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Anna Zhen, Stephen Van Hedger, Shannon Heald, Susan Goldin-Meadow, Xing Tian
Action and perception interact in complex ways to shape how we learn. In the context of language acquisition, for example, hand gestures can facilitate learning novel sound-to-meaning mappings that are critical to successfully understanding a second language. However, the mechanisms by which motor and visual information influence auditory learning are still unclear. We hypothesize that the extent to which cross-modal learning occurs is directly related to the common representational format of perceptual features across motor, visual, and auditory domains (i...
March 13, 2019: Cognition
Kadi Tulver, Jaan Aru, Renate Rutiku, Talis Bachmann
The present study investigated individual differences in how much subjects rely on prior information, such as expectations or knowledge, when faced with perceptual ambiguity. The behavioural performance of forty-four participants was measured on four different visual paradigms (Mooney face recognition, illusory contours, blur detection and representational momentum) in which priors have been shown to affect perception. In addition, questionnaires were used to measure autistic and schizotypal traits in the non-clinical population...
March 13, 2019: Cognition
Keith E Stanovich, Maggie E Toplak
Actively open-minded thinking (AOT) is measured by questionnaire items that tap the willingness to consider alternative opinions, the sensitivity to evidence contradictory to current beliefs, the willingness to postpone closure, and reflective thought. AOT has been found to be a strong predictor of performance on heuristics and biases tasks and of the avoidance of reasoning traps such as superstitious thinking and belief in conspiracy theories. Recently, several studies that have employed short forms of the AOT scale have shown startlingly high negative correlations with religiosity (in the range of -0...
March 12, 2019: Cognition
Sujatha Krishnan-Barman, Antonia F de C Hamilton
Humans frequently imitate each other's actions with high fidelity, and different reasons have been proposed for why they do so. Here we test the hypothesis that imitation can act as a social signal, with imitation occurring with greater fidelity when a participant is being watched. In a preregistered study, 30 pairs of naïve participants played an augmented-reality game involving moving blocks in space. We compared imitation fidelity between trials where the leader watched the followers' action, and trials where the leader did not watch...
March 12, 2019: Cognition
Mark Yates, Timothy J Slattery
In the research reported here, we investigated how phonological processing in the lexical decision task is influenced by individual differences in the reading and spelling abilities of participants. We used phonological neighborhood spread as a measure of phonological processing. Spread refers to the number of phoneme positions in a word that can be changed to form a phonological neighbor. Replicating previous research, we found that words forming neighbors across three positions (P3) were recognized more rapidly than those forming neighbors across only two positions (P2)...
March 12, 2019: Cognition
Calum Hartley, Laura-Ashleigh Bird, Padraic Monaghan
While many studies have investigated how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impacts how children identify the meanings of new words, this task alone does not constitute learning. Here we investigate fast (referent selection) and slow (retention, generalisation) word learning processes as an integrated system and explore relationships between these mechanisms in ASD and typical development. In Study 1, children with ASD and typically developing (TD) children matched on receptive vocabulary utilised mutual exclusivity to identify referents of unfamiliar words, but showed substantially reduced accuracy on delayed retention and generalisation trials...
March 9, 2019: Cognition
Michiko Sakaki, Taiji Ueno, Allison Ponzio, Carolyn W Harley, Mara Mather
Emotional arousal often facilitates memory for some aspects of an event while impairing memory for other aspects of the same event. Across three experiments, we found that emotional arousal amplifies competition among goal-relevant representations, such that arousal impairs memory for multiple goal-relevant representations while enhancing memory for solo goal-relevant information. We also present a computational model to explain the mechanisms by which emotional arousal can modulate memory in opposite ways via the local/synaptic-level noradrenergic system...
March 8, 2019: Cognition
Steven A Sloman, Nathaniel Rabb
Recent political events around the world, including the apparently sudden rise of populism and decline of democratic zeal, have surprised many of us and offered a window onto how people form beliefs and attitudes about the wider world. Cognitive scientists have tended to view belief and attitude formation from one of three perspectives: as a process of deliberative reasoning, as a gut reaction modulated by feelings, or as a cultural phenomenon grounded in partisan relationships. This special issue on the cognitive science of political thought brings a variety of voices to bear on the issue...
March 7, 2019: Cognition
Keisuke Suzuki, David J Schwartzman, Rafael Augusto, Anil K Seth
To investigate how embodied sensorimotor interactions shape subjective visual experience, we developed a novel combination of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) within an adapted breaking continuous flash suppression (bCFS) paradigm. In a first experiment, participants manipulated novel virtual 3D objects, viewed through a head-mounted display, using three interlocking cogs. This setup allowed us to manipulate the sensorimotor contingencies governing interactions with virtual objects, while characterising the effects on subjective visual experience by measuring breakthrough times from bCFS...
March 7, 2019: Cognition
Yingying Wang, Andrea Luppi, Jonathan Fawcett, Michael C Anderson
When we seek to forget unwelcome memories, does the suppressed content still exert an unconscious influence on our thoughts? Although intentionally stopping retrieval of a memory reduces later episodic retention for the suppressed trace, it remains unclear the extent to which suppressed content persists in indirectly influencing mental processes. Here we tested whether inhibitory control processes underlying retrieval suppression alter the influence of a memory's underlying semantic content on later thought...
March 7, 2019: Cognition
Markus Kiefer, Natalie M Trumpp, Caroline Schaitz, Heiko Reuss, Wilfried Kunde
In contrast to classical theories of cognitive control, recent evidence suggests that cognitive control and unconscious automatic processing influence each other. First, masked semantic priming, an index of unconscious automatic processing, depends on attention to semantics induced by a previously executed task. Second, cognitive control operations (e.g., implementation of task sets indicating how to process a particular stimulus) can be activated by masked task cues, presented outside awareness. In this study, we combined both lines of research...
