Many studies have investigated whether numerical and spatial abilities share similar cognitive systems. A novel approach to this issue consists of investigating whether the same perceptual biases underlying size illusions can be identified in numerical estimation tasks. In this study, we required adult participants to estimate the number of white dots in arrays made of white and black dots displayed in such a way as to generate horizontal–vertical illusions with inverted T and L configurations. In agreement with previous literature, we found that participants tended to underestimate the target numbers. However, in the presence of the illusory patterns, participants were less inclined to underestimate the number of vertically aligned white dots. This reflects the perceptual biases underlying horizontal–vertical illusions. In addition, we identified an enhanced illusory effect when participants observed vertically aligned white dots in the T shape compared to the L shape, a result that resembles the length bisection bias reported in the spatial domain. Overall, we found the first evidence that numerical estimation differs as a function of the vertical or horizontal displacement of the stimuli. In addition, the involvement of the same perceptual biases observed in spatial tasks supports the idea that spatial and numerical abilities share similar cognitive processes.

Anisotropy of perceived numerosity: Evidence for a horizontal–vertical numerosity illusion

Pecunioso A.;Miletto Petrazzini M. E.;Agrillo C.
2020

Abstract

Many studies have investigated whether numerical and spatial abilities share similar cognitive systems. A novel approach to this issue consists of investigating whether the same perceptual biases underlying size illusions can be identified in numerical estimation tasks. In this study, we required adult participants to estimate the number of white dots in arrays made of white and black dots displayed in such a way as to generate horizontal–vertical illusions with inverted T and L configurations. In agreement with previous literature, we found that participants tended to underestimate the target numbers. However, in the presence of the illusory patterns, participants were less inclined to underestimate the number of vertically aligned white dots. This reflects the perceptual biases underlying horizontal–vertical illusions. In addition, we identified an enhanced illusory effect when participants observed vertically aligned white dots in the T shape compared to the L shape, a result that resembles the length bisection bias reported in the spatial domain. Overall, we found the first evidence that numerical estimation differs as a function of the vertical or horizontal displacement of the stimuli. In addition, the involvement of the same perceptual biases observed in spatial tasks supports the idea that spatial and numerical abilities share similar cognitive processes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3359424
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