Title
The impact of verbal working memory on number-space associations The impact of verbal working memory on number-space associations
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Washington, D.C. ,
Subject
Psychology
Source (journal)
Journal of experimental psychology: learning, memory, and cognition. - Washington, D.C.
Volume/pages
40(2014) :4 , p. 976-986
ISSN
0278-7393
ISI
000337803400005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Spatial-numerical associations are observed when participants perform number categorization tasks. One such observation is the spatial numerical associations of response codes (SNARC) effect, showing an association between small numbers and the left-hand side and between large numbers and the right-hand side. It has long been argued that this spatial association is automatically activated by the long-term representation underlying numbers processing. Instead, van Dijck and Fias (2011) argued that this association is a short-term representation that is constructed during task execution. This argument was based on the observation of an association between the ordinal position of an item in working memory and response side (e. g., the ordinal position effect). Four different experiments were set up to systematically investigate this assumption. Our results indicate that the activation of the canonical order of numbers in working memory (e. g., 1, 2, 3, etc.) is indeed necessary to observe the SNARC effect. The activation of the standard sequence of numbers (e. g., from 1 to 9) can be overruled when a new random sequence is memorized. However, this is only observed when retrieval of the memorized sequence is required during the numbers classification task.
E-info
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