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Hemispheric Lateralization of Arithmetic Facts and Magnitude Processing for Two-Digit Numbers

Abstract : In the human brain, a (relative) functional asymmetry (i.e., laterality; functional and performance differences between the two cerebral hemispheres) exists for a variety of cognitive domains (e.g., language, visual-spatial processing, etc.). For numerical cognition, both bi-lateral and unilateral processing has been proposed with the retrieval of arithmetic facts postulated as being lateralized to the left hemisphere. In this study, we aimed at evaluating this claim by investigating whether processing of multiplicatively related triplets in a number bisection task (e.g., 12_16_20) in healthy participants (n = 23) shows a significant advantage when transmitted to the right hemisphere only as compared to transmission to the left hemisphere. As expected, a control task revealed that stimulus presentation to the left or both visual hemifields did not increase processing disadvantages of unit-decade incompatible number pairs in magnitude comparison. For the number bisection task, we replicated the multiplicativity effect. However, in contrast to the hypothesis deriving from the triple code model, we did not observe significant hemispheric processing asymmetries for multiplicative items. We suggest that participants resorted to keep number triplets in verbal working memory after perceiving them only very briefly for 150 ms. Rehearsal of the three numbers was probably slow and time-consuming so allowing for interhemispheric communication in the meantime. We suggest that an effect of lateralized presentation may only be expected for early effects when the task is sufficiently easy.
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Contributor : Elise Klein <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 6:26:45 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 3:08:11 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 8:02:36 PM


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Stefanie Jung, Korbinian Moeller, Hans-Otto Karnath, Elise Klein. Hemispheric Lateralization of Arithmetic Facts and Magnitude Processing for Two-Digit Numbers. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers, 2020, 14, pp.88. ⟨10.3389/fnhum.2020.00088⟩. ⟨halshs-02947079⟩



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