Numeric Comparison in a Visually-guided Manual Reaching Task

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Numeric Comparison in a Visually-guided Manual Reaching Task

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Title: Numeric Comparison in a Visually-guided Manual Reaching Task
Author: Nakayama, Ken; Song, Joo-Hyun

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Citation: Song, Joo-Hyun, and Ken Nakayama. 2008. Numeric comparison in a visually-guided manual reaching task. Cognition 106(2): 994-1003.
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Abstract: Nearly all studies on perception and cognition have used discrete responses to infer internal cognitive processes. In the current study, we demonstrate that visually-guided manual reaching can provide new opportunities to access internal processes over time. In each trial, participants were required to compare a single digit Arabic number presented on the center square with the standard, 5. Participants were asked to reach and touch one of three squares on the screen with their index finger while their hand movement trajectories were recorded: the left square for 1-4, the center for 5, and the right for 6-9. Direct evidence for an analogue representation of numbers was found in early as well as in later portions of hand trajectories, showing systematic shifts in position for small differences in numerical magnitude.
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