Number-space associations in synaesthesia are not influenced by finger-counting habits

Jonas, Clare N and Ward, Jamie (2014) Number-space associations in synaesthesia are not influenced by finger-counting habits. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26 (2). pp. 232-240. ISSN 2044-5911

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Abstract

In many cultures, one of the earliest representations of number to be learned is a finger-counting system. Although most children stop using their fingers to count as they grow more confident with number, traces of this system can still be seen in adulthood. For example, an individual's finger-counting habits appear to affect the ways in which numbers are implicitly associated with certain areas of space, as inferred from the spatial–numerical association of response codes (SNARC) effect. In this study, we questioned the finger-counting habits of 98 participants who make explicit, idiosyncratic associations between number and space, known as number-space synaesthesia. Unexpectedly, neither handedness nor finger-counting direction (left-to-right or right-to-left) was associated with the relative positions of 1 and 10 in an individual's number-space synaesthesia. This lack of association between finger-counting styles and number-space synaesthesia layout may result from habitual use of synaesthetic space rather than fingers when learning to count; we offer some testable hypotheses that could assess whether this is the case.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Embodiment, Manumerical cognition, Number, Synaesthesia
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Alexandra Barnard
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2016 08:11
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 12:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/63018

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