Development of the Mental Number Line Representation of Numbers 0–10 and Its Relationship to Mental Arithmetic

Anat Feldman, Andrea Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The internal representation of numbers on the mental number line (MNL) was demonstrated by performing the computerized version of the number-to-position (CNP) task on a touch-screen while restricting response time. We found that the estimation pattern is best fit by a sigmoid function, further denoted as the “sigmoidal model”. Two developmental leaps occurring during elementary school were recognized: (1) the division of the number line into two segments and (2) consistent use of different anchor points on the number line—the left endpoint in first grade, the right endpoint in second grade, and finally the midpoint in third grade. Additionally, when examining the differences between the breakpoints, we found that first graders demonstrated a breakpoint close to 6, which linearly decreased over the years until stabilizing close to 5. The relation between the ability to place individual numbers on a number line and performance of mental arithmetic showed that the consistent use of anchor points correlated significantly with faster responses in mental arithmetic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number335
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Anchor points
  • Arithmetic abilities
  • Child development
  • Mental number line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)

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