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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
Judith Koppehele-Gossel, Ansgar Klimke, Karin Schermelleh-Engel, Ursula Voss
Dreams are usually centered around a dream self capable of tasks generally impossible in waking, e.g. flying or walking through walls. Moreover, the bodily dream self appears relatively stable and insensitive to changes of the embodied wake self, raising the question of whether and to what extent the dream self is embodied. To further explore its determinants, we tested whether the dream self would be affected by either pre-sleep focused attention to a body part or by its experimental alteration during the day...
October 5, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Sue Llewellyn
Writing about dreaming, the poet Raymond Carver said "I feel as if I've crossed some kind of invisible line". In creative people, the "line" between wake, dreaming and psychopathology may be porous, engendering a de-differentiated, super-critical, hybrid state. Evidence exists for a relationship between creativity and psychopathology but its nature has been elusive. De-differentiation between wake, sleep and dreaming may be the common substrate, as dream-like cognition pervades wake and wake-like neurophysiology suffuses sleep...
October 5, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Min-Hui Tsai, Wei-Lun Chou
Several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of meditation on attention. The present study investigated the relationship between focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) meditation skills and the various functions of attention. In Experiment 1, we executed the attention network test and compared the performance of experts on dandao meditation with that of ordinary people on this test. The results indicated that the experts specializing in OM meditation demonstrated greater attentional orienting ability compared with those specializing in FA meditation and the control group...
October 3, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Michaël Dambrun
Drawing on the Self-centeredness/Selflessness Happiness Model (SSHM), we hypothesized that a reduction in the salience of perceived body boundaries would lead to increase optimal emotional experience. These constructs were assessed by means of self-report measures. Participants (n=53) were randomly assigned to either the selflessness (induced by a body scan meditation) condition or the control condition. As expected, the reduction in perceived body salience was greater in the body scan meditation condition than in the control condition...
September 28, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Laura Aymerich-Franch, Damien Petit, Gowrishankar Ganesh, Abderrahmane Kheddar
Whole-body embodiment studies have shown that synchronized multi-sensory cues can trick a healthy human mind to perceive self-location outside the bodily borders, producing an illusion that resembles an out-of-body experience (OBE). But can a healthy mind also perceive the sense of self in more than one body at the same time? To answer this question, we created a novel artificial reduplication of one's body using a humanoid robot embodiment system. We first enabled individuals to embody the humanoid robot by providing them with audio-visual feedback and control of the robot head movements and walk, and then explored the self-location and self-identification perceived by them when they observed themselves through the embodied robot...
September 27, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Julia Englert, Dirk Wentura
Memory is better for items arbitrarily assigned to the self than for items assigned to another person (mere ownership effect, MOE). In a series of six experiments, we investigated the role of semantic processes for the MOE. Following successful replication, we investigated whether the MOE was contingent upon semantic processing: For meaningless stimuli, there was no MOE. Testing for a potential role of semantic elaboration using meaningful stimuli in an encoding task without verbal labels, we found evidence of spontaneous semantic processing irrespective of self- or other-assignment...
September 26, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Apoorva Rajiv Madipakkam, Marcus Rothkirch, Gregor Wilbertz, Philipp Sterzer
Efficient threat detection from the environment is critical for survival. Accordingly, fear-conditioned stimuli receive prioritized processing and capture overt and covert attention. However, it is unknown whether eye movements are influenced by unconscious fear-conditioned stimuli. We performed a classical fear-conditioning procedure and subsequently recorded participants' eye movements while they were exposed to fear-conditioned stimuli that were rendered invisible using interocular suppression. Chance-level performance in a forced-choice-task demonstrated unawareness of the stimuli...
September 26, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Jordane Boudesseul, Anthony Lantian, Florian Cova, Laurent Bègue
Is love possible if we are not free? Some philosophers consider that true love is necessarily free, while others think that the nature of love makes it incompatible with a certain type of freedom. Here, we explored the relationship between feelings of passionate love, belief in free will and determinism across three online studies. In Study 1 (N=257), participants who believed strongly in free will (or determinism) expressed stronger passionate love. In Study 2 (N=305), we again found a positive association between belief in free will (or determinism) and passionate love, although the passionate love-determinism relationship seems more conditional...
September 24, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Jocelyn M Elliott, Rochelle E Cox, Amanda J Barnier
Fregoli delusion involves the belief that strangers are known people in disguise. We aimed to model aspects of this delusion for the first time using hypnosis. We informed hypnotised subjects that someone would enter the room (a confederate) and they would believe this person was someone they knew in disguise. After testing their reaction to the confederate, we challenged their delusion by directly contradicting their belief and then asking them to focus on the confederate's voice and gait. Finally, we indexed whether they could identify photographs of the confederate...
