Cognitive Processing

, Volume 13, Supplement 1, pp 137–140 | Cite as

How do spatial representations enhance cognitive numerical processing?

  • Helen De CruzEmail author
Short Report


Several philosophical theories attempt to explain how actions performed in the world enhance cognitive processing: internalism, active externalism, and cognitive integration. The aim of this paper is to examine whether the use of spatial representations in arithmetic can shed light on this debate. Relying on philosophical analysis, on a discussion of empirical work in the cognitive neuroscience of number, and on a historical case study, I will show that spatial representations of number indicate an integration between internal and external cognitive processes.


Spatial representations Numerical cognition Cognitive integration Chinese algebra 


Conflict of interest

This supplement was not sponsored by outside commercial interests. It was funded entirely by ECONA, Via dei Marsi, 78, 00185 Roma, Italy.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MP4 2478 kb)


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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