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Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP

Amy L Atkinson, Alan D Baddeley, Richard J Allen
Recent research (Bengson & Luck, 2015) has indicated that visual working memory capacity for unidimensional items might be boosted by focusing on all presented items, as opposed to a subset of them. However, it is not clear whether the same outcomes would be observed if more complex items were used which require feature binding, a potentially more demanding task. The current experiments therefore examined the effects of encoding strategy using multidimensional items in tasks that required feature binding. Effects were explored across a range of different age groups (Experiment 1) and task conditions (Experiment 2)...
August 16, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Charlotte Bonardi, Dómhnall J Jennings
Three experiments examined the effect of the distribution form of the trace interval on trace conditioning. In Experiments 1 and 2 two groups of rats were conditioned to a fixed duration CS in a trace interval procedure; rats in Group Fix received a fixed duration trace interval whereas for rats in Group Var the trace interval was of variable duration. Responding during the CS was higher in Group Var than in Group Fix, whereas during the trace interval this difference in responding reversed - Group Fix showed higher response rates than Group Var...
August 13, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Fuchang Liu
This study examined whether common and uncommon fractions are mentally represented differently and whether common ones are used in accessing the magnitudes of uncommon ones. In Experiments 1 and 2, college education majors, most of whom were female, Caucasian, and in their early 20s, made comparisons involving common and uncommon fractions. In Experiment 3, participants were presented with comparison tasks involving uncommon fractions and asked to describe the strategies which they used in making such comparisons...
August 13, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Greig I de Zubicaray, Mia McLean, Frank Oppermann, Aidan Hegarty, Katie McMahon, Jörg D Jescheniak
Naming a picture is slower in categorically related compared to unrelated contexts, an effect termed semantic interference. This effect has informed the development of all contemporary models of lexical access in speech production. However, category members typically share visual features, so semantic interference might in part reflect this confound. Surprisingly little work has addressed this issue, and the relative absence of evidence for visual form interference has been proposed to be problematic for production models implementing competitive lexical selection mechanisms...
August 13, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Ian D Colley, Peter E Keller, Andrea R Halpern
Sensorimotor synchronization (SMS) is prevalent and readily studied in musical settings, as most people are able to perceive and synchronize with a beat (e.g. by finger tapping). We took an individual differences approach to understanding SMS to real music characterized by expressive timing (i.e. fluctuating beat regularity). Given the dynamic nature of SMS, we hypothesized that individual differences in working memory and auditory imagery-both fluid cognitive processes-would predict SMS at two levels: 1) mean absolute asynchrony (a measure of synchronization error), and 2) anticipatory timing (i...
August 11, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Angela de Bruin, Sergio Della Sala
Older adults have been argued to have impoverished inhibitory control compared to younger adults. However, these effects of age may depend on processing speed and their manifestation may furthermore depend on the type of inhibitory control task that is used. We present two experiments that examine age effects on inhibition across three tasks: a Simon arrow, static flanker, and motion flanker task. The results showed overall slower RTs for older adults on all three tasks. However, effects of age on inhibition costs were only found for the Simon task, but not for the two flanker tasks...
August 4, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Upasana Nathaniel, Hannah E Thompson, Emma Davies, Dominic Arnold, Glyn Hallam, Sara Stampacchia, Jonathan Smallwood, Elizabeth Jefferies
Repetition improves retrieval from memory; however, under some circumstances, it can also impair performance. Separate literatures have investigated this phenomenon, including studies showing subjective loss of meaning following "semantic satiation", slowed naming and categorisation when semantically-related items are repeated, and semantic "access deficits" in aphasia. Such effects have been variously explained in terms of habituation of repeatedly-accessed representations, increased interference from strongly activated competitors, and longer-term weight changes reflecting the suppression of non-targets on earlier trials (i...
August 3, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Enrico Ripamonti, Claudio Luzzatti, Pierluigi Zoccolotti, Daniela Traficante
The Word Superiority Effect (WSE) denotes better recognition of a letter embedded in a word rather than in a pseudoword. Along with WSE, also a Pseudoword Superiority Effect (PSE) has been described: it is easier to recognize a letter in a legal pseudoword than in an unpronounceable nonword. At the current state of the art, both WSE and PSE have been mainly tested with English speakers. The present study uses the Reicher-Wheeler paradigm with native speakers of Italian (a shallow orthography language). Differently from English and French, we found WSE for RTs only, whereas PSE was significant for both accuracy and reaction times (RTs)...
August 3, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Hannah Harvey, Robin Walker
The horizontally scrolling format, where text is presented in a single line drifting right to left, is relatively commonly used to display text on digital screens. This format presents a potentially challenging reading situation, as the text must be followed smoothly to the left (to track individual words) whilst rightward eye-movements are made as usual to progress through the text. This conflict may reduce attention allocated to upcoming text. Returning to previously encountered text is also more difficult with this format...
August 2, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Lara C Easdale, Mike E Le Pelley, Tom Beesley
Past research in animals has suggested that attention is distributed to exploit known relationships between stimuli (e.g., Mackintosh, 1975) and explore stimuli whose consequences are uncertain (e.g., Pearce & Hall, 1980). The resulting changes in attention influence how animals learn new information involving those stimuli. While there is strong support for exploitative attention and its effects on learning in humans, the evidence for exploratory attention is less well developed. Two experiments examined whether preferential allocation of attention (as measured by eye-gaze) to cues associated with uncertainty leads to more rapid learning of new associations involving these cues in the future...
