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  • Learning reward frequency over reward probability: A tale of two learning
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Hilary J. Don, A. Ross Otto, Astin C. Cornwall, Tyler Davis, Darrell A. Worthy Learning about the expected value of choice alternatives associated with reward is critical for adaptive behavior. Although human choice preferences are affected by the presentation frequency of reward-related alternatives, this may not be captured by some dominant models of value learning, such as the delta rule. In this study, we examined whether reward learning is driven more by learning the probability of reward provided by each option, or how frequently each option has been rewarded, and assess how well models based on average reward (e.g. the delta model) and models based on cumulative reward (e.g. the decay model) can account for choice preferences. In a binary-outcome choice task, participants selected between pairs of options that had reward probabilities of 0.65 (A) versus 0.35 (B) or 0.75 (C) versus 0.25 (D). Crucially, during training there were twice the number of AB trials as CD trials, such that option A was associated with higher cumulative reward, while option C gave higher average reward. Participants then decided between novel combinations of options (e.g., AC). Most participants preferred option A over C, a result predicted by the Decay model, but not the Delta model. We also compared the Delta and Decay models to both more simplified as well as more complex models that assumed additional mechanisms, such as representation of uncertainty. Overall, models that assume learning about cumulative reward provided the best account of the data.
  • Pragmatic processing: An investigation of the (anti-)presuppositions of
           determiners using mouse-tracking
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Cosima Schneider, Carolin Schonard, Michael Franke, Gerhard Jäger, Markus Janczyk A presupposition is a condition that has to be met in order for a linguistic expression to be appropriate. The definite determiner (as in the banana) triggers the uniqueness-presupposition that there is a uniquely identifiable banana in the relevant discourse context. The indefinite determiner (as in a banana) is similarly associated with anti-uniqueness (that there are several bananas). Application of the Maximize Presupposition principle to the indefinite determiner suggests that this latter effect results indirectly as an anti-presupposition from considering the uniqueness-presupposition of the definite determiner, which is then negated. This results in increased processing difficulty. We utilized mouse-tracking to compare processing of definite and indefinite determiners when used felicitously and infelicitously in a particular context. First, processing of the indefinite determiner was associated with more processing difficulties compared with the definite determiner. Second, we also observed evidence for an initial temporary activation and evaluation of the uniqueness-presupposition, just as derived from anti-presupposition theory and the Maximize Presupposition principle.
  • A chink in the armor: The influence of training on generalization learning
           impairments after viewing traumatic stimuli
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Shilat Haim-Nachum, Einat Levy-Gigi Studies have demonstrated that similarly to individuals with PTSD, non-PTSD individuals with repeated traumatic-exposure display selective impairments in hippocampal-related functions. A central example is their impaired generalization learning. Interestingly, previous findings revealed that the nature of this impairment varied as a function of occupation; while firefighters display impaired generalization of negative context, police crime scene investigators (CSI) display impaired generalization of negative cue. One possible explanation for these discrepancies may relate to the different job requirements and unique training. Specifically, firefighters are primed to regard the context during traumatic events whereas CSI police are primed to regard specific objects (cues) in the environment. The aim of the present study was to examine the interactive effect of exposure and training on generalization learning. Eighty-two healthy volunteers were exposed to either neutral or traumatic images while receiving instructions to refer either to the images’ general contexts or to their specific cues. It was found that while both groups equally acquired and retained stimulus-outcome associations, only participants who were exposed to traumatic images showed impaired generalization learning. This impairment demonstrated a particular difficulty to generalize negative but not positive outcomes. Most importantly, as expected, there was a significant interaction between type of training and the observed impairments. Specifically, individuals who were previously trained to refer to general contexts showed a selective overgeneralization of negative contexts, while individuals who were trained to refer to specific cues displayed a selective overgeneralization of negative cues. The results suggest that trauma exposed individuals show the most vulnerability in precisely the areas in which they were most trained. We discuss the ways in which improving generalization learning may impact individuals' process of trauma recovery and might set the ground for developing treatment and prevention methods.
  • When do we punish people who don’t'
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Justin W. Martin, Jillian J. Jordan, David G. Rand, Fiery Cushman People often punish norm violations. In what cases is such punishment viewed as normative—a behavior that we “should” or even “must” engage in' We approach this question by asking when people who fail to punish a norm violator are, themselves, punished. (For instance, a boss who fails to punish transgressive employees might, herself, be fired.) We conducted experiments exploring the contexts in which higher-order punishment occurs, using both incentivized economic games and hypothetical vignettes describing everyday situations. We presented participants with cases in which an individual fails to punish a transgressor, either as a victim (second party) or as an observer (third party). Across studies, we consistently observed higher-order punishment of non-punishing observers. Higher-order punishment of non-punishing victims, however, was consistently weaker, and sometimes non-existent. These results demonstrate the selective application of higher-order punishment, provide a new perspective on the psychological mechanisms that support it, and provide some clues regarding its function.
