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Alon Hafri, John C Trueswell, Brent Strickland
A crucial component of event recognition is understanding event roles, i.e. who acted on whom: boy hitting girl is different from girl hitting boy. We often categorize Agents (i.e. the actor) and Patients (i.e. the one acted upon) from visual input, but do we rapidly and spontaneously encode such roles even when our attention is otherwise occupied? In three experiments, participants observed a continuous sequence of two-person scenes and had to search for a target actor in each (the male/female or red/blue-shirted actor) by indicating with a button press whether the target appeared on the left or the right...
February 16, 2018: Cognition
Ryan J Brady, Robert R Hampton
Working memory is a system by which a limited amount of information can be kept available for processing after the cessation of sensory input. Because working memory resources are limited, it is adaptive to focus processing on the most relevant information. We used a retro-cue paradigm to determine the extent to which monkey working memory possesses control mechanisms that focus processing on the most relevant representations. Monkeys saw a sample array of images, and shortly after the array disappeared, they were visually cued to a location that had been occupied by one of the sample images...
February 16, 2018: Cognition
Kaidi Lõo, Juhani Järvikivi, R Harald Baayen
Estonian is a morphologically rich Finno-Ugric language with nominal paradigms that have at least 28 different inflected forms but sometimes more than 40. For languages with rich inflection, it has been argued that whole-word frequency, as a diagnostic of whole-word representations, should not be predictive for lexical processing. We report a lexical decision experiment, showing that response latencies decrease both with frequency of the inflected form and its inflectional paradigm size. Inflectional paradigm size was also predictive of semantic categorization, indicating it is a semantic effect, similar to the morphological family size effect...
February 15, 2018: Cognition
Hernando Taborda-Osorio, Erik W Cheries
Adults and preschool-aged children believe that internal properties are more important than external properties when determining an agent's identity over time. The current study examined the developmental origins of this understanding using a manual-search individuation task with 13-month-old infants. Subjects observed semi-transparent objects that looked and behaved like animate agents placed into box that they could reach but not see into. Across trials infants observed objects with either the same- or different-colored insides placed into the box...
February 14, 2018: Cognition
Erin M Anderson, Susan J Hespos, Lance J Rips
Infants fail to represent quantities of non-cohesive substances in paradigms where they succeed with solid objects. Some investigators have interpreted these results as evidence that infants do not yet have representations for substances. More recent research, however, shows that 5-month-old infants expect objects and substances to behave and interact in different ways. In the present experiments, we test whether infants have expectations for substances when the outcomes are not simply the opposite of those for objects...
February 14, 2018: Cognition
Martin Marko, Igor Riečanský
Cognitive flexibility emerges from an interplay of multiple cognitive systems, of which lexical-semantic and executive are thought to be the most important. Yet this has not been addressed by previous studies demonstrating that such forms of flexible thought deteriorate under stress. Motivated by these shortcomings, the present study evaluated several candidate mechanisms implied to mediate the impairing effects of stress on flexible thinking. Fifty-seven healthy adults were randomly assigned to psychosocial stress or control condition while assessed for performance on cognitive flexibility, working memory capacity, semantic fluency, and self-reported cognitive interference...
February 12, 2018: Cognition
Kathryn E Schertz, Sonya Sachdeva, Omid Kardan, Hiroki P Kotabe, Kathleen L Wolf, Marc G Berman
Prior research has shown that the physical characteristics of one's environment have wide ranging effects on affect and cognition. Other research has demonstrated that one's thoughts have impacts on mood and behavior, and in this three-part research program we investigated how physical features of the environment can alter thought content. In one study, we analyzed thousands of journal entries written by park visitors to examine how low-level and semantic visual features of the parks correlate with different thought topics...
February 9, 2018: Cognition
Mara Breen
Word durations convey many types of linguistic information, including intrinsic lexical features like length and frequency and contextual features like syntactic and semantic structure. The current study was designed to investigate whether hierarchical metric structure and rhyme predictability account for durational variation over and above other features in productions of a rhyming, metrically-regular children's book: The Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss, 1957). One-syllable word durations and inter-onset intervals were modeled as functions of segment number, lexical frequency, word class, syntactic structure, repetition, and font emphasis...
February 6, 2018: Cognition
Linda Liu, T Florian Jaeger
One of the central challenges in speech perception is the lack of invariance: talkers differ in how they map words onto the speech signal. Previous work has shown that one mechanism by which listeners overcome this variability is adaptation. However, talkers differ in how they pronounce words for a number of reasons, ranging from more permanent, characteristic factors such as having a foreign accent, to more temporary, incidental factors, such as speaking with a pen in the mouth. One challenge for listeners is that the true cause underlying atypical pronunciations is never directly known, and instead must be inferred from (often causally ambiguous) evidence...
February 6, 2018: Cognition
Jodi R Smith, Teresa A Treat, Thomas A Farmer, Bob McMurray
This work applies a dynamic competition framework of decision making to the domain of sexual perception, which is linked theoretically and empirically to college men's risk for exhibiting sexual coercion and aggression toward female acquaintances. Within a mouse-tracking paradigm, 152 undergraduate men viewed full-body photographs of women who varied in affect (sexual interest or rejection), clothing style (provocative or conservative), and attractiveness, and decided whether each woman currently felt sexually interested or rejecting...
