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Psychon Bull Rev [journal]
- An influence of extremal edges on boundary extension. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 24.
Studies have shown that people consistently remember seeing more of a studied scene than was physically present (e.g., Intraub & Richardson Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15, 179-187, 1989). This scene memory error, known as boundary extension, has been suggested to occur due to an observer's failure to differentiate between the contributing sources of information, including the sensory input, amodal continuation beyond the view boundaries, and contextual associations with the main objects and depicted scene locations (Intraub, 2010). Here, "scenes" made of abstract shapes on random-dot backgrounds, previously shown to elicit boundary extension (McDunn, Siddiqui, & Brown Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 370-375, 2014), were compared with versions made with extremal edges (Palmer & Ghose Psychological Science, 19, 77-84, 2008) added to their borders, in order to examine how boundary extension is influenced when amodal continuation at the borders' view boundaries is manipulated in this way. Extremal edges were expected to reduce boundary extension as compared to the same scenes without them, because extremal edge boundaries explicitly indicate an image's end (i.e., they do not continue past the view boundary). A large and a small difference (16 % and 40 %) between the close and wide-angle views shown during the experiment were tested to examine the effects of both boundary extension and normalization with and without extremal edges. Images without extremal edges elicited typical boundary extension for the 16 % size change condition, whereas the 40 % condition showed signs of normalization. With extremal edges, a reduced amount of boundary extension occurred for the 16 % condition, and only normalization was found for the 40 % condition. Our findings support and highlight the importance of amodal continuation at the view boundaries as a component of boundary extension.
- When items 'pop into mind': variability in temporal-context reinstatement in free-recall. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 24.
It is well established that performance in free-recall is mediated by an individual's ability to reinstate the study-context during retrieval. This notion is supported by an abundance of evidence and is reflected in prominent models of memory. Introspectively, however, we often feel that a memory just 'pops into mind' and its recall is not accompanied by contextual detail. Here we ask whether this introspection is honored by the cognitive system. Namely, do items one recalls vary in the extent to which their contexts are reinstated? Previous research has provided evidence that indeed recall of some items relies on only little, if any, contextual reinstatement. This evidence pertains to one aspect of context: the concurrent, static encoding context of items, as tapped by the source-memory paradigm. However, because real-life events are strongly embedded in time, it is crucial to also investigate the dynamic, temporal aspects of context. To do so, we capitalized on one of the seminal findings linking recall with temporal-context: the temporal-contiguity effect, whereby the closer two items at study, the higher the probability that they will be retrieved one after the other during test. Using the Remember/Know paradigm, we show that in free-recall, 'Remember' retrievals, which are supposedly accompanied by contextual reinstatement, produce a larger temporal-contiguity effect as compared to 'Know' retrievals. Furthermore, 'Know' retrievals are more likely to be followed by retrieval errors (e.g., intrusions) than 'Remember' retrievals. These findings provide evidence that recalled items vary in the degree to which their temporal-context is reinstated.
- Endogenous temporal and spatial orienting: Evidence for two distinct attentional mechanisms. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 23.
The requirement to orient attention in space and time usually occurs simultaneously. Previous reports were indecisive regarding possible interactions between temporal and spatial orienting. The present study examined whether temporal and spatial orienting can operate simultaneously and independently in the framework of a detection task. Participants completed three consecutive target detection tasks: in the first two tasks a central cue provided predictive information regarding either the temporal delay of the target or its spatial location. In a third task the temporal and spatial cues from the first two tasks were combined into a single cue. Temporal and spatial information provided by the combined cue could be valid or invalid for each type of information separately. Results from the combined temporal-spatial task revealed that at a short cue-to-target interval temporal validity effects were significant at the attended and unattended spatial locations and were not modulated by spatial validity conditions. Spatial validity effects were also significant and comparable between the valid and invalid temporal conditions. Moreover, temporal and spatial validity effects in the combined task were equivalent to those attained in the separate tasks. At a long cue-to-target delay, spatial validity effects were significant and were not modulated by temporal validity but there were no temporal validity effects. Overall, the results suggest that participants were able to extract temporal and spatial information provided by a single cue simultaneously and independently. We conclude that temporal and spatial endogenous orienting function orthogonally in a task that does not require demanding perceptual discrimination.
- Learning multisensory representations for auditory-visual transfer of sequence category knowledge: a probabilistic language of thought approach. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 23.
If a person is trained to recognize or categorize objects or events using one sensory modality, the person can often recognize or categorize those same (or similar) objects and events via a novel modality. This phenomenon is an instance of cross-modal transfer of knowledge. Here, we study the Multisensory Hypothesis which states that people extract the intrinsic, modality-independent properties of objects and events, and represent these properties in multisensory representations. These representations underlie cross-modal transfer of knowledge. We conducted an experiment evaluating whether people transfer sequence category knowledge across auditory and visual domains. Our experimental data clearly indicate that we do. We also developed a computational model accounting for our experimental results. Consistent with the probabilistic language of thought approach to cognitive modeling, our model formalizes multisensory representations as symbolic "computer programs" and uses Bayesian inference to learn these representations. Because the model demonstrates how the acquisition and use of amodal, multisensory representations can underlie cross-modal transfer of knowledge, and because the model accounts for subjects' experimental performances, our work lends credence to the Multisensory Hypothesis. Overall, our work suggests that people automatically extract and represent objects' and events' intrinsic properties, and use these properties to process and understand the same (and similar) objects and events when they are perceived through novel sensory modalities.
- Individual differences in the allocation of attention to items in working memory: Evidence from pupillometry. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 17.
