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Markus Kneer
Assertions are speech acts by means of which we express beliefs. As such they are at the heart of our linguistic and social practices. Recent research has focused extensively on the question whether the speech act of assertion is governed by norms, and if so, under what conditions it is acceptable to make an assertion. Standard theories propose, for instance, that one should only assert that p if one knows that p (the knowledge account), or that one should only assert that p if p is true (the truth account)...
April 20, 2018: Cognition
Eddie M W Tong, Alan Q H Teo
This research examined the regulatory effects of religious concepts on appraisal-emotion processes, focusing on concepts related to God and the relationships between blame appraisals and anger and guilt. In two experimental studies (Studies 1 and 2), blame appraisals were manipulated while participants were exposed to a God or neutral prime, in the context of a failed laboratory task. In an event-sampling study (Study 3), daily blame appraisals and emotions were measured repeatedly in naturalistic environments and their relationships under high perceived moral unacceptability were examined in relation to participants' the tendency to focus on God (God-focus)...
April 18, 2018: Cognition
Brandon W Goulding, Ori Friedman
Legal systems often rule that people own objects in their territory. We propose that an early-developing ability to make territory-based inferences of ownership helps children address informational demands presented by ownership. Across 6 experiments (N = 504), we show that these inferences develop between ages 3 and 5 and stem from two aspects of the psychology of ownership. First, we find that a basic ability to infer that people own objects in their territory is already present at age 3 (Experiment 1)...
April 18, 2018: Cognition
Tobias Gerstenberg, Tomer D Ullman, Jonas Nagel, Max Kleiman-Weiner, David A Lagnado, Joshua B Tenenbaum
How do people hold others responsible for the consequences of their actions? We propose a computational model that attributes responsibility as a function of what the observed action reveals about the person, and the causal role that the person's action played in bringing about the outcome. The model first infers what type of person someone is from having observed their action. It then compares a prior expectation of how a person would behave with a posterior expectation after having observed the person's action...
April 17, 2018: Cognition
Rocco Chiou, Anina N Rich, Sebastian Rogers, Joel Pearson
Individuals with grapheme-colour synaesthesia experience anomalous colours when reading achromatic text. These unusual experiences have been said to resemble 'normal' colour perception or colour imagery, but studying the nature of synaesthesia remains difficult. In the present study, we report novel evidence that synaesthetic colour impacts conscious vision in a way that is different from both colour perception and imagery. Presenting 'normal' colour prior to binocular rivalry induces a location-dependent suppressive bias reflecting local habituation...
April 12, 2018: Cognition
Santiago Alonso-Diaz, Jessica F Cantlon
Rational numbers are essential in mathematics and decision-making but humans often and erroneously rely on the magnitude of the numerator or denominator to determine the relative size of a quotient. The source of this flawed whole number strategy is poorly understood. Here we test the Bayesian hypothesis that the human bias toward large values in the numerator or denominator of a ratio estimate is the result of higher confidence in large samples. Larger values are considered a better (more certain) instance of that ratio than the same ratio composed of smaller values...
April 12, 2018: Cognition
Drew Weatherhead, Katherine S White
How do our expectations about speakers shape speech perception? Adults' speech perception is influenced by social properties of the speaker (e.g., race). When in development do these influences begin? In the current study, 16-month-olds heard familiar words produced in their native accent (e.g., "dog") and in an unfamiliar accent involving a vowel shift (e.g., "dag"), in the context of an image of either a same-race speaker or an other-race speaker. Infants' interpretation of the words depended on the speaker's race...
April 12, 2018: Cognition
Martina Ardizzi, Francesca Ferri
Integration of body-related signals within the peripersonal space (PPS) contributes to bodily self-awareness. Whereas several studies have shown how individual PPS extension is shaped by external factors, e.g. during interactions with people and objects, no studies have looked at interoceptive influences on PPS extension. We exposed participants to an audio-tactile interaction task, to measure their PPS boundary (Session 1), and to a heartbeat counting task and a time estimation task, to specifically assess their interoceptive accuracy (Session 2)...
April 11, 2018: Cognition
David C Geary, Kristy vanMarle
Children who achieve an early understanding of the cardinal value of number words (cardinal knowledge) have a superior understanding of the relations among numerals at school entry, controlling other factors (e.g., intelligence). We tested the hypothesis that this pattern emerges because an understanding of cardinal value jump starts children's learning of the relations among numerals. Across two years of preschool, the cardinal knowledge of 179 children (85 boys) was assessed four times, as was their understanding of the relative quantity of Arabic numerals and competence at discriminating nonsymbolic quantities...
April 10, 2018: Cognition
Cécile Barbet, Guillaume Thierry
Some studies in experimental pragmatics have concluded that scalar inferences (e.g., 'some X are Y' implicates 'not all X are Y') are context-dependent pragmatic computations delayed relative to semantic computations. However, it remains unclear whether strong contextual support is necessary to trigger such inferences. Here we tested if the scalar inference 'not all' triggered by some can be evoked in a maximally neutral context. We investigated event-related potential (ERP) amplitude modulations elicited by Stroop-like conflicts in participants instructed to indicate whether strings of letters were printed with all their letters in upper case or otherwise...
