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Memory & Cognition

Maria C D'Angelo, Alix Noly-Gandon, Arber Kacollja, Morgan D Barense, Jennifer D Ryan
Memory impairments are often observed in aging. Specifically, older adults have difficulty binding together disparate elements (relational memory). We have recently shown that a cognitive strategy known as unitization can mitigate impaired relational learning in the transverse patterning task (TP) in both amnesia and healthy aging. This strategy allows items to be fused together through an interaction such that one item acts upon another. In the context of TP, unitization is comprised of three component processes: (1) fusion, (2) motion, and (3) semantic comprehension of action/consequence sequences...
July 18, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Morgan L Teskey, Michael E J Masson
Executing an action in response to a stimulus is thought to result in the creation of an event code that integrates stimulus and action features (Allport, 1987; Hommel in Visual Cognition 5: 183-216, 1998). When switching between tasks, competitor priming occurs if a distractor stimulus cues the retrieval of a previously established event code in which that distractor is bound to a competing task, creating a source of interference with the current task whereby the observer is encouraged to apply the competing task to the distractor...
July 17, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Xuan Gu, Chi-Shing Tse, Norman R Brown
Life transitions like war, marriage, and immigration presumably organize autobiographical memory. Yet little is known about how the magnitude of a given transition affects this mnemonic impact. To examine this issue, we collected (a) word-cued events, (b) event-dating protocols, (c) personally important events, and (d) transitional impact scores of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and important events from Chinese adults who had been adolescents during the revolution. There were three main findings. First, rusticated participants, who moved from cities to rural areas during the Cultural Revolution, dated autobiographical memories in relation to this collective transition more frequently than nonrusticated participants, with the former group reporting a greater material (but not psychological) change in their lives due to this collective transition than the latter group...
July 14, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Chuchu Li, Min Wang
Three sets of experiments using the picture naming tasks with the form preparation paradigm investigated the influence of orthographic experience on the development of phonological preparation unit in spoken word production in native Mandarin-speaking children. Participants included kindergarten children who have not received formal literacy instruction, Grade 1 children who are comparatively more exposed to the alphabetic pinyin system and have very limited Chinese character knowledge, Grades 2 and 4 children who have better character knowledge and more exposure to characters, and skilled adult readers who have the most advanced character knowledge and most exposure to characters...
July 14, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Karla B Antonelli, Carrick C Williams
Although Konkle, Brady, Alvarez, and Oliva (2010, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139(3), 558) claim that visual long-term memory (VLTM) is organized on underlying conceptual, not perceptual, information, visual memory results from visual search tasks are not well explained by this theory. We hypothesized that when viewing an object, any task-relevant visual information is critical to the organizational structure of VLTM. In two experiments, we examined the organization of VLTM by measuring the amount of retroactive interference created by objects possessing different combinations of task-relevant features...
July 14, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Ali I Tekcan, Aysecan Boduroglu, Aysu Mutlutürk, Aslı Aktan Erciyes
Although substantial evidence exists showing a reliable reminiscence bump for personal events, data regarding retrieval distributions for public events have been equivocal. The primary aim of the present study was to address life-span retrieval distributions of different types of public events in comparison to personal events, and to test whether the existing accounts of the bump can explain the distribution of public events. We asked a large national sample to report the most important, happiest, and saddest personal events and the most important, happiest, saddest, most proud, most fearful, and most shameful public events...
July 13, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Kayla Morehead, John Dunlosky, Nathaniel L Foster
Although research has established that people can accurately judge how well they have learned categories, no research has examined whether people use their category-learning judgments (CLJs) to regulate their restudy of natural categories. Thus, in five experiments we investigated the relationship between people's CLJs and selections of categories for restudy. Participants first attempted to learn natural categories (bird families; e.g., finches, grosbeaks, and warblers) so that they could categorize new exemplars on a final test...
July 13, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Geoff Hollis
Continuous bag of words (CBOW) and skip-gram are two recently developed models of lexical semantics (Mikolov, Chen, Corrado, & Dean, Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, 26, 3111-3119, 2013). Each has been demonstrated to perform markedly better at capturing human judgments about semantic relatedness than competing models (e.g., latent semantic analysis; Landauer & Dumais, Psychological Review, 104(2), 1997 211; hyperspace analogue to language; Lund & Burgess, Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 28(2), 203-208, 1996)...
July 13, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Simone Sulpizio, Lucia Colombo
The goal of the present study was to investigate the time-course of suprasegmental information in visual word recognition. To this aim we measured event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during a simple lexical decision task in Italian. Two factors were manipulated: Stress dominance (the most frequent stress type) and stress neighborhood consistency (the proportion and number of existent words sharing orthographic ending and stress pattern). Participants were presented with target words either bearing dominant (on the penultimate syllable; 'graNIta,' 'seNIle,' slush, senile) or non-dominant stress (on the antepenultimate syllable; 'MISsile,' 'BIbita,' missile, drink), and either having a consistent (graNIta, MISsile) or an inconsistent stress neighborhood (seNIle, BIbita)...
July 10, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Geoffrey L McKinley, Sarah Brown-Schmidt, Aaron S Benjamin
Efficient conversation is guided by the mutual knowledge, or common ground, that interlocutors form as a conversation progresses. Characterized from the perspective of commonly used measures of memory, efficient conversation should be closely associated with item memory-what was said-and context memory-who said what to whom. However, few studies have explicitly probed memory to evaluate what type of information is maintained following a communicative exchange. The current study examined how item and context memory relate to the development of common ground over the course of a conversation, and how these forms of memory vary as a function of one's role in a conversation as speaker or listener...
