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The battle between the correct and mirror writings of a digit in children's recognition memory

Abstract : Recent research into character reversals in writings produced by occidental children has shown that they mainly reverse the left-oriented digits (1, 2, 3, 7, and 9) and therefore appear to apply a right-orienting rule. But do they produce similar reversal errors when asked to recognize the digits? In an experiment, based on eye-tracking observations of 50 children (Mage = 5.4 years), children had to point towards a target digit in a 2x2 matrix containing also three distractor digits, one of whom being the mirror reversed writing of the correctly written target digit. This recognition task led to a true "battle" in children's memory between the two writings of the target digit. This battle is shown in the graphical abstract that represents a heat map from a sub-sample of children (on the left-side) and the fixation points map from an individual child (on the right-side). Rather than following the predicted right-orienting rule the children's responses appeared to be biased towards digits in the right-hand column of the 2x2 matrices (when the reversed target digit was not in the same column as the correctly written target digit). As a whole, these findings support the hypotheses that many 4-to 6-year-old's representations of the digit writings are un-oriented in their memory and that these children may adopt different solutions to overcome this lack of orientation depending on whether they write or read. Graphical Abstract Acknowledgments: We thank all the children who have taken part in the investigations. We are also grateful to the teachers and administrative officials who have facilitated their performing. 2
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Submitted on : Monday, September 28, 2020 - 8:53:12 AM
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Jean-Paul Fischer, Christophe Luxembourger. The battle between the correct and mirror writings of a digit in children's recognition memory. Education Sciences, MDPI, 2020, 10 (7), pp.183. ⟨10.3390/educsci10070183⟩. ⟨hal-02950498⟩



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