The role of working memory in the association between number magnitude and space

Amparo Herrera, Pedro Macizo, Carlo Semenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In two experiments, participants performed a magnitude comparison task in single and dual-task conditions. In the dual conditions, the comparison task was accomplished while phonological or visuospatial information had to be maintained for a later recall test. The results showed that the requirement of maintaining visuospatial information produced the lack of spatial-numerical association of response codes (SNARC) effect. The SNARC effect was not found even when the performance in the comparison task did not decline, as indicated by a similar distance effect in all conditions. These results show a special role for the visuospatial component of working memory in the processing of spatial representation of numbers and an interesting dissociation between SNARC and distance effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-237
Number of pages13
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Number processing
  • SNARC effect
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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