Download the Free Unbound MEDLINE PubMed App to your smartphone or tablet.
Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android.
Psychon Bull Rev [journal]
- The perception of a face can be greater than the sum of its parts. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Sep 17.
Holistic processing is often used as a construct to characterize face recognition. An important recent study by Gold, Mundy, and Tjan (2012) quantified holistic processing by computing a facial-feature integration index derived from an ideal observer model. This index was mathematically defined as the ratio of the psychophysical contrast sensitivities squared for recognizing a whole face versus the sum of contrast sensitivities squared for individual face parts (left eye, right eye, nose, and mouth). They observed that this index was not significantly different from 1, leading to the provocative conclusion that the perception of a face is no more than the sum of its parts. What may not be obvious to all readers of this work is that these conclusions were based on a collection of faces that shared essentially the same configuration of face parts. We tested whether the facial-feature integration index would also equal 1 when faces have a range of configurations mirroring the range of variability in real-world faces, using the same experimental procedure and calculating the same integration index as Gold et al. When tested on faces with the same configuration, we also observed an integration index similar to what Gold et al. reported. But when tested on faces with variable configurations, we observed an integration index significantly greater than 1. Combing our results with those of Gold et al. further clarifies the theoretical construct of holistic processing in face recognition and what it means for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts.
- On Supertaskers and the Neural Basis of Efficient Multitasking. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Sep 16.
The present study used brain imaging to determine the neural basis of individual differences in multitasking, the ability to successfully perform at least two attention-demanding tasks at once. Multitasking is mentally taxing and, therefore, should recruit the prefrontal cortex to maintain task goals when coordinating attentional control and managing the cognitive load. To investigate this possibility, we used functional neuroimaging to assess neural activity in both extraordinary multitaskers (Supertaskers) and control subjects who were matched on working memory capacity. Participants performed a challenging dual N-back task in which auditory and visual stimuli were presented simultaneously, requiring independent and continuous maintenance, updating, and verification of the contents of verbal and spatial working memory. With the task requirements and considerable cognitive load that accompanied increasing N-back, relative to the controls, the multitasking of Supertaskers was characterized by more efficient recruitment of anterior cingulate and posterior frontopolar prefrontal cortices. Results are interpreted using neuropsychological and evolutionary perspectives on individual differences in multitasking ability and the neural correlates of attentional control.
- Chunking away task-switch costs: a test of the chunk-point hypothesis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Sep 12.
Previous research has revealed that task-switch costs (worse performance for task switches than for task repetitions) at the first position of an explicit task sequence are eliminated or reduced when repeating or switching sequences. The authors hypothesize that such effects are restricted to points in the sequence representation that are associated with sequence-level processing such as chunk retrieval that changes the contents of working memory. In an experiment testing this chunk-point hypothesis, subjects memorized and performed explicit task sequences under different chunking instructions that induced chunk points at different positions within the sequences. Regardless of position, performance was slower at chunk points than at non-chunk points, providing direct evidence of chunking, and task-switch costs were reduced or eliminated at chunk points while they remained large and robust at non-chunk points. These findings support the chunk-point hypothesis and are discussed in relation to task-set inhibition and associative interference.
- Value-driven attentional priority is context specific. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Sep 9.
Attention is automatically drawn to stimulus features previously associated with reward, a phenomenon referred to as value-driven attentional capture. To date, value-driven attentional capture has been studied exclusively by manipulating stimulus-reward contingencies in an experimental setting. Although practical and intuitively appealing, this approach poses theoretical challenges to understanding the broader impact of reward on attention in everyday life. These challenges arise from the fact that associative learning between a given visual feature and reward is not limited to the context of an experiment, yet such extra-experimental learning is completely ignored in studies of value-driven attention. How is it, then, that experimentally established reward associations even influence attention, seemingly overshadowing any prior learning about particular features and rewards? And how do the effects of this experimental learning persist over long periods of time, in spite of all the intervening experiences outside of the lab that might interfere with the learning? One potential answer to these questions is that value-driven attention is context specific, such that different contexts evoke different value priors that the attention system uses to assign priority. In the present study, I directly tested this hypothesis. The results show that the same stimulus feature either does or does not capture attention, depending on whether it has been rewarded specifically in the context within which it appears. The findings provide insight into how multiple reward structures can efficiently guide attention with minimal interference.