  • Crying helps, but being sad doesn’t: Infants constrain nominal reference
           online using known verbs, but not known adjectives
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Kristen Syrett, Alexander LaTourrette, Brock Ferguson, Sandra R. Waxman Speakers can make inferences about the meaning of new words appearing in an utterance based on the lexical semantics of other words that co-occur with them. Previous work has revealed that infants at 19 and 24 months of age can recruit the semantic selectional restrictions of known verbs (e.g., eating) to deduce that a noun appearing in the subject position maps onto an animate referent. We asked whether this ability to capitalize on the semantics of familiar words to identify the referent of a novel noun in subject position extends to adjectives, which also denote properties, and which also have animacy constraints (e.g., hungry). We found that unlike in the previous studies with verbs, neither 24- nor 36-month-olds could successfully recruit known adjectival semantics in an online task to home in on an animate nominal referent. However, 36-month-olds were successful in a more interactive, forced-choice version of the task without such strict time limitations. We discuss multiple non-mutually-exclusive hypotheses for this pattern of results, focusing on the role of the morphosyntactic cues, the (lack of) perceptual cues for the target property in context of the utterance, truth conditions, and cross-linguistic implications. These possibilities raise fundamental questions about the infant’s developing lexicon and the linguistic and conceptual mechanisms at play in the process of word learning.
  • Aversion to organs donated by suicide victims: The role of psychological
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Evan R. Balkcom, Victoria K. Alogna, Emma R. Curtin, Jamin B. Halberstadt, Jesse M. Bering People are known to be susceptible to psychological essentialism when reasoning about organ transplantation, believing that the mental characteristics of the donor will transfer to the recipient. Because psychological essentialism is exacerbated in negative social contexts (i.e., moral contagion bias), the effect may be especially apparent when people consider the impact of receiving organs from donors who died by stigmatized causes, such as suicide and homicide. In a forced-choice paradigm, participants overwhelmingly ranked a suicide victim as their least preferred donor, with accident victims being the most preferred donors and homicide victims the most common second choice. In a follow-up study, we investigated the psychological mechanisms underlying this unease about suicide donors. Compared to those who imagined receiving a heart from homicide or accident victims, participants who imagined a suicide donor expressed greater unease about the source of their transplant. The effect could not be explained by participants’ rumination about the source of the transplant, or by the explicitly perceived stigma of suicide, but did depend on their essentialist beliefs. Those who believed that negative or neutral (but not positive) traits of the donor could transfer to them were more hesitant about receiving a heart from a suicide relative to other donors. These data suggest that the bias against suicide organ donors is moderated by socially relevant essentialist beliefs.
  • Container size exerts a stronger influence than liquid volume on the
           perceived weight of objects
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Elizabeth J. Saccone, Rachael M. Goldsmith, Gavin Buckingham, Philippe A. Chouinard Many features of an object can influence how we predict and perceive its weight. The current study evaluated the relative contributions of sensory and conceptual processing of object features on weight perception. We employed a novel paradigm to investigate how container size and the amount of liquid inside can influence the perceived weight of bottles and the forces deployed when lifting them. Stimulus pairs always had the same mass but could vary in liquid volume (full vs half-full bottle) or size (large vs small bottle; size-weight illusion (SWI)). In Experiment 1, participants lifted the stimuli via strings, which served to isolate the influence of visual from kinaesthetic information about the size of stimuli on perception and lifting behaviour. In Experiment 2, participants lifted the stimuli via handles that were attached directly to the objects. This lifting style is more likely to include deviations from true vertical lifting, which should theoretically provide more kinaesthetic information about the size of the stimuli. Experiment 1 did not produce any weight illusion. Experiment 2 produced a weight illusion but only when container size differed. Thus, liquid volume did not influence perceived weight when container size was held constant in either experiment. Curiously, additional control experiments revealed that participants could not discriminate between the different sized bottles solely from the kinaesthetic information received from a handle-based lift, suggesting that size might be processed differently when making explicit perceptual judgements about it than when influencing weight perception. Together, these findings suggest that weight illusions are driven more strongly by the kinaesthetic processing of stimulus features than predictions arising from conceptual weight cues.
