Saccadic Compression of Symbolic Numerical Magnitude

Paola Binda, M. Concetta Morrone, Frank Bremmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stimuli flashed briefly around the time of saccadic eye movements are subject to complex distortions: compression of space and time; underestimate of numerosity. Here we show that saccadic distortions extend to abstract quantities, affecting the representation of symbolic numerical magnitude. Subjects consistently underestimated the results of rapidly computed mental additions and subtractions, when the operands were briefly displayed before a saccade. However, the recognition of the number symbols was unimpaired. These results are consistent with the hypothesis of a common, abstract metric encoding magnitude along multiple dimensions. They suggest that a surprising link exists between the preparation of action and the representation of abstract quantities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49587
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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