- Surprise attracts the eyes and binds the gaze. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Sep 9.
In recent years, researchers have become increasingly interested in the effects that deviations from expectations have on cognitive processing and, in particular, on the deployment of attention. Previous evidence for a surprise-attention link had been based on indirect measures of attention allocation. Here we used eyetracking to directly observe the impact of a novel color on its unannounced first presentation, which we regarded as a surprise condition. The results show that the novel color was quickly responded to with an eye movement, and that gaze was not turned away for a considerable amount of time. These results are direct evidence that deviations from expectations bias attentional priorities and lead to enhanced processing of the deviating stimulus.
- Remembering episodic memories is not necessary for forgetting of negative words: Semantic retrieval can cause forgetting of negative words. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Sep 9.
Retrieval of a memory can induce forgetting of other related memories, which is known as retrieval-induced forgetting. Although most studies have investigated retrieval-induced forgetting by remembering episodic memories, this also can occur by remembering semantic memories. The present study shows that retrieval of semantic memories can lead to forgetting of negative words. In two experiments, participants learned words and then engaged in retrieval practice where they were asked to recall words related to the learned words from semantic memory. Finally, participants completed a stem-cued recall test for the learned words. The results showed forgetting of neutral and negative words, which was characteristic of semantic retrieval-induced forgetting. A certain degree of overlapping features, except same learning episode, is sufficient to cause retrieval-induced forgetting of negative words. Given the present results, we conclude that retrieval-induced forgetting of negative words does not require recollection of episodic memories.
- On the evolution of conscious attention. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Sep 9.
This paper aims to clarify the relationship between consciousness and attention through theoretical considerations about evolution. Specifically, we will argue that the empirical findings on attention and the basic considerations concerning the evolution of the different forms of attention demonstrate that consciousness and attention must be dissociated regardless of which definition of these terms one uses. To the best of our knowledge, no extant view on the relationship between consciousness and attention has this advantage. Because of this characteristic, this paper presents a principled and neutral way to settle debates concerning the relationship between consciousness and attention, without falling into disputes about the meaning of these terms. A decisive conclusion of this approach is that extreme views on the relationship between consciousness and attention must be rejected, including identity and full dissociation views. There is an overlap between the two within conscious attention, but developing a full understanding of this mechanism requires further empirical investigations.
- Processes of incremental message planning during conversation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Aug 28.
Speaking begins with the formulation of an intended preverbal message and linguistic encoding of this information. The transition from thought to speech occurs incrementally, with cascading planning at subsequent levels of production. In this article, we aim to specify the mechanisms that support incremental message preparation. We contrast two hypotheses about the mechanisms responsible for incorporating message-level information into a linguistic plan. According to the Initial Preparation view, messages can be encoded as fluent utterances if all information is ready before speaking begins. By contrast, on the Continuous Incrementality view, messages can be continually prepared and updated throughout the production process, allowing for fluent production even if new information is added to the message while speaking is underway. Testing these hypotheses, eye-tracked speakers in two experiments produced unscripted, conjoined noun phrases with modifiers. Both experiments showed that new message elements can be incrementally incorporated into the utterance even after articulation begins, consistent with a Continuous Incrementality view of message planning, in which messages percolate to linguistic encoding immediately as that information becomes available in the mind of the speaker. We conclude by discussing the functional role of incremental message planning in conversational speech and the situations in which this continuous incremental planning would be most likely to be observed.
- One is not enough: Group size modulates social gaze-induced object desirability effects. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Aug 23.
Affective evaluations of objects are influenced by the preferences expressed by other people via their gaze direction, so that objects looked at are liked more than objects looked away from. But when can others' preferences be trusted? Here, we show that group size influences the extent to which individuals tend to conform to others' gaze preferences. We adopted the conventional gaze-cuing paradigm and modified the design in such a way that some objects were consistently cued by only one face (single-face condition), whereas other objects were consistently cued by several different faces (multiple-faces condition). While response time measures revealed equal gaze-cuing effects for both conditions, a boost in affective evaluation was observed only for objects looked at by several different faces. Objects looked at by a single face were not rated differently than objects looked away from. These findings suggest that observers make use of group size to evaluate the generalizability of the epistemic information conveyed by others' gaze: Objects looked at are liked more than objects looked away from, but only when they are looked at by multiple faces.