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Psychological Research

Stefanie Mühlberg, Salvador Soto-Faraco
Temporal orienting leads to well-documented behavioural benefits for sensory events occurring at the anticipated moment. However, the consequences of temporal orienting in cross-modal contexts are still unclear. On the one hand, some studies using audio-tactile paradigms suggest that attentional orienting in time and modality are a closely coupled system, in which temporal orienting dominates modality orienting, similar to what happens in cross-modal spatial attention. On the other hand, recent findings using a visuo-tactile paradigm suggest that attentional orienting in time can unfold independently in each modality, leading to cross-modal decoupling...
May 17, 2018: Psychological Research
Tobias Schoeberl, Ulrich Ansorge
Prior research suggested that attentional capture by subliminal abrupt onset cues is stimulus driven. In these studies, reacting was faster when a searched-for target appeared at the location of a preceding abrupt onset cue compared to when the same target appeared at a location away from the cue (cueing effect), although the earlier onset of the cue was subliminal, because it appeared as one out of three horizontally aligned placeholders with a lead time that was too short to be noticed by the participants...
May 15, 2018: Psychological Research
Chunming Luo, Robert W Proctor
The location-, word-, and arrow-based Simon effects are usually attributed to the result of a direct route (the spatially corresponding stimulus-response association, activated automatically) that interferes with an indirect route (the association of task-relevant information and response, activated in accordance with the instructed stimulus-response mapping). We examined whether and how distinct direct routes (stimulus-location-response position and location word-response position or arrow direction-response position associations) affect responding on the basis of the same indirect route (a stimulus color-response association) in a Simon-like task...
May 14, 2018: Psychological Research
Lisa N Jefferies, Joseph B Witt
Whether focused visual attention can be divided has been the topic of much investigation, and there is a compelling body of evidence showing that, at least under certain conditions, attention can be divided and deployed as two independent foci. Three experiments were conducted to examine whether attention can be deployed in divided form from the outset, or whether it is first deployed as a unitary focus before being divided. To test this, we adapted the methodology of Jefferies, Enns, and Di Lollo (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 40: 465, 2014), who used a dual-stream Attentional Blink paradigm and two letter-pair targets...
April 24, 2018: Psychological Research
Xin Zhao, Lina Jia
Many studies have examined transfer of working memory (WM) training improvements to non-trained cognitive tasks, with largely disappointing results. Interference control has been suggested to be a central feature of WM. However, studies examining transfer effects of a training program exclusively and directly targeting interference control are lacking. Forty-one 10‒12 year-old children and 47 19‒24 year-old adults were assigned to an adaptive interference control training or active control condition. Transfer of training effects to tasks measuring interference control, response inhibition, WM updating, task-switching, and non-verbal fluid intelligence were assessed during a 3-month follow-up session and/or an immediate post-training session...
April 24, 2018: Psychological Research
Lisa R Fournier, Alexandra M Stubblefield, Brian P Dyre, David A Rosenbaum
When tasks are performed, other tasks are postponed, at least implicitly. Little is known about how task sequencing is determined. We examined task sequencing in object transfer tasks for which either task could easily or logically come before the other. The task was to transfer ping pong balls from two buckets into a bowl. To perform the task, participants walked down a corridor, picked up one of two buckets (their choice), carried it to the end of the corridor, transferred the balls from the bucket into a bowl, carried the bucket back to the start position, and then did the same with the other remaining bucket...
April 23, 2018: Psychological Research
Stefan L Frank, Patty Ernst
When the middle verb phrase is removed from an English double-embedded sentence, the remainder of the sentence is read faster in spite of the ungrammaticality. It has been shown that this "missing-VP effect" is reversed in German and Dutch. The current study demonstrates that the same cross-linguistic difference holds for sentences judgments: Native speakers consider English double-embedded sentences more comprehensible and acceptable when the middle verb phrase is removed, whereas the same is not the case in Dutch...
April 23, 2018: Psychological Research
Kristina M Rand, Erica M Barhorst-Cates, Eren Kiris, William B Thompson, Sarah H Creem-Regehr
In a series of experiments, we tested the hypothesis that severely degraded viewing conditions during locomotion distort the perception of distance traveled. Some research suggests that there is little-to-no systematic error in perceiving closer distances from a static viewpoint with severely degraded acuity and contrast sensitivity (which we will refer to as blur). However, several related areas of research-extending across domains of perception, attention, and spatial learning-suggest that degraded acuity and contrast sensitivity would affect estimates of distance traveled during locomotion...
April 21, 2018: Psychological Research
Constantin Schmidts, Anna Foerster, Wilfried Kunde
Humans cope with cognitive conflict in various ways, such as focusing on task-relevant instead of task-irrelevant information or avoiding situations where conflict is likely. These adaptations to conflict resemble those used to cope with negative affect. We examined whether situation modification, a strategy derived from the extended process model of emotion regulation, may influence responding in cognitive conflict tasks. This should be evident by a facilitation of actions that consistently modify situations towards congruent (positive) situations rather than to incongruent (negative) situations...
April 20, 2018: Psychological Research
Sélim Yahia Coll, Sascha Frühholz, Didier Grandjean
Different parts of our brain code the perceptual features and actions related to an object, causing a binding problem: how does the brain discriminate the information of a particular event from the features of other events? Hommel (1998) suggested the event file concept: an episodic memory trace binding perceptual and motor information pertaining to an object. By adapting Hommel's paradigm to emotional faces in a previous study (Coll & Grandjean, 2016), we demonstrated that emotion could take part in an event file with motor responses...
