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Arithmetic Memory Is Modality Specific.

Myers T, Szücs D - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In regards to numerical cognition and working memory, it is an open question as to whether numbers are stored into and retrieved from a central abstract representation or from separate notation-specific representations.The participants were presented with numbers (1-9) as either Arabic digits or written number words (Arabic digits and dot matrices in Experiment 2) at the first (S1) and second (S2) stimuli.The participant's task was to add the first two stimuli together and verify whether the answer (S3), presented simultaneously with S2, was correct.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Neuroscience in Education, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
In regards to numerical cognition and working memory, it is an open question as to whether numbers are stored into and retrieved from a central abstract representation or from separate notation-specific representations. This study seeks to help answer this by utilizing the numeral modality effect (NME) in three experiments to explore how numbers are processed by the human brain. The participants were presented with numbers (1-9) as either Arabic digits or written number words (Arabic digits and dot matrices in Experiment 2) at the first (S1) and second (S2) stimuli. The participant's task was to add the first two stimuli together and verify whether the answer (S3), presented simultaneously with S2, was correct. We hypothesized that if reaction time (RT) at S2/S3 depends on the modality of S1 then numbers are retrieved from modality specific memory stores. Indeed, RT depended on the modality of S1 whenever S2 was an Arabic digit which argues against the concept of numbers being stored and retrieved from a central, abstract representation.

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S1 Modality x S2 Modality.Vertical bars denote 0.95 confidence intervals for repeated measures ANOVA (Hollands & Jarmasz, 2009). S1 and S2 modality is signified by ‘A’ and ‘W’; i.e. Arabic Digit (A) vs. Written Number Word (W). As an example, AW signifies an Arabic digit at S1 and a written number word at S2.
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pone.0145614.g004: S1 Modality x S2 Modality.Vertical bars denote 0.95 confidence intervals for repeated measures ANOVA (Hollands & Jarmasz, 2009). S1 and S2 modality is signified by ‘A’ and ‘W’; i.e. Arabic Digit (A) vs. Written Number Word (W). As an example, AW signifies an Arabic digit at S1 and a written number word at S2.

Mentions: RTs are shown in Fig 4. Data were assessed by a Correctness x S1 modality x S2 modality repeated-measures ANOVA. The .95 confidence intervals were computed for repeated-measures ANOVA (see Hollands and Jarmasz [32]). There was an S1 modality x S2 modality interaction (AA = 992 ms, WA = 1085 ms, WW = 1134 ms, AW = 1159 ms; S1 Modality x S2 Modality: F(1,19) = 34.067, p<0.0001; Partial η2 = 0.32) which shows that there was no impact on the retrieval speed of S1 when S2 was a written number word; however, when S2 was an Arabic digit it was processed quicker when it was preceded by a digit rather than a written number word. According to S1 modality x S2 modality Tukey post hoc contrasts, there were significant differences between all conditions except between AW and WW (AW vs WW: p<0.3109; AA vs. AW: p<0.0002; AA vs. WA: p<0.0002; AA vs. WW: p<0.0002; AW vs. WA: p<0.0005; WA vs. WW: p<0.0162). In addition to this, the RTs were 33 ms faster in all conditions of S2 when S1 was an Arabic digit as contrasted to when it was a number word (1109 ms vs. 1076 ms; main effect of S1 Modality: F(1,19) = 12.833; p<0.001; Partial η2 = 0.31). The RTs were also 108 ms faster in all conditions of S1 whenever S2 was an Arabic digit (1147 ms vs. 1039 ms; Main effect of S2 Modality: F(1,19) = 76.484; p<0.0001; Partial η2 = 0.56). In regards to the effect of correctness of the presented sum at S3, The Arabic digit at S3 was responded to 65 ms faster when it was the correct sum as opposed to when it was incorrect (1060 ms vs. 1125 ms; Correctness: F(1,19) = 39.998, p<0.0001). There was no interaction between the correctness of S3 and the modalities at S1 and S2 (Correctness x S1 Modality x S2 Modality: F(1,19) = 2.641, p<0.1206).


Arithmetic Memory Is Modality Specific.

