Number line estimation under working memory load: Dissociations between working memory subsystems

Sarit Ashkenazi*, Shir Shapira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The preverbal representation of quantity has been shown to associate with space, as quantities are spatially mapped on a mental number line. One traditional method to test this association is the number line estimation task that asks participants to locate a number on a number line. However, current approaches suggest that number line estimation task performance involves verbally mediated strategies such as reliance on reference points, questioning the nature of the task as a measurement of pure quantitative or spatial skills. To resolve this conflict, in the current study participants performed the number line estimation task in three dual task conditions under phonological, spatial or visual working memory (WM) loads. We found that phonological WM load and spatial WM load affected performance, while visual WM load did not. Model fits indicated that number line estimation task performance was based on the usage of reference points, and involved phonological WM and spatial WM which are required for the understanding of symbols and the spatial relation between them.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Neuroscience and Education
Volume8-9
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier GmbH

Keywords

  • Dual task
  • Number line estimation
  • Phonological working memory
  • Spatial working memory
  • Visual working memory

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