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Symbolic number : the integration of magnitude and spatial representations in children aged 6 to 8 years

White, Sonia, Szucs, Denes, & Soltesz, Fruzsina (2012) Symbolic number : the integration of magnitude and spatial representations in children aged 6 to 8 years. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 2, pp. 1-11.

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Abstract

The process of learning symbolic Arabic digits in early childhood requires that magnitude and spatial information integrates with the concept of symbolic digits. Previous research has separately investigated the development of automatic access to magnitude and spatial information from symbolic digits. However, developmental trajectories of symbolic number knowledge cannot be fully understood when considering components in isolation. In view of this, we have synthesized the existing lines of research and tested the use of both magnitude and spatial information with the same sample of British children in Years 1, 2 and 3 (6-8 years of age). The physical judgment task of the numerical Stroop paradigm (NSP) demonstrated that automatic access to magnitude was present from Year 1 and the distance effect signaled that a refined processing of numerical information had developed. Additionally, a parity judgment task showed that the onset of the Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) effect occurs in Year 2. These findings uncover the developmental timeline of how magnitude and spatial representations integrate with symbolic number knowledge during early learning of Arabic digits and resolve inconsistencies between previous developmental and experimental research lines.

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ID Code: 47930
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: magnitude representation, numerical Stroop paradigm, spatial–numerical association of response codes effect, spatial representation, symbolic representation
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00392
ISSN: 1664-1078
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Copyright Owner: © 2012 White, Szűcs and Soltész.
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.
Deposited On: 05 Jan 2012 08:39
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2012 16:50

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