Body movements affect Counting

Abstract

Aim of the present study is to investigate whether and to what extent movements performed with the whole body can influence calculation processes. Participants were asked to perform additions or subtractions while executing an ascending or descending movement in a passive (i.e., by taking the elevator) or active (i.e., by taking the stairs) mode. Results revealed a congruency effect between the type of calculation made and the direction of the movement performed, but only when participants experienced it through a passive mode. Our data are in line with studies providing evidence of a strict link between numerical and spatial representations, and between motor actions and number magnitude processing (motor-to-semantic effect). Implications of the results for the embodied and grounded nature of numerical cognition will be considered and discussed.


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