ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 51-64.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00051

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


颜丽珠1, 陈妍秀1, 刘勋2, 傅世敏1, 南威治1()   

  1. 1广州大学教育学院心理系/脑与认知科学中心, 广州 510006
    2中国科学院行为科学重点实验室, 北京 100101
  • 收稿日期:2021-04-10 出版日期:2022-01-15 发布日期:2021-11-25
  • 基金资助:

The flexibility of spatial-numerical associations and its internal mechanism

YAN Lizhu1, CHEN Yanxiu1, LIU Xun2, FU Shimin1, NAN Weizhi1()   

  1. 1Department of Psychology and Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, School of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2CAS Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, 16 Lincui Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2021-04-10 Online:2022-01-15 Published:2021-11-25


数字空间联结一直是认知心理学领域研究的热点之一。探索数字空间联结的一个重要指标为空间-数字反应联合编码(spatial-numerical association of response codes, SNARC)效应(左/右手对小/大数反应更快更准确)。以往研究已验证SNARC效应的普遍性及其在方向上的灵活性, 并提出多种理论解释。此外, SNARC效应在加工阶段上也具有灵活性, 其原因可能有:(1)加因素法则的理解偏差; (2)观察的角度单一; (3)观察效标的差异; (4)使用任务的差异。结合以上因素, 提出双阶段(数量信息的空间表征、空间表征到反应选择)加工模型, 不同的操控因素分别作用于两个阶段可能是引起SNARC效应灵活变化的核心原因。未来研究可从对比任务差异、引入不同干扰因素等方面进一步验证双阶段加工模型, 并结合认知神经科学技术揭示数字空间联结灵活性的内在神经机制。

关键词: SNARC效应, 灵活性, 数字空间联结, 双阶段加工模型


Spatial-numerical associations (SNAs), showing that small numbers have stronger associations with left space and large numbers have stronger associations with right space, are a hot topic in the field of cognitive psychology. An important index to explore SNAs is the spatial-numerical association of response codes (SNARC) effect (i.e., faster responses to small numbers using left effectors, and the inverse for large numbers), which provides strong evidence for the existence of SNAs. Previous studies have verified the universality of the SNARC effect. This effect could be observed across a wide range of numbers, diversified materials, different sensory channels, different ways participants react, and various reaction indexes. Importantly, the SNARC effect is also flexible in direction and the processing stage at which it occurs. First, the direction of the SNARC effect is flexible. Previous studies showed that the direction of the SNARC effect could be influenced by different reading habits (e.g., left-to-right or right-to-left), varying ranges of numbers (e.g., 1~9, 0~4, and 4~9), different representations (e.g., ruler or alarm clock), serial position in working memory, and reference numbers for comparison. The mental number line, working memory account and other theories have been proposed to explain the directional flexibility of the SNARC effect. Second, the processing stage in which the SNARC effect occurs is flexible. Researchers have tried to determine the processing stage in which the SNARC effect occurs from three perspectives: the relationship between the SNARC effect and other effects occurring at different stages (e.g., the Simon effect, Stroop effect, numerical distance effect, and switch cost), changes in the SNARC effect in different response effectors (e.g., hand response and eye movement), and the event-related potentials (ERPs) components induced by the SNARC effect. Three views of the processing stage in which the SNARC effect occurs have been proposed, but the conclusions are still discordant. The first view supports that the SNARC effect occurs at the semantic representation stage, the second view supports that it occurs at the response selection stage, and some recent studies have proposed a third view that the SNARC effect occurs flexibly at both stages. This dispute may be caused by the following four reasons: (1) disparities in the comprehension of additive-factor logic, which led to indirect inference; (2) observation from a single point, which led to indirect inference; (3) different types of Simon effects were adopted as the measure index, which led to different results; and (4) different tasks were adopted, which led to different results. Combining the above reasons, a new two-stage processing (spatial representation of magnitude, spatial representation to response selection) model was proposed. This model distinguished the different processing pathways of magnitude information in the magnitude comparison task (task-relevant) and in the parity judgment task (task-irrelevant). Also, it was proposed that different interference factors acting on the two stages might be the core reason for the flexibility of the SNARC effect. This model covered and explained the flexible variation in the SNARC effect observed in most previous studies. Future research could focus on comparisons of different tasks and the adoption of various interference factors to verify the two-stage processing model and combine cognitive neuroscience technologies to further elucidate the neural mechanism underlying the flexibility of SNAs.

Key words: SNARC effect, flexibility, spatial-numerical associations, two-stage processing model