ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (9): 1492-1502.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.01492

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 The working memory account of the spatial-numerical associations

 DENG Zhijun; WU Huizhong; CHEN Yinghe   

  1.  (Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2016-12-12 Online:2017-09-15 Published:2017-07-14
  • Contact: CHEN Yinghe, E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  The SNARC (Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes) effect, first reported by Dehaene, Bossini, and Giraux in 1993, means that individuals, when completing basic number processing tasks, typically react faster with their left hands to relatively smaller numbers and faster with their right hands to relatively larger numbers. The SNARC effect has been shown to be stable and robust, but its mechanism is still the subject of debate over the past 20 years. As a Mental Number Line (preexists in long-term memory) account cannot capture the complexity of observations reported in the literature, we aimed to explore the working memory account for the SNARC effect. According to the summarization and analysis of the related literatures, we found that the central executive, phonological subsystems, and the visual subsystems all played important roles in the SNARC effect, and the ordinal position in the sequence in working memory was also a an influential factor of the SNARC effect. However, additional neuroimaging studies are needed to examine the mechanism underlying the SNARC effect.

Key words:  SNARC effect, inhibitory control, phonological subsystems, visual subsystems, ordinal position effect

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