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Dot display affects approximate number system acuity and relationships with mathematical achievement and inhibitory control

Norris, Jade Eloise; Castronovo, Julie

Authors

Jade Eloise Norris



Abstract

© 2016 Norris, Castronovo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Much research has investigated the relationship between the Approximate Number System (ANS) and mathematical achievement, with continued debate surrounding the existence of such a link. The use of different stimulus displays may account for discrepancies in the findings. Indeed, closer scrutiny of the literature suggests that studies supporting a link between ANS acuity and mathematical achievement in adults have mostly measured the ANS using spatially intermixed displays (e.g. of blue and yellow dots), whereas those failing to replicate a link have primarily used spatially separated dot displays. The current study directly compared ANS acuity when using intermixed or separate dots, investigating how such methodological variation mediated the relationship between ANS acuity and mathematical achievement. ANS acuity was poorer and less reliable when measured with intermixed displays, with performance during both conditions related to inhibitory control. Crucially, mathematical achievement was significantly related to ANS accuracy difference (accuracy on congruent trials minus accuracy on incongruent trials) when measured with intermixed displays, but not with separate displays. The findings indicate that methodological variation affects ANS acuity outcomes, as well as the apparent relationship between the ANS and mathematical achievement. Moreover, the current study highlights the problem of low reliabilities of ANS measures. Further research is required to construct ANS measures with improved reliability, and to understand which processes may be responsible for the increased likelihood of finding a correlation between the ANS and mathematical achievement when using intermixed displays.

Citation

Norris, J. E., & Castronovo, J. (2016). Dot display affects approximate number system acuity and relationships with mathematical achievement and inhibitory control. PLoS ONE, 11(5), e0155543. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155543

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 30, 2016
Online Publication Date May 19, 2016
Publication Date May 19, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 21, 2018
Journal PLOS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 5
Pages e0155543
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155543
Keywords General biochemistry; Genetics and molecular biology; General agricultural and biological sciences; General medicine
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/723065
Publisher URL http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0155543

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Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2016 Norris, Castronovo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.







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