July 6, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Rob Udale, Simon Farrell, Christopher Kent
When representing visual features such as color and shape in visual working memory (VWM), participants also represent the locations of those features as a spatial configuration of the locations of those features in the display. In everyday life, we encounter objects against some background, yet it is unclear whether the configural representation in memory obligatorily constitutes the entire display, including that (often task-irrelevant) background information. In three experiments, participants completed a change detection task on color and shape; the memoranda were presented in front of uniform gray backgrounds, a textured background (Exp...
June 28, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Christopher R Bennett, Jack M Loomis, Roberta L Klatzky, Nicholas A Giudice
When walking without vision, people mentally keep track of the directions and distances of previously viewed objects, a process called spatial updating. The current experiment indicates that while people across a large age range are able to update multiple targets in memory without perceptual support, aging negatively affects accuracy, precision, and decision time. Participants (20 to 80 years of age) viewed one, three, or six targets (colored lights) on the floor of a dimly lit room. Then, without vision, they walked to a target designated by color, either directly or indirectly (via a forward turning point)...
June 26, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Heather R Bailey, Christopher A Kurby, Jesse Q Sargent, Jeffrey M Zacks
Readers generate situation models representing described events, but the nature of these representations may differ depending on the reading goals. We assessed whether instructions to pay attention to different situational dimensions affect how individuals structure their situation models (Exp. 1) and how they update these models when situations change (Exp. 2). In Experiment 1, participants read and segmented narrative texts into events. Some readers were oriented to pay specific attention to characters or space...
June 26, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Jennifer S Burt, Jessica Jolley
University students named a 72-ms masked target word that was preceded by two 120-ms consecutively presented words, a prime word followed by a distractor. In Experiment 1, all words were in lowercase letters, whereas in Experiment 2, the target word was changed to uppercase letters. In both experiments there was an accuracy and latency cost (repetition blindness: RB) when the prime was the same word as the target, with the cost much less severe in Experiment 2 than in Experiment 1. A low-frequency distractor impaired target identification compared with a high-frequency distractor...
June 23, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Henry Markovits, Janie Brisson, Pier-Luc de Chantal, Valerie A Thompson
The dual strategy model of reasoning proposed by Verschueren, Schaeken, and d'Ydewalle (Thinking & Reasoning, 11(3), 239-278, 2005a; Memory & Cognition, 33(1), 107-119, 2005b) suggests that people can use either a statistical or a counterexample-based strategy to make deductive inferences. Subsequent studies have supported this distinction and investigated some properties of the two strategies. In the following, we examine the further hypothesis that reasoners using statistical strategies should be more vulnerable to the effects of conclusion belief...
June 12, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Manuel Perea, Xiaoyun Wang
Prior research has shown that colors induce perceptual grouping and, hence, colors can be used as word dividers during reading (Pinna & Deiana, 2014). This issue is particularly important for those writing systems that do not employ interword spaces (e.g., Chinese). The rationale is that alternating colors across words in these scripts may facilitate the process of word identification without altering the spatial distribution of text. Here, we tested whether color alternation across words produces a benefit in a reading-aloud task in native speakers of Chinese...
June 12, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Nicola Ballhausen, Katharina M Schnitzspahn, Sebastian S Horn, Matthias Kliegel
The retention phase of a prospective memory (PM) task poses different challenges, including demands to store or maintain an intended action and to realize the right moment for action execution. The interplay of these processes in younger and older adults has not been explored so far. In this study, the authors examined the impact of maintenance load and task focality on PM in 84 younger and in 83 older adults. Results indicated that PM performance and ongoing task response times were strongly affected by maintenance load and age...
June 9, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Marius Golubickis, Johanna K Falben, Arash Sahraie, Aleksandar Visokomogilski, William A Cunningham, Jie Sui, C Neil Macrae
Recent research has revealed that self-referential processing enhances perceptual judgments - the so-called self-prioritization effect. The extent and origin of this effect remains unknown, however. Noting the multifaceted nature of the self, here we hypothesized that temporal influences on self-construal (i.e., past/future-self continuity) may serve as an important determinant of stimulus prioritization. Specifically, as representations of the self increase in abstraction as a function of temporal distance (i...
June 7, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Noah D Forrin, Colin M MacLeod
In three experiments, we tested a relative-speed-of-processing account of color-word contingency learning, a phenomenon in which color identification responses to high-contingency stimuli (words that appear most often in particular colors) are faster than those to low-contingency stimuli. Experiment 1 showed equally large contingency-learning effects whether responding was to the colors or to the words, likely due to slow responding to both dimensions because of the unfamiliar mapping required by the key press responses...
June 5, 2017: Memory & Cognition
Nathan J Evans, Babette Rae, Maxim Bushmakin, Mark Rubin, Scott D Brown
Constant decision-making underpins much of daily life, from simple perceptual decisions about navigation through to more complex decisions about important life events. At many scales, a fundamental task of the decision-maker is to balance competing needs for caution and urgency: fast decisions can be more efficient, but also more often wrong. We show how a single mathematical framework for decision-making explains the urgency/caution balance across decision-making at two very different scales. This explanation has been applied at the level of neuronal circuits (on a time scale of hundreds of milliseconds) through to the level of stable personality traits (time scale of years)...
June 5, 2017: Memory & Cognition
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