  • Size-invariant but location-specific object-viewpoint adaptation in the
           absence of awareness
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Shinho Cho, Sheng He Perceiving object viewpoint is important for appropriate action. Here we investigated whether viewpoint information could be represented in the absence of awareness, by measuring viewpoint adaptation aftereffect from visual objects rendered invisible through interocular suppression. Participants adapted to either a visible or an invisible line-drawing cube with unambiguous viewpoint, then viewed an ambiguous Necker cube and reported its perceived viewpoint. In both the visible and invisible adaptation conditions, participants more likely perceived the Necker cube in opposite viewpoint compared to the adapting cube. Interestingly, this viewpoint aftereffect was still observed when the adapting and testing cubes were different in size. However, when the testing Necker cube was in a different location, the viewpoint aftereffect was only observed following visible adapting cube, abolished when the adapting cube was invisible. Thus object viewpoint representation could be established without awareness, and such unconscious viewpoint representation is size-invariant but location-specific. Object viewpoint representation requires conscious awareness to be globally accessible.
  • Reference effects on decision-making elicited by previous rewards
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Francesco Rigoli Substantial evidence has highlighted reference effects occurring during decision-making, whereby subjective value is not calculated in absolute terms but relative to the distribution of rewards characterizing a context. Among these, within-choice effects are exerted by options simultaneously available during choice. These should be distinguished from between-choice effects, which depend on the distribution of options presented in the past. Influential theories on between-choice effects include Decision-by-Sampling, Expectation-as-Reference and Divisive Normalization. Surprisingly, previous literature has focused on each theory individually disregarding the others. Thus, similarities and differences among theories remain to be systematically examined. Here we fill this gap by offering an overview of the state-of-the-art of research about between-choice reference effects. Our comparison of alternative theories shows that, at present, none of them is able to account for the full range of empirical data. To address this, we propose a model inspired by previous perspectives and based on a logistic framework, hence called logistic model of subjective value. Predictions of the model are analysed in detail about reference effects and risky decision-making. We conclude that our proposal offers a compelling framework for interpreting the multifaceted manifestations of between-choice reference effects.
  • Possibilities as the foundation of reasoning
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): P.N. Johnson-Laird, Marco Ragni Reasoning about possibilities is fundamental in daily life. Yet, it has been little studied in psychology. We present a psychological theory in which it is the foundation of human reasoning. The theory explains how possibilities have distinct interpretations (deontic, epistemic, and alethic), how people represent them in models, and how these models yield inferences. Key principles are that the semantics of possibilities are the same finitary alternatives underlying probabilities, that speech acts can create obligations inexpressible as probabilities, that compound assertions – conditionals and disjunctions – refer to conjunctions of possibilities holding in default of knowledge to the contrary, and that mental models condense multiple consistent possibilities into one. The theory is incompatible with all normal modal logics and with probabilistic logic. Yet, experiments have corroborated its predictions. The article discusses its precursors, rivals, and potentials.
  • The Dialogical Entailment Task
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Niels Skovgaard-Olsen In this paper, a critical discussion is made of the role of entailments in the so-called New Paradigm of psychology of reasoning based on Bayesian models of rationality (Elqayam & Over, 2013). It is argued that assessments of probabilistic coherence cannot stand on their own, but that they need to be integrated with empirical studies of intuitive entailment judgments. This need is motivated not just by the requirements of probability theory itself, but also by a need to enhance the interdisciplinary integration of the psychology of reasoning with formal semantics in linguistics. The constructive goal of the paper is to introduce a new experimental paradigm, called the Dialogical Entailment task, to supplement current trends in the psychology of reasoning towards investigating knowledge-rich, social reasoning under uncertainty (Oaksford & Chater, 2019). As a case study, this experimental paradigm is applied to reasoning with conditionals and negation operators (e.g. CEM and wide and narrow-scope negation). As part of the investigation, participants’ entailment judgments are evaluated against their probability evaluations to assess participants’ cross-task consistency over two experimental sessions.
  • Integration to boundary in decisions between numerical sequences
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Moshe Glickman, Marius Usher Integration-to-boundary is a prominent normative principle used in evidence-based decisions to explain the speed-accuracy trade-off and determine the decision-time. Despite its prominence, however, the decision boundary is not directly observed, but rather is theoretically assumed, and there is still an ongoing debate regarding its form: fixed vs. collapsing. The aim of this study is to show that the integration-to-boundary process extends to decisions between rapid pairs of numerical sequences (2 Hz rate), and to determine the boundary type by directly monitoring the noisy accumulated evidence. In a set of two experiments (supplemented by computational modelling), we demonstrate that integration to a collapsing-boundary takes place in such tasks, ruling out non-integration heuristic strategies. Moreover, we show that participants can adaptively adjust their boundaries in response to reward contingencies. Finally, we discuss the implications to decision optimality and the nature of processes and representations in numerical cognition.
