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Volume 2012, Article ID 858037, 9 pages
Review Article

Empirical and Theoretical Studies on Number Comparison: Design Parameters and Research Questions

1Center for Complex Systems and Brain Science, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7160, USA

Received 8 May 2012; Accepted 28 May 2012

Academic Editors: P. Cavallari and P. N. Dannon

Copyright © 2012 Meltem Ballan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


For well over one-hundred years, several key factors have been well established in the study of number comparison, including mental number line, numerical distance effect, and effect of sensory representation on number processing. The purpose of this article is to put some of these studies together to discuss design parameters and research questions addressed in the mental number comparison studies. Most of the studies discuss sensory representation and abstract number representation as well as degree of their interaction. In order to give the different views on a particular research question, the author classified studies under the related research questions. For example, Stroop and size congruity effect studies are addressed under this title chronologically. It was very clear that the design parameters and research question might change the interpretation of a task. It may be time to shift attention from the question of the interaction degree of sensory representation and abstract representation to a larger scope. The larger scope would be to understand the differences and similarities between different groups using a universal approach.