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See detailSpace by the numbers
Croonenberg, Dennis UL

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Numerical and spatial abilities have been correlated on many occasions. People who tend to be more proficient at spatial tasks also tend to be more proficient at mathematical operations and understanding ... [more ▼]

Numerical and spatial abilities have been correlated on many occasions. People who tend to be more proficient at spatial tasks also tend to be more proficient at mathematical operations and understanding of numbers. The current work takes several approaches to describe this relationship in further detail by investigating the role of attentional systems and executive control with regards to the processing of numbers and quantities. In a first attempt to do so we provide two studies whose goal it was to replicate the classical association between Arabic digits and response modality (SNARC-effect) and the association between Arabic digits and attentional shifts (Attentional SNARC-effect). In two further studies, we investigated the role of the Attentional SNARC-effect with regards to visual processing and consciousness. In the first of these studies, we made use of a backwards-mask to obscure a single Arabic digit from conscious processing, resulting in the loss of its spatial association in a line-bisection task. Secondly, we used a novel binocular rivalry paradigm to suppress two lateral stimuli from conscious perception and found that the duration of suppression was influenced by the numerical magnitude of a single presented Arabic digit. Specifically, we found that a stimulus on the left side of space would return faster when the Arabic digit was lower than five and that the right side of space would exhibit the same effect when the Arabic digit was higher than five. A crucial manipulation in these last two experiments was an adaptation to the original paradigm for measuring the attentional SNARC-effect. By adding a control-question on the magnitude or parity at the end of each trial, we ensured that the spatial effects would occur during these experiments. Furthermore, this effectively turned the experiments into working-memory tasks. Finally, we tested the influence of a visuo-spatial working-memory task and an addition-task on fronto-parietal network associated with mathematical operations in an event-related fMRI-experiment. This experiment included members of three populations with different levels of mathematical proficiency (Children with Developmental Dyscalculia, Typically developing children and Typical Adults). We found that brain-areas associated with executive control and basic visual processing were affected differently for children with developmental dyscalculia, hinting at a deficiency in visuo-spatial processing in this particular group. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 34 (10 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailDoes body motion influence arithmetic problem solving
Sosson, Charlotte UL; Guillaume, Mathieu UL; Schuller, Anne-Marie UL et al

Poster (2015, September)

Recent evidence indicates that body movements can influence number processing (Hartmann, et al., 2012) and arithmetic problem solving (Lugli, et al., 2013). Thus it was for instance observed that moving ... [more ▼]

Recent evidence indicates that body movements can influence number processing (Hartmann, et al., 2012) and arithmetic problem solving (Lugli, et al., 2013). Thus it was for instance observed that moving the arm rightward and upward led to better performance during additions and leftward and downward during subtractions (Wiemers, et al., 2014). These results could be explained by the fact that left/right body motion can be (in)compatible with the attentional motion towards the left/right on the mental number line known to underlie subtractions/additions (i.e. operational momentum effect) (McCrink, et al., 2007; Lindemann, et al., 2011). The compatible situations (i.e. leftwards motion - subtraction and rightwards motion - addition) thus are expected to facilitate arithmetic performance compared to incompatible ones. The present study was designed to test this hypothesis during arithmetic problem solving using: (1) physical passive rotary whole-body motion and (2) virtual environment mimicking a similar passive body motion. Findings of the present study confirm the classical effects known to play a role in arithmetic problem solving. They also revealed that passive rotary whole-body motion - implemented physically or by virtual reality - had no particular effect on the solving of calculations. This is in contrast with previous studies that showed an influence of active head/arm or passive translational movements on numerical task performance. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 63 (8 UL)