April 19, 2018: Psychological Research
Jaime Redondo, Jose Fernandez-Rey, Daniel Gonzalez-Gonzalez
Extinction procedures have been used widely in the study of fear memories, and different positions have been adopted regarding the efficacy of such procedures and the mechanisms involved. It has been argued that extinction may interfere with the consolidation of the fear memory if the procedure is applied with the appropriate timing after acquisition. However, the opposite position is also held, that is, that the extinction does not achieve an elimination of the fear response. The aim of the present study is to test the short-term effects of immediate extinction in fear reduction when this extinction is preceded by a retrieval trial...
April 18, 2018: Psychological Research
F Ruotolo, M H G Claessen, I J M van der Ham
The aim of this study was to assess how people memorize spatial information of emotionally laden landmarks along a route and if the emotional value of the landmarks affects the way metric and configurational properties of the route itself are represented. Three groups of participants were asked to watch a movie of a virtual walk along a route. The route could contain positive, negative, or neutral landmarks. Afterwards, participants were asked to: (a) recognize the landmarks; (b) imagine to walk distances between landmarks; (c) indicate the position of the landmarks along the route; (d) judge the length of the route; (e) draw the route...
April 16, 2018: Psychological Research
Lara Bardi, Charlotte Desmet, Marcel Brass
Theory of Mind research has shown that we spontaneously take into account other's beliefs. In the current study, we investigate, with a spontaneous Theory of Mind (ToM) task, if this belief representation also applies to nonhuman-like agents. In a series of three experiments, we show here that we do not spontaneously take into account beliefs of nonhuman-like others, or at least we do it to a lesser extent than for human and human-like agents. Further, the experience we have with the other agent, in our case a dog, does not modulate spontaneous ToM: the same pattern of results was obtained when dog owners and no owners were compared...
April 16, 2018: Psychological Research
Eldad Yechiam
It is often claimed that negative events carry a larger weight than positive events. Loss aversion is the manifestation of this argument in monetary outcomes. In this review, we examine early studies of the utility function of gains and losses, and in particular the original evidence for loss aversion reported by Kahneman and Tversky (Econometrica  47:263-291, 1979). We suggest that loss aversion proponents have over-interpreted these findings. Specifically, the early studies of utility functions have shown that while very large losses are overweighted, smaller losses are often not...
April 16, 2018: Psychological Research
Sylvie Droit-Volet, Quentin Hallez
This study tested the modality effect on time judgment in a bisection task in children and adults when auditory and visual stimuli were presented in the same session. Cognitive capacities of children and adults were assessed with different neuropsychological tests. The results showed a modality effect, with the auditory stimuli judged longer than the visual stimuli. However, this modality distortion in time judgment was higher in the younger children. Statistical analyses revealed that the size of this time distortion was directly related to individual working memory capacities...
April 16, 2018: Psychological Research
Joseph L Etherton, Crystal D Oberle, Jayson Rhoton, Ashley Ney
Research on the cognitive benefits of working memory training programs has produced inconsistent results. Such research has frequently used laboratory-specific training tasks, or dual-task n-back training. The current study used the commercial Cogmed Working Memory (WM) Training program, involving several different training tasks involving visual and auditory input. Healthy college undergraduates were assigned to either the full Cogmed training program of 25, 40-min training sessions; an abbreviated Cogmed program of 25, 20-min training sessions; or a no-contact control group...
April 16, 2018: Psychological Research
Markus Kiefer
Recent studies using an induction task paradigm indicated that unconscious automatic processes underlying masked semantic priming are susceptible to cognitive control influences. In this paradigm, participants first perform different induction tasks (semantic decision vs. perceptual decision), which serve to activate a corresponding task set. Thereafter, the masked prime and the target for the lexical decision task is presented. Previously, perceptual and semantic induction tasks were presented in separate blocks, and the response to the induction task was given immediately after the inducing stimulus...
April 13, 2018: Psychological Research
Antonello Pellicano, Luisa Lugli, Ferdinand Binkofski, Sandro Rubichi, Cristina Iani, Roberto Nicoletti
The handle-to-hand correspondence effect refers to faster and more accurate responses when the responding hand is aligned with the graspable part of an object tool, compared to when they lay on opposite sides. We performed four behavioral experiments to investigate whether this effect depends on the activation of grasping affordances (affordance activation account) or is to be traced back to a Simon effect, resulting from the spatial coding of stimuli and responses and from their dimensional overlap (location coding account)...
April 12, 2018: Psychological Research
J S Jo, J Chen, S Riechman, M Roig, D L Wright
Numerous studies have reported a positive impact of acute exercise for procedural skill memory. Previous work has revealed this effect, but these findings are confounded by a potential contribution of a night of sleep to the reported exercise-mediated reduction in interference. Thus, it remains unclear if exposure to a brief bout of exercise can provide protection to a newly acquired motor memory. The primary objective of the present study was to examine if a single bout of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise after practice of a novel motor sequence reduces the susceptibility to retroactive interference...
April 10, 2018: Psychological Research
Andrea Frick
Using a longitudinal approach, this study investigated the relational structure of different spatial transformation skills at kindergarten age, and how these spatial skills relate to children's later mathematics performance. Children were tested at three time points, in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade (N = 119). Exploratory factor analyses revealed two subcomponents of spatial transformation skills: one representing egocentric transformations (mental rotation and spatial scaling), and one representing allocentric transformations (e...
April 10, 2018: Psychological Research
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