A structural representation of the hand embedding information about the identity and relative position of fingers is necessary to counting routines. It may also support associations between numbers and allocentric spatial codes that predictably interact with other known numerical spatial representations, such as the mental number line (MNL). In this study, 48 Western participants whose typical counting routine proceeded from thumb-to-little on both hands performed magnitude and parity binary judgments. Response keys were pressed either with the right index and middle fingers or with the left index and middle fingers in separate blocks. 24 participants responded with either hands in prone posture (i.e., palm down) and 24 participants responded with either hands in supine (i.e., palm up) posture. When hands were in prone posture, the counting direction of the left hand conflicted with the direction of the left-right MNL, whereas the counting direction of the right hand was consistent with it. When hands were in supine posture, the opposite was true. If systematic associations existed between relative number magnitude and an allocentric spatial representation of the finger series within each hand, as predicted on the basis of counting habits, interactions would be expected between hand posture and a unimanual version of the spatial-numerical association of response codes (SNARC) effect. Data revealed that with hands in prone posture a unimanual SNARC effect was present for the right hand, and with hands in supine posture a unimanual SNARC effect was present for the left hand. We propose that a posture-invariant body structural representation of the finger series provides a relevant frame of reference, a within-hand directional vector, that is associated to simple number processing. Such frame of reference can significantly interact with stimulus-response correspondence effects, like the SNARC, that have been typically attributed to the mapping of numbers on a left-to-right mental line.

Unimanual SNARC effect: hand matters

Riello, Marianna;
2011

Abstract

A structural representation of the hand embedding information about the identity and relative position of fingers is necessary to counting routines. It may also support associations between numbers and allocentric spatial codes that predictably interact with other known numerical spatial representations, such as the mental number line (MNL). In this study, 48 Western participants whose typical counting routine proceeded from thumb-to-little on both hands performed magnitude and parity binary judgments. Response keys were pressed either with the right index and middle fingers or with the left index and middle fingers in separate blocks. 24 participants responded with either hands in prone posture (i.e., palm down) and 24 participants responded with either hands in supine (i.e., palm up) posture. When hands were in prone posture, the counting direction of the left hand conflicted with the direction of the left-right MNL, whereas the counting direction of the right hand was consistent with it. When hands were in supine posture, the opposite was true. If systematic associations existed between relative number magnitude and an allocentric spatial representation of the finger series within each hand, as predicted on the basis of counting habits, interactions would be expected between hand posture and a unimanual version of the spatial-numerical association of response codes (SNARC) effect. Data revealed that with hands in prone posture a unimanual SNARC effect was present for the right hand, and with hands in supine posture a unimanual SNARC effect was present for the left hand. We propose that a posture-invariant body structural representation of the finger series provides a relevant frame of reference, a within-hand directional vector, that is associated to simple number processing. Such frame of reference can significantly interact with stimulus-response correspondence effects, like the SNARC, that have been typically attributed to the mapping of numbers on a left-to-right mental line.
spatial–numerical association of response codes; numbers; fingers; unimanual SNARC; parity; magnitude; association code; numerical association
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/392690
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