February 5, 2018: Cognition
Marcell Székely, John Michael
Can the perception that one's partner is investing effort generate a sense of commitment to a joint action? To test this, we developed a 2-player version of the classic snake game which became increasingly boring over the course of each round. This enabled us to operationalize commitment in terms of how long participants persisted before pressing a 'finish' button to conclude each round. Our results from three experiments reveal that participants persisted longer when they perceived what they believed to be cues of their partner's effortful contribution (Experiment 1)...
February 2, 2018: Cognition
Daniel N Bub, Michael E J Masson, Hannah van Mook
Switching between competing grasp postures incurs costs on speeded performance. We examined switch costs between lift versus use actions under task conditions that required subjects to identify familiar objects. There were no asymmetrical interference effects, though reliable costs occurred when the same object required a different action on consecutive trials. In addition, lift actions were faster to objects targeted for a prospective use action than objects irrelevant to this intended goal. The benefit of a lift-then-use action sequence was not merely due to the production of two different actions in short order on the same object; use actions to an object marked for the distal goal of a lift action were not faster than use actions applied to another object...
February 1, 2018: Cognition
Anna Vaskevich, Roy Luria
Current statistical learning theories predict that embedding implicit regularities within a task should further improve online performance, beyond general practice. We challenged this assumption by contrasting performance in a visual search task containing either a consistent-mapping (regularity) condition, a random-mapping condition, or both conditions, mixed. Surprisingly, performance in a random visual search, without any regularity, was better than performance in a mixed design search that contained a beneficial regularity...
January 31, 2018: Cognition
Brian P Keane
In his monograph Modularity of Mind (1983), philosopher Jerry Fodor argued that mental architecture can be partly decomposed into computational organs termed modules, which are characterized as having nine co-occurring features such as automaticity, domain specificity, and informational encapsulation. Do modules exist? Debates thus far have been framed very generally with few, if any, detailed case studies. The topic is important because it has direct implications on current debates in cognitive science and because it potentially provides a viable framework from which to further understand and make hypotheses about the mind's structure and function...
January 26, 2018: Cognition
O Rosa-Salva, M Hernik, A Broseghini, G Vallortigara
From the first hours of life, the prompt detection of animate agents allows identification of biologically relevant entities. The motion of most animate agents is constrained by their bilaterally-symmetrical body-plan, and consequently tends to be aligned with the main body-axis. Thus parallelism between the main axis of a moving object and its motion trajectory can signal the presence of animate agents. Here we demonstrated that visually-naïve newborn chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus) are attracted to objects displaying such parallelism, and thus show preference for the same type of motion patterns that elicit perception of animacy in humans...
January 19, 2018: Cognition
Athena Vouloumanos
Infants understand that speech in their native language allows speakers to communicate. Is this understanding limited to their native language or does it extend to non-native languages with which infants have no experience? Twelve-month-old infants saw an actor, the Communicator, repeatedly select one of two objects. When the Communicator could no longer reach the target but a Recipient could, the Communicator vocalized a nonsense phrase either in English (infants' native language), Spanish (rhythmically different), or Russian (phonotactically different), or hummed (a non-speech vocalization)...
January 19, 2018: Cognition
Yuqi Liu, Jared Medina
In the mirror box illusion, participants often report that their hand is located where they see it, even when the position of the reflected hand differs from the actual position of their hand. This illusory shift (an index of multisensory integration) is stronger when the two hands engage in synchronous bimanual movement, in which visual and proprioceptive information is congruent in both motor-based (i.e. coordinate centered on the effector) and external (i.e. coordinates centered on elements external to the effector) frames of reference...
January 19, 2018: Cognition
Nese Oktay-Gür, Alexandra Schulz, Hannes Rakoczy
Three studies tested scope and limits of children's implicit and explicit theory of mind. In Studies 1 and 2, three- to six-year-olds (N = 84) were presented with closely matched explicit false belief tasks that differed in whether or not they required an understanding of aspectuality. Results revealed that children performed equally well in the different tasks, and performance was strongly correlated. Study 3 tested two-year-olds (N = 81) in implicit interactive versions of these tasks and found evidence for dis-unity: children performed competently only in those tasks that did not require an understanding of aspectuality...
January 11, 2018: Cognition
Emmanuel Dupoux
Spectacular progress in the information processing sciences (machine learning, wearable sensors) promises to revolutionize the study of cognitive development. Here, we analyse the conditions under which 'reverse engineering' language development, i.e., building an effective system that mimics infant's achievements, can contribute to our scientific understanding of early language development. We argue that, on the computational side, it is important to move from toy problems to the full complexity of the learning situation, and take as input as faithful reconstructions of the sensory signals available to infants as possible...
January 8, 2018: Cognition
C Daryl Cameron, B Keith Payne, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Julian A Scheffer, Michael Inzlicht
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 4, 2018: Cognition
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