But the Aymara call the future qhipa pacha/timpu, meaning back or behind time, and the past nayra pacha/timpu, meaning front time. And they gesture ahead of them when remembering things past, and backward when talking about the future.
These are not mere mannerisms, the researchers argue; they are windows into the minds of Aymara speakers, who have a conception of future and past that is different from just about everyone else's.
The authors say the Aymara speakers see the difference between what is known and not known as paramount, and what is known is what you see in front of you, with your own eyes.
The past is known, so it lies ahead of you. (Nayra, or "past," literally means eye and sight, as well as front.) The future is unknown, so it lies behind you, where you can't see.
The Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) effect is the observation that people are faster to make a judgment about a number if the hand they use to respond is congruous with the size of the number in question – with the left hand being quicker for smaller numbers and the right quicker for larger numbers. It suggests we automatically associate smaller numbers with the left side of space and larger numbers with the right-hand side, and it reinforces the age-old notion that mentally we represent numbers as if they are located along a line.