We utilized pupillary responses as an online measure of attentional allocation and fluctuations in attention in order to better examine both how attention is allocated to items in working memory (WM) and individual differences therein. We found that the pupillary response during a delay was modulated by the number of items to be held in memory, reaching asymptote close to capacity limits. Furthermore, we found that during the delay, how individuals allocated attention to items in WM depended on the number of items to be held, as well as on an individual's capacity. Finally, we found that pretrial pupil diameter distinguished correct and error responses and that individuals with more variability in pretrial pupil diameter had lower behavioral capacity estimates. These results suggest that individual differences in WM are due both to differences in the amount of attention that can be allocated to maintain items in WM and to differences in fluctuations in attention control across trials.
- Visual illusions can facilitate sport skill learning. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 15.
Witt, Linkenauger, and Proffitt (Psychological Science, 23, 397-399, 2012) demonstrated that golf putting performance was enhanced when the hole was surrounded by small circles, making it look larger, relative to when it was surrounded by large circles, making it look smaller. In the present study, we examined whether practicing putting with small or large surrounding circles would have not only immediate effects on performance, but also longer-lasting effects on motor learning. Two groups of nongolfers practiced putting golf balls to a 10.4-cm circle ("hole") from a distance of 2 m. Small or large circles were projected around the hole during the practice phase. Perception of hole size was affected by the size of the surrounding circles. Also, self-efficacy was higher in the group with the perceived larger hole. One day after practice, participants performed the putting task, but without visual illusions (i.e., a retention test). Putting accuracy in retention was greater for the group that had practiced with the perceived larger hole. These findings suggest that the apparently larger target led to the more effective learning outcome.
- You can't ignore what you can't separate: the effect of visually induced target-distractor separation on tactile selection. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 15.
Research suggests that vision of the body-part that happens to receive a tactile event enhances the processing of this stimulus. However, it would appear that only tactile distractors delivered to visible body-parts are processed up to the level of response selection. Here, we analyze whether vision or higher order cognitive processes influence the processing of tactile distractors. We compared the processing of distractors in a tactile variant of the Eriksen flanker task when the body-parts receiving target and distractor stimuli were separated by different types of barriers. Surprisingly, an impermeable barrier prevented tactile distractors from being processed up to the response level, irrespective of whether the barrier was transparent or opaque. By contrast, when an empty frame was placed between the participant's hands, distractors were processed up to the level of response selection. Hence, higher order cognition (here the visually induced representation of the target-distractor separation) influences the processing of tactile distractors. We discuss these results in the light of related findings from selective reaching experiments as well as in terms of Gestalt grouping.
- Decision-tree analysis of control strategies. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 15.
A major focus of research on visually guided action is the identification of control strategies that map optical information to actions. The traditional approach has been to test the behavioral predictions of a few hypothesized strategies against subject behavior in environments in which various manipulations of available information have been made. While important and compelling results have been achieved with these methods, they are potentially limited by small sets of hypotheses and the methods used to test them. In this study, we introduce a novel application of data-mining techniques in an analysis of experimental data that is able to both describe and model human behavior. This method permits the rapid testing of a wide range of possible control strategies using arbitrarily complex combinations of optical variables. Through the use of decision-tree techniques, subject data can be transformed into an easily interpretable, algorithmic form. This output can then be immediately incorporated into a working model of subject behavior. We tested the effectiveness of this method in identifying the optical information used by human subjects in a collision-avoidance task. Our results comport with published research on collision-avoidance control strategies while also providing additional insight not possible with traditional methods. Further, the modeling component of our method produces behavior that closely resembles that of the subjects upon whose data the models were based. Taken together, the findings demonstrate that data-mining techniques provide powerful new tools for analyzing human data and building models that can be applied to a wide range of perception-action tasks, even outside the visual-control setting we describe.
- Human creativity, evolutionary algorithms, and predictive representations: The mechanics of thought trials. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 11.
Creative thinking is arguably the pinnacle of cerebral functionality. Like no other mental faculty, it has been omnipotent in transforming human civilizations. Probing the neural basis of this most extraordinary capacity, however, has been doggedly frustrated. Despite a flurry of activity in cognitive neuroscience, recent reviews have shown that there is no coherent picture emerging from the neuroimaging work. Based on this, we take a different route and apply two well established paradigms to the problem. First is the evolutionary framework that, despite being part and parcel of creativity research, has no informed experimental work in cognitive neuroscience. Second is the emerging prediction framework that recognizes predictive representations as an integrating principle of all cognition. We show here how the prediction imperative revealingly synthesizes a host of new insights into the way brains process variation-selection thought trials and present a new neural mechanism for the partial sightedness in human creativity. Our ability to run offline simulations of expected future environments and action outcomes can account for some of the characteristic properties of cultural evolutionary algorithms running in brains, such as degrees of sightedness, the formation of scaffolds to jump over unviable intermediate forms, or how fitness criteria are set for a selection process that is necessarily hypothetical. Prospective processing in the brain also sheds light on how human creating and designing - as opposed to biological creativity - can be accompanied by intentions and foresight. This paper raises questions about the nature of creative thought that, as far as we know, have never been asked before.
- Varieties of perceptual truth and their possible evolutionary roots. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Psychon Bull Rev 2014 Oct 11.
Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash (2014) observe that perception evolves to serve as an interface between the perceiver and the world and proceed to reason that percepts need not, or even cannot, resemble their objects. I accept their premise, but argue that there are interesting ways in which perception can be truthful, with regard not to "objects" but to relations, and that evolutionary pressure is expected to favor rather than rule out such veridicality.