Sara Cordes, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Boston College

Dr. Sara Cordes
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Contact Information


Mailing address:
Boston College
Department of Psychology
300 McGuinn Hall
140 Commonwealth Ave.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Office address:
345 McGuinn Hall

Phone: 617-552-4112
Fax: 617-552-0523

Publications - Peer Reviewed

Cordes, S., Gelman, R., Gallistel, C. R., & Whalen, J. (2001). Variability signatures distinguish verbal from nonverbal counting for both large and small numbers. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 8(4), 698-707.

Brannon, E. M., Lutz, D., & Cordes, S. (2006). The development of area discrimination and its implications for numerical abilities in infancy. Developmental Science, 9(6), F59-F64.

Cordes, S., King, A. P., & Gallistel, C. R. (2007). Time left in the mouse. Behavioural Processes, 74(2), 142-151.

Cordes, S., Gallistel, C. R., Gelman, R., & Latham, P. (2007). Nonverbal arithmetic in humans: Light from noise. Perception and Psychophysics, 69(7), 1185-1203.

Cordes, S., Williams, C. L., & Meck, W. H. (2007). Common representations of abstract quantities. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(3), 156-161.

Cordes, S., & Gallistel, C. R. (2008). Interval timing in circadian clock mutants. Brain Research, pp. 120-127.

Cordes, S., & Brannon, E. M. (2008a). The difficulties of representing continuous extent in infancy: Using number is just easier. Child Development, 79(2), 476-489.

Cordes, S. & Brannon, E. M. (2008b). Quantitative competencies in infancy. Developmental Science, 11(6), 803-808.

Cordes, S. & Brannon, E. M. (2009a). Crossing the divide: Infants discriminate small from large numerosities. Developmental Psychology, 45(6), 1583-1594.

Cordes, S. & Brannon, E. M. (2009). The relative salience of discrete and continuous quantities in infants. Developmental Science, 12(3), 453-463.

Cantlon, J. F., Cordes, S., Libertus, M. E. & Brannon, E. M. (2009). Comment on “Log or linear? Distinct intuitions of the number scale in western and Amazonian Indigene cultures”. Science, 323, 38b.

Cantlon, J. F., Cordes, S., Libertus, M. E., & Brannon, E. M. (2009). Numerical abstraction: It ain’t broke. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32(3-4), 331-332.

Buhusi, C. V. & Cordes, S. (2011). Time and number: The privileged status of small values in the brain. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 5(67).

Cordes, S. & Brannon, E. M. (2011). Attending to one of many: when infants are surprisingly poor at discriminating an item's size. Frontiers in Psychology, 2(65), 1-8. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00065.

Pleil, K., Cordes, S., Meck, W. H., & Williams, C. L. (2011). Sex differences in timing: Possible neuroendocrine mechanisms. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 5(63), 1-16. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2011.00063.

Anderson, U. S. & Cordes, S. (2013). 1 < 2 and 2 < 3: Nonlinguistic appreciations of numerical order. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(5). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00005.

Cordes, S. & Meck, W. H. (2013). Ordinal abilities in the rat: An understanding of 'longer' and 'shorter' for supra-second, but not sub-second, durations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Young, L. N. & Cordes, S. (2013). Fewer things, lasting longer: The effects of emotional stimuli on quantity judgments. Psychological Science, 24(6), 1057-1059.

Young, L. N., Cordes, S., & Winner, E. (2013). Arts Involvement Predicts Academic Achievement Only When the Child Has a Musical Instrument. Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimewntal Educational Psychology, 34(7), 849-861.

Young, L. N., Winner, E., & Cordes, S. (2013). Heightened incidence of depressive symptoms in adolescents involved in the arts. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7(2), 197-202.

Cordes, S., Goldstein, A., & Heller, E. (2014). Sets within sets: The influence of set membership on numerical estimates. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40(1), 94-105.

Hurst, M., Monahan, K. L., Heller, E., & Cordes, S. (2014). 123s & ABCs: Developmental shifts in logarithmic to linear responding reflect fluency with sequence values. Developmental Science, 17(6), 892-904. (watch video abstract)

Cantrell, L., Boyer, T. W., Cordes, S., & Smith, L. B. (2015). Signal clarity: an account of the variability in infant quantity discrimination tasks. Developmental Science, 1-7.

Posid, T. & Cordes, S. (2015). Verbal counting moderates perceptual biases found in children’s cardinality judgments. Journal of Cognition and Development. doi:10.1080/15248372.2014.934372

Posid, T., Fazio, A., & Cordes, S. (2015). Being sticker-rich: Numerical context influences children's sharing behavior. PLOS ONE.

Chernyak, N., Sandham, B., Harris, P.L., & Cordes, S. (2016). Numerical cognition explains age-related changes in third-party fairness. Developmental Psychology, 52(10), 1555-62.

Goldstein, A., Cole, T., & Cordes, S. (2016). How parents read counting books and non-numerical books to their preverbal infants: An observational study. Frontiers in Psychology.

