This study explored event-related potential (ERP) correlates of common fractions (1/5) and decimal fractions (0.2). Thirteen subjects performed a numerical magnitude matching task under two conditions. In the common fraction condition, a nonsymbolic fraction was asked to be judged whether its magnitude matched the magnitude of a common fraction; in the decimal fraction condition, a nonsymbolic fraction was asked to be matched with a decimal fraction. Behavioral results showed significant main effects of condition and numerical distance, but no significant interaction of condition and numerical distance. Electrophysiological data showed that when nonsymbolic fractions were compared to common fractions, they displayed larger N1 and P3 amplitudes than when they were compared to decimal fractions. This finding suggested that the visual identification for nonsymbolic fractions was different under the two conditions, which was not due to perceptual differences but to task demands. For symbolic fractions, the condition effect was observed in the N1 and P3 components, revealing stimulus-specific visual identification processing. The effect of numerical distance as an index of numerical magnitude representation was observed in the P2, N3 and P3 components under the two conditions. However, the topography of the distance effect was different under the two conditions, suggesting stimulus specific semantic processing of common fractions and decimal fractions.
Zhang, Li; Wang, Qi; Lin, Chongde; Ding, Cody; and Zhou, Xinlin, "An ERP Study of the Processing of Common and Decimal Fractions: How Different They Are" (2013). Education Sciences and Professional Programs Faculty Works. 10.