  • Human body motion captures visual attention and elicits pupillary dilation
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Elin H. Williams, Fil Cristino, Emily S. Cross The social motivation theory proposes that individuals naturally orient their attention to the social world. Research has documented the rewarding value of social stimuli, such as biological motion, to typically developed individuals. Here, we used complementary eye tracking measures to investigate how social motion cues affect attention and arousal. Specifically, we examined whether viewing the human body moving naturally versus mechanically leads to greater attentional engagement and changes in autonomic arousal (as assessed by pupil size measures). Participants completed an attentional disengagement task in two independent experiments, while pupillary responses were recorded. We found that natural, human-like motion produced greater increases in attention and arousal than mechanical motion, whether the moving agent was human or not. These findings contribute an important piece to our understanding of social motivation by demonstrating that human motion is a key social stimulus that engages visual attention and induces autonomic arousal in the viewer.
  • Crossing to the other side: Language influences children’s
           perception of event components
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Haruka Konishi, Natalie Brezack, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Infants appear to progress from universal to language-specific event perception. In Japanese, two different verbs describe a person crossing a bounded ground (e.g., street) versus an unbounded ground (e.g., field) while in English, the same verb – crossing – describes both events. Interestingly, Japanese and English 14-month-old infants form categories of Japanese ground distinctions in nonlinguistic events while by 20 months, only Japanese-reared infants retain this ability. Five experiments were conducted to investigate the role that language plays in children’s ability to form categories of Japanese ground-path distinctions. Experiments 1a and 1b first replicated and extended prior research (Göksun et al., 2011) by showing that 14-month-old English-reared children formed categories of Japanese ground-path while 23-month-old children did not in the presence of general language. Experiment 2a paired a single novel word with different Japanese ground categories and found that language weakened 14-month-old infants’ categorization abilities. Experiment 2b showed that labeling these event types differentially allowed 23-month-olds to recognize the Japanese ground-path distinctions that they otherwise would not have detected. To assess whether language uniquely encouraged categorization of Japanese ground-path in Experiment 2b, two different tones were paired with ground-path categories in Experiment 3. The results of Experiments 2b and 3 suggested that language but not tones encouraged ground-path categorization. This study is among the first to show that language can be used to heighten and weaken children’s categorization of “non-native” event components.
  • The domain-specificity of face matching impairments in 40 cases of
           developmental prosopagnosia
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Sarah Bate, Rachel J. Bennetts, Jeremy J. Tree, Amanda Adams, Ebony Murray A prevailing debate in the psychological literature concerns the domain-specificity of the face recognition system, where evidence from typical and neurological participants has been interpreted as evidence that faces are “special”. Although several studies have investigated the same question in cases of developmental prosopagnosia, the vast majority of this evidence has recently been discounted due to methodological concerns. This leaves an uncomfortable void in the literature, restricting our understanding of the typical and atypical development of the face recognition system. The current study addressed this issue in 40 individuals with developmental prosopagnosia, completing a sequential same/different face and biological (hands) and non-biological (houses) object matching task, with upright and inverted conditions. Findings support domain-specific accounts of face-processing for both hands and houses: while significant correlations emerged between all the object categories, no condition correlated with performance in the upright faces condition. Further, a categorical analysis demonstrated that, when face matching was impaired, object matching skills were classically dissociated in six out of 15 individuals (four for both categories). These findings provide evidence about domain-specificity in developmental disorders of face recognition, and present a theoretically-driven means of partitioning developmental prosopagnosia.
  • Self-control is linked to interoceptive inference: Craving regulation and
           the prediction of aversive interoceptive states induced with inspiratory
           breathing load
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Johann D. Kruschwitz, Anne Kausch, Anastasia Brovkin, Anita Keshmirian, Martin P. Paulus, Thomas Goschke, Henrik Walter The interoceptive inference framework suggests that our brain continuously anticipates future states of our body and aims to avoid events that might counteract homeostasis by minimizing prediction errors through active inference; e.g. appropriate actions. If predicted interoceptive models are inaccurate, behavior inconsistent with our long-term homeostatic goals may result; e.g. in failures in self-control. Using a within-subject design including an inspiratory breathing-load task to examine the prediction of aversive interoceptive perturbation and a craving-regulation for palatable foods task, we examined the relationship between self-control and aversive interoceptive predictive models. Those individuals (n = 51 healthy individuals from the general population) who were more accurate in predicting their interoceptive state with respect to anticipated versus experienced dyspnea were significantly more effective in the down-regulation of craving using negative future-thinking strategies. These individuals also scored higher on a measure of trait self-control, i.e. self-regulation to achieve long-term goals. Thus, individuals with more accurate predictive interoceptive models are better able to modulate cravings and thus exert better self-control.
  • Bilinguals apply language-specific grain sizes during sentence reading
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Ciara Egan, Gary M. Oppenheim, Christopher Saville, Kristina Moll, Manon Wyn Jones Languages differ in the consistency with which they map orthography to phonology, and a large body of work now shows that orthographic consistency determines the style of word decoding in monolinguals. Here, we characterise word decoding in bilinguals whose two languages differ in orthographic consistency, assessing whether they maintain two distinct reading styles or settle on a single ‘compromise’ reading style. In Experiment 1, Welsh-English bilinguals read cognates and pseudowords embedded in Welsh and English sentences. Eye-movements revealed that bilinguals dynamically alter their decoding strategy according to the language context, including more fixations during lexical access for cognates in the more consistent orthography (Welsh) than in the less consistent orthography (English), and these effects were specific to word (as opposed to pseudoword) processing. In Experiment 2, we compared the same bilinguals’ eye movements in the English sentence reading context to those of monolinguals’. Bilinguals’ eye-movement behaviour was very similar to monolinguals’ when reading English, suggesting that their knowledge of the more consistent orthography (Welsh) did not alter their decoding style when reading in English. This study presents the first characterisation of bilingual decoding style in sentence reading. We discuss our findings in relation to connectionist reading models and models of bilingual visual word recognition.
  • Keep trying!: Parental language predicts infants’ persistence
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Kelsey Lucca, Rachel Horton, Jessica A. Sommerville Infants’ persistence in the face of challenges predicts their learning across domains. In older children, linguistic input is an important predictor of persistence: when children are praised for their efforts, as opposed to fixed traits, they try harder on future endeavors. Yet, little is known about the impact of linguistic input as individual differences in persistence are first emerging, during infancy. Based on a preliminary investigation of the CHILDES database, which revealed that language surrounding persistence is an early-emerging feature of children’s language environment, we conducted an observational study to test how linguistic input in the form of praise and persistence-focused language more broadly impacts infants’ persistence. In Study 1, 18-month-olds and their caregivers participated in two tasks: a free-play task (a gear stacker) and a joint-book reading task. We measured parental language and infants’ persistent gear stacking. Findings revealed that infants whose parents spent more time praising their efforts and hard work (process praise), and used more persistence-focused language in general, were more persistent than infants whose parents used this language less often. Study 2 extended these findings by examining whether the effects of parental language on persistence carry over to contexts in which parents are uninvolved. The findings revealed that parental use of process praise predicted infants’ persistence even in the absence of parental support. Critically, these findings could not be explained by caregivers’ reporting on their own persistence. Together, these findings suggest that as early as 18 months, linguistic input is a key predictor of persistence.
  • Sensory cue combination in children under 10 years of age
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): James Negen, Brittney Chere, Laura-Ashleigh Bird, Ellen Taylor, Hannah E. Roome, Samantha Keenaghan, Lore Thaler, Marko Nardini Cue combination occurs when two independent noisy perceptual estimates are merged together as a weighted average, creating a unified estimate that is more precise than either single estimate alone. Surprisingly, this effect has not been demonstrated compellingly in children under the age of 10 years, in contrast with the array of other multisensory skills that children show even in infancy. Instead, across a wide variety of studies, precision with both cues is no better than the best single cue – and sometimes worse. Here we provide the first consistent evidence of cue combination in children from 7 to 10 years old. Across three experiments, participants showed evidence of a bimodal precision advantage (Experiments 1a and 1b) and the majority were best-fit by a combining model (Experiment 2). The task was to localize a target horizontally with a binaural audio cue and a noisy visual cue in immersive virtual reality. Feedback was given as well, which could both (a) help participants judge how reliable each cue is and (b) help correct between-cue biases that might prevent cue combination. Crucially, our results show cue combination when feedback is only given on single cues – therefore, combination itself was not a strategy learned via feedback. We suggest that children at 7–10 years old are capable of cue combination in principle, but must have sufficient representations of reliabilities and biases in their own perceptual estimates as relevant to the task, which can be facilitated through task-specific feedback.
  • Not all who ponder count costs: Arithmetic reflection predicts utilitarian
           tendencies, but logical reflection predicts both deontological and
           utilitarian tendencies
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Nick Byrd, Paul Conway Conventional sacrificial moral dilemmas propose directly causing some harm to prevent greater harm. Theory suggests that accepting such actions (consistent with utilitarian philosophy) involves more reflective reasoning than rejecting such actions (consistent with deontological philosophy). However, past findings do not always replicate, confound different kinds of reflection, and employ conventional sacrificial dilemmas that treat utilitarian and deontological considerations as opposite. In two studies, we examined whether past findings would replicate when employing process dissociation to assess deontological and utilitarian inclinations independently. Findings suggested two categorically different impacts of reflection: measures of arithmetic reflection, such as the Cognitive Reflection Test, predicted only utilitarian, not deontological, response tendencies. However, measures of logical reflection, such as performance on logical syllogisms, positively predicted both utilitarian and deontological tendencies. These studies replicate some findings, clarify others, and reveal opportunity for additional nuance in dual process theorist’s claims about the link between reflection and dilemma judgments.
