A Computational Modeling Approach on Three‐Digit Number Processing

Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (2):317-334 (2013)


Recent findings indicate that the constituting digits of multi-digit numbers are processed, decomposed into units, tens, and so on, rather than integrated into one entity. This is suggested by interfering effects of unit digit processing on two-digit number comparison. In the present study, we extended the computational model for two-digit number magnitude comparison of Moeller, Huber, Nuerk, and Willmes (2011a) to the case of three-digit number comparison (e.g., 371_826). In a second step, we evaluated how hundred-decade and hundred-unit compatibility effects were moderated by varying the percentage of within-hundred (e.g., 539_582) and within-hundred-and-decade filler items (e.g., 483_489). From the results we predict that numerical distance as well as compatibility effects should indeed be modulated by the relevance of tens and units in three-digit number magnitude comparison: While in particular the hundred distance effect should decrease, we predict hundred-decade and hundred-unit compatibility effects to increase with the relevance of tens and units

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