Reference : Measuring spontaneous and automatic processing of magnitude and parity information of...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Measuring spontaneous and automatic processing of magnitude and parity information of Arabic digits by frequency-tagging EEG.
Guillaume, Mathieu [> >]
Poncin, Alexandre [> >]
Schiltz, Christine mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS)]
Van Rinsveld, Amandine [> >]
Scientific reports
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] Arabic digits (1-9) are everywhere in our daily lives. These symbols convey various semantic information, and numerate adults can easily extract from them several numerical features such as magnitude and parity. Nonetheless, since most studies used active processing tasks to assess these properties, it remains unclear whether and to what degree the access to magnitude and especially to parity is automatic. Here we investigated with EEG whether spontaneous processing of magnitude or parity can be recorded in a frequency-tagging approach, in which participants are passively stimulated by fast visual sequences of Arabic digits. We assessed automatic magnitude processing by presenting a stream of frequent small digit numbers mixed with deviant large digits (and the reverse) with a sinusoidal contrast modulation at the frequency of 10 Hz. We used the same paradigm to investigate numerical parity processing, contrasting odd digits to even digits. We found significant brain responses at the frequency of the fluctuating change and its harmonics, recorded on electrodes encompassing right occipitoparietal regions, in both conditions. Our findings indicate that both magnitude and parity are spontaneously and unintentionally extracted from Arabic digits, which supports that they are salient semantic features deeply associated to digit symbols in long-term memory.

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