Toward a Model Framework of Generalized Parallel Componential Processing of Multi-Symbol Numbers.

Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition

PubMedID: 25068853

Huber S, Cornelsen S, Moeller K, Nuerk HC. Toward a Model Framework of Generalized Parallel Componential Processing of Multi-Symbol Numbers. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2014;.
In this article, we propose and evaluate a new model framework of parallel componential multi-symbol number processing, generalizing the idea of parallel componential processing of multi-digit numbers to the case of negative numbers by considering the polarity signs similar to single digits. In a first step, we evaluated this account by defining and investigating a sign-decade compatibility effect for the comparison of positive and negative numbers, which extends the unit-decade compatibility effect in 2-digit number processing. Then, we evaluated whether the model is capable of accounting for previous findings in negative number processing. In a magnitude comparison task, in which participants had to single out the larger of 2 integers, we observed a reliable sign-decade compatibility effect with prolonged reaction times for incompatible (e.g., -97 vs. +53; in which the number with the larger decade digit has the smaller, i.e., negative polarity sign) as compared with sign-decade compatible number pairs (e.g., -53 vs. +97). Moreover, an analysis of participants' eye fixation behavior corroborated our model of parallel componential processing of multi-symbol numbers. These results are discussed in light of concurrent theoretical notions about negative number processing. On the basis of the present results, we propose a generalized integrated model framework of parallel componential multi-symbol processing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).