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Consciousness and Cognition

Nirit Soffer-Dudek, Leah Shelef, Idit Oz, Anna Levkovsky, Ifaat Erlich, Shirley Gordon
In recent years, a labile sleep-wake cycle has been implicated as a cause for dissociative experiences, and studies show that dissociation is elevated following sleep deprivation. Dissociative individuals may find it harder to regulate sleepiness in the face of sleep disruption. Although there is significant variability in reactions to sleep deprivation, research on trait predictors is scarce. The present study examined the ability of trait dissociation to prospectively predict sleepiness following sleep loss and recovery sleep...
December 2, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Molly Jackson-Nielsen, Michael A Cohen, Michael A Pitts
To overcome inherent limitations in perceptual bandwidth, many aspects of the visual world are represented as summary statistics (e.g., average size, orientation, or density of objects). Here, we investigated the relationship between summary (ensemble) statistics and visual attention. Recently, it was claimed that one ensemble statistic in particular, color diversity, can be perceived without focal attention. However, a broader debate exists over the attentional requirements of conscious perception, and it is possible that some form of attention is necessary for ensemble perception...
December 2, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Jason Shepard, Aneyn O'Grady
Our concept of choice is integral to the way we understand others and ourselves, especially when considering ourselves as free and responsible agents. Despite the importance of this concept, there has been little empirical work on it. In this paper we report four experiments that provide evidence for two concepts of choice-namely, a concept of choice that is operative in the phrase having a choice and another that is operative in the phrase making a choice. The experiments indicate that the two concepts of choice can be differentiated from each other on the basis of the kind of alternatives to which each is sensitive...
November 18, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Adam J L Harris
Claims that optimism is a near-universal characteristic of human judgment seem to be at odds with recent results from the judgment and decision making literature suggesting that the likelihood of negative outcomes are overestimated relative to neutral outcomes. In an attempt to reconcile these seemingly contrasting phenomena, inspiration is drawn from the attention literature in which there is evidence that both positive and negative stimuli can have attentional privilege relative to neutral stimuli. This result provides a framework within which I consider three example phenomena that purport to demonstrate that people's likelihood estimates are optimistic: Wishful thinking; Unrealistic comparative optimism and Asymmetric belief updating...
November 17, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Aida Grabauskaitė, Mindaugas Baranauskas, Inga Griškova-Bulanova
Interoception is involved in both somatic and mental disorders with different prevalence between genders; however, gender differences are often neglected. To examine the potential gender differences in interoceptive awareness, we recruited 376 healthy subjects (51% males, aged 17-30years), to fill in the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA). Of that sample, in a subgroup of 40 subjects (50% males), interoceptive accuracy was assessed by heartbeat counting task (HCT). The results on interroceptive awareness suggest that females tendto notice bodily sensations more often, better understand relations between bodily sensations and emotional states, worry or experience more emotional distress with sensations of pain or discomfort and see body as less safe...
November 17, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Chris Oriet, Mamata Pandey, Jun-Ichiro Kawahara
Distractors presented prior to a critical target in a rapid sequence of visually-presented items induce a lag-dependent deficit in target identification, particularly when the distractor shares a task-relevant feature of the target. Presumably, such capture of central attention is important for bringing a target into awareness. The results of the present investigation suggest that greater capture of attention by a distractor is not accompanied by greater awareness of it. Moreover, awareness tends to be limited to superficial characteristics of the target such as colour...
November 17, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Amabilis H Harrison, Michael D Noseworthy, James P Reilly, Weiguang Guan, John F Connolly
fMRI and EEG during mental imagery provide alternative methods of detecting awareness in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC) without reliance on behaviour. Because using fMRI in patients with DOC is difficult, studies increasingly employ EEG. However, there has been no verification that these modalities provide converging information at the individual subject level. The present study examined simultaneous EEG and fMRI in healthy volunteers during six mental imagery tasks to determine whether one mental imagery task generates more robust activation across subjects; whether activation can be predicted from familiarity with the imagined activity; and whether EEG and fMRI converge upon the same conclusions about individual imagery performance...
November 14, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Arien Mack, Jason Clarke, Muge Erol, John Bert
Does scene incongruity, (a mismatch between scene gist and a semantically incongruent object), capture attention and lead to conscious perception? We explored this question using 4 different procedures: Inattention (Experiment 1), Scene description (Experiment 2), Change detection (Experiment 3), and Iconic Memory (Experiment 4). We found no differences between scene incongruity and scene congruity in Experiments 1, 2, and 4, although in Experiment 3 change detection was faster for scenes containing an incongruent object...
November 12, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Veena Kumari, Elena Antonova, Bernice Wright, Aseel Hamid, Eva Machado Hernandez, Anne Schmechtig, Ulrich Ettinger
BACKGROUND: This study examined the effects of cultivated (i.e. developed through training) and dispositional (trait) mindfulness on smooth pursuit (SPEM) and antisaccade (AS) tasks known to engage the fronto-parietal network implicated in attentional and motion detection processes, and the fronto-striatal network implicated in cognitive control, respectively. METHODS: Sixty healthy men (19-59years), of whom 30 were experienced mindfulness practitioners and 30 meditation-naïve, underwent infrared oculographic assessment of SPEM and AS performance...
