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      Cross-Cultural and Intra-Cultural Differences in Finger-Counting Habits and Number Magnitude Processing: Embodied Numerosity in Canadian and Chinese University Students


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          Recent work in numerical cognition has shown-that number magnitude is not entirely abstract, and at least partly rooted in embodied and situated experiences, including finger-counting. The current study extends previous cross-cultural research to address within-culture individual differences in finger counting habits. Results indicated that Canadian participants demonstrated an additional cognitive load when comparing numbers that require more than one hand to represent, and this pattern of performance is further modulated by whether they typically start counting on their left hand or their right hand. Chinese students typically count on only one hand and so show no such effect, except for an increase in errors, similar to that seen in Canadians, for those whom self-identify as predominantly two-hand counters. Results suggest that the impact of finger counting habits extend beyond cultural experience and concord in predictable ways with differences in number magnitude processing for specific number-digits. We conclude that symbolic number magnitude processing is partially rooted in learned finger-counting habits, consistent with a motor simulation account of embodied numeracy and that argument is supported by both cross-cultural and within-culture differences in finger-counting habits.

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            The neural basis of the Weber-Fechner law: a logarithmic mental number line.

            The recent discovery of number neurons allows for a dissection of the neuronal implementation of number representation. In a recent article, Nieder and Miller demonstrate a neural correlate of Weber's law, and thus resolve a classical debate in psychophysics: the mental number line seems to be logarithmic rather than linear.
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              Fine modulation in network activation during motor execution and motor imagery.

              Motor imagery, the 'mental rehearsal of motor acts without overt movements', involves either a visual representation (visual imagery, VI) or mental simulation of movement, associated with a kinesthetic feeling (kinetic imagery, KI). Previous brain imaging work suggests that patterns of brain activation differ when comparing execution (E) with either type of imagery but the functional connectivity of the participating networks has not been studied. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and structural equation modeling, this study elucidates the inter-relationships among the relevant areas for each of the three motor behaviors. Our results suggest that networks underlying these behaviors are not identical, despite the extensive overlap between E and KI. Inputs to M1, which are facilitatory during E, have the opposite effect during KI, suggesting a physiological mechanism whereby the system prevents overt movements. Finally, this study highlights the role of the connection of superior parietal lobule to the supplementary motor area in both types of motor imagery.

                Author and article information

                J Numer Cogn
                Journal of Numerical Cognition
                J. Numer. Cogn.
                29 April 2016
                : 2
                : 1
                : 1-19
                [a ]Department of Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
                [b ]Department of Psychology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
                [c ]School of Psychology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China
                Author notes
                [* ]308-279 Freshwater Rd., St. John’s, NL, Canada, A1B 1B5. Krm031@ 123456mun.ca

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 31 July 2015
                : 19 October 2015
                Self URI (journal-page): https://journals.psychopen.eu/
                Research Reports

                finger-counting,Chinese,magnitude,embodied cognition,individual differences
                finger-counting, Chinese, magnitude, embodied cognition, individual differences


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