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Emily Morgan, Roger Levy
We ask whether word order preferences for binomial expressions of the form A and B (e.g. bread and butter) are driven by abstract linguistic knowledge of ordering constraints referencing the semantic, phonological, and lexical properties of the constituent words, or by prior direct experience with the specific items in questions. Using forced-choice and self-paced reading tasks, we demonstrate that online processing of never-before-seen binomials is influenced by abstract knowledge of ordering constraints, which we estimate with a probabilistic model...
October 21, 2016: Cognition
G Besson, G Barragan-Jason, S J Thorpe, M Fabre-Thorpe, S Puma, M Ceccaldi, E J Barbeau
Verifying that a face is from a target person (e.g. finding someone in the crowd) is a critical ability of the human face processing system. Yet how fast this can be performed is unknown. The 'entry-level shift due to expertise' hypothesis suggests that - since humans are face experts - processing faces should be as fast - or even faster - at the individual than at superordinate levels. In contrast, the 'superordinate advantage' hypothesis suggests that faces are processed from coarse to fine, so that the opposite pattern should be observed...
October 21, 2016: Cognition
Tomás Lejarraga, Jan K Woike, Ralph Hertwig
A few years ago, the world experienced the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression. According to the depression baby hypothesis, people who live through such macroeconomic shocks take less financial risk in their future lives (e.g., lower stock market participation). This hypothesis has previously been tested against survey data. Here, we tested it in a simulated experimental stock market (based on the Spanish stock index, IBEX-35), varying both the length of historical data available to participants (including or excluding a macroeconomic shock) and the mode of learning about macroeconomic events (through sequential experience or symbolic descriptions)...
October 20, 2016: Cognition
Srdan Medimorec, Torin P Young, Evan F Risko
Recent research has suggested that introducing a disfluency in the context of written composition (i.e., typing with one hand) can increase lexical sophistication. In the current study, we provide a strong test between two accounts of this phenomenon, one that attributes it to the delay caused by the disfluency and one that attributes it to the disruption of typical finger-to-letter mappings caused by the disfluency. To test between these accounts, we slowed down participants' typewriting by introducing a small delay between keystrokes while individuals wrote essays...
October 20, 2016: Cognition
Emily M Carrigan, Marie Coppola
Constructivist accounts of language acquisition maintain that the language learner aims to match a target provided by mature users. Communicative problem solving in the context of social interaction and matching a linguistic target or model are presented as primary mechanisms driving the language development process. However, research on the development of homesign gesture systems by deaf individuals who have no access to a linguistic model suggests that aspects of language can develop even when typical input is unavailable...
October 20, 2016: Cognition
Yoshiko Yabe, Hemangi Dave, Melvyn A Goodale
In everyday life, actions and sensory events occur in complex sequences, with events triggering actions that in turn give rise to additional events and so on. Earlier work has shown that a sensory event that is triggered by a voluntary action is perceived to have occurred earlier in time than an identical event that is not triggered by an action. In other words, events that are believed to be caused by our actions are drawn forward in time towards our actions. Similarly, when a sensory event triggers an action, that event is again drawn in time towards the action and is thus perceived to have occurred later than it really did...
October 20, 2016: Cognition
Stephanie C Goodhew, Mark Edwards
When the human brain is confronted with complex and dynamic visual scenes, two pivotal processes are at play: visual attention (the process of selecting certain aspects of the scene for privileged processing) and object individuation (determining what information belongs to a continuing object over time versus what represents two or more distinct objects). Here we examined whether these processes are independent or whether they interact. Object-substitution masking (OSM) has been used as a tool to examine such questions, however, there is controversy surrounding whether OSM reflects object individuation versus substitution processes...
October 17, 2016: Cognition
Shogo Kajimura, Michio Nomura
Although eye contact and verbal processing appear independent, people frequently avert their eyes from interlocutors during conversation. This suggests that there is interference between these processes. We hypothesized that such interference occurs because both processes share cognitive resources of a domain-general system and explored the influence of eye contact on simultaneous verb generation processes (i.e., retrieval and selection). In the present experiment, viewing a movie of faces with eyes directed toward the viewer delayed verbal generation more than a movie of faces with averted eyes; however, this effect was only present when both retrieval and selection demands were high...
October 14, 2016: Cognition
Chiara Gambi, Martin J Pickering, Hugh Rabagliati
One influential view of language acquisition is that children master structural generalizations by making and learning from structure-informed predictions. Previous work has shown that from 3 years of age children can use semantic associations to generate predictions. However, it is unknown whether they can generate predictions by combining these associations with knowledge of linguistic structure. We recorded the eye movements of pre-schoolers while they listened to sentences such as Pingu will ride the horse...
October 11, 2016: Cognition
Dan Parker, Colin Phillips
Linguistic illusions have provided valuable insights into how we mentally navigate complex representations in memory during language comprehension. Two notable cases involve illusory licensing of agreement and negative polarity items (NPIs), where comprehenders fleetingly accept sentences with unlicensed agreement or an unlicensed NPI, but judge those same sentences as unacceptable after more reflection. Existing accounts have argued that illusions are a consequence of faulty memory access processes, and make the additional assumption that the encoding of the sentence remains fixed over time...
