Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cognition. 2008 Jul;108(1):263-70. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2008.01.002. Epub 2008 Mar 3.

The SNARC effect does not imply a mental number line.

Author information

  • 1Department of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, H. Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.


In this study, we directly contrast two approaches that have been proposed to explain the SNARC effect. The traditional direct mapping account suggests that a direct association exists between the position of a number on the mental number line and the location of the response. On the other hand, accounts are considered that propose an intermediate step in which numbers are categorized as either small or large between the number magnitude and the response representations. In a magnitude comparison task, we departed from the usual bimanual left/right response dimension and instead introduced the unimanual close/far dimension. A spatial-numerical association was observed: small numbers were associated with a close response, while large numbers were associated with a far response, regardless of the movement direction (left/right). We discuss why these results cannot be explained by assuming a direct mapping from the representation of numbers on a mental number line to response locations and discuss how the results can be explained by the alternative accounts.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center