[MATHLINK] MCLS Online Oct 22 2020

Jo-Anne LeFevre joanne.lefevre at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 21:08:31 CST 2020

Dear MCLS Community,
Please join us for our next symposium tomorrow, October 22 at 9:00am EST // 2pm BST on “Spatial-numerical associations and dissociations” (abstract below) presented by Nicolas Masson (Université catholique de Louvain, University of Luxemburg); Sara Aleotti (Università degli Studi di Padova); Jean Philippe van Dijck (Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Ghent University); and Krzysztof Cipora, Department of Psychology, University of Tubingen; Centre for Mathematical Cognition, Loughborough University. You can access the meeting here: https://pitt.zoom.us/j/98288752314 <https://pitt.zoom.us/j/98288752314>, password MCLS2020.
Be sure to mark your calendars for our next meetings!
Friday, October 30 Lightning talks and Posters
Thursday, November 5 Counting and Cardinality
Friday, November 13 Problem-solving strategies in algebra: From lab to practice
See you tomorrow!
The MCLS Training Board
Spatial-Numerical Associations (SNAs) are phenomena demonstrating bi-directional links between numerical information and different aspects of space. Keeping in mind quite established correlations between spatial and mathematical skills, as well as the fact that quite often basic cognitive processes underlie more complex ones, one could expect that SNAs can be a useful mean to measure math skills and support math skill development. Nevertheless, the literature on this topic contains several contradictory findings. On the other hand, a closer look at the literature reveals that SNAs have been operationalized in a very different ways: spatial aspect has been operationalized either as extensions or specific directions in space. At the same time, the numerical aspect has been operationalized as ordinality, cardinality, mathematical functions, and place-value processing. Last but not least, the association has been operationalized as implicit (the SNA is revealed indirectly as a specific behavioral or physiological pattern) or explicit (overt and controllable behavior that the participant is placing specific numbers in space). Such massive variety in tasks has been ignored by taking an implicit (and rather bold assumptions) that all these SNAs are a reflection of the same latent construct. At the same time, specific tasks may put very strong constraints on what kind of SNA can be observed. For instance, bimanual setup with two response keys arranged horizontally allows only detecting whether there is a horizontal SNA or not, and in which direction it goes. It misses completely all other mappings that could be observed in 3D space. Similarly, testing implicit SNAs does not necessarily need to tell something about explicit ones and vice versa. Crucially, the construct validity of such broad category as SNAs has rarely been directly investigated. In this symposium we will present accumulating evidence for dissociations between different SNAs. We hope the symposium will raise vital questions on the nature of SNAs and will contribute to our understanding of them.
The first speaker, Nicolas Masson (Université catholique de Louvain, University of Luxemburg) will present dissociations between explicit and implicit directional SNAs in right-to-left readers. The second speaker, Sara Aleotti (Università degli Studi di Padova) will present how the hallmark phenomenon of SNAs, the SNARC effect changes as a function of a spatial plane being under scrutiny. The third speaker, Jean-Philippe van Dijck (Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, Ghent University) will present data showing that depending on whether extension or directional SNAs are investigated, the ordinal or cardinal aspect of number seem to be associated with space. Finally, Krzysztof Cipora (University of Tuebingen, Loughborough University) will present results of a study conducted in Amazon tribe Tsimane and in German university students showing how participants arrange numbers when given a 2D grid rather than a unidimensional setup.


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