Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

Publication date: 2008-01
Volume: 61 Pages: 444 - 458
ISSN: 1747-0218


De Brauwer, Jolien
Duyck, Wouter ; Brysbaert, Marc


1701 Psychology, 1702 Cognitive Science, Experimental Psychology


We present new evidence that word translation involves semantic mediation. It has been shown that participants react faster to small numbers with their left hand and to large numbers with their right hand. This SNARC (spatial-numerical association of response codes) effect is due to the fact that in Western cultures the semantic number line is oriented from left (small) to right (large). We obtained a SNARC effect when participants had to indicate the parity of second-language (L2) number words, but not when they had to indicate whether L2 number words contained a particular sound. Crucially, the SNARC effect was also obtained in a translation verification task, indicating that this task involved the activation of number magnitude.