Reactive and Proactive Control in Arithmetical Strategy Selection

Kerensa tiberghien, Wim Notebaert, Bert De Smedt, Wim Fias


Individual differences in arithmetic have been explained by differences in cognitive processes and by arithmetic strategy use and selection. In the present study, we investigated the involvement of reactive and proactive control processes. We explored how variation in proactive and reactive control was related to individual differences in strategy selection. We correlated proactive and reactive measures obtained from the AX-CPT and an adjusted N-back task with a measure of strategy adaptiveness during a numerosity judgment task. The results showed that both measures of reactive control (of the AX-CPT and N-back task) correlated positively with strategy adaptiveness, while proactive control was not. This suggests that both cognitive control modes might have a different effect on adaptive strategy selection, where adaptive strategy selection seems to benefit from a transient (late) control mode, reactive control. We discuss these results in the light of the Dual Mechanisms Framework.


proactive control; reactive control; numerical cognition; strategy selection

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