Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Digit order processing is highly related to individual differences in arithmetic performance. To examine whether serial scanning or associative mechanisms underlie order processing, order tasks (i.e. deciding whether three digits were presented in an order or not) were administered in two experiments. In the first experiment, digits were presented in different directions namely ascending, descending and non-ordered. For each direction, close and far distance sequences were presented. Results revealed reversed distance effects for ordered sequences, but ascending sequences elicited faster performance and stronger reversed distance effects than descending sequences, suggesting that associative mechanisms underlie order processing. In the second experiment, it was examined to which extent the relation between order processing and arithmetic is number-specific by presenting order tasks with digits, letters and months. In all order tasks similar distance effects were observed and similar relations with arithmetic were found, suggesting that both general associative mechanisms and number-specific mechanisms contribute to arithmetic.