AUTHOR=Imbo Ineke, Vandierendonck André, Fias Wim
TITLE=Passive Hand Movements Disrupt Adults’ Counting Strategies
JOURNAL=Frontiers in Psychology
VOLUME=2
YEAR=2011
PAGES=201
URL=https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00201
DOI=10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00201
ISSN=1664-1078
ABSTRACT=In the present study, we experimentally tested the role of hand motor circuits in simple-arithmetic strategies. Educated adults solved simple additions (e.g., 8 + 3) or simple subtractions (e.g., 11 − 3) while they were required to retrieve the answer from long-term memory (e.g., knowing that 8 + 3 = 11), to transform the problem by making an intermediate step (e.g., 8 + 3 = 8 + 2 + 1 = 10 + 1 = 11) or to count one-by-one (e.g., 8 + 3 = 8…9…10…11). During the process of solving the arithmetic problems, the experimenter did or did not move the participants’ hand on a four-point matrix. The results show that passive hand movements disrupted the counting strategy while leaving the other strategies unaffected. This pattern of results is in agreement with a procedural account, showing that the involvement of hand motor circuits in adults’ mathematical abilities is reminiscent of finger counting during childhood.