This is not a direct answer to your question, but it is literature
that addresses at least one aspect of the issue you raise.
Keith Devlin wrote an article entitled,
"The Symbol Barrier":
The point of his article is to argue that video games can help
overcome "the greatest obstacle to good mathematical learning."
But setting video games aside, he does discuss "the symbol barrier."
the biggest obstacle to practical mastery of middle school math: the symbol barrier.
We teach mathematics symbolically because, for many centuries, symbolic representation has been the most effective way to record mathematics and pass on mathematical knowledge to others.
The one exception, where the brain does not require the aid of symbolic representations (...) is what for several years now I have been calling "everyday mathematics."
It is with everyday mathematics that the symbol barrier emerges.
When ordinary people are faced with doing everyday math regularly as part of their everyday lives, they rapidly achieve a high level of proficiency (typically hitting that 98% mark). Yet their performance drops to the 35 to 40% range when presented with the same problems in symbolic form.
It is simply not the case that ordinary people cannot do everyday math. Rather, they cannot do symbolic everyday math.
That, my friend, is the symbol barrier.
Here is a link to a Powerpoint presentation
with more detail: