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Consciousness and Cognition

Martina Wernicke, Corinna Hofter, Kirsten Jordan, Peter Fromberger, Peter Dechent, Jürgen L Müller
In the context of forensic psychiatry, it is crucial that diagnoses of deviant sexual interests are resistant to manipulation. In a first attempt to promote the development of such tools, the current fMRI study focusses on the examination of hemodynamic responses to preferred, in contrast to non-preferred, sexual stimuli with and without explicit sexual features in 24 healthy heterosexual subjects. The subliminal stimulus presentation of sexual stimuli could be a new approach to reduce vulnerability to manipulation...
January 17, 2017: Consciousness and Cognition
Joshua Moreton, Mitchell J Callan, Gethin Hughes
Temporal binding refers to the compression of the perceived time interval between voluntary actions and their sensory consequences. Research suggests that the emotional content of an action outcome can modulate the effects of temporal binding. We attempted to conceptually replicate these findings using a time interval estimation task and different emotionally-valenced action outcomes (Experiments 1 and 2) than used in previous research. Contrary to previous findings, we found no evidence that temporal binding was affected by the emotional valence of action outcomes...
January 17, 2017: Consciousness and Cognition
Christopher Fassnidge, Claudia Cecconi Marcotti, Elliot Freeman
In some people, visual stimulation evokes auditory sensations. How prevalent and how perceptually real is this? 22% of our neurotypical adult participants responded 'Yes' when asked whether they heard faint sounds accompanying flash stimuli, and showed significantly better ability to discriminate visual 'Morse-code' sequences. This benefit might arise from an ability to recode visual signals as sounds, thus taking advantage of superior temporal acuity of audition. In support of this, those who showed better visual relative to auditory sequence discrimination also had poorer auditory detection in the presence of uninformative visual flashes, though this was independent of awareness of visually-evoked sounds...
January 13, 2017: Consciousness and Cognition
Devpriya Kumar, Narayanan Srinivasan
Control exercised by humans through interactions with the environment is critical for sense of agency. Here, we investigate how control at multiple levels influence implicit sense of agency measured using intentional binding. Participants are asked to hit a moving target using a joystick with noisy control followed by an intentional binding task initiated by the target hitting action. Perceptual-motor level control was manipulated through noise in the joystick controller (experiment 1) and goal-level control in terms of feedback about successful hit (experiments 2a and 2b)...
January 12, 2017: Consciousness and Cognition
Matthew L Stanley, Natasha Parikh, Gregory W Stewart, Felipe De Brigard
Episodic counterfactual thoughts-imagined alternative ways in which personal past events might have occurred-are frequently accompanied by intense emotions. Here, participants recollected positive and negative autobiographical memories and then generated better and worse episodic counterfactual events from those memories. Our results suggest that the projected emotional intensity during the simulated remembered/imagined event is significantly higher than but typically positively related to the emotional intensity while remembering/imagining the event...
January 9, 2017: Consciousness and Cognition
Jie Yuan, Xiaoqing Hu, Yuhao Lu, Galen V Bodenhausen, Shimin Fu
One triumph of the human mind is the ability to place the multitudinous array of people we encounter into in- and out-group members based on racial characteristics. One fundamental question that remains to be answered is whether invisible own- and other-race faces can nevertheless influence subsequent affective judgments. Here, we employed continuous flash suppression (CFS) to render own- and other-race faces unperceivable in an affective priming task. Both on-line and off-line awareness checks were employed to provide more stringent control of partial awareness...
January 6, 2017: Consciousness and Cognition
Paul M Jenkinson, Catherine Preston
In this study we adopted a psychometric approach to examine how the body is subjectively experienced in a mirror. One hundred and twenty-four healthy participants viewed their body for five minutes directly or via a mirror, and then completed a 20-item questionnaire designed to capture subjective experiences of the body. PCA revealed a two-component structure for both direct and mirror conditions, comprising body evaluations (and alienation) and unusual feelings and perceptions. The relationship between these components and pre-existing tendencies for appearance anxiety, body dysmorphic-type beliefs, dissociative symptomatology, self-objectification and delusion ideation further supported the similarity between direct and mirror conditions; however, the occurrence of strange experiences like those reported to occur during prolonged face viewing was not confirmed...
