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Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Edyta Sasin, Candice C Morey, Mark Nieuwenstein
Previous studies on directed forgetting in visual working memory (VWM) have shown that, if people are cued to remember only a subset of the items currently held in VWM, they will completely forget the uncued, no longer relevant items. While this finding is indicative of selective remembering, it remains unclear whether directed forgetting can also occur in the absence of any concurrent to-be-remembered information. In the current study, we addressed this matter by asking participants to memorize a single object that could be followed by a cue to forget or remember this object...
January 10, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
David Kellen, Rui Mata, Clintin P Davis-Stober
Empirical evaluations of risk attitudes often rely on a weak definition of risk that concerns preferences towards risky and riskless options (e.g., a lottery vs. a sure outcome). A large body of work has shown that individuals tend to be weak risk averse in choice contexts involving risky and riskless gains but weak risk seeking in contexts involving losses, a phenomenon known as the reflection effect. Recent attempts to evaluate age differences in risk attitudes have relied on this weak definition, testing whether the reflection effect increases or diminishes as we grow older...
January 6, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Rachel N Denison, David J Heeger, Marisa Carrasco
Sensory signals continuously enter the brain, raising the question of how perceptual systems handle this constant flow of input. Attention to an anticipated point in time can prioritize visual information at that time. However, how we voluntarily attend across time when there are successive task-relevant stimuli has been barely investigated. We developed a novel experimental protocol that allowed us to assess, for the first time, both the benefits and costs of voluntary temporal attention when perceiving a short sequence of two or three visual targets with predictable timing...
January 4, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Summer L Sheremata, Sarah Shomstein
Successful interaction with the environment requires the ability to flexibly allocate resources to different locations in the visual field. Recent evidence suggests that visual short-term memory (VSTM) resources are distributed asymmetrically across the visual field based upon task demands. Here, we propose that context, rather than the stimulus itself, determines asymmetrical distribution of VSTM resources. To test whether context modulates the reallocation of resources to the right visual field, task set, defined by memory-load, was manipulated to influence visual short-term memory performance...
January 3, 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Gilles Vannuscorps, Alfonso Caramazza
When watching someone reaching to grasp an object, we typically gaze at the object before the agent's hand reaches it-that is, we make a "predictive eye movement" to the object. The received explanation is that predictive eye movements rely on a direct matching process, by which the observed action is mapped onto the motor representation of the same body movements in the observer's brain. In this article, we report evidence that calls for a reexamination of this account. We recorded the eye movements of an individual born without arms (D...
December 21, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Emily L Twedell, Wilma Koutstaal, Yuhong V Jiang
Visual clutter imposes significant challenges to older adults in everyday tasks and often calls on selective processing of relevant information. Previous research has shown that both visual search habits and task goals influence older adults' allocation of spatial attention, but has not examined the relative impact of these two sources of attention when they compete. To examine how aging affects the balance between goal-driven and habitual attention, and to inform our understanding of different attentional subsystems, we tested young and older adults in an adapted visual search task involving a display laid flat on a desk...
December 19, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Nick Berggren, Hannah M Curtis, Nazanin Derakshan
It is a widely observed finding that emotion and anxiety interact; highly stressed or anxious individuals show robust attentional biases towards external negative information. More generally, research has suggested that exposure to threatening stimuli, as well as the experience of acute stress, also may impair top-down attentional control and working memory. In the current study, we investigated how the influence of emotion and anxiety may interact to influence working memory performance. Participants were required to encode the orientation of four simple shapes, eight, or four shapes while filtering out four other irrelevant shapes from memory...
December 15, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Nolan Conaway, Kenneth J Kurtz
Reference point approaches have dominated the study of categorization for decades by explaining classification learning in terms of similarity to stored exemplars or averages of exemplars. The most successful reference point models are firmly grounded in the associative learning tradition-treating categorization as a stimulus generalization process based on inverse exponential distance in psychological space augmented by a dimensional selective attention mechanism. We present experiments that pose a significant challenge to popular reference point accounts which explain categorization in terms of stimulus generalization from exemplars, prototypes, or adaptive clusters...
December 15, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Mads Lund Pedersen, Michael J Frank, Guido Biele
Current reinforcement-learning models often assume simplified decision processes that do not fully reflect the dynamic complexities of choice processes. Conversely, sequential-sampling models of decision making account for both choice accuracy and response time, but assume that decisions are based on static decision values. To combine these two computational models of decision making and learning, we implemented reinforcement-learning models in which the drift diffusion model describes the choice process, thereby capturing both within- and across-trial dynamics...
December 13, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Teppo Felin, Jan Koenderink, Joachim I Krueger
Seeing-perception and vision-is implicitly the fundamental building block of the literature on rationality and cognition. Herbert Simon and Daniel Kahneman's arguments against the omniscience of economic agents-and the concept of bounded rationality-depend critically on a particular view of the nature of perception and vision. We propose that this framework of rationality merely replaces economic omniscience with perceptual omniscience. We show how the cognitive and social sciences feature a pervasive but problematic meta-assumption that is characterized by an "all-seeing eye...
