Exploring the developmental changes in automatic two-digit number processing

Wai Lan Winnie CHAN, Terry K. AU, Joey TANG

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Even when two-digit numbers are irrelevant to the task at hand, adults process them. Do children process numbers automatically, and if so, what kind of information is activated? In a novel dot-number Stroop task, children (Grades 1-5) and adults were shown two different two-digit numbers made up of dots. Participants were asked to select the number that contained the larger dots. If numbers are processed automatically, reaction time for dot size judgment should be affected by numerical characteristics. The results suggest that, like adults, children process two-digit numbers automatically. Based on the current findings, we propose a developmental trend for automatic two-digit number processing that goes from decomposed sequential (activation of decade digit followed by that of unit digit) to decomposed parallel processing (simultaneous activation of decade and unit digits). Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-274
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number3
Early online dateMar 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


Chan, W. W. L., Au, T. K., & Tang, J. (2011). Exploring the developmental changes in automatic two-digit number processing. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109(3), 263-274. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2011.01.010


  • Two-digit numbers
  • Automaticity
  • Development
  • Numerical processing
  • Number magnitude
  • Stroop


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