September 24, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Corinna S Martarelli, Boris Mayer, Fred W Mast
Music creates room for the mind to wander, mental time travel, and departures into more fantastical worlds. We examined the mediating role of daydreams and the moderating function of personality differences for the emotional response to music by using a moderated mediation approach. The results showed that the valence of daydreams played a mediating role in the reaction to the musical experience: happy music was related to more positive daydreams, which were associated with greater relaxation with the happy music and to greater liking of the happy music...
September 24, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Satoshi Kawase, Satoshi Obata
Visual information has been observed to be crucial for audience members during musical performances. The present study used an eye tracker to investigate audience members' gazes while appreciating an audiovisual musical ensemble performance, based on evidence of the dominance of musical part in auditory attention when listening to multipart music that contains different melody lines and the joint-attention theory of gaze. We presented singing performances, by a female duo. The main findings were as follows: (1) the melody part (soprano) attracted more visual attention than the accompaniment part (alto) throughout the piece, (2) joint attention emerged when the singers shifted their gazes toward their co-performer, suggesting that inter-performer gazing interactions that play a spotlight role mediated performer-audience visual interaction, and (3) musical part (melody or accompaniment) strongly influenced the total duration of gazes among audiences, while the spotlight effect of gaze was limited to just after the singers' gaze shifts...
September 24, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Petr Bob, Matthew Laker
According to recent findings stressful experiences may influence various physiological disturbances and also neuroanatomical changes and some studies also show that psychotherapy and meditation may influence brain functions. Traumatic stress is frequently related to a dissociative response that disintegrates conscious experience. In this context, self-reflection is an essential principle in the process of posttraumatic growth related to spiritual experiences and meditation states that enable mental integration and create the novel integrated self...
September 24, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Nicolas Rothen, Beat Meier
We investigated whether circadian arousal affects perceptual priming as a function of whether stimuli were attended or ignored during learning. We tested 160 participants on- and off-peak with regards to their circadian arousal. In the study phase, they were presented with two superimposed pictures in different colours. They had to name the pictures of one colour while ignoring the others. In the test phase, they were presented with the same and randomly intermixed new pictures. Each picture was presented in black colour in a fragment completion task...
September 24, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Albert Newen, Petra Vetter
To what extent is our perceptual experience influenced by higher cognitive phenomena like beliefs, desires, concepts, templates? Given recent arguments against the possibility of cognitive penetration, we present striking evidence against the impenetrability claims. The weak impenetrability claim cannot account for (1) extensive structural feedback organization of the brain, (2) temporally very early feedback loops and (3) functional top-down processes modulating early visual processes by category-specific information...
September 22, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Jakob Hohwy
I discuss top-down modulation of perception in terms of a variable Bayesian learning rate, revealing a wide range of prior hierarchical expectations that can modulate perception. I then switch to the prediction error minimization framework and seek to conceive cognitive penetration specifically as prediction error minimization deviations from a variable Bayesian learning rate. This approach retains cognitive penetration as a category somewhat distinct from other top-down effects, and carves a reasonable route between penetrability and impenetrability...
September 20, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Joulia Smortchkova
In this paper I argue that the detection of emotional expressions is, in its early stages, informationally encapsulated. I clarify and defend such a view via the appeal to data from social perception on the visual processing of faces, bodies, facial and bodily expressions. Encapsulated social perception might exist alongside processes that are cognitively penetrated, and that have to do with recognition and categorization, and play a central evolutionary function in preparing early and rapid responses to the emotional stimuli...
September 12, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Fernando Blanco
The human cognitive system is fine-tuned to detect patterns in the environment with the aim of predicting important outcomes and, eventually, to optimize behavior. Built under the logic of the least-costly mistake, this system has evolved biases to not overlook any meaningful pattern, even if this means that some false alarms will occur, as in the case of when we detect a causal link between two events that are actually unrelated (i.e., a causal illusion). In this review, we examine the positive and negative implications of causal illusions, emphasizing emotional aspects (i...
August 30, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Leslie van der Leer, Ryan McKay
The nature and existence of self-deception is controversial. On a classic conception, self-deceived individuals carry two conflicting representations of reality. Proponents of an alternative, deflationary account dispute this, arguing that putative cases of self-deception simply reflect distorted information processing. To investigate these alternatives, we adapted a paradigm from the "crowd-within" literature. Participants provided two different estimates for each of a series of incentivized questions. Half of the questions were neutral in content, while half referred to undesirable future events...
August 10, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
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