Aleotti Sara

Neuroscience, Technology, and Society, XXXIII series
Grant sponsor

Konstantinos Priftis
Alessandro Sperduti

Project description
My research interests are focused on the relationship between the mental representation of the space and the representation of various type of quantities, especially numbers. The interaction between spatial and numerical cognition has been reported in a large number of studies, from the field of neuroscience to the field of cognitive psychology. The main evidence of space-number association is the SNARC effect (Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes; Dehaene, Bossini & Giraux, 1993), which suggests that numbers are represented along a horizontal, left-to-right oriented mental number line, with small numbers on the left and right numbers on the right. Associations between numerical magnitude and space have been reported, not only along the horizontal axis (left vs. right), but also along the vertical (up vs. down) and sagittal (near vs. far) axes (Winter, Matlock, Shaki, & Fischer, 2015). The aim of my project is to systematically investigate if the horizontal, vertical and sagittal SNARC effect are associated to each other and all the tasks will be implemented in a virtual reality environment (VR). VR offers, indeed, the possibility to interactively simulate, three dimensional environments and to simulate complex settings that can be practically difficult to implement in a real life. The existence of a virtual number-space association might be the starting point of future studies related to virtual simulators. Finally, the outcomes could be used to develop ergonomic tools and devices for better coordinating users’ actions in space, guided by numbers.