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I take four pills--three supplements and a cholesterol-reducing medication (about as useful as aspirin, I might add).

This morning I thought I dropped one of them as I popped all four into my mouth.

So I felt around with my tongue to count how many I had in my mouth.

Guess what. I can't count with my tongue. There are no numbers accessible with that sensory apparatus. I finally figured out the total when I switched them, one by one, from one side to the other, counting as I did so.

Obviously then I was using another part of my brain for the numbers.

Now I understand why so-called pre-literate peoples have trouble with numbers and counting: one, two, many is about all I could do (of course I had to replicate the effect, pills melting all the while).


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