Tapping effects on numerical bisection

Zaira Cattaneo, Micaela Fantino, Juha Silvanto, Giuseppe Vallar, Tomaso Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerical magnitude is believed to be represented along a mental number line (MNL), and there is evidence to suggest that the activation of the MNL affects the perception and representation of external space. In the present study, we investigated whether a spatial motor task affects numerical processing in the auditory modality. Blindfolded participants were presented with a numerical interval bisection task, while performing a tapping task with either their left or right hand, either in the fronto-central, fronto-left, or fronto-right peripersonal space. Results showed that tapping significantly influenced the participants' numerical bisection, with tapping in the left side of space increasing the original tendency to err leftward, and tapping to the right reducing such bias. Importantly, the effect depended on the side of space in which the tapping activity was performed, regardless of which hand was used. Tapping with either the left or right hand in the fronto-central space did not affect the participants' bias. These findings offer novel support for the existence of bidirectional interactions between external and internal representations of space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Crossmodal interaction
  • Mental number line
  • Numerical cognition
  • Pseudoneglect
  • Spatial representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Tapping effects on numerical bisection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this