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Acta Psychologica

Sarah A Bacso, Harvey H C Marmurek
Testing of to-be-learned material facilitates subsequent learning of new material. We investigated this forward effect of testing in two experiments using the whole/part and part/whole transfer paradigms with categorized word lists. Learning was assessed for recall of individual words, higher order categories, and category clustering. In each experiment participants learned two lists in which the number of tests on the first list was varied. The first list contained either twice as many items as the second list (whole/part paradigm) or half as many items as the second list (part/whole paradigm)...
October 14, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Dana A Hayward, Jelena Ristic
Recent studies show that spatial attention is uniquely engaged by the selection history of a stimulus. One example of this process is Automated Symbolic Orienting, which is thought to reflect overlearned spatial links between a behaviorally relevant stimulus and a target event. However, since automated symbolic effects have been found to vary with temporal expectancies about when a target might occur, it is possible that this spatial effect may also depend on processing resources associated with voluntary temporal attention...
October 12, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Andrea Albonico, Manuela Malaspina, Emanuela Bricolo, Marialuisa Martelli, Roberta Daini
Selective attention, i.e. the ability to concentrate one's limited processing resources on one aspect of the environment, is a multifaceted concept that includes different processes like spatial attention and its subcomponents of orienting and focusing. Several studies, indeed, have shown that visual tasks performance is positively influenced not only by attracting attention to the target location (orientation component), but also by the adjustment of the size of the attentional window according to task demands (focal component)...
October 12, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Anuenue Kukona, David Braze, Clinton L Johns, W Einar Mencl, Julie A Van Dyke, James S Magnuson, Kenneth R Pugh, Donald P Shankweiler, Whitney Tabor
Recent studies have found considerable individual variation in language comprehenders' predictive behaviors, as revealed by their anticipatory eye movements during language comprehension. The current study investigated the relationship between these predictive behaviors and the language and literacy skills of a diverse, community-based sample of young adults. We found that rapid automatized naming (RAN) was a key determinant of comprehenders' prediction ability (e.g., as reflected in predictive eye movements to a white cake on hearing "The boy will eat the white…")...
October 7, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Ravini Jayawardena, Heather Winskel
The current study aimed to test the applicability of the modified receptive field (MRF) theory (Tydgat & Grainger, 2009) with English native speakers (Experiment 1) and Sinhalese native speakers (Experiment 2), who were skilled readers of both Sinhala and Roman scripts. A two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) procedure to measure identification accuracy for all positions in a string of five characters, which consisted of Roman script letters, Sinhala letters or symbols was conducted. For Roman script, the English and Sinhalese speakers displayed analogous results as in previous studies for Roman letters and symbols (i...
September 23, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Nadine Nett, Arndt Bröder, Christian Frings
Research on the distractor response binding (DRB) effect (Frings, Rothermund, & Wentura, 2007) suggests that distractors are integrated with target responses into an event file or stimulus-response (SR) episode. The whole event file is retrieved when the distractor is repeated and as a consequence distractors can retrieve previous responses. Nett, Bröder, and Frings (2015) argued that even decisions under uncertainty are integrated into event files and can later on be retrieved by distractors. However, their paradigm did not allow disentangling the retrieval of decisions from the retrieval of motor programs...
September 22, 2016: Acta Psychologica
H A Cavus, Rachel M Msetfi
When there is no contingency between actions and outcomes, but outcomes occur frequently, people tend to judge that they have control over those outcomes, a phenomenon known as the outcome density (OD) effect. Recent studies show that the OD effect depends on the duration of the temporal interval between action-outcome conjunctions, with longer intervals inducing stronger effects. However, under some circumstances OD effect is reduced, for example when participants are mildly depressed. We reasoned that working memory (WM) plays an important role in learning of context; with reduced WM capacity to process contextual information during intertrial intervals (ITIs) during contingency learning might lead to reduced OD effects (limited capacity hypothesis)...
September 20, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Peter Leinen, Stefan Panzer, Charles H Shea
Two experiments utilizing a spatial-temporal movement sequence were designed to determine if the memory of the sequence is lateralized in the left or right hemisphere. In Experiment 1, dominant right-handers were randomly assigned to one of two acquisition groups: a left-hand starter and a right-hand starter group. After an acquisition phase, reaction time (RT) was measured in a recognition test by providing the learned sequential pattern in the left or right visual half-field for 150ms. In a retention test and two transfer tests the dominant coordinate system for sequence production was evaluated...
September 17, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Peter S Whitehead, Gene A Brewer, Nowed Patwary, Chris Blais
Recent theories have proposed that contingency learning occurs independent of control processes. These parallel processing accounts propose that behavioral effects originally thought to be products of control processes are in fact products solely of contingency learning. This view runs contrary to conflict-mediated Hebbian-learning models that posit control and contingency learning are parts of an interactive system. In this study we replicate the contingency learning effect and modify it to further test the veracity of the parallel processing accounts in comparison to conflict-mediated Hebbian-learning models...
September 16, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Titia Gebuis, Roi Cohen Kadosh, Wim Gevers
It is widely accepted that human and nonhuman species possess a specialized system to process large approximate numerosities. The theory of an evolutionarily ancient approximate number system (ANS) has received converging support from developmental studies, comparative experiments, neuroimaging, and computational modelling, and it is one of the most dominant and influential theories in numerical cognition. The existence of an ANS system is significant, as it is believed to be the building block of numerical development in general...