October 6, 2016: Cognition
Masasi Hattori
This paper presents a new theory of syllogistic reasoning. The proposed model assumes there are probabilistic representations of given signature situations. Instead of conducting an exhaustive search, the model constructs an individual-based "logical" mental representation that expresses the most probable state of affairs, and derives a necessary conclusion that is not inconsistent with the model using heuristics based on informativeness. The model is a unification of previous influential models. Its descriptive validity has been evaluated against existing empirical data and two new experiments, and by qualitative analyses based on previous empirical findings, all of which supported the theory...
October 3, 2016: Cognition
Elena Azañón, Kim Mihaljevic, Matthew R Longo
To perceive the location of touch in space, we integrate information about skin-location with information about the location of that body part in space. Most research investigating this process of tactile spatial remapping has used the so-called crossed-hands deficit, in which the ability to judge the temporal order of touches on the two hands is impaired when the arms are crossed. This posture induces a conflict between skin-based and tactile external spatial representations, specifically in the left-right dimension...
September 30, 2016: Cognition
Joshua K Hartshorne, Timothy J O'Donnell, Yasutada Sudo, Miki Uruwashi, Miseon Lee, Jesse Snedeker
In acquiring language, children must learn to appropriately place the different participants of an event (e.g., causal agent, affected entity) into the correct syntactic positions (e.g., subject, object) so that listeners will know who did what to whom. While many of these mappings can be characterized by broad generalizations, both within and across languages (e.g., semantic agents tend to be mapped onto syntactic subjects), not all verbs fit neatly into these generalizations. One particularly striking example is verbs of psychological state: The experiencer of the state can appear as either the subject (Agnes fears/hates/loves Bartholomew) or the direct object (Agnes frightens/angers/delights Bartholomew)...
September 28, 2016: Cognition
Clare A M Sutherland, Julian A Oldmeadow, Andrew W Young
Models of first impressions from faces have consistently found two underlying dimensions of trustworthiness and dominance. These dimensions show apparent parallels to social psychological models of inter-group perception that describe dimensions of warmth (cf. trustworthiness) and competence (cf. dominance), and it has been suggested that they reflect universal dimensions of social cognition. We investigated whether the dimensions from face and inter-group social perception models are indeed equivalent by evaluating first impressions of faces...
September 27, 2016: Cognition
Holly P Branigan, Katherine Messenger
Error-based implicit learning models (e.g., Chang, Dell, & Bock, 2006) propose that a single learning mechanism underlies immediate and long-term effects of experience on children's syntax. We test two key predictions of these models: That individual experiences of infrequent structures should yield both immediate and long-term facilitation, and that such learning should be consistent in individual speakers across time. Children (and adults) described transitive events in two picture-matching games, held a week apart...
September 26, 2016: Cognition
Gernot Horstmann, Ulrich Ansorge
Inattentional blindness (IB) is the phenomenon where unattended objects are not noticed. IB is typically tested within a surprise presentation procedure: A novel object is presented on a critical trial for the first time without prior announcement. Previous research indicates that IB is high unless the novel object is (a) similar to the target of the present task or (b) perceptually salient. The present study seeks evidence that the expectancy congruence of the novel object is a further important determinant of IB, and that the novel object is frequently noticed if it has a feature that is expectancy discrepant...
September 22, 2016: Cognition
Ernő Téglás, Luca L Bonatti
Infants look at physically impossible events longer than at physically possible events, and at improbable events longer than at probable events. Such behaviors are generally interpreted as showing that infants have expectations about future events and are surprised to see them violated. It is unknown, however, whether and under what conditions infants form proactive expectations about the future, as opposed to realizing post hoc that outcomes do not comply with their previous knowledge or experience. Here we investigate the relation between expectation and surprise at probabilistic or deterministic events in preverbal infants...
September 22, 2016: Cognition
Sabine Doebel, Philip David Zelazo
Engaging executive function often requires overriding a prepotent response in favor of a conflicting but adaptive one. Language may play a key role in this ability by supporting integrated representations of conflicting rules. We tested whether experience with contrastive language that could support such representations benefits executive function in 3-year-old children. Children who received brief experience with language highlighting contrast between objects, attributes, and actions showed greater executive function on two of three 'conflict' executive function tasks than children who received experience with contrasting stimuli only and children who read storybooks with the experimenter, controlling for baseline executive function...
September 19, 2016: Cognition
Horst Krist, Karoline Karl, Markus Krüger
Young infants infer a second object if shown an object apparently moving on a discontinuous path (Aguiar & Baillargeon, 2002; Spelke, Kestenbaum, Simons, & Wein, 1995). In three experiments, we examined whether children aged 3-6 years and adults would do the same in their verbal explanations of an apparent continuity violation. Presenting participants with video clips (Exp. 1 and 3) as well as live events (Exp. 2) of a toy locomotive apparently passing through a tunnel without appearing in a large opening in the middle, we found virtually no evidence for generations of two-object explanations of the critical test event in preschoolers...
September 19, 2016: Cognition
Gavin Nobes, Georgia Panagiotaki, Kimberley J Bartholomew
The influence of intention and outcome information on moral judgments was investigated by telling children aged 4-8yearsandadults (N=169) stories involving accidental harms (positive intention, negative outcome) or attempted harms (negative intention, positive outcome) from two studies (Helwig, Zelazo, & Wilson, 2001; Zelazo, Helwig, & Lau, 1996). When the original acceptability (wrongness) question was asked, the original findings were closely replicated: children's and adults' acceptability judgments were based almost exclusively on outcome, and children's punishment judgments were also primarily outcome-based...
September 17, 2016: Cognition
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