Number Representations and their Development: A Connectionist Model of Number Comparison


Building on prior work, the current study evaluated whether connectionist models can account for the distance and size effects in adults and the development of the distance effect in children. A family of models was constructed by orthogonally varying training environment (naturalistic versus non-naturalistic) and number representation (one-to-one versus magnitude). The ability of the models to account for the adult distance and size effects depended critically on a naturalistic training environment but was relatively independent of number representation. With respect to the developmental data, the naturalistic/one-to-one model provided a good account of response times and errors. The relation between the current models and prior models and avenues for future exploration are discussed.

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