Number line estimation and complex mental calculation: Is there a shared cognitive process driving the two tasks?
- 15 Downloads
It is widely accepted that different number-related tasks, including solving simple addition and subtraction, may induce attentional shifts on the so-called mental number line, which represents larger numbers on the right and smaller numbers on the left. Recently, it has been shown that different number-related tasks also employ spatial attention shifts along with general cognitive processes. Here we investigated for the first time whether number line estimation and complex mental arithmetic recruit a common mechanism in healthy adults. Participants’ performance in two-digit mental additions and subtractions using visual stimuli was compared with their performance in a mental bisection task using auditory numerical intervals. Results showed significant correlations between participants’ performance in number line bisection and that in two-digit mental arithmetic operations, especially in additions, providing a first proof of a shared cognitive mechanism (or multiple shared cognitive mechanisms) between auditory number bisection and complex mental calculation.
KeywordsTwo-digit mental operations Number bisection task Mental number line Verbal working memory
This work was supported by the University of Padua (CPDA131328 and NEURAT STPD11B8HM_004).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Moeller K, Fischer M, Nuerk H-C, Willmes K (2009) Eye fixation behaviour in the number bisection task: evidence for temporal specificity. Acta Physiol 131(3):209–220Google Scholar
- Myachykov A, Cangelosi A, Ellis R, Fischer MH (2015) The oculomotor resonance effect in spatial–numerical mapping. Acta Physiol 161:162–169Google Scholar
- Priftis K, Pitteri M, Meneghello F, Umiltà C, Zorzi M (2012) Optokinetic stimulation modulates neglect for the number space: evidence from mental number interval bisection. Front Hum Neurosci 6(23.10):3389Google Scholar
- Schneider W, Eschman A, Zuccolotto A (2002) E-Prime: user’s guide. Psychology Software Incorporated, PittsburghGoogle Scholar