Myers T, Szücs D - PLoS ONE (2015)

S1 Modality x S2 Modality.Vertical bars denote 0.95 confidence intervals for repeated measures ANOVA (Hollands & Jarmasz, 2009). S1 and S2 modality is signified by ‘A’ and ‘W’; i.e. Arabic Digit (A) vs. Written Number Word (W). As an example, AW signifies an Arabic digit at S1 and a written number word at S2.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4696806&req=5

pone.0145614.g004: S1 Modality x S2 Modality.Vertical bars denote 0.95 confidence intervals for repeated measures ANOVA (Hollands & Jarmasz, 2009). S1 and S2 modality is signified by ‘A’ and ‘W’; i.e. Arabic Digit (A) vs. Written Number Word (W). As an example, AW signifies an Arabic digit at S1 and a written number word at S2.
Mentions: RTs are shown in Fig 4. Data were assessed by a Correctness x S1 modality x S2 modality repeated-measures ANOVA. The .95 confidence intervals were computed for repeated-measures ANOVA (see Hollands and Jarmasz [32]). There was an S1 modality x S2 modality interaction (AA = 992 ms, WA = 1085 ms, WW = 1134 ms, AW = 1159 ms; S1 Modality x S2 Modality: F(1,19) = 34.067, p<0.0001; Partial η2 = 0.32) which shows that there was no impact on the retrieval speed of S1 when S2 was a written number word; however, when S2 was an Arabic digit it was processed quicker when it was preceded by a digit rather than a written number word. According to S1 modality x S2 modality Tukey post hoc contrasts, there were significant differences between all conditions except between AW and WW (AW vs WW: p<0.3109; AA vs. AW: p<0.0002; AA vs. WA: p<0.0002; AA vs. WW: p<0.0002; AW vs. WA: p<0.0005; WA vs. WW: p<0.0162). In addition to this, the RTs were 33 ms faster in all conditions of S2 when S1 was an Arabic digit as contrasted to when it was a number word (1109 ms vs. 1076 ms; main effect of S1 Modality: F(1,19) = 12.833; p<0.001; Partial η2 = 0.31). The RTs were also 108 ms faster in all conditions of S1 whenever S2 was an Arabic digit (1147 ms vs. 1039 ms; Main effect of S2 Modality: F(1,19) = 76.484; p<0.0001; Partial η2 = 0.56). In regards to the effect of correctness of the presented sum at S3, The Arabic digit at S3 was responded to 65 ms faster when it was the correct sum as opposed to when it was incorrect (1060 ms vs. 1125 ms; Correctness: F(1,19) = 39.998, p<0.0001). There was no interaction between the correctness of S3 and the modalities at S1 and S2 (Correctness x S1 Modality x S2 Modality: F(1,19) = 2.641, p<0.1206).

Bottom Line: In regards to numerical cognition and working memory, it is an open question as to whether numbers are stored into and retrieved from a central abstract representation or from separate notation-specific representations.The participants were presented with numbers (1-9) as either Arabic digits or written number words (Arabic digits and dot matrices in Experiment 2) at the first (S1) and second (S2) stimuli.The participant's task was to add the first two stimuli together and verify whether the answer (S3), presented simultaneously with S2, was correct.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Neuroscience in Education, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
In regards to numerical cognition and working memory, it is an open question as to whether numbers are stored into and retrieved from a central abstract representation or from separate notation-specific representations. This study seeks to help answer this by utilizing the numeral modality effect (NME) in three experiments to explore how numbers are processed by the human brain. The participants were presented with numbers (1-9) as either Arabic digits or written number words (Arabic digits and dot matrices in Experiment 2) at the first (S1) and second (S2) stimuli. The participant's task was to add the first two stimuli together and verify whether the answer (S3), presented simultaneously with S2, was correct. We hypothesized that if reaction time (RT) at S2/S3 depends on the modality of S1 then numbers are retrieved from modality specific memory stores. Indeed, RT depended on the modality of S1 whenever S2 was an Arabic digit which argues against the concept of numbers being stored and retrieved from a central, abstract representation.

Show MeSH