Hurst, M., Anderson, U. S., & Cordes, S. (2016). The acquisition of mappings between number words, numerals, and non-symbolic quantities in preschoolers. Journal of Cognition and Development.

Hurst, M. & Cordes, S. (2016). Comparing fractions, decimals, and whole numbers: Rational number understanding in adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Eyler, R., Cordes, S., Szymanski, B., & Fraenkel, L. (2017). Utilization of continuous “spinners” to communicate risk. Medical Decision Making.

Hamamouche, K. A.*, Niemi, L.* & Cordes, S. (2017). Quantifying a threat: Evidence of a numeric processing bias. Acta Psychologica, 177, 1-9. (*equal contribution)

Hurst, M. & Cordes, S. (2017). The relationship between algebra and notation-specific rational number understanding in adults. British Journal of Psychology.

Hurst, M. & Cordes, S. (2017). Working memory strategies during rational number magnitude processing. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Lewis, E. A., Zax, A. & Cordes, S. (2017). The effects of emotion on numerical estimation: A developmental perspective. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Savelkouls, S. & Cordes, S. (2017). Numerical intuitions in infancy: Give credit where credit is due. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Barth, H., Cordes, S., & Patalano, A.L. (2018). Suboptimality in perceptual decision making and beyond. Brain and Behavioral Sciences.

Chernyak, N., Harris, P., & Cordes, S. (2018). Explaining early moral hypocrisy: Numerical cognition promotes equal sharing behavior in preschool-aged children. Developmental Science.

Eyler, R. F., Cordes, S., Szymanski, B. R., & Fraenkel, L. (2018). Use of feedback to improve mental number-line representations in primary care clinics. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 18(1), 40.

Hamamouche, K., Keefe, M., Jordan, K., & Cordes, S. (2018). Cognitive load affects numerical, but not temporal, judgments. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1783. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01783

Hurst, M. & Cordes, S. (2018a). A systematic investigation of the link between rational number processing and algebra ability. British Journal of Psychology, 109(1), 99-117.

Hurst, M. & Cordes, S. (2018b). Attending to relations: Proportional reasoning in 3- to 6-year-old children. Developmental Psychology, 54(3), 428.

Hurst, M. & Cordes, S. (2018c). Children’s understanding of fraction and decimal symbols and the notation-specific relation to pre-algebra ability. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 168, 32-48.

Posid, T. & Cordes, S. (2018). How high can you count? Probing the limits of young children's counting. Developmental Psychology, 54(5), 875-889.

Cordes, S. (in press). Bees know that zero is less than one. Learning and Behavior.

Hamamouche, K. & Cordes, S. (in press). The unique contributions of sub- and supra-second timing to academic achievement. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

ManyBabies Consortium (accepted pending data collection). Quantifying sources of variability in infancy research using the infant-directed speech preference. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science.

Publications - Book Chapters

Gelman, R., & Cordes, S. (2001). Counting in animals and humans. In E. Dupoux (Ed.), Language, Brain, and Cognitive Development: Essays in Honor of Jacques Mehler, (p. 279-303). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Cordes, S. & Gelman, R. (2005).The young numerical mind: When does it count? In J. Campbell (Ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Cognition. London: Psychology Press, (pp. 127-142).

Gallistel, C. R., Gelman, R., & Cordes, S. (2006). The cultural and evolutionary history of the real numbers. In S. Levinson & P. Jaisson (Eds.), Evolution and Culture: A Fyssen Foundation Symposium. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (pp. 247-274).

Posid, T. & Cordes, S. (2014). The small-large divide: A case of incompatible numerical representations in infancy. In D. Geary, D. Berch, & K. Mann-Koepke (Eds.), Evolutionary Origins and Early Development of Basic Number Processing.

Hamamouche, K. & Cordes, S. (in press). Space, Time, and Number. In T.K. Shackelford & V.A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.

Hurst, M. & Cordes, S. (in press). When being good at math isn’t enough: How students’ beliefs about the nature of mathematics impact decisions to pursue optional math education. In U. Xolocotzin (Ed.), Understanding Emotions in Mathematical Thinking and Learning.

Conference Proceedings

Young, L. N. & Cordes, S. (2012). Time and number under the influence of emotion. Visual Cognition, 20(9), 1048-1051.

Chernyak, N., Sandham, B., Harris, P. L., & Cordes, S. (2016). Explaining the knowledge-behavior gap: Numerical cognition explains age-related changes in fair sharing. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society.

Hamamouche, K., Hurst, M., & Cordes, S. (2016). The effect of induced arousal on numerical processing. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society.

Hurst, M., Relander, C. & Cordes, S. (2016). Biases and benefits of number lines and pie charts in proportion representation. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society.

Hurst, M. & Cordes, S. (2018). Labeling fractions across notation, specific values, and education. Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society.

* indicates equal author contribution