In the domain of numbers the existence of spatial components in the representation of numerical magnitude has been convincingly demonstrated by an association between number magnitude and response preference with faster left- than right-hand responses for small numbers and faster right-than left-hand responses for large numbers (Dehaene, S., Bossini, S., & Giraux, P. (1993) The mental representation of parity and number magnitude., Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 122, 371-396). Because numbers convey not only real or integer meaning but also ordinal meaning, the question of whether non-numerical ordinal information is spatially coded naturally follows. While previous research failed to show an association between ordinal position and spatial response preference, we present two experiments involving months (Experiment 1) and letters (Experiment 2) in which spatial coding is demonstrated. Furthermore, the response-side effect was obtained with two different stimulus-response mappings. The association occurred both when ordinal information was relevant and when it was irrelevant to the task, showing that the spatial component of the ordinal representation can be automatically activated. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.