March 2, 2019: Cognition
Charles A Dorison, Julia A Minson, Todd Rogers
People preferentially consume information that aligns with their prior beliefs, contributing to polarization and undermining democracy. Five studies (collective N = 2455) demonstrate that such "selective exposure" partly stems from faulty affective forecasts. Specifically, political partisans systematically overestimate the strength of negative affect that results from exposure to opposing views. In turn, these incorrect forecasts drive information consumption choices. Clinton voters overestimated the negative affect they would experience from watching President Trump's Inaugural Address (Study 1) and from reading statements written by Trump voters (Study 2)...
March 1, 2019: Cognition
Leaf Van Boven, Jairo Ramos, Ronit Montal-Rosenberg, Tehila Kogut, David K Sherman, Paul Slovic
Policies to suppress rare events such as terrorism often restrict co-occurring categories such as Muslim immigration. Evaluating restrictive policies requires clear thinking about conditional probabilities. For example, terrorism is extremely rare. So even if most terrorist immigrants are Muslim-a high "hit rate"-the inverse conditional probability of Muslim immigrants being terrorists is extremely low. Yet the inverse conditional probability is more relevant to evaluating restrictive policies such as the threat of terrorism if Muslim immigration were restricted...
March 1, 2019: Cognition
Ramona Grzeschik, Ruth Conroy-Dalton, Anthea Innes, Shanti Shanker, Jan M Wiener
Our ability to learn unfamiliar routes declines in typical and atypical ageing. The reasons for this decline, however, are not well understood. Here we used eye-tracking to investigate how ageing affects people's ability to attend to navigationally relevant information and to select unique objects as landmarks. We created short routes through a virtual environment, each comprised of four intersections with two objects each, and we systematically manipulated the saliency and uniqueness of these objects. While salient objects might be easier to memorise than non-salient objects, they cannot be used as reliable landmarks if they appear more than once along the route...
February 28, 2019: Cognition
J Lunn, A Sjoblom, J Ward, S Soto-Faraco, S Forster
Multisensory stimuli are argued to capture attention more effectively than unisensory stimuli due to their ability to elicit a super-additive neuronal response. However, behavioural evidence for enhanced multisensory attentional capture is mixed. Furthermore, the notion of multisensory enhancement of attention conflicts with findings suggesting that multisensory integration may itself be dependent upon top-down attention. The present research resolves this discrepancy by examining how both endogenous attentional settings and the availability of attentional capacity modulate capture by multisensory stimuli...
February 27, 2019: Cognition
Radhika S Gosavi, Edward M Hubbard
Synesthesia is a benign neurodevelopmental condition in which stimulation of one sensory modality evokes experiences in a second, unstimulated modality (Simner and Hubbard, 2013). In grapheme-color synesthesia (GCS), which is experienced by 1-2% of adults, synesthetes reliably and involuntarily experience specific colors when viewing blackand-white graphemes. Previous case-studies have identified synesthetes with spectacular memory (Luria, 1968; Smilek, Dixon, Cudahy, & Merikle, 2001) and group studies have found advantages for synesthetes compared to nonsynesthetes in long-term memory (Rothen, Meier, & Ward, 2012)...
February 22, 2019: Cognition
Arianna Curioni, Cordula Vesper, Günther Knoblich, Natalie Sebanz
Many joint actions require task partners to temporally coordinate actions that follow different spatial patterns. This creates the need to find trade-offs between temporal coordination and spatial alignment. To study coordination under incongruent spatial and temporal demands, we devised a novel coordination task that required task partners to synchronize their actions while tracing different shapes that implied conflicting velocity profiles. In three experiments, we investigated whether coordination under incongruent demands is best achieved through mutually coupled predictions or through a clear role distribution with only one task partner adjusting to the other...
February 21, 2019: Cognition
Nathaniel Delaney-Busch, Emily Morgan, Ellen Lau, Gina R Kuperberg
When semantic information is activated by a context prior to new bottom-up input (i.e. when a word is predicted), semantic processing of that incoming word is typically facilitated, attenuating the amplitude of the N400 event related potential (ERP) - a direct neural measure of semantic processing. N400 modulation is observed even when the context is a single semantically related "prime" word. This so-called "N400 semantic priming effect" is sensitive to the probability of encountering a related prime-target pair within an experimental block, suggesting that participants may be adapting the strength of their predictions to the predictive validity of their broader experimental environment...
February 20, 2019: Cognition
Stephanie A Malone, Michelle Heron-Delaney, Kelly Burgoyne, Charles Hulme
According to the Triple Code Model, early arithmetic development depends on learning the mappings between non-verbal representations of magnitude (quantity) and symbolic verbal (number words) and visual (Arabic numerals) representations of number. We examined this hypothesis in a sample of 166 4- to 7-year old children. Children completed 4 paired-associate learning tasks and a broad range of measures assessing early numerical (symbolic and non-symbolic magnitude comparison, digit writing, arithmetic) and reading skills (letter-sound knowledge, phoneme awareness, rapid automatized naming, word reading)...
February 20, 2019: Cognition
Pawel J Matusz, Rebecca Merkley, Michelle Faure, Gaia Scerif
Traditional models developed within cognitive psychology suggest that attention is deployed flexibly and irrespective of differences in expertise with to-be-attended stimuli. However, everyday environments are inherently multisensory and observers differ in familiarity with particular unisensory representations (e.g., number words, in contrast with digits). To test whether the predictions of the traditional models extend to such naturalistic settings, six-year-olds, 11-year-olds and young adults (N = 83) searched for predefined numerals amongst a small or large number of distractor digits, while distractor number words, digits or their combination were presented peripherally...
February 18, 2019: Cognition
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