Linear Numerical Magnitude Representations Aid Memory for Single Numbers


Memory for numbers improves with age and experience. One source of this improvement may be children’s learning linear representations of numeric magnitude, but previous evidence for this hypothesis may have confounded memory span with linear numerical magnitude representations. To obviate the influence of memory span on numerical memory, we examined children’s ability to recall a single number after a delay, and the relation between recall and performance on other numeric tasks. Linearity of numerical performance was consistent across numerical tasks and was highly correlated with numerical memory. In contrast, color memory was not correlated with recall of numeric information. Results suggest that linear representations of numeric magnitudes aid memory for even single numbers.

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