August 2, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Nicola C Byrom, Robin A Murphy
When multiple cues are presented in compound and trained to predict an outcome, the cues may compete for association with an outcome. However, if both cues are necessary for solution of the discrimination then competition might be expected to interfere with solution of the discrimination. We consider how unequal stimulus salience influences learning in configural discriminations, where no individual stimulus predicts the outcome. We compared two hypotheses; (1) salience modulation minimises the initial imbalance in salience and (2) that unequal stimulus salience will impair acquisition of configural discriminations...
August 2, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Stephen R H Langton, Alex H McIntyre, Peter J B Hancock, Helmut Leder
Research has established that a perceived eye gaze produces a concomitant shift in a viewer's spatial attention in the direction of that gaze. The two experiments reported here investigate the extent to which the nature of the eye movement made by the gazer contributes to this orienting effect. On each trial in these experiments participants were asked to make a speeded response to a target that could appear in a location toward which a centrally presented face had just gazed (a cued target), or in a location that was not the recipient of a gaze (an uncued target)...
August 1, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Lauren Heathcote, Kate Nation, Anne Castles, Elisabeth Beyersmann
Much research suggests that words comprising more than one morpheme are decomposed into morphemes in the early stages of visual word recognition. In the present masked primed lexical decision study, we investigated whether or not decomposition occurs for both prefixed and suffixed nonwords, and for nonwords which comprise a stem and a non-morphemic ending. Prime-target relatedness was manipulated in the three ways: (1) primes shared a semantically transparent morphological relationship with the target (e.g...
August 1, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Shrinidhi Subramaniam, Elizabeth Kyonka
Cues can vary in how informative they are about when specific outcomes, such as food availability, will occur. This study was an experimental investigation of the functional relation between cue informativeness and temporal discrimination in a peak-interval (PI) procedure. Each session consisted of fixed-interval (FI) 2-s and 4-s schedules of food and occasional, 12-s PI trials during which pecks had no programmed consequences. Across conditions, the phi (ϕ) correlation between key light color and FI schedule value was manipulated...
July 27, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Fernando Blanco, Joaquín Moris
Most associative models typically assume that learning can be understood as a gradual change in associative strength that captures the situation into one single parameter, or representational state. We will call this view single-state learning. However, there is ample evidence showing that under many circumstances different relationships that share features can be learned independently, and animals can quickly switch between expressing one or another. We will call this multiple-state learning. Theoretically, it is understudied because it needs a different data analysis approach from those usually employed...
July 20, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Pierre Barrouillet, Kim Uittenhove, Annalisa Lucidi, Naomi Langerock
Whether forgetting from working memory (WM) is only due to interference or is also caused by temporal decay is still a matter of debate. In the present study, this question was examined using complex span tasks in which each memory item was followed by a series of processing episodes, the duration and number of which were varied. It is known that recall performance in these tasks depends on the cognitive load (CL) of concurrent processing conceived as the ratio between processing time and free time, higher CL resulting in lower spans...
July 20, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Peter J Hills, Dominic M Hill
Sad individuals perform more accurately at face identity recognition (Hills, Werno, & Lewis, 2011), possibly because they scan more of the face during encoding. During expression identification tasks, sad individuals do not fixate on the eyes as much as happier individuals (Wu, Pu, Allen, & Pauli, 2012). Fixating on features other than the eyes leads to a reduced own-ethnicity bias (Hills & Lewis, 2006). This background indicates that sad individuals would not view the eyes as much as happy individuals and this would result in improved expression recognition and a reduced own-ethnicity bias...
July 12, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
S Di Costa, H Théro, V Chambon, P Haggard
The sense of agency refers to the feeling that we control our actions and, through them, effects in the outside world. Reinforcement learning provides an important theoretical framework for understanding why people choose to make particular actions. Few previous studies have considered how reinforcement and learning might influence the subjective experience of agency over actions and outcomes. In two experiments, participants chose between two action alternatives, which differed in reward probability. Occasional reversals of action-reward mapping required participants to monitor outcomes and adjust action selection processing accordingly...
July 12, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Elizabeth Y Toomarian, Edward M Hubbard
The ability to understand fractions is key to establishing a solid foundation in mathematics, yet children and adults struggle to comprehend them. Previous studies have suggested that these struggles emerge because people fail to process fraction magnitude holistically on the mental number line (MNL), focusing instead on fraction components (Bonato et al. 2007). Subsequent studies have produced evidence for default holistic processing (Meert et al., 2009; 2010), but examined only magnitude processing, not spatial representations...
July 12, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
Alexis D J Makin, Mai Helmy, Marco Bertamini
The term 'Perceptual goodness' refers to the strength, obviousness or salience of a visual configuration. Recent work has found strong agreement between theoretical, neural and behavioural measures of perceptual goodness across a wide range of different symmetrical visual patterns (Makin et al. 2016). We used these pattern types again to explore the relationship between perceptual goodness and aesthetic preference. A group of 50 UK participants rated the patterns on a 0-100 scale. Preference ratings positively correlated with four overlapping measures of perceptual goodness...
July 12, 2017: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: QJEP
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