ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (1): 30-40.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00030

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Spatial-temporal Association of Response Codes Effect: Manifestation, Influencing Factors and Its Theories

Li Jinxing; Wang Zhenhong   

  1. (School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University; Shaanxi Province Key Laboratory of Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience, Xi’an 710062, China)
  • Received:2014-03-12 Online:2015-01-15 Published:2015-01-15
  • Contact: Wang Zhenhong,


The spatial-temporal association of response codes (STEARC) effect indicates that the mental representation of time is associated with space, which is multidirectional and multichannel. Studies demonstrated that people spatialized time in three-dimensional space, including the sagittal (front/back), the transverse (left/right), and the vertical (up/down) axes. Individuals under different cultures prefer different spatial axis when representing time. Four factors can affect STEARC direction: Reading and writing habits, language experience, the spatial reference frame of experimental task, as well as emotion. Researchers explained STEARC effect through the Metaphorical Structuring View, the Embodied Cognition Theory, the Propositional Symbol Theory and the Perceptual Symbol Theory. Future research should improve the research paradigm, integrate the theoretical framework, and discuss the neural physiological mechanism of STEARC effect.

Key words: STEARC effect, spatial metaphor of time, embodied cognition, perceptual symbol theory