Arithmetic Training Does Not Improve Approximate Number System Acuity
2016 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, 1634Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The approximate number system (ANS) is thought to support non-symbolic representations of numerical magnitudes in humans. Recently much debate has focused on the causal direction for an observed relation between ANS acuity and arithmetic fluency. Here we investigate if arithmetic training can improve ANS acuity. We show with an experimental training study consisting of six 45-min training sessions that although feedback during arithmetic training improves arithmetic performance substantially, it does not influence ANS acuity. Hence, we find no support for a causal link where symbolic arithmetic training influences ANS acuity. Further, although short-term number memory is likely involved in arithmetic tasks we did not find that short-term memory capacity for numbers, measured by a digit-span test, was effected by arithmetic training. This suggests that the improvement in arithmetic fluency may have occurred independent of short-term memory efficiency, but rather due to long-term memory processes and/or mental calculation strategy development. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 7, 1634
approximate number system, arithmetic fluency, training, short-term memory, numbers
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-308638DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01634ISI: 000386097000001PubMedID: 27826270OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-308638DiVA: diva2:1050835