April 10, 2018: Cognition
Jean-Rémy Hochmann, Susan Carey, Jacques Mehler
In two experiments, we assessed whether infants are able to learn rules predicated on two abstract relations linked by negation: same and different (not same). In an anticipatory looking paradigm, the relation between successive colored geometrical shapes predicted the location where a puppet would appear next. In Experiment 1, 7-month-olds learned and generalized a rule predicated on the relation same, but not a rule predicated on the relation different. Similarly, in Experiment 2, 12-month-olds learned a rule predicated on the relation same-shape, but not a rule predicated on the relation different-shape...
April 7, 2018: Cognition
Manuel Bohn, Luise Zimmermann, Josep Call, Michael Tomasello
Recent evidence suggests that infants as young as 12 month of age use pointing to communicate about absent entities. The tacit assumption underlying these studies is that infants do so based on tracking what their interlocutor experienced in a previous shared interaction. The present study addresses this assumption empirically. In three experiments, 12-month-old infants could request additional desired objects by pointing to the location in which these objects were previously located. We systematically varied whether the adult from whom infants were requesting had previously experienced the former content of the location with the infant...
April 6, 2018: Cognition
Kevin P Darby, Leyre Castro, Edward A Wasserman, Vladimir M Sloutsky
This work examines cognitive flexibility using a comparative approach. Pigeons (Experiment 1), human children (Experiment 2a), and human adults (Experiment 2b) performed a task that required changing responses to the same stimuli twice across the experiment. The results indicate that all three groups demonstrated robust memory for learned information. In addition, pigeons showed comparable and substantial perseveration following both response shifts. In contrast, both children and adults exhibited some perseveration following a first response shift, while exhibiting no cost following the second response shift...
April 5, 2018: Cognition
Gary M Oppenheim
With 40,000 words in the average vocabulary, how can speakers find the specific words that they want so quickly and easily? Cumulative semantic interference in language production provides a clue: when naming a large series of pictures, with a few mammals sprinkled about, naming each subsequent mammal becomes slower and more error-prone. Such interference mirrors predictions from an incremental learning algorithm applied to meaning-driven retrieval from an established vocabulary, suggesting retrieval benefits from a constant, implicit, re-optimization process (Oppenheim et al...
April 4, 2018: Cognition
Jessica A Sommerville, Elizabeth A Enright, Rachel O Horton, Kelsey Lucca, Miranda J Sitch, Susanne Kirchner-Adelhart
Cost-benefit analyses are central to mature decision-making and behavior across a range of contexts. Given debates regarding the nature of infants' prosociality, we investigated whether 18-month-old infants' (N = 160) prosocial behavior is impacted by anticipated costs and benefits. Infants participated in a helping task in which they could carry either a heavy or light block across a room to help an experimenter. Infants' helping behavior was attenuated when the anticipated physical costs were high versus low (Experiment 1), and high-cost helping was enhanced under conditions of increased intrinsic motivational benefits (Experiments 2 and 3)...
April 4, 2018: Cognition
John Turri
A principal conclusion supported by convergent evidence from cognitive science, life science, and philosophy is that knowledge is a central norm of assertion-that is, according to the rules of the practice, assertions should express knowledge. That view has recently been challenged with new experiments. This paper identifies a critical confound in the experiments. In the process, a new study is reported that provides additional support for the view that knowledge is a central norm of assertion.
March 31, 2018: Cognition
Mary-Beth Beirne, Karen Croot
Phonological encoding of segments is thought to occur within a prosodically-defined frame, but it is not clear which of the constituent/s within the prosodic hierarchy (syllables, phonological words, intonational phrases and utterances) serve/s as the domain of phonological encoding. This experiment investigated whether segmental speech errors elicited in tongue-twisters were influenced by position within prosodic constituents above the level of the phonological word. Forty-four participants produced six repetitions each of 40 two-intonational phrase tongue-twisters with error-prone word-initial "target" segments in phrase-initial and phrase-final words...
March 31, 2018: Cognition
Bo Yao, Christoph Scheepers
The implicit prosody hypothesis (Fodor, 1998, 2002) proposes that silent reading coincides with a default, implicit form of prosody to facilitate sentence processing. Recent research demonstrated that a more vivid form of implicit prosody is mentally simulated during silent reading of direct speech quotations (e.g., Mary said, "This dress is beautiful"), with neural and behavioural consequences (e.g., Yao, Belin, & Scheepers, 2011; Yao & Scheepers, 2011). Here, we explored the relation between 'default' and 'simulated' implicit prosody in the context of relative-clause (RC) attachment in English...
March 31, 2018: Cognition
Paul Haward, Laura Wagner, Susan Carey, Sandeep Prasada
Kind representations draw an important distinction between properties that are understood as existing in instances of a kind by virtue of their being the kind of thing they are and properties that are not understood in this manner. For example, the property of barking for the kind dog is understood as being had by dogs by virtue of the fact that they are dogs. These properties are said to have a principled connection to the kind. In contrast, the property of wearing a collar is not understood as existing in instances by virtue of their being dogs, despite the fact that a large percentage of dogs wear collars...
March 30, 2018: Cognition
Laurie A Stowe, Edith Kaan, Laura Sabourin, Ryan C Taylor
Current sentence processing research has focused on early effects of the on-line incremental processes that are performed at each word or constituent during processing. However, less attention has been devoted to what happens at the end of the clause or sentence. More specifically, over the last decade and a half, a lot of effort has been put into avoiding measuring event-related brain potentials (ERPs) at the final word of a sentence, because of the possible effects of sentence wrap-up. This article reviews the evidence on how and when sentence wrap-up impacts behavioral and ERP results...
March 30, 2018: Cognition
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