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Psychological Research

Moran M Israel, Pierre Jolicoeur, Asher Cohen
We hypothesize that a shared spatial attention mechanism is used for both perception and action. To this end we created a new dual-task version of the classical Simon task. In one task, the spatial-input task, associated with input spatial attention, participants named one shape out of two bilaterally presented colored shapes. In a second task, the spatial-output task, associated with output spatial attention, participants discriminated between high and low pitch tones by pressing either a left or a right key...
October 24, 2016: Psychological Research
Mario Bonato, Matteo Lisi, Sara Pegoraro, Gilles Pourtois
Voluntary orienting of spatial attention is typically investigated by visually presented directional cues, which are called predictive when they indicate where the target is more likely to appear. In this study, we investigated the nature of the potential link between cue predictivity (the proportion of valid trials) and the strength of the resulting covert orienting of attention. Participants judged the orientation of a unilateral Gabor grating preceded by a centrally presented, non-directional, color cue, arbitrarily prompting a leftwards or rightwards shift of attention...
October 21, 2016: Psychological Research
Daniel Joel Shaw, Kristína Czekóová, Michaela Porubanová
Accurate distinction between self and other representations is fundamental to a range of social cognitive capacities, and understanding individual differences in this ability is an important aim for psychological research. This demands accurate measures of self-other distinction (SOD). The present study examined an experimental paradigm employed frequently to measure SOD in the action domain; specifically, we evaluated the rotated finger-action stimuli used increasingly to measure automatic imitation (AI). To assess the suitability of these stimuli, we compared AI elicited by different action stimuli to the performance on a perspective-taking task believed to measure SOD in the perception domain...
October 17, 2016: Psychological Research
Maya De Belder, Jean-Philippe van Dijck, Marinella Cappelletti, Wim Fias
The temporary storage of serial order information in working memory (WM) has been demonstrated to be crucial to higher order cognition. The previous studies have shown that the maintenance of serial order can be a consequence of the construction of position markers to which to-be-remembered information will be bound. However, the nature of these position markers remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrate the crucial involvement of time in the construction of these markers by establishing a bidirectional relationship...
October 17, 2016: Psychological Research
Petra Jansen, Sandra Kaltner, Daniel Memmert
In this study, we investigated if the enactment of an approaching or avoiding behavior influences the mental rotation performance. Thirty-five females and thirty males completed a chronometric mental rotation task either in an approaching or in an avoiding condition while manipulating their arm position. The results showed a significant influence of this embodied behavior dependent on gender and task difficulty. The approaching condition caused no gender difference in reaction times and a reduced gender difference in accuracy for the most difficult tasks, while the avoidance condition produced the well-known gender differences in mental rotation for both reaction time and accuracy...
October 15, 2016: Psychological Research
Motonori Yamaguchi, Helen J Wall, Bernhard Hommel
It has been suggested that actors co-represent a shared task context when they perform a task in a joint fashion. The present study examined the possibility of co-representation in joint task switching, in which two actors shared two tasks that switched randomly across trials. Experiment 1 showed that when an actor performed the tasks individually, switch costs were obtained if the actors responded on the previous trial (go trial), but not if they did not respond (no-go trial). When two actors performed the tasks jointly, switch costs were obtained if the actor responded on the previous trial (actor-repeat trials) but not if the co-actor responded (actor-switch trials)...
October 15, 2016: Psychological Research
Lara A Coelho, Giovanna Zaninelli, Claudia L R Gonzalez
Previous research has found that the perception of our hands is inaccurate. This distorted representation has several constant characteristics including an overestimation of hand width and an underestimation of finger length. In this study, we further investigate this phenomenon by exploring the boundaries of hand representation. Participants placed one hand underneath a table top so it was occluded from view. Using their free hand, participants were instructed to point to the location where they believed the tips and bases of each of their fingers were...
October 13, 2016: Psychological Research
Sibylla Wolter, Carolin Dudschig, Barbara Kaup
This study explored differences between pianists and non-musicians during reading of sentences describing high- or low-pitched auditory events. Based on the embodied model of language comprehension, it was hypothesized that the experience of playing the piano encourages a corresponding association between high-pitched sounds and the right and low-pitched sounds and the left. This pitch-space association is assumed to become elicited during understanding of sentences describing either a high- or low-pitched auditory event...
October 12, 2016: Psychological Research
Yaakov Hoffman, Amotz Perlman, Ben Orr-Urtreger, Joseph Tzelgov, Emmanuel M Pothos, Darren J Edwards
There are many theories that explain how route knowledge is acquired. We examined here if the sequence of elements that are part of a route can become integrated into a single unit, to the extent that the processing of individual transitions may only be relevant in the context of this entire unit. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants learned a route for ten blocks. Subsequently, at test they were intermittently exposed to the same training route along with a novel route which contained partial overlap with the original training route...
September 27, 2016: Psychological Research
Chunming Luo, Robert W Proctor
Spatial information can be conveyed not only by stimulus position but by the meaning of a location word or direction of an arrow. We examined whether all the location-, arrow- and word-based Simon effects or some of them can be observed when a location word or an arrow is presented eccentrically and a left-right keypress is made to indicate its ink color. Results showed that only the location-based Simon effect was observed for location words, whereas an additional smaller arrow-based Simon effect, compared to the location-based Simon effect was observed, for arrows...
September 27, 2016: Psychological Research
Luisa Lugli, Anna Chiara Obertis, Anna M Borghi
Is somebody going to hurt us? We draw back. The present study investigates using behavioral measures the interplay between imitative and complementary actions activated while observing female/male hands performing different actions. Female and male participants were required to discriminate the gender of biologically and artificially colored hands that displayed both individual (grasping) and social (giving and punching) actions. Biological hands evoked automatic imitation, while hands of different gender activated complementary mechanisms...
