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Psychological Review

Raphaël Mizzi, George A Michael
Over the past few decades, evidence has accumulated showing that, at subcortical levels, visual attention depends partly on the extrageniculate neural pathways, that is, those pathways that bypass the lateral geniculate nucleus and circumvent the primary visual cortex. Working in concert with neuroscience, experimental psychology has contributed considerably to the understanding of the role these pathways play through the use of 3 behavioral cues: nasal-temporal asymmetries, responses to S-cone stimuli, and responses to perceptually suppressed stimuli...
October 10, 2016: Psychological Review
Stefan Huber, Hans-Christoph Nuerk, Klaus Willmes, Korbinian Moeller
Different models have been proposed for the processing of multisymbol numbers like two- and three-digit numbers but also for negative numbers and decimals. However, these multisymbol numbers are assembled from the same set of Arabic digits and comply with the place-value structure of the Arabic number system. Considering these shared properties, we suggest that the processing of multisymbol numbers can be described in one general model framework. Accordingly, we first developed a computational model framework realizing componential representations of multisymbol numbers and evaluated its validity by simulating standard empirical effects of number magnitude comparison...
September 12, 2016: Psychological Review
Jeffrey S Bowers
In Bowers (2016), I argued that there are (a) practical problems with educational neuroscience (EN) that explain why there are no examples of EN improving teaching and (b) principled problems with the logic motivating EN that explain why it is likely that there never will be. In the following article, I consider the main responses raised by both Gabrieli (2016) and Howard-Jones et al. (2016) and find them all unconvincing. Following this exchange, there are still no examples of EN providing new insights to teaching in the classroom, there are still no examples of EN providing new insights to remedial instructions for individuals, and, as I detail in this article, there is no evidence that EN is useful for the diagnosis of learning difficulties...
October 2016: Psychological Review
Paul A Howard-Jones, Sashank Varma, Daniel Ansari, Brian Butterworth, Bert De Smedt, Usha Goswami, Diana Laurillard, Michael S C Thomas
In his recent critique of Educational Neuroscience, Bowers argues that neuroscience has no role to play in informing education, which he equates with classroom teaching. Neuroscience, he suggests, adds nothing to what we can learn from psychology. In this commentary, we argue that Bowers' assertions misrepresent the nature and aims of the work in this new field. We suggest that, by contrast, psychological and neural levels of explanation complement rather than compete with each other. Bowers' analysis also fails to include a role for educational expertise-a guiding principle of our new field...
October 2016: Psychological Review
John D E Gabrieli
Bowers (2016) argues that there are practical and principled problems with how educational neuroscience may contribute to education, including lack of direct influences on teaching in the classroom. Some of the arguments made are convincing, including the critique of unsubstantiated claims about the impact of educational neuroscience and the reminder that the primary outcomes of education are behavioral, such as skill in reading or mathematics. Bowers' analysis falls short in 3 major respects. First, educational neuroscience is a basic science that has made unique contributions to basic education research; it is not part of applied classroom instruction...
October 2016: Psychological Review
Derek Besner, Evan F Risko
The frequency with which words appear in print is a powerful predictor of the time to read monosyllabic words aloud, and consequently all models of reading aloud provide an explanation for this effect. The entire class of localist accounts assumes that the effect of word frequency arises because the mental lexicon is organized around frequency of occurrence (the action is inside the lexical boxes). We propose instead that the frequency of occurrence effect is better understood in terms of the hypothesis that the strength of between module connections varies as a function of word frequency...
October 2016: Psychological Review
Samuel T McAbee, Brian S Connelly
Personality and social psychology have historically been divided between personality researchers who study the impact of traits and social-cognitive researchers who study errors in trait judgments. However, a broader view of personality incorporates not only individual differences in underlying traits but also individual differences in the distinct ways a person's personality is construed by oneself and by others. Such unique insights are likely to appear in the idiosyncratic personality judgments that raters make and are likely to have etiologies and causal force independent of trait perceptions shared across raters...
October 2016: Psychological Review
Sophia Ray Searcy, Patrick Shafto
Cooperation plays a central role in theories of development, learning, cultural evolution, and education. We argue that existing models of learning from cooperative informants have fundamental limitations that prevent them from explaining how cooperation benefits learning. First, existing models are shown to be computationally intractable, suggesting that they cannot apply to realistic learning problems. Second, existing models assume a priori agreement about which concepts are favored in learning, which leads to a conundrum: Learning fails without precise agreement on bias yet there is no single rational choice...
October 2016: Psychological Review
John R Anderson, Qiong Zhang, Jelmer P Borst, Matthew M Walsh
We introduce a method for measuring the number and durations of processing stages from the electroencephalographic signal and apply it to the study of associative recognition. Using an extension of past research that combines multivariate pattern analysis with hidden semi-Markov models, the approach identifies on a trial-by-trial basis where brief sinusoidal peaks (called bumps) are added to the ongoing electroencephalographic signal. We propose that these bumps mark the onset of critical cognitive stages in processing...
October 2016: Psychological Review
Jeffrey S Bowers
The core claim of educational neuroscience is that neuroscience can improve teaching in the classroom. Many strong claims are made about the successes and the promise of this new discipline. By contrast, I show that there are no current examples of neuroscience motivating new and effective teaching methods, and argue that neuroscience is unlikely to improve teaching in the future. The reasons are twofold. First, in practice, it is easier to characterize the cognitive capacities of children on the basis of behavioral measures than on the basis of brain measures...
October 2016: Psychological Review
François Osiurak, Arnaud Badets
Tool use is a defining feature of human species. Therefore, a fundamental issue is to understand the cognitive bases of human tool use. Given that people cannot use tools without manipulating them, proponents of the manipulation-based approach have argued that tool use might be supported by the simulation of past sensorimotor experiences, also sometimes called affordances. However, in the meanwhile, evidence has been accumulated demonstrating the critical role of mechanical knowledge in tool use (i.e., the reasoning-based approach)...
October 2016: Psychological Review
Andrew Howes, Paul A Warren, George Farmer, Wael El-Deredy, Richard L Lewis
Contextual preference reversals occur when a preference for one option over another is reversed by the addition of further options. It has been argued that the occurrence of preference reversals in human behavior shows that people violate the axioms of rational choice and that people are not, therefore, expected value maximizers. In contrast, we demonstrate that if a person is only able to make noisy calculations of expected value and noisy observations of the ordinal relations among option features, then the expected value maximizing choice is influenced by the addition of new options and does give rise to apparent preference reversals...
July 2016: Psychological Review
Steven F Maier, Martin E P Seligman
Learned helplessness, the failure to escape shock induced by uncontrollable aversive events, was discovered half a century ago. Seligman and Maier (1967) theorized that animals learned that outcomes were independent of their responses-that nothing they did mattered-and that this learning undermined trying to escape. The mechanism of learned helplessness is now very well-charted biologically, and the original theory got it backward. Passivity in response to shock is not learned. It is the default, unlearned response to prolonged aversive events and it is mediated by the serotonergic activity of the dorsal raphe nucleus, which in turn inhibits escape...
July 2016: Psychological Review
Shan Shen, Wei Ji Ma
Two prominent ideas in the study of decision making have been that organisms behave near-optimally, and that they use simple heuristic rules. These principles might be operating in different types of tasks, but this possibility cannot be fully investigated without a direct, rigorous comparison within a single task. Such a comparison was lacking in most previous studies, because (a) the optimal decision rule was simple, (b) no simple suboptimal rules were considered, (c) it was unclear what was optimal, or (d) a simple rule could closely approximate the optimal rule...
July 2016: Psychological Review
Steven T Piantadosi, Joshua B Tenenbaum, Noah D Goodman
The notion of a compositional language of thought (LOT) has been central in computational accounts of cognition from earliest attempts (Boole, 1854; Fodor, 1975) to the present day (Feldman, 2000; Penn, Holyoak, & Povinelli, 2008; Fodor, 2008; Kemp, 2012; Goodman, Tenenbaum, & Gerstenberg, 2015). Recent modeling work shows how statistical inferences over compositionally structured hypothesis spaces might explain learning and development across a variety of domains. However, the primitive components of such representations are typically assumed a priori by modelers and theoreticians rather than determined empirically...
July 2016: Psychological Review
Philip L Smith
I present a diffusion model for decision making in continuous report tasks, in which a continuous, circularly distributed, stimulus attribute in working memory is matched to a representation of the attribute in the stimulus display. Memory retrieval is modeled as a 2-dimensional diffusion process with vector-valued drift on a disk, whose bounding circle represents the decision criterion. The direction and magnitude of the drift vector describe the identity of the stimulus and the quality of its representation in memory, respectively...
July 2016: Psychological Review
Baxter S Eaves, Naomi H Feldman, Thomas L Griffiths, Patrick Shafto
Infant-directed speech (IDS) has distinctive properties that differ from adult-directed speech (ADS). Why it has these properties-and whether they are intended to facilitate language learning-is a matter of contention. We argue that much of this disagreement stems from lack of a formal, guiding theory of how phonetic categories should best be taught to infantlike learners. In the absence of such a theory, researchers have relied on intuitions about learning to guide the argument. We use a formal theory of teaching, validated through experiments in other domains, as the basis for a detailed analysis of whether IDS is well designed for teaching phonetic categories...
April 18, 2016: Psychological Review
Henry S Harrison, Michael T Turvey, Till D Frank
Behavioral dynamics is a framework for understanding adaptive behavior as arising from the self-organizing interaction between animal and environment. The methods of nonlinear dynamics provide a language for describing behavior that is both stable and flexible. Behavioral dynamics has been criticized for ignoring the animal's sensitivity to its own capabilities, leading to the development of an alternative framework: affordance-based control. Although it is theoretically sound and empirically motivated, affordance-based control has resisted characterization in terms of nonlinear dynamics...
April 2016: Psychological Review
Herbert H Clark
In everyday discourse, people describe and point at things, but they also depict things with their hands, arms, head, face, eyes, voice, and body, with and without props. Examples are iconic gestures, facial gestures, quotations of many kinds, full-scale demonstrations, and make-believe play. Depicting, it is argued, is a basic method of communication. It is on a par with describing and pointing, but it works by different principles. The proposal here, called staging theory, is that depictions are physical scenes that people stage for others to use in imagining the scenes they are depicting...
April 2016: Psychological Review
Haim Omer, Shai Satran, Oren Driter
Parental monitoring was once considered to be the approved way for preventing risk behaviors by children and adolescents. In the last years, however, the concept has been the target of cogent criticism questioning the interpretation of findings which support the traditional view of monitoring. After reviewing the various criticisms and the resulting fragmentation of theory and practice, we propose the model of vigilant care as an integrative solution. Vigilant care is a flexible framework within which parents adjust their level of involvement to the warning signals they detect...
April 2016: Psychological Review
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