Laterality briefed: Laterality modulates performance in a numerosity-congruity task

Sharon Naparstek, Avishai Henik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


It is widely agreed that irrelevant numerical values are automatically activated. However, automatic and intentional activations may give rise to different numerical representations. We examined processing of symbolic and non-symbolic (i.e., numerosity) representations asking whether they differ in automatic and intentional processing. Participants were presented with two-dimensional displays containing repetitions of a digit and were asked to report, in different blocks, whether the digit or numerosity was smaller or larger than 5. Incongruent trials differed either in laterality between the relevant and irrelevant dimensions (i.e., the location of both dimensions in reference to the midpoint 5) or in numerical distance between dimensions. Congruency affected performance regardless of symbolic or non-symbolic presentation. For incongruent trials, laterality (not distance) affected performance, again regardless of presentation. This implies that automaticity does not mean similar processing of relevant and irrelevant dimensions. Specifically, the relevant dimension is processed elaborately whereas the irrelevant dimension is processed crudely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-450
Number of pages7
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was conducted as part of the research in the Center for the Study of the Neurocognitive Basis of Numerical Cognition, supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant 1664/08) in the framework of their Centers of Excellence.


  • Automaticity
  • Distance effect
  • Laterality effect
  • Numerical value
  • Numerosity
  • Stroop


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