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Semantic numerical representation in blind subjects: The role of vision in the spatial format of the mental number line

Castronovo, Julie; Seron, Xavier

Authors

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Dr Julie Castronovo J.Castronovo@hull.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Director of Education Faculty of Health Sciences

Xavier Seron



Abstract

Does vision play a role in the elaboration of the semantic representation of small and large numerosities, notably in its spatial format? To investigate this issue, we decided to compare in the auditory modality the performance of congenitally and early blind people with that of a sighted control group, in two number comparison tasks (to 5 and to 55) and in one parity judgement task. Blind and sighted participants presented exactly the same distance and SNARC (Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes) effects, indicating that they share the same semantic numerical representation. In consequence, our results suggest that the spatial dimension of the numerical representation is not necessarily attributable to the visual modality and that the absence of vision does not preclude the elaboration of this representation for 1-digit (Experiment 1) and 2-digit numerosities (Experiment 2). Moreover, as classical semantic numerical effects were observed in the auditory modality, the postulate of the amodal nature of the mental number line for both small and large magnitudes was rei nforced. © 2006 The Experimental Psychology Society.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2007-01
Journal Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Print ISSN 1747-0218
Electronic ISSN 1747-0226
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 60
Issue 1
Pages 101-119
APA6 Citation Castronovo, J., & Seron, X. (2006). Semantic numerical representation in blind subjects: The role of vision in the spatial format of the mental number line. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60(1), (101-119). doi:10.1080/17470210600598635. ISSN 1747-0218
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17470210600598635
Keywords Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Physiology (medical); Physiology; General Psychology; Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology; General Medicine
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1080/17470210600598635
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