December 7, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Paul H Thibodeau, Latoya Crow, Stephen J Flusberg
While many scholars have pointed to the role of metaphor in explanation, relatively little experimental research has examined whether and how metaphors are used and understood in everyday explanatory discourse. Across 3 experiments, we investigated the nature and function of metaphor in explanation by drawing on a real-world example where the terms guardian and warrior were used to metaphorically explain the role of police officers. We found, first, that the associations participants brought to mind for these concepts differed depending on whether they had previously answered questions about law enforcement (e...
December 7, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Rachel A Searston, Jason M Tangen
Experience identifying visual objects and categories improves generalization within the same class (e.g., discriminating bird species improves transfer to new bird species), but does such perceptual expertise transfer to coarser category judgments? We tested whether fingerprint experts, who spend their days comparing pairs of prints and judging whether they were left by the same finger or two different fingers, can generalize their finger discrimination expertise to people more broadly. That is, can these experts identify prints from Jones's right thumb and prints from Jones's right index finger as instances of the same "Jones" category? Novices and experts were both sensitive to the style of a stranger's prints; despite lower levels of confidence, experts were significantly more sensitive to this style than novices...
December 5, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Jennifer C Weeks, Lynn Hasher
Older adults show implicit memory for previously seen distraction, an effect attributed to poor attentional control. It is unclear whether this effect results from lack of control over encoding during the distraction task, lack of retrieval constraint during the test task, or both. In the present study, we simulated poor distraction control in young adults using divided attention at encoding, at retrieval, at both times, or not at all. The encoding task was a 1-back task on pictures with distracting superimposed letter strings, some of which were words...
November 29, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Benchi Wang, Chuyao Yan, Zhiguo Wang, Christian N L Olivers, Jan Theeuwes
Visual working memory (VWM) representations can be strengthened by pre-cues presented before, and retro-cues presented after, the memory display, providing evidence that attentional orienting plays a role in memory encoding and maintenance. It is unknown whether attentional orienting to VWM stimuli can also have adverse effects (known as inhibition of return; IOR), as has been found for perceptual-cueing tasks. If so, this would provide further evidence for common attentional orienting mechanisms for mnemonic and perceptual representations...
November 28, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Georgiana Juravle, Gordon Binsted, Charles Spence
Sharing numerous characteristics with suppression in the other senses, tactile suppression is a reliable phenomenon that accompanies movement. By investigating the simplest of movements (e.g., finger flexions), early research tried to explain the origins of the phenomenon in terms of motor command generation together with sensory reafference. Here, we review recent research that has delved into (naturalistic) goal-directed movements. In connection with goal-directed movement, tactile suppression is evident as a decrease in behavioural performance measured shortly prior to, and during, movement execution...
November 28, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Anna Heuer, Anna Schubö
Planning an action primes feature dimensions that are relevant for that particular action, increasing the impact of these dimensions on perceptual processing. Here, we investigated whether action planning also affects the short-term maintenance of visual information. In a combined memory and movement task, participants were to memorize items defined by size or color while preparing either a grasping or a pointing movement. Whereas size is a relevant feature dimension for grasping, color can be used to localize the goal object and guide a pointing movement...
November 28, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Nelson Cowan
The topic of working memory (WM) is ubiquitous in research on cognitive psychology and on individual differences. According to one definition, it is a small amount of information kept in a temporary state of heightened accessibility; it is used in most types of communication and problem solving. Short-term storage has been defined as the passive (i.e., non-attention-based, nonstrategic) component of WM or, alternatively, as a passive store separate from an attention-based WM. Here I note that much confusion has been created by the use by various investigators of many, subtly different definitions of WM and short-term storage...
November 28, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Jessica K Witt
The action-specific account of spatial perception asserts that a perceiver's ability to perform an action, such as hitting a softball or walking up a hill, impacts the visual perception of the target object. Although much evidence is consistent with this claim, the evidence has been challenged as to whether perception is truly impacted, as opposed to the responses themselves. These challenges have recently been organized as six pitfalls that provide a framework with which to evaluate the empirical evidence...
November 23, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Helen Brown, Elizabeth A Maylor
This study examined the differential effects of aging on consolidation processes that strengthen newly acquired memory traces in veridical form (memory stabilization) versus consolidation processes that are responsible for integrating these memory traces into an existing body of knowledge (item integration). Older adults learned 13 nonwords and were tested on their memory for the nonwords, and on whether these nonwords impacted upon processing of similar-sounding English words immediately and 24 hours later...
November 23, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Ana Marcet, Manuel Perea
For simplicity, contemporary models of written-word recognition and reading have unspecified feature/letter levels-they predict that the visually similar substituted-letter nonword PEQPLE is as effective at activating the word PEOPLE as the visually dissimilar substituted-letter nonword PEYPLE. Previous empirical evidence on the effects of visual similarly across letters during written-word recognition is scarce and nonconclusive. To examine whether visual similarity across letters plays a role early in word processing, we conducted two masked priming lexical decision experiments (stimulus-onset asynchrony = 50 ms)...
November 21, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
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