  • Evolving artificial sign languages in the lab: From improvised gesture to
           systematic sign
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Yasamin Motamedi, Marieke Schouwstra, Kenny Smith, Jennifer Culbertson, Simon Kirby Recent work on emerging sign languages provides evidence for how key properties of linguistic systems are created. Here we use laboratory experiments to investigate the contribution of two specific mechanisms—interaction and transmission—to the emergence of a manual communication system in silent gesturers. We show that the combined effects of these mechanisms, rather than either alone, maintain communicative efficiency, and lead to a gradual increase of regularity and systematic structure. The gestures initially produced by participants are unsystematic and resemble pantomime, but come to develop key language-like properties similar to those documented in newly emerging sign systems.
  • Parafoveal processing of phonology and semantics during the reading of
           Korean sentences
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Ming Yan, Aiping Wang, Hosu Song, Reinhold Kliegl The present study sets out to address two fundamental questions in the reading of continuous texts: Whether semantic and phonological information from upcoming words can be accessed during natural reading. In the present study we investigated parafoveal processing during the reading of Korean sentences, manipulating semantic and phonological information from parafoveal preview words. In addition to the first evidence for a semantic preview effect in Korean, we found that Korean readers have stronger and more long-lasting phonological than semantic activation from parafoveal words in second-pass reading. The present study provides an example that human mind can flexibly adjust processing priority to different types of information based on the linguistic environment.
  • Infants use knowledge of emotions to augment face perception: Evidence of
           top-down modulation of perception early in life
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Naiqi G. Xiao, Lauren L. Emberson While top-down modulation is believed to be central to adult perception, the developmental origins of this ability are unclear. Here, we present a direct, behavioral investigation of top-down modulation of perception in infancy using emotional face perception as a test case. We investigated whether 9-month-olds can modulate their face perception based on predictive, auditory emotional cues without any training or familiarization procedure. Infants first heard a 3-second emotional vocal sound (happy/angry) while their gaze was held in the center of the screen. Then, they were presented with a pair of emotional and neutral faces images without any audio sound. The faces were small (4.70° × 5.80°) and presented in randomized locations outside their focus of attention. We measured the initial latency to shift gaze to look at a congruent emotional face as an index of infants’ pre-attentive perception of these faces. We found that infants’ face perception was augmented by preceding emotional cues: They were faster to look at the emotional face after hearing an emotionally congruent sound than an incongruent one. Moreover, the emotional sounds boosted perception of congruent faces 200 ms after the onset of the faces. These top-down effects were robust for both happy and angry emotions, indicating a flexible and active control of perception based on different top-down cues. A control study further supported the view that the Congruency effect is due to a top-down influence on face perception rather than a rapid matching of cross-modal emotional signals. Together, these findings demonstrate that top-down modulation of perception is already quite sophisticated early in development. Raw data is available on Github (
  • The impact of psychostimulants on sustained attention over a 24-h period
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Lauren N. Whitehurst, Sara Agosta, Roberto Castaños, Lorella Battelli, Sara C. Mednick The off-label use of psychostimulants is a growing trend in healthy adults with many turning to these medications to increase alertness, attentional focus, and to help them study. However, the empirical literature on the efficacy of these medications for cognitive enhancement is controversial and the longer-term impact of these drugs on health and cognitive processing has not been thoroughly examined. Specifically, sleep supports daytime alertness, vigilance, and sustained attention, yet stimulants significantly disrupt sleep. Here, using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, we tested the impact morning administration of psychostimulants (dextroamphetamine; DEX) had on: (1) tests of attention 75-min and 12-h after drug ingestion, (2) nighttime sleep and (3) post-sleep attention in healthy, young adults. First, we found that repeated testing led to significant decreases in performance from baseline in the placebo condition, and that DEX, compared to placebo, prevented deterioration at the 75-min test, and selectively for visual field at the 12 h and 24 h tests. We also found that stimulants, compared to placebo, benefitted attentional processing 75-min post-drug but this did not persist to the delayed test 12-h after drug administration. Additionally, morning stimulant administration resulted in robust nighttime sleep disruptions, yet post-sleep sustained attention was equivalent in the stimulant and placebo conditions, indicating that the initial boost to performance dissipated at 24 h, but the decrease was not significantly worse than placebo. Together, these results suggest that stimulant medications, commonly used off-label for cognitive enhancement may prevent deterioration of sustained attention brought on by repeated within-day testing. Additionally, these medications substantially disrupt nighttime sleep; which while coming at little cost to next-day attentional processing, may have steeper consequences for other cognitive domains.
