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Four experiments were conducted in order to examine effects of notation--Arabic and verbal numbers--on relevant and irrelevant numerical processing. In Experiment 1, notation interacted with the numerical distance effect, and irrelevant physical size affected numerical processing (i.e., size congruity effect) for both notations but to a lesser degree for verbal numbers. In contrast, size congruity had no effect when verbal numbers were the irrelevant dimension. In Experiments 2 and 3, different parameters that could possibly affect the results, such as discriminability and variability (Experiment 2) and the block design (Experiment 3), were controlled. The results replicated the effects obtained in Experiment 1. In Experiment 4, in which physical size was made more difficult to process, size congruity for irrelevant verbal numbers was observed. The present results imply that notation affects numerical processing and that Arabic and verbal numbers are represented separately, and thus it is suggested that current models of numerical processing should have separate comparison mechanisms for verbal and Arabic numbers.

Original publication




Journal article


J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn

Publication Date





1377 - 1391


Adult, Attention, Discrimination Learning, Female, Humans, Intention, Male, Mathematics, Problem Solving, Reaction Time, Reading, Semantics, Size Perception, Young Adult