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ERIC Number: EJ874793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0278-2626
Bisecting the Mental Number Line in Near and Far Space
Longo, Matthew R.; Lourenco, Stella F.
Brain and Cognition, v72 n3 p362-367 Apr 2010
Much evidence suggests that common posterior parietal mechanisms underlie the orientation of attention in physical space and along the "mental number line." For example, the small leftward bias ("pseudoneglect") found in paper-and-pencil line bisection is also found when participants "bisect" number pairs, estimating (without calculating) the number midway between two others. For bisection of physical lines, pseudoneglect has been found to shift rightward as lines are moved from near space (immediately surrounding the body) to far space. We investigated whether the presentation of stimuli in near or far space also modulated spatial attention for the mental number line. Participants bisected physical lines or number pairs presented at four distances (60, 120, 180, 240 cm). Clear rightward shifts in bias were observed for both tasks. Furthermore, the rate at which this shift occurred in the two tasks, as measured by least-squares regression slopes, was significantly correlated across participants, suggesting that the transition from near to far distances induced a common modulation of lateral attention in physical and numerical space. These results demonstrate a tight coupling between number and physical space, and show that even such prototypically abstract concepts as number are modulated by our on-line interactions with the world. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A