When meaningful components interrupt the processing of the whole: The case of fractions

Arava Y. Kallai, Joseph Tzelgov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Numerical fractions are composed of a numerator and a denominator that are natural numbers. These components influence processing of the fraction. This study was conducted to test whether eliminating the fractional components would result in the processing of fractions as unique numerical entities. Participants that learned to relate fractional values to arbitrary figures in a training task showed automatic processing of the numerical values of the new figures. The processing of fractions written in regular form improved following training, but did not show automatic processing. The results suggest that eliminating the influence of the fractional components allowed individual fractions to be represented in long-term memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-369
Number of pages12
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • Automatic processing
  • Fractions
  • Mental representations
  • Numerical representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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