Activation of number facts in bilinguals. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two experiments examined the effect of the presentation format of numbers--digits versus word format in the first and in the second languages of bilinguals--on mental arithmetic. Speed of number-fact retrieval and the presence of interference produced by numbers that were either numerically close to or associatively related to the correct answers of stored arithmetic problems (e.g., 2+5 and 7x8) were compared across formats. The verification of true problems was increasingly slower and less accurate from the digit condition to the second-language condition. Interference was produced by both types of incorrect answers in the digit and first-language conditions, whereas in the second-language condition, it was constrained to answers that were numerically close to correct answers. Together, the results suggest that the retrieval of arithmetic facts and the automatic spreading of activation within the network of numerical facts are not only language-sensitive, but format-sensitive in general.

published proceedings

  • Mem Cognit

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Frenck-Mestre, C., & Vaid, J.

citation count

  • 56

complete list of authors

  • Frenck-Mestre, C||Vaid, J

publication date

  • November 1993