Spatial–numerical association of response code effect as a window to mental representation of magnitude in long-term memory among Hebrew-speaking children

Anat Feldman, Yafit Oscar-Strom, Joseph Tzelgov, Andrea Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The well-known spatial–numerical association of response code (SNARC) effect supports the idea that the mental number line (MNL) is organized from left to right in participants writing from left to right. In Arabic speakers writing from right to left, the direction of the SNARC effect is reversed. Until recently, no consistent numerical–spatial associations were reported in Hebrew speakers, who write letters from right to left and write numbers from left to right. However, a left-to-right SNARC effect was recently demonstrated in adult Hebrew readers by reducing the markedness association of response code (MARC) effect, which masks the SNARC effect. Adult Hebrew speakers (especially university students) are skilled English readers and writers, supporting the claim that the direction of reading is not the sole factor contributing to direction of the emergence of the left-to-right organization of the MNL. Thus, to understand the effect of reading habits on the SNARC effect, here we demonstrate the SNARC in young Hebrew-speaking children who read Hebrew letters from right to left, read numbers from left to right, and had little experience in writing English letters from left to right. Our findings, therefore, are innovative in providing supporting evidence for the claim that the direction of reading is not the sole factor contributing to direction of the emergence of the left-to-right organization of the MNL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume181
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • Children
  • Long term memory
  • MARC effect
  • Mental number line
  • Numerical cognition
  • SNARC effect

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