  • Shake it baby, but only when needed: Preschoolers adapt their exploratory
           strategies to the information structure of the task
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Azzurra Ruggeri, Nora Swaboda, Zi Lin Sim, Alison Gopnik Previous research has suggested that active engagement with the world drives children’s remarkable learning capabilities. We investigated whether preschoolers are “ecological learners,” that is, whether they are able to select those active learning strategies that are most informative in a given task. Children had to choose which of two exploratory actions (open vs. shake) to perform to find an egg shaker hidden in one of four small boxes, contained in two larger boxes. Prior to this game, children either learnt that the egg was equally likely to be found in any of the four small boxes (Uniform condition), or that it was most likely to be found in one particular small box (Skewed condition). Results of Study 1 show that 3- and 4-year-olds successfully tailored their exploratory actions to the different likelihood-distributions: They were more likely to shake first in the Uniform compared to the Skewed condition. Five-year-olds were equally likely to shake first, irrespective of condition, even when incentivized to shake only when needed (Study 2a). However, when the relevance of the frequency training for the hiding game was highlighted (Study 2b and Study 2c), the 5-year-olds showed the same behavioural pattern as the younger preschoolers in Study 1. We suggest that ecological learning may be a key mechanism underlying children’s effectiveness in active learning.
  • Face perception in autism spectrum disorder: Modulation of holistic
           processing by facial emotion
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Rebecca Brewer, Geoffrey Bird, Katie L.H. Gray, Richard Cook Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD; autistic individuals) may exhibit atypical face perception because they fail to process faces holistically. In the context of this hypothesis, it is critical to determine whether autistic individuals exhibit diminished susceptibility to the composite face illusion, widely regarded as a key marker of holistic face processing. To date, however, previous studies have yielded inconsistent findings. In light of recent evidence suggesting that facial emotion cues increase the strength of the composite face illusion in typical individuals, the present study sought to determine whether the presence of facial emotion also modulates the strength of the composite face illusion in autistic individuals, many of whom experience difficulties recognizing facial expressions. We therefore measured composite face effects in a sample of autistic individuals (N = 20) and matched typical controls (N = 29) using an incidental emotion procedure in which distractor regions varied systematically in their emotion strength. As expected, the presence of facial emotion in the distractor regions of composite face arrangements increased the strength of the illusory distortion induced. The extent of the modulation by facial emotion was similar in the two groups. The composite effects seen in the ASD group were qualitatively and quantitatively similar to those seen in the typical group, suggestive of intact holistic processing in this population.
  • Level 2 perspective-taking distinguishes automatic and non-automatic
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Katheryn Edwards, Jason Low Little is known about whether human beings’ automatic mindreading is computationally restricted to processing a limited kind of content, and what exactly the nature of that signature limit might be. We developed a novel object-detection paradigm to test adults’ automatic processing in a Level 1 perspective-taking (L1PT) context (where an agent’s belief, but not his visuospatial perspective, is relevantly different) and in a Level 2 perspective-taking (L2PT) context (where both the agent’s belief and visuospatial perspective are relevantly different). Experiment 1 uncovered that adults’ reaction times in the L1PT task were helpfully speeded by a bystander’s irrelevant belief when tracking two homogenous objects but not in the L2PT task when tracking a single heterogeneous object. The limitation is especially striking given that the heterogeneous nature of the single object was fully revealed to participants as well as the bystander. The results were replicated in two further experiments, which confirmed that the selective modulation of adults’ reaction times was maintained when tracking the location of a single object (Experiment 2) and when attention checks were removed (Experiment 3). Our findings suggest that automatic mindreading draws upon a distinctively minimalist model of the mental that underspecifies representation of differences in perspective relative to an agent’s position in space.
  • A role for metamemory in cognitive offloading
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Xiao Hu, Liang Luo, Stephen M. Fleming Cognitive offloading refers to our reliance on the external environment in order to reduce cognitive demand. For instance, people write notes on paper or smartphones in order not to forget shopping lists or upcoming appointments. A plausible hypothesis is that such offloading relies on metamemory – our confidence in our future memory performance. However, this hypothesis has not been directly tested, and it remains unclear when and how people use external sources to aid their encoding and retrieval of information. In four experiments, here we asked participants to learn word pairs and decide whether to offload some of the pairs by “saving” them on a computer. In the memory test, they had the opportunity to use this saved information on half of trials. Participants adaptively saved the most difficult items and used this offloaded information to boost their memory performance. Crucially, participants' confidence judgments about their memory predicted their decisions to use the saved information, indicating that cognitive offloading is associated with metacognitive evaluation about memory performance. These findings were accommodated by a Bayesian computational model in which beliefs about the performance boost gained from using offloaded information are negatively coupled to an evaluation of memory ability. Together our findings highlight a close link between metamemory and cognitive offloading.
