oxford

Honky Tonk Prof Brian Butterworth

Brian Butterworth FBA (born 3 January 1944) is emeritus professor of cognitive neuropsychology in the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. His research has ranged from speech errors and pauses, short-term memory deficits, dyslexia, reading both in alphabetic scripts and Chinese, and mathematics and dyscalculia. His book The Mathematical Brain has been translated into four languages. He was Editor-in-Chief of Linguistics (1978–1983) and a founding editor of the journals, "Language and Cognitive Processes" and "Mathematical Cognition". He is a Fellow of the British Academy.


Brian Butterworth justtrialanderrorcomwpcontentuploads201005B

In 1984 he diagnosed President Ronald Reagan on the basis of speech errors in his presidential re-election speeches in an article in the Sunday Times as having Alzheimer's disease ten years before this was formally identified. He was a coauthor in 1971 of a pamphlet, Marked for life, critical of university examinations.

Brian Butterworth The Mathematical Brain Author

He designed the world's largest mathematical experiment involving over 18,000 people at Explore-At-Bristol. In the serious game for elementary school children with dyscalculia, Meister Cody, he lends his voice to Quoun, the Guardian of the Trees.

Subitizing experiment

Subitizing concerns the ability to instantly identify the number of items without counting. Collections of four or below are usually subitised with collections of larger numbers being counted. Brian Butterworth designed an experiment that ran as an interactive exhibit at the Explore-At-Bristol science museum to find whether subitising differed between women and men. Participants were asked to estimate as fast as they could between one and 10 dots and press the answer on a touch screen. How long they took—their reaction time—was measured. Over 18,000 people took part—the largest number ever to take part in a mathematical cognition experiment. He announced his finding that women were better than men at subitising at the British Association for the Advancement of Science's 2003 annual science festival. He also found that people were six per cent faster on calculating the number of dots if they were presented on the left side of the screen (and so right sided lateralised in the brain) but only if there were five or more and so counted.

The Mathematical Brain

(1999). London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-76610-1

Published in the same year in the US as What Counts New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-85417-5

Other books

Powell A. Butterworth B. (1971). Marked for life: a criticism of assessment at universities. London, Anarchist Group ISBN 978-0-901807-01-4

Butterworth B. (1980). Language Production Volume 1: Speech and talk Academic Pr ISBN 978-0-12-147501-7

Butterworth B. (1983). Language Production Volume 2: Development, Writing and Other Language Processes Academic Pr ISBN 978-0-12-147502-4

Butterworth B. Comrie B. Dahl O. (1984). Explanations for Language Universals Mouton De Gruyter ISBN 978-3-11-009797-9

Butterworth, B. (2004). Dyscalculia Guidance Helping Pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties in Maths. David Fulton ISBN 978-0-7087-1152-1


  • Butterworth B. (1975). Hesitation and Semantic Planning in speech. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 4: 75–87.
  • Butterworth B. (1979). Hesitation and the Production of Verbal Paraphasias and Neologisms in Jargon Aphasia. Brain and Language, 8, 133–161.
  • Butterworth B. (1981). Speech errors: old data in search of new theories. (pp. 627–662). In A. Cutler (ed.) Slips of the Tongue and Language Production: Berlin: Mouton.
  • Butterworth B. (1983). Introduction: A Brief Review of Methods of Studying Language Production. (pp. 1–17). In B. Butterworth, B. Comrie and Ö Dahl (eds.) Explanations for Language Universals: Berlin: Mouton.
  • Butterworth, B.; Howard, D.; McLoughlin, P. (1984). "The semantic deficit in aphasia: The relationship between semantic errors in auditory comprehension and picture naming". Neuropsychologia. 22 (4): 409–426. PMID 6207456. doi:10.1016/0028-3932(84)90036-8. 
  • Butterworth, B.; Howard, D. (1987). "Paragrammatisms". Cognition. 26 (1): 1–37. PMID 3608394. doi:10.1016/0010-0277(87)90012-6. 
  • Butterworth, B. (1992). "Disorders of phonological encoding". Cognition. 42 (1–3): 261–286. PMID 1582159. doi:10.1016/0010-0277(92)90045-j. 
  • Butterworth, B. (1994). "Disorders of Sentence Production". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 346 (1315): 55–61. PMID 7886154. doi:10.1098/rstb.1994.0128. 
  • Memory

