The spatial representation of non-symbolic numerical quantities

  • Riccardo Luccio
  • Antonia Fumarola
  • Giorgia Tamburini
  • Tiziano Agostini

Abstract

Dehaene et al. (1993) have demonstrated an association between number magnitude and response position (SNARC effect). More recently, this association has been demonstrated also for non-symbolic quantities (see Shaki, Petrusic & Leth-Steensen, 2012). de Hevia & Spelke (2009) have used different numbers of dots as stimuli in a bisection task, showing a SNARC- like effect (but see Gebusi & Gevers, 2011). We investigated the association between representation of non-symbolic numerical quantities (dots) and response position in a simple detection experiment (see Fischer, 2003). The dots were used as prime, and the participants had to press a bar, as soon as they detected a grey square on the right or on the left. Our results (faster RTs for small quantities and target on the left, and for big quantities and target on the right) support the idea of a mental representation of non-symbolic quantities as a left- to-right oriented mental line.

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