November 11, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Judith Katz, Noam Saadon-Grosman, Shahar Arzy
BACKGROUND: The life-review experience (LRE) is a most intriguing mental phenomenon that fascinated humans from time immemorial. In LRE one sees vividly a succession of one's own life-events. While reports of LRE are abundant in the medical, psychological and popular literature, not much is known about LRE's cognitive and psychological basis. Moreover, while LRE is known as part of the phenomenology of near-death experience, its manifestation in the general population and in other circumstances is still to be investigated...
November 9, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Neil Garrett, Tali Sharot
A diverse body of research has demonstrated that people update their beliefs to a greater extent when receiving good news compared to bad news. Recently, a paper by Shah et al. claimed that this asymmetry does not exist. Here we carefully examine the experiments and simulations described in Shah et al. and follow their analytic approach on our data sets. After correcting for confounds we identify in the experiments of Shah et al., an optimistic update bias for positive life events is revealed. Contrary to claims made by Shah et al...
November 8, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Kristy M Johnstone, Junwen Chen, Ryan P Balzan
'Jumping-to-Conclusions' (JTC) is a data-gathering bias characterised by hasty decision-making, and is typically seen in individuals with high levels of delusions or paranoia. JTC has also been found in people with high trait and state anxiety. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between JTC and trait social anxiety and state anxiety, given paranoia is common in both social anxiety and psychotic disorders. One-hundred-and-eighty-six undergraduate students were allocated to a manipulation or control condition, and classified as high or low socially anxious...
November 4, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Silvano Zipoli Caiani, Gabriele Ferretti
According to an influential view, the detection of action possibilities and the selection of a plan for action are two segregated steps throughout the processing of visual information. This classical approach is committed with the assumption that two independent types of processing underlie visual perception: the semantic one, which is at the service of the identification of visually presented objects, and the pragmatic one which serves the execution of actions directed to specific parts of the same objects...
November 4, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Arien Mack, Muge Erol, Jason Clarke
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 1, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Anneli Jefferson, Lisa Bortolotti, Bojana Kuzmanovic
Here we consider the nature of unrealistic optimism and other related positive illusions. We are interested in whether cognitive states that are unrealistically optimistic are belief states, whether they are false, and whether they are epistemically irrational. We also ask to what extent unrealistically optimistic cognitive states are fixed. Based on the classic and recent empirical literature on unrealistic optimism, we offer some preliminary answers to these questions, thereby laying the foundations for answering further questions about unrealistic optimism, such as whether it has biological, psychological, or epistemic benefits...
November 1, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Ryan Smith
The topic of the self remains one of considerable controversy, and many arguments have been put forth suggesting the intuitive concept of self must be in some way mistaken - in part based on results in the cognitive and neural sciences. In this article I offer the alternative positive proposal that "the self" may indeed refer to a physical/computational system within the brain. To do this, I draw on empirical work regarding the neural basis of consciousness and decision-making, and on philosophical work regarding ecological control, unified group perspectives, and functional/mechanistic explanation...
October 31, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Gabriel Reyes, Jérôme Sackur
Literature in metacognition has systematically rejected the possibility of introspective access to complex cognitive processes. This situation derives from the difficulty of experimentally manipulating cognitive processes while abiding by the two contradictory constraints. First, participants must not be aware of the experimental manipulation, otherwise they run the risk of incorporating their knowledge of the experimental manipulation in some rational elaboration. Second, we need an external, third person perspective evidence that the experimental manipulation did impact some relevant cognitive processes...
October 31, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
James H Smith-Spark, Joshua Bartimus, Rachel Wilcock
Mental time travel ability marks how well the phenomenological aspects of events are mentally re-experienced during recall. The Cognitive Interview (CI) elicits eyewitness information. One of its techniques, Mental Reinstatement of Context (MRC), asks eyewitnesses to reinstate the incident's context mentally before recall. Fifty-six participants watched a simulated crime video. Self-report measures were then taken to estimate general mental time travel ability. Participants were questioned subsequently about the video...
October 24, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Nicole K Bolt, Evan M Poncelet, Benjamin G Schultz, Janeen D Loehr
Philosophers have proposed that when people coordinate their actions with others they may experience a sense of joint agency, or shared control over actions and their effects. However, little empirical work has investigated the sense of joint agency. In the current study, pairs coordinated their actions to produce tone sequences and then rated their sense of joint agency on a scale ranging from shared to independent control. People felt more shared than independent control overall, confirming that people experience joint agency during joint action...
October 17, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Deanne M Green, Deryn Strange, D Stephen Lindsay, Melanie K T Takarangi
In earlier work, we asked subjects to report involuntary thoughts relating to a trauma film and also probed subjects periodically. Subjects often reported involuntary thoughts in response to probes, suggesting they lacked meta-awareness of those thoughts. But it is possible that some or all probe-detected thoughts were continuations of thoughts subjects had spontaneously reported, leading us to overestimate involuntary thoughts lacking meta-awareness. It is also unclear whether failures in meta-awareness occur for other emotional events...
October 7, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
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