  • Shallice, T.; Butterworth, B. (1977). "Short-term memory impairment and spontaneous speech". Neuropsychologia. 15 (6): 729–735. PMID 600367. doi:10.1016/0028-3932(77)90002-1. 
  • Butterworth, B.; Campbell, R.; Howard, D. (1986). "The uses of short-term memory: A case study". The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology. A, Human experimental psychology. 38 (4): 705–737. PMID 3809577.  PDF
  • Reading and dyslexia

  • Campbell, R.; Butterworth, B. (1985). "Phonological dyslexia and dysgraphia in a highly literate subject: A developmental case with associated deficits of phonemic processing and awareness". The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology. A, Human experimental psychology. 37 (3): 435–475. PMID 4048548. 
  • Yin, W. G. & Butterworth, B. (1998). "Chinese pure alexia". Aphasiology. 12 (1): 65–76. OCLC 198414365. doi:10.1080/02687039808249444. 
  • Wydell, T. N.; Butterworth, B. (1999). "A case study of an English-Japanese bilingual with monolingual dyslexia". Cognition. 70 (3): 273–305. PMID 10384738. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(99)00016-5. 
  • Butterworth, B.; Wengang, Y. (1991). "The Universality of Two Routines for Reading: Evidence from Chinese Dyslexia". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 246 (1315): 91–95. PMID 1684672. doi:10.1098/rspb.1991.0129. 
  • Yin W. Butterworth B. (1992). Deep and Surface Dyslexia in Chinese In Chen, H-C. & Tzeng, O. J. L. (eds.) Language Processing in Chinese. Amsterdam: North Holland/Elsevier. (1 MB)
  • Shibahara, N.; Shibahara, N.; Zorzi, M.; Zorzi, M.; Hill, M. P.; Wydell, T.; Butterworth, B. (2003). "Semantic effects in word naming: Evidence from English and Japanese Kanji". The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A. 56 (2): 263–286. PMID 12613564. doi:10.1080/02724980244000369.  PDF
  • Mathematics

  • Cipolotti, L.; Warrington, E. K.; Butterworth, B. (1995). "Selective impairment in manipulating Arabic numerals". Cortex. 31 (1): 73–86. PMID 7540123. doi:10.1016/s0010-9452(13)80106-2.  PDF
  • Butterworth, B. (2001). "What makes a prodigy?". Nature Neuroscience. 4 (1): 11–12. PMID 11135636. doi:10.1038/82841.  PDF
  • Butterworth, B.; Cappelletti, M.; Kopelman, M. (2001). "Category specificity in reading and writing: The case of number words". Nature Neuroscience. 4 (8): 784–786. PMID 11477423. doi:10.1038/90484.  PDF
  • Piazza, M.; Mechelli, A.; Butterworth, B.; Price, C. J. (2002). "Are Subitizing and Counting Implemented as Separate or Functionally Overlapping Processes?". NeuroImage. 15 (2): 435–446. PMID 11798277. doi:10.1006/nimg.2001.0980.  PDF
  • Landerl, K.; Bevan, A.; Butterworth, B. (2004). "Developmental dyscalculia and basic numerical capacities: A study of 8–9-year-old students". Cognition. 93 (2): 99–125. PMID 15147931. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2003.11.004.  PDF
  • Gelman, R.; Butterworth, B. (2005). "Number and language: How are they related?". Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 9 (1): 6–10. PMID 15639434. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2004.11.004.  PDF
  • Butterworth, B. (2005). "The development of arithmetical abilities". Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 46 (1): 3–18. PMID 15660640. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00374.x.  PDF
  • References

    Brian Butterworth Wikipedia