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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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S3 Modality x S1 Modality x S1 Modality.Vertical bars denote 0.95 confidence intervals for repeated measures ANOVA (Hollands & Jarmasz, 2009). S1, S2 & S3 modality is signified by ‘A’ and ‘W’; ie. Arabic Digit (A) vs. Written Number Word (W). As an example, WAW signifies a written number word at S1 and S3 and an Arabic digit at S2.
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pone.0145614.g009: S3 Modality x S1 Modality x S1 Modality.Vertical bars denote 0.95 confidence intervals for repeated measures ANOVA (Hollands & Jarmasz, 2009). S1, S2 & S3 modality is signified by ‘A’ and ‘W’; ie. Arabic Digit (A) vs. Written Number Word (W). As an example, WAW signifies a written number word at S1 and S3 and an Arabic digit at S2.

Mentions: RTs are shown in Figs 8 and 9. Data were assessed by a Correctness x S3 modality x S1 modality x S2 modality ANOVA. The .95 confidence intervals were computed for repeated-measures ANOVA (see Hollands and Jarmasz [32]). RTs at S2/S3 were 37 ms faster when S1 was an Arabic digit than when it was a number word (967 ms vs. 1004 ms; S1 Modality: F(1,16) = 19.229; p<0.0005; Partial η2 = 0.65). Crucially, as in Experiment 1, there was an expected S1 modality x S2 modality interaction (S1 Modality x S2 Modality: F(1,16) = 29.183, p<0.0001; Partial η2 = 0.65). The interaction resulted in shorter solution times when S2 was presented as an Arabic digit. This effect was modulated by S1 modality: RTs were the fastest when S1 was an Arabic digit (AA = 928 ms, WW = 1002 ms, WA = 1005 ms, AW = 1005 ms). A Tukey post hoc analysis showed congruency effects only between AA-WA, AA-AW, and AA-WW (AW vs WW: p = 0.9999; AW vs. WA: p = 0.9454; WA vs. WW: p = 0.9912; AA vs. AW: p<0.0002; AA vs. WA: p<0.0005; AA vs. WW: p<0.0002). Also, as in our previous experiments, the presentation of the answer at S3 as being either correct or incorrect did not show an interaction with how the modalities at S3, S1 or S2 correlated with the speed of the responses (Correctness x S3 modality x S1 modality x S2 modality: F(1,16) = 0.9772, p = 0.3).


Arithmetic Memory Is Modality Specific.

Myers T, Szücs D - PLoS ONE (2015)

S3 Modality x S1 Modality x S1 Modality.Vertical bars denote 0.95 confidence intervals for repeated measures ANOVA (Hollands & Jarmasz, 2009). S1, S2 & S3 modality is signified by ‘A’ and ‘W’; ie. Arabic Digit (A) vs. Written Number Word (W). As an example, WAW signifies a written number word at S1 and S3 and an Arabic digit at S2.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4696806&req=5

pone.0145614.g009: S3 Modality x S1 Modality x S1 Modality.Vertical bars denote 0.95 confidence intervals for repeated measures ANOVA (Hollands & Jarmasz, 2009). S1, S2 & S3 modality is signified by ‘A’ and ‘W’; ie. Arabic Digit (A) vs. Written Number Word (W). As an example, WAW signifies a written number word at S1 and S3 and an Arabic digit at S2.
Mentions: RTs are shown in Figs 8 and 9. Data were assessed by a Correctness x S3 modality x S1 modality x S2 modality ANOVA. The .95 confidence intervals were computed for repeated-measures ANOVA (see Hollands and Jarmasz [32]). RTs at S2/S3 were 37 ms faster when S1 was an Arabic digit than when it was a number word (967 ms vs. 1004 ms; S1 Modality: F(1,16) = 19.229; p<0.0005; Partial η2 = 0.65). Crucially, as in Experiment 1, there was an expected S1 modality x S2 modality interaction (S1 Modality x S2 Modality: F(1,16) = 29.183, p<0.0001; Partial η2 = 0.65). The interaction resulted in shorter solution times when S2 was presented as an Arabic digit. This effect was modulated by S1 modality: RTs were the fastest when S1 was an Arabic digit (AA = 928 ms, WW = 1002 ms, WA = 1005 ms, AW = 1005 ms). A Tukey post hoc analysis showed congruency effects only between AA-WA, AA-AW, and AA-WW (AW vs WW: p = 0.9999; AW vs. WA: p = 0.9454; WA vs. WW: p = 0.9912; AA vs. AW: p<0.0002; AA vs. WA: p<0.0005; AA vs. WW: p<0.0002). Also, as in our previous experiments, the presentation of the answer at S3 as being either correct or incorrect did not show an interaction with how the modalities at S3, S1 or S2 correlated with the speed of the responses (Correctness x S3 modality x S1 modality x S2 modality: F(1,16) = 0.9772, p = 0.3).

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