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Single-digit and two-digit Arabic numerals address the same semantic number line

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: Many theories about human number representation stress the importance of a central semantic representation that includes the magnitude information of small integer numbers, and that is conceived as an abstract, compressed number line. However, thus far there has been little or no direct evidence that units and teens are represented on the same number line. In two masked priming experiments, we show that single-digit and two-digit Arabic numerals are equally well primed by an Arabic numeral with the same number of digits as by an equally distant Arabic numeral with a different number of digits (e.g. the priming effect of 7 on the target 9 is the same as the priming effect of Il on the target 9). The finding was obtained both with a number naming task and with a parity judgement task. This is in line with the hypothesis that units and teens are part of a continuous number line.

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