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Mental Number Representations in 2D Space

  • There is evidence both for mental number representations along a horizontal mental number line with larger numbers to the right of smaller numbers (for Western cultures) and a physically grounded, vertical representation where “more is up.” Few studies have compared effects in the horizontal and vertical dimension and none so far have combined both dimensions within a single paradigm where numerical magnitude was task-irrelevant and none of the dimensions was primed by a response dimension. We now investigated number representations over both dimensions, building on findings that mental representations of numbers and space co-activate each other. In a Go/No-go experiment, participants were auditorily primed with a relatively small or large number and then visually presented with quasi-randomly distributed distractor symbols and one Arabic target number (in Go trials only). Participants pressed a central button whenever they detected the target number and elsewise refrained from responding. Responses were not more efficient when smallThere is evidence both for mental number representations along a horizontal mental number line with larger numbers to the right of smaller numbers (for Western cultures) and a physically grounded, vertical representation where “more is up.” Few studies have compared effects in the horizontal and vertical dimension and none so far have combined both dimensions within a single paradigm where numerical magnitude was task-irrelevant and none of the dimensions was primed by a response dimension. We now investigated number representations over both dimensions, building on findings that mental representations of numbers and space co-activate each other. In a Go/No-go experiment, participants were auditorily primed with a relatively small or large number and then visually presented with quasi-randomly distributed distractor symbols and one Arabic target number (in Go trials only). Participants pressed a central button whenever they detected the target number and elsewise refrained from responding. Responses were not more efficient when small numbers were presented to the left and large numbers to the right. However, results indicated that large numbers were associated with upper space more strongly than small numbers. This suggests that in two-dimensional space when no response dimension is given, numbers are conceptually associated with vertical, but not horizontal space.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Elena SixtusORCiDGND, Jan LonnemannGND, Martin H. FischerORCiDGND, Karsten WernerGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00172
ISSN:1664-1078
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/02/05
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2019/02/20
Tag:Go/No-go task; SNARC; horizontal space; spatial-numerical associations; vertical space
Volume:10
Pagenumber:11
Funder:Universität Potsdam
Grant Number:PA 2019_15
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Bildungswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Grantor:Publikationsfonds der Universität Potsdam
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Zweitveröffentlichung in der Schriftenreihe Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe ; 538