  • The role of time perception in temporal binding: Impaired temporal
           resolution in causal sequences
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Richard Fereday, Marc J. Buehner, Simon K. Rushton Causality affects our perception of time; events that appear as causally related are perceived as closer together in time than unrelated events. This effect is known as temporal binding. One potential explanation of this effect is that causality slows an “internal clock” that is used in interval estimation. To explore this hypothesis, we first examined participants’ perceived duration of a range of intervals between a causal action and an effect, or between two unrelated events. If (apparent) causality slows the internal clock, then plotting perceived duration against actual duration should reveal a shallower slope in the causality condition (a relative compression of perceived time). This pattern was found. We then examined an interesting corollary: that a slower rate during causal sequences would result in reduced temporal acuity. This is what we found: Duration discrimination thresholds were higher for causal compared to non-causal sequences. These results are compatible with a clock-slowing account of temporal binding. Implications for sensory recalibration accounts of binding are discussed.
  • How do you know that' Automatic belief inferences in passing
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Paula Rubio-Fernández, Francis Mollica, Michelle Oraa Ali, Edward Gibson There is an ongoing debate, both in philosophy and psychology, as to whether people are able to automatically infer what others may know, or whether they can only derive belief inferences by deploying cognitive resources. Evidence from laboratory tasks, often involving false beliefs or visual-perspective taking, has suggested that belief inferences are cognitively costly, controlled processes. Here we suggest that in everyday conversation, belief reasoning is pervasive and therefore potentially automatic in some cases. To test this hypothesis, we conducted two pre-registered self-paced reading experiments (N1 = 91, N2 = 89). The results of these experiments showed that participants slowed down when a stranger commented ‘That greasy food is bad for your ulcer’ relative to conditions where a stranger commented on their own ulcer or a friend made either comment – none of which violated participants’ common-ground expectations. We conclude that Theory of Mind models need to account for belief reasoning in conversation as it is at the center of everyday social interaction.
  • Putting prototypes in place
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 193Author(s): Igor Douven It has recently been proposed that natural concepts are those represented by the cells of an optimally partitioned similarity space. In this proposal, optimal partitioning has been defined in terms of rational design criteria, criteria that a good engineer would adopt if asked to develop a conceptual system. It has been argued, for instance, that convexity should rank high among such criteria. Other criteria concern the possibility of placing prototypes such that they are both similar to the items they represent—each prototype ought to be representative—and dissimilar to each other: the prototypes ought to be contrastive. Parts of this design proposal are already supported by evidence. This paper reports results of a new study meant to address parts still lacking in empirical support. In particular, it presents data concerning color similarity space which indicate that color prototypes are indeed located such that they trade off optimally between being representative and being contrastive.
  • Transfer of sensorimotor learning reveals phoneme representations in
           preliterate children
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Tiphaine Caudrelier, Lucie Ménard, Pascal Perrier, Jean-Luc Schwartz, Silvain Gerber, Camille Vidou, Amélie Rochet-Capellan Reading acquisition is strongly intertwined with phoneme awareness that relies on implicit phoneme representations. We asked whether phoneme representations emerge before literacy. We recruited two groups of children, 4 to 5-year-old preschoolers (N = 29) and 7 to 8-year-old schoolchildren (N = 24), whose phonological awareness was evaluated, and one adult control group (N = 17). We altered speakers’ auditory feedback in real time to elicit persisting pronunciation changes, referred to as auditory-motor adaptation or learning. Assessing the transfer of learning at phoneme level enabled us to investigate the developmental time-course of phoneme representations. Significant transfer at phoneme level occurred in preschoolers, as well as schoolchildren and adults. In addition, we found a relationship between auditory-motor adaptation and phonological awareness in both groups of children. Overall, these results suggest that phoneme representations emerge before literacy acquisition, and that these sensorimotor representations may set the ground for phonological awareness.
  • Speech predictability can hinder communication in difficult listening
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Miriam I. Marrufo-Pérez, Almudena Eustaquio-Martín, Enrique A. Lopez-Poveda In difficult listening situations, such as in noisy environments, one would expect speech intelligibility to improve over time thanks to noise adaptation and/or to speech predictability facilitating the recognition of upcoming words. We tested this possibility by presenting normal-hearing human listeners (N = 100; 70 women) with sentences and measuring word recognition as a function of word position in a sentence. Sentences were presented in quiet and in competition with various masker sounds at individualized levels where listeners had 50% probability of recognizing a full sentence. Contrary to expectations, recognition was best for the first word and gradually deteriorated with