Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):366-374 (2009)

Limor Gertner
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Number-form synesthetes consciously experience numbers in spatially-defined locations. For non-synesthete individuals, a similar association of numbers and space appears in the form of an implicit mental number line as signified by the distance effect–reaction time decreases as the numerical distance between compared numbers increases. In the current experiment, three number-form synesthetes and two different non-synesthete control groups performed a number comparison task. Synesthete participants exhibited a sizeable distance effect only when presented numbers were congruent with their number-form. In contrast, the controls exhibited a distance effect regardless of congruency or presentation type. The findings suggest that: number-form synesthesia impairs the ability to represent numbers in a flexible manner according to task demands; number-form synesthesia is a genuine tangible experience, triggered involuntarily; and the classic mental number line can be more pliable than previously thought and appears to be independent of cultural-lingo direction
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2009.02.005
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References found in this work BETA

The Mental Representation of Parity and Number Magnitude.Stanislas Dehaene, Serge Bossini & Pascal Giraux - 1993 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 122 (3):371.
Varieties of Numerical Abilities.Stanislas Dehaene - 1992 - Cognition 44 (1-2):1-42.
Speed of Adding and Comparing Numbers.Frank Restle - 1970 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 83 (2p1):274.

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