September 23, 2016: Psychological Research
Nikolay Dagaev, Yury Shtyrov, Andriy Myachykov
We investigated the role of executive control processes in the activation of manual affordances in two experiments combining stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) and dual-task paradigms. We registered an inverse SRC effect in the presence of a parallel backward-counting task in Experiment 1, and a cancellation of the SRC effect in Experiment 2 when a parallel Stroop-like task was used. We interpret our data as supporting a self-inhibition account of the affordance activation control. Accordingly, the role of executive processes is to prevent self-inhibition in supraliminal conditions: when cognitive resources are depleted by a parallel task, the self-inhibition mechanism becomes active and irrelevantly potentiated affordances are inhibited, leading to the emergence of an inverse SRC effect...
September 21, 2016: Psychological Research
Michael B Steinborn, Robert Langner, Lynn Huestegge
We examined the effect of motivational readiness on cognitive performance. An important but still not sufficiently elaborated question is whether individuals can voluntarily increase cognitive efficiency for an impending target event, given sufficient preparation time. Within the framework of the constant-foreperiod design (comparing reaction time performance in blocks of short and long foreperiod intervals, FPs), we examined the effect of an instruction to try harder (instructional cue: standard vs. effort) in a choice-reaction task on performance speed and variability...
September 20, 2016: Psychological Research
Javier Ortiz-Tudela, Bruce Milliken, Fabiano Botta, Mitchell LaPointe, Juan Lupiañez
Long-term effects of cognitive conflict on performance are not as well understood as immediate effects. We used a change detection task to explore long-term consequences of cognitive conflict by manipulating the congruity between a changing object and a background scene. According to conflict-based accounts of memory formation, incongruent trials (e.g., a cow on the street), in spite of hindering immediate performance, should promote stronger encoding than congruent trials (e.g., a cow on a prairie). Surprisingly, across three experiments we show that semantic incongruity actually impairs remembering of the information presented during scene processing...
September 16, 2016: Psychological Research
David Dignath, Markus Janczyk
According to the ideomotor principle, behavior is controlled via a retrieval of the sensory consequences that will follow from the respective movement ("action-effects"). These consequences include not only what will happen, but also when something will happen. In fact, recollecting the temporal duration between response and effect takes time and prolongs the initiation of the response. We investigated the associative structure of action-effect learning with delayed effects and asked whether participants acquire integrated action-time-effect episodes that comprise a compound of all three elements or whether they acquire separate traces that connect actions to the time until an effect occurs and actions to the effects that follow them...
September 14, 2016: Psychological Research
Pascal Haazebroek, Antonino Raffone, Bernhard Hommel
Increasing evidence suggests that perception and action planning do not represent separable stages of a unidirectional processing sequence, but rather emerging properties of highly interactive processes. To capture these characteristics of the human cognitive system, we have developed a connectionist model of the interaction between perception and action planning: HiTEC, based on the Theory of Event Coding (Hommel et al. in Behav Brain Sci 24:849-937, 2001). The model is characterized by representations at multiple levels and by shared representations and processes...
September 12, 2016: Psychological Research
Linda Tomko, Robert W Proctor
The present study investigated crossmodal spatial congruence effects in the cued modality-switching paradigm of Lukas, Philipp, and Koch (Psychol Res 74:255-267, 2010). Bimodal auditory and visual spatial-location stimuli were presented simultaneously, and participants responded with a left or right key press to the left or right location of the stimulus in the cued modality. Results replicated the asymmetric spatial congruence effects reported by Lukas et al. for a compatible mapping of stimulus locations to responses, with higher performance cost for spatially incongruent stimuli when the relevant modality was auditory and the irrelevant modality visual than when the relation was opposite...
September 9, 2016: Psychological Research
Carmelo M Vicario, Stergios Makris, Cosimo Urgesi
Accurate encoding of the spatio-temporal properties of others' actions is essential for the successful implementation of daily activities and, even more, for successful sportive performance, given its role in movement coordination and action anticipation. Here we investigated whether athletes are provided with special perceptual processing of spatio-temporal properties of familiar sportive actions. Basketball and volleyball players and novices were presented with short video-clips of free basketball throws that were partially occluded ahead of realization and were asked to judge whether a subsequently presented pose was either taken from the same throw depicted in the occluded video (action identification task) or temporally congruent with the expected course of the action during the occlusion period (explicit timing task)...
September 7, 2016: Psychological Research
Michael Öllinger, Anna Fedor, Svenja Brodt, Eörs Szathmáry
For a long time, insight problem solving has been either understood as nothing special or as a particular class of problem solving. The first view implicates the necessity to find efficient heuristics that restrict the search space, the second, the necessity to overcome self-imposed constraints. Recently, promising hybrid cognitive models attempt to merge both approaches. In this vein, we were interested in the interplay of constraints and heuristic search, when problem solvers were asked to solve a difficult multi-step problem, the ten-penny problem...
September 3, 2016: Psychological Research
Bénédicte Poulin-Charronnat, Pierre Perruchet, Barbara Tillmann, Ronald Peereman
In language acquisition research, the prevailing position is that listeners exploit statistical cues, in particular transitional probabilities between syllables, to discover words of a language. However, other cues are also involved in word discovery. Assessing the weight learners give to these different cues leads to a better understanding of the processes underlying speech segmentation. The present study evaluated whether adult learners preferentially used known units or statistical cues for segmenting continuous speech...
August 31, 2016: Psychological Research
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