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Psychological Research

Ausaf A Farooqui, Tom Manly
We select and execute extended task episodes ('make tea') as one entity and not individually execute their very many components (find kettle, boil water, etc.). Such hierarchical execution is thought to occur in familiar task situations with pre-existing task episode-related scripts that once selected, control the identity and sequence of component steps. Here, in contrast, we show hierarchical execution of extended behavior in situations, where the identity and sequence of component steps were unknown and a predetermined script could not have existed...
July 18, 2018: Psychological Research
Elvio Blini, Marco Pitteri, Marco Zorzi
Growing evidence suggests that mental calculation might involve movements of attention along a spatial representation of numerical magnitude. Addition and subtraction on nonsymbolic numbers (numerosities) seem to induce a "momentum" effect, and have been linked to distinct patterns of neural activity in cortical regions subserving attention and eye movements. We investigated whether mental arithmetic on symbolic numbers, a cornerstone of abstract mathematical reasoning, can be affected by the manipulation of overt spatial attention induced by optokinetic stimulation (OKS)...
July 18, 2018: Psychological Research
Xin Zhao, Haien Wang, Joseph H R Maes
The capacity to switch between tasks is a central component of executive functioning. Previous studies assessing effects of task-switch training have revealed mixed results, both in terms of processes that may be improved and the extent of beneficial effects on non-trained tasks. These studies primarily used few training sessions, which may have limited training and transfer effects. Here, 31 students were trained for 21 days on a cued switching task. Both the trained group and an active control group (n = 29) performed a number of cognitive tasks before and after training...
July 17, 2018: Psychological Research
Brandon C W Ralph, Paul Seli, Kristin E Wilson, Daniel Smilek
In two experiments, we sought to determine whether (a) people are aware of the frequently observed performance costs associated with engaging in media multitasking (Experiment 1), and (b) if so, whether they modulate the extent to which they engage in multitasking as a function of task demand (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, participants completed a high-demand task (2-back) both independently and while a video was simultaneously presented. To determine whether people were sensitive to the impact that the concurrent video had on primary-task performance, subjective estimates of performance were collected following both trial types (No-Video vs...
July 17, 2018: Psychological Research
Constanze Hesse, Laura Koroknai, Jutta Billino
Coordinating both hands during bimanual reaching is a complex task that can generate interference during action preparation as often indicated by prolonged reaction times for movements that require moving the two hands at different amplitudes. Individual processing constraints are thought to contribute to this interference effect. Most importantly, however, the amount of interference seems to depend considerably on overall task demands suggesting that interference increases as the available processing resources decrease...
July 17, 2018: Psychological Research
Thomas J Faulkenberry, Alexander Cruise, Samuel Shaki
Previous studies have found decomposed processes, as well as holistic processes, in the representation of two-digit numbers. The present study investigated the influence of task instruction on such processes. Participants completed both magnitude and parity tasks in one of three instructional conditions, where they were asked to either consider two-digit numbers as a whole or to focus on one specific digit. In two experiments, we found that when participants were asked to consider the two digits as an integrated number, they always exhibited a unit-decade compatibility effect, indicating a failure of selective attention on the digit relevant to the given task...
July 16, 2018: Psychological Research
Lisa R Fournier, Devon A Hansen, Alexandra M Stubblefield, Hans P A Van Dongen
The ability to retain an action plan to execute another is necessary for most complex, goal-directed behavior. Research shows that executing an action plan to an interrupting event can be delayed when it partly overlaps (vs. does not overlap) with the retained action plan. This phenomenon is known as partial repetition costs (PRCs). PRCs reflect proactive interference, which may be resolved by inhibitory, executive control processes. We investigated whether these inhibitory processes are compromised due to one night of sleep deprivation...
July 13, 2018: Psychological Research
Eduard Berndt, Carolin Dudschig, Barbara Kaup
Embodied cognition theories have been getting much support in recent years from studies showing that multimodal experiential traces are activated during language comprehension. However, there are almost no studies examining this influence in the opposite direction. Here, we investigated the influence of modal (physical color patch) and amodal (color word) cues on anagram solving times. We manipulated the association between the color cue and the solution word's referent color (e.g., finding the solution word "cucumber" for the anagram "cmrbucue" should be facilitated by the word "green" or a green color patch)...
July 11, 2018: Psychological Research
Olivier Jeunehomme, Arnaud D'Argembeau
Recent studies suggest that episodic memory represents the continuous flow of information that constitutes daily life events in a temporally compressed form, but the nature and determinants of this compression mechanism remain unclear. In the present study, we used wearable camera technology to investigate whether the temporal compression of experience in episodic memory depends on event segmentation. Participants experienced a series of events during a walk on a university campus and were later asked to mentally replay these events...
July 7, 2018: Psychological Research
Roberta Sellaro, Barbara Treccani, Roberto Cubelli
Performing a task with another person may either enhance or reduce the interference produced by task-irrelevant information. In three experiments, we employed the joint version of a Stroop-like task (i.e., the picture-word interference-PWI-task) to investigate some of the task features that seem to be critical in determining the effect of task-irrelevant information when the task is shared between two individuals. Participants were asked to perform a PWI task, which required to name a picture while ignoring a distractor word, first individually (in a baseline block of trials) and then co-acting with an alleged partner...
