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      On the development of the mental number line: more, less, or never holistic with increasing age?

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          Abstract

          Magnitude is assumed to be represented along a holistic mental number line in adults. However, the authors recently observed a unit-decade compatibility effect for 2-digit numbers that is inconsistent with this "holisticness" assumption (H.-C. Nuerk, U. Weger, & K. Willmes, 2001). This study used the compatibility effect to examine whether the mental number line representation of magnitude changes toward greater or less holisticness in children from Grades 2-5. The results indicate that decades and units of 2-digit numbers are processed separately rather than holistically from Grade 2 on. However, this separate processing seems to develop from a more sequential (left-to-right) to a more parallel processing mode. Moreover, children may use different strategies depending on task demands. The results are interpreted in the framework of Siegler's overlapping waves model.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Dev Psychol
          Developmental psychology
          American Psychological Association (APA)
          0012-1649
          0012-1649
          Nov 2004
          : 40
          : 6
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Neuropsychology Section, Department of Neurology, University Hospital of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen, Aachen, Germany. nuerk@neuropsych.rwth-aachen.de
          Article
          2004-20098-022
          10.1037/0012-1649.40.6.1199
          15535767

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