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See detailFinger-digit compatibility in Arabic numeral processing
Di Luca, Samuel UL; Granà, Alessia; Semenza, Carlo et al

in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology (2006), 59(9), 1648-63

Finger-digit response compatibility was tested by asking participants to identify Arabic digits by pressing one of ten keys with all ten fingers. The direction of the finger-digit mapping was varied by ... [more ▼]

Finger-digit response compatibility was tested by asking participants to identify Arabic digits by pressing one of ten keys with all ten fingers. The direction of the finger-digit mapping was varied by manipulating the global direction of the hand-digit mapping as well as the direction of the finger-digit mapping within each hand (in each case, from small to large digits, or the reverse). The hypothesis of a left-to-right mental number line predicted that a complete left-to-right mapping should be easier whereas the hypothesis of a representation based on finger counting predicted that a counting-congruent mapping should be easier. The results show that a mapping congruent with the prototypical finger-counting strategy reported by the participants leads to better performance than a mapping congruent with a left-to-right oriented mental number line, and demonstrate that finger-counting strategies clearly influence the way numerical information is mentally represented and processed. [less ▲]

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See detailDeficient arithmetic fact retrieval--storage or access problem? A case study.
Kaufmann, Liane; Lochy, Aliette UL; Drexler, Arthur et al

in Neuropsychologia (2004), 42(4), 482-96

This paper aims at clarifying the nature of fact retrieval difficulties in an 18-year-old young man (MO) who exhibited a puzzling pattern of developmental dyscalculia. Contrasting performance on explicit ... [more ▼]

This paper aims at clarifying the nature of fact retrieval difficulties in an 18-year-old young man (MO) who exhibited a puzzling pattern of developmental dyscalculia. Contrasting performance on explicit (production and verification tasks) and implicit (priming) tasks we observed poor overt retrieval of addition and multiplication facts, classical interference effects in verification tasks and inconsistency of error patterns. Hence, MO's performance pattern is suggestive of the existence of a partly stored network of facts (reflecting imperfect storage), but is also compatible with an access deficit according to Warrington and Cipolotti's [Brain 119 (1996) 611] criteria for distinguishing access and storage deficits in dysphasic patients. Furthermore, while MO displayed interference effects in verification tasks, he did not show automatic access to arithmetic facts in implicit tasks. Finally, similar to the findings of Roussel, Fayol, and Barrouillet [European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 14(1) (2002) 61] on normal subjects, MO's performance pattern is suggestive of the existence of differential processing mechanisms for addition and multiplication facts. We propose a unifying mechanism, namely a deficit of the central executive of working memory (WM), that accounts both for the constitution of a fuzzy network of fact representations, and for an access deficit modulated by attentional demands as required in explicit/implicit task paradigms. Overall, our results clearly provide evidence that even in (a developmental) case of a non-perfect network of memory representations (e.g. [Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 117 (1988) 258]), interference effects might be observed. Future studies thus need to be cautious before concluding that interference effects prove the existence of a well-established associative memory network of arithmetic facts. [less ▲]

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See detailTranscoding zeros within complex numerals.
Grana, Alessia; Lochy, Aliette UL; Girelli, Luisa et al

in Neuropsychologia (2003), 41(12), 1611-8

This paper describes a patient (LD) showing a selective syntactic deficit in the production of Arabic numerals. Unlike in previously reported cases, LD's syntactic difficulties result in deletions rather ... [more ▼]

This paper describes a patient (LD) showing a selective syntactic deficit in the production of Arabic numerals. Unlike in previously reported cases, LD's syntactic difficulties result in deletions rather than insertions of zeros, with a reduction of the number magnitude. The pattern of errors highlighted a distinction between "lexical zeros", i.e. the zeros in tens, that are semantically derived, and "syntactic zeros" that are syntactically produced as the result of specific production rules. In LD, only syntactic zeros were affected. Furthermore, the processing of numerals with final zeros was found to be easier than the processing of numerals with internal zeros. This pattern of errors is compatible with the lexical-semantic model of Power and Dal Martello. In this model, in fact, lexical zeros originate from a numerical concept, while syntactic zeros originate from a concatenation operation, plus an overwriting operation leaving one or more intermediary zeros. Thus, lexical zeros may be easier to manipulate than syntactic zeros that merely represent a null quantity associated to a specific power of 10. [less ▲]

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