September 15, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Wan-Yun Yu, Jie-Li Tsai
Previous psycholinguistic studies have demonstrated that people tend to direct fixations toward the visual object to which spoken input refers during language comprehension. However, it is still unclear how the visual scene, especially the semantic consistency between object and background, affects the word-object mapping process during comprehension. Two visual world paradigm experiments were conducted to investigate how the scene consistency dynamically influenced the language-driven eye movements in a speech comprehension and a scene comprehension task...
September 15, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Darcy White, Derek Besner
It is widely believed that semantic activation from print is automatic in the sense that it is capacity free. Two experiments addressed this issue in the context of the Psychological Refractory Period (PRP) paradigm. Participants identified whether a tone was high or low in pitch in Task 1, and named the color carried by an irrelevant word in Task 2. Tasks 1 and 2 were separated by a short or long SOA. In Experiment 1 incongruent color words and neutral words served as irrelevant distractors, whereas in Experiment 2 the distractors consisted of incongruent color associates (e...
September 1, 2016: Acta Psychologica
Sélim Yahia Coll, Didier Grandjean
Our brain codes the features of perceptual events in a distributed fashion, raising the question of how information belonging to one event is processed without any interference of features from other events. Hommel (1998) suggested the "event file" concept to elucidate these mechanisms: an episodic memory trace "binding" together perceptual features and actions related to an object. Using a similar paradigm, we designed a pilot experiment and four additional experiments to investigate whether emotion, similarly than perceptual features, could bind with a motor response when the emotion was relevant and irrelevant for the task...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
Ernest Greene
After more than a century of study, we do not yet fully understand how shapes and patterns are encoded and identified. Greater progress might result from quantifying stimulus information, thus allowing manipulation of the degree to which a shape or pattern can elicit recognition. The present work used discrete dot patterns that are seen as letters of the alphabet. By adjusting the density of the dots in each pattern, one can determine the probability that it will be recognized. The experiments displayed low-density dot patterns to human respondents, assessing the interval across which non-redundant information provided by two compatible subsets would combine to elicit recognition...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
Luca Battaglini, Giulio Contemori, Marcello Maniglia, Clara Casco
In a series of psychophysical experiments, we altered the perceived speed of a spot (target) using a grayscale texture moving in the same (iso-motion) or opposite (anti-motion) direction of the target. In Experiment 1, using a velocity discrimination task (2IFC), the target moved in front of the texture and was perceived faster with anti-motion than iso-motion texture. The integration and segregation of motion signals in high-level motion areas may have accounted for the illusion. In Experiment 2, by asking observers to estimate the time-to-contact (TTC) with a bar indicating the end of the invisible trajectory, we showed that this illusory visible speed, due to anti- (iso-) texture, reduced (increased) the subsequent estimated duration of occluded target trajectory...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau, Sune Vork Steffensen, Gaëlle Vallée-Tourangeau, Miroslav Sirota
Two experiments examined whether different task ecologies influenced insight problem solving. The 17 animals problem was employed, a pure insight problem. Its initial formulation encourages the application of a direct arithmetic solution, but its solution requires the spatial arrangement of sets involving some degree of overlap. Participants were randomly allocated to either a tablet condition where they could use a stylus and an electronic tablet to sketch a solution or a model building condition where participants were given material with which to build enclosures and figurines...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
Ansgar D Endress, Aneela Siddique
Proactive interference (PI) severely constrains how many items people can remember. For example, Endress and Potter (2014a) presented participants with sequences of everyday objects at 250ms/picture, followed by a yes/no recognition test. They manipulated PI by either using new images on every trial in the unique condition (thus minimizing PI among items), or by re-using images from a limited pool for all trials in the repeated condition (thus maximizing PI among items). In the low-PI unique condition, the probability of remembering an item was essentially independent of the number of memory items, showing no clear memory limitations; more traditional working memory-like memory limitations appeared only in the high-PI repeated condition...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
Anne Gast, Sebastian Langer, Marie-Ann Sengewald
Evaluative conditioning (EC) is a change in valence that is due to pairing a conditioned stimulus (CS) with another, typically valent, unconditioned stimulus (US). This paper investigates how basic presentation parameters moderate EC effects. In two studies we tested the effectiveness of different temporal relations of the CS and the US, that is, the order in which the stimuli were presented and the temporal distance between them. Both studies showed that the size of EC effects was independent of the presentation order of CS and US within a stimulus pair...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
Jessica C Lee, Tom Beesley, Evan J Livesey
The recent history of events can influence responding despite there being no contingent relationship between those events. These 'sequential effects' are ubiquitous in cognitive psychology, yet their study has been dominated by two-choice reaction time tasks in which sequences necessarily comprise simple response repetitions and alternations. The current study explored sequential effects in a three-choice reaction time task where the target was constrained to either move clockwise or anticlockwise on each trial, allowing for assessment of sequential effects involving the direction of target transitions rather than target location...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
Daniel Bratzke, Katrina R Quinn, Rolf Ulrich, Karin M Bausenhart
Rattat and Picard (2012) reported that the coding of temporal information in short-term memory is modality-specific, that is, temporal information received via the visual (auditory) modality is stored as a visual (auditory) code. This conclusion was supported by modality-specific interference effects on visual and auditory duration discrimination, which were induced by secondary tasks (visual tracking or articulatory suppression), presented during a retention interval. The present study assessed the stability of these modality-specific interference effects...
October 2016: Acta Psychologica
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