Publications by authors named "Valerie Lorenz"

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Fact retrieval or compacted counting in arithmetic-A neurophysiological investigation of two hypotheses.

J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 2021 Feb 4. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Parenting and Special Education Research Unit.

There is broad consensus on the assumption that adults solve single-digit multiplication problems almost exclusively by fact retrieval from memory. In contrast, there has been a long-standing debate on the cognitive processes involved in solving single-digit addition problems. This debate has evolved around two theoretical accounts. Proponents of a fact-retrieval account postulate that these are also solved through fact retrieval, whereas proponents of a compacted-counting account propose that solving very small additions (with operands between 1 and 4) involves highly automatized and unconscious compacted counting. In the present electroencephalography (EEG) study, we put these two accounts to the test by comparing neurophysiological correlates of solving very small additions and multiplications. Forty adults worked on an arithmetic production task involving all (nontie) single-digit additions and multiplications. Afterward, participants completed trial-by-trial strategy self-reports. In our EEG analyses, we focused on induced activity (event-related synchronization/desynchronization, ERS/ERD) in three frequency bands (theta, lower alpha, upper alpha). Across all frequency bands, we found higher evidential strength for similar rather than different neurophysiological processes accompanying the solution of very small addition and multiplication problems. In the alpha bands, evidence for similarity was even stronger when operand-1-problems were excluded. In two additional analyses, we showed that ERS/ERD can differentiate between self-reported problem-solving strategies (retrieval vs. procedure) and between very small × 1 and + 1 problems, demonstrating its high sensitivity to cognitive processes in arithmetic. The present findings support a fact-retrieval account, suggesting that both very small additions and multiplications are solved through fact retrieval. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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February 2021