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ERIC Number: EJ944381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0278-2626
Common Spatial Organization of Number and Emotional Expression: A Mental Magnitude Line
Holmes, Kevin J.; Lourenco, Stella F.
Brain and Cognition, v77 n2 p315-323 Nov 2011
Converging behavioral and neural evidence suggests that numerical representations are mentally organized in left-to-right orientation. Here we show that this format of spatial organization extends to emotional expression. In Experiment 1, right-side responses became increasingly faster as number (represented by Arabic numerals) or happiness (depicted in facial stimuli) increased, for judgments completely unrelated to magnitude. Additional experiments suggest that magnitude (i.e., more/less relations), not valence (i.e., positive/negative), underlies left-to-right orientation of emotional expression (Experiment 2), and that this orientation accommodates to the context-relevant emotion (e.g., happier faces are more rightward when judged on happiness, but more leftward when judged on angriness; Experiment 3). These findings show that people automatically extract magnitude from a variety of stimuli, representing such information in common left-to-right format, perhaps reflecting a "mental magnitude line". We suggest that number is but one dimension in a hyper-general representational system uniting disparate dimensions of magnitude and likely subserved by common neural mechanisms in posterior parietal cortex. (Contains 4 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