January 3, 2017: Consciousness and Cognition
M Gallotti, M T Fairhurst, C D Frith
According to the prevailing paradigm in social-cognitive neuroscience, the mental states of individuals become shared when they adapt to each other in the pursuit of a shared goal. We challenge this view by proposing an alternative approach to the cognitive foundations of social interactions. The central claim of this paper is that social cognition concerns the graded and dynamic process of alignment of individual minds, even in the absence of a shared goal. When individuals reciprocally exchange information about each other's minds processes of alignment unfold over time and across space, creating a social interaction...
December 26, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Kazuya Inoue, Yuji Takeda, Motohiro Kimura
In a task involving continuous action to achieve a goal, the sense of agency increases with an improvement in task performance that is induced by unnoticed computer assistance. This study investigated how explicit instruction about the existence of computer assistance affects the increase of sense of agency that accompanies performance improvement. Participants performed a continuous action task in which they controlled the direction of motion of a dot to a goal by pressing keys. When instructions indicated the absence of assistance, the sense of agency increased with performance improvement induced by computer assistance, replicating previous findings...
December 24, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Robert Deutschländer, Michael Pauen, John-Dylan Haynes
There is an ongoing debate in philosophy and psychology about when one should consider an action to be free. Several aspects are frequently suggested as relevant: (a) a prior intention, (b) a conscious action-related thought, (c) prior deliberation, (d) a meaningful choice, (e) different consequences of the action, and (f) the duration between intention and action. Here we investigated which criteria laypeople adopt and thus probed their intuitions about free actions in three surveys based on daily life scenarios...
December 22, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Marcus R Watson, Jan Chromý, Lyle Crawford, David M Eagleman, James T Enns, Kathleen A Akins
According to one theory, synaesthesia develops, or is preserved, because it helps children learn. If so, it should be more common among adults who faced greater childhood learning challenges. In the largest survey of synaesthesia to date, the incidence of synaesthesia was compared among native speakers of languages with transparent (easier) and opaque (more difficult) orthographies. Contrary to our prediction, native speakers of Czech (transparent) were more likely to be synaesthetes than native speakers of English (opaque)...
December 22, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Ruben E Laukkonen, Jason M Tangen
It is a compelling idea that an image as simple as a Necker cube, or a duck-rabbit illusion, can reveal something about a person's creativity. Surprisingly, there are now multiple examples showing that people who are better at discovering 'hidden' images in a picture, are also better at solving some creative problems. Although this idea goes back at least a century, little is known about how these two tasks-that seem so different on the surface-are related to each other. At least some forms of creativity (and indeed scientific discoveries) may require that we change our perspectives in order to discover a novel solution to a problem...
December 19, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
A Nicole LeBarr, Judith M Shedden
Evidence from explicit measures (e.g. favourability ratings, valuations) has led to the prevalent hypothesis that owned objects become cognitively associated with self-concept. Using a novel version of the Implicit Association Test (self-object IAT), wherein participants categorized objects by colour, we evaluated implicit cognitive associations involving self with already-owned and newly-owned objects. We observed faster responses when self-related words required the same response key as the colour that incidentally corresponded to self-owned objects, irrespective of length of ownership...
December 16, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Jana Speth, Astrid M Schloerscheidt, Clemens Speth
We present a quantitative study of mental time travel to the future in sleep. Three independent, blind judges analysed a total of 563 physiology-monitored mentation reports from sleep onset, REM sleep, non-REM sleep, and waking. The linguistic tool for the mentation report analysis is based on established grammatical and cognitive-semantic theories and has been validated in previous studies. Our data indicate that REM and non-REM sleep must be characterized by a reduction in mental time travel to the future, which would support earlier physiological evidence at the level of brain function...
December 9, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Edoardo Zamuner, Matt Oxner, William G Hayward
What is the relationship between visual perception and visual mental imagery of emotional faces? We investigated this question using a within-emotion perceptual adaptation paradigm in which adaptation to a strong version of an expression was paired with a test face displaying a weak version of the same emotion category. We predicted that within-emotion adaptation to perception and imagery of expressions would generate similar aftereffects, biasing perception of weak emotional test faces toward a more neutral value...
December 8, 2016: Consciousness and Cognition
Anneli Jefferson, Lisa Bortolotti, Bojana Kuzmanovic
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 3, 2016: 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
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