Flexible spatial mapping of different notations of numbers in Chinese readers

Yi hui Hung, Daisy L. Hung, Ovid J.L. Tzeng, Denise H. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The spatial component of numerical and ordinal information has been explored in previous research. However, how such mapping emerges and how it is affected by the learning experience are issues still under debate. In the current study, we examined the orientation of the mental number line for different numerical notations (e.g., "1", "--", "{A figure is presented}") in Chinese readers. Our data demonstrated that Arabic numbers are mentally aligned horizontally with a left-to-right directionality, while Chinese number words are aligned vertically with a top-to-bottom directionality. These findings indicate that different notations of the same concept have flexible mappings within space, which is plausibly shaped by the dominant context in which the numerical notations appear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1450
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Chinese reading/writing system
  • Mental number line
  • Numerical cognition
  • Parity judgment
  • The SNARC effect


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