July 3, 2018: Psychological Research
Marco Hirnstein, Frank Larøi, Julien Laloyaux
According to popular beliefs and anecdotes, females best males when handling multiple tasks at the same time. However, there is relatively little empirical evidence as to whether there truly is a sex difference in multitasking and the few available studies yield inconsistent findings. We present data from a paradigm that was specifically designed to test multitasking abilities in an everyday scenario, the computerized meeting preparation task (CMPT), which requires participants to prepare a room for a meeting and handling various tasks and distractors in the process...
July 2, 2018: Psychological Research
Ayala S Allon, Gili Vixman, Roy Luria
The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake.
July 2, 2018: Psychological Research
Ke Ma, Roberta Sellaro, Bernhard Hommel
Seeing another person's face while that face and one's own face are stroked synchronously or controlling a virtual face by moving one's own induces the illusion that the other face has become a part of oneself-the enfacement effect. Here, we demonstrate that humans can enface even members of another species and that this enfacement promotes "feature migration" in terms of intelligence and emotional attribution from the representation of other to the representation of oneself, and vice versa. We presented participants with a virtual human face moving in or out of sync with their own face, and then morphed it into an ape face...
July 2, 2018: Psychological Research
Junkai Yang, Feiyi Ouyang, Linus Holm, Yingyu Huang, Lingyu Gan, Liang Zhou, Huizhen Chao, Mengye Wang, Mengxue He, Sheng Zhang, Bo Yang, Junhao Pan, Xiang Wu
Researchers have puzzled over the phenomenon in sensorimotor timing that people tend to tap ahead of time. When synchronizing movements (e.g., finger taps) with an external sequence (e.g., a metronome), humans typically tap tens of milliseconds before event onsets, producing the elusive negative asynchrony. Here, we present 24 metronome-tapping data sets from 8 experiments with different experimental settings, showing that less negative asynchrony is associated with lower tapping variability. Further analyses reveal that this negative mean-SD correlation of asynchrony is likely to be observed for sequence types appropriate for synchronization, as indicated by the statistically negative lag 1 autocorrelation of inter-response intervals...
June 28, 2018: Psychological Research
Maxi Becker, Gregor Wiedemann, Simone Kühn
Insight problem solving has been conceptualized as a dynamic search through a constrained search space, where a non-obvious solution needs to be found. Multiple sources of task difficulty have been defined that can keep the problem solver from finding the right solution such as an overly large search space or knowledge constraints requiring a change of the problem representation. Up to now, there are very few accounts that focus on different aspects of difficulty within an insight problem-solving context and how they affect task performance as well as the probability of finding a solution that is accompanied by an Aha! EXPERIENCE: In addition, we are not aware of any approaches investigating how knowledge constraints parametrically modulate task performance and the Aha! experience in compound remote associates (CRA) when controlling for other sources of task difficulty...
June 27, 2018: Psychological Research
Elisabet Tubau, Javier Rodríguez-Ferreiro, Itxaso Barberia, Àngels Colomé
Promoting a better understanding of statistical data is becoming increasingly important for improving risk comprehension and decision-making. In this regard, previous studies on Bayesian problem solving have shown that iconic representations help infer frequencies in sets and subsets. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which icons enhance performance remain unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the benefit offered by icon arrays lies in a better alignment between presented and requested relationships, which should facilitate the comprehension of the requested ratio beyond the represented quantities...
June 21, 2018: Psychological Research
Edina Fintor, Edita Poljac, Denise N Stephan, Iring Koch
The term modality compatibility refers to the similarity between stimulus modality and the modality of response-related sensory consequences (e.g., vocal responses produce auditory effects). The previous results showed smaller task-switching costs when participants switched between modality compatible tasks (auditory-vocal and visual-manual) compared to switching between modality incompatible tasks (auditory-manual and visual-vocal). In the present study using a voluntary task-switching paradigm (VTS), participants chose the response modality (vocal or manual) to indicate the location of either a visual or an auditory stimulus...
June 20, 2018: Psychological Research
Nadine Schlichting, Ritske de Jong, Hedderik van Rijn
Certain EEG components (e.g., the contingent negative variation, CNV, or beta oscillations) have been linked to the perception of temporal magnitudes specifically. However, it is as of yet unclear whether these EEG components are really unique to time perception or reflect the perception of magnitudes in general. In the current study we recorded EEG while participants had to make judgments about duration (time condition) or numerosity (number condition) in a comparison task. This design allowed us to directly compare EEG signals between the processing of time and number...
June 20, 2018: Psychological Research
Lars D Hestermann, Johan Wagemans, Ralf T Krampe
We investigated task-set control processes and chunking in 16 novices and 16 amateur musicians, who produced unimanual rhythms in three experimental conditions: low-level timing tasks required isochronous tapping at constant target durations; sequencing tasks consisted of individual rhythmic patterns comprising multiple target durations; the task-set control condition required alternations between two rhythmic patterns. According to our hierarchical timing control model conditions differed in their task-set control demands necessary to provide rhythm programs for the sequencing of individual intervals...
June 16, 2018: Psychological Research
Katia Mattarozzi, Valentina Colonnello, Paolo Maria Russo, Alexander Todorov
We tested whether episodic information about people facilitates memory for their faces (Experiment 1) and whether this effect is specific for face identity (Experiment 2). Participants were presented with faces paired with behavioral descriptions (positive, neutral, or negative) and faces displayed alone. In both experiments, participants were more likely to recognize faces paired with behavioral descriptions, and after 1-week delay, their memory was better for faces paired with descriptions of salient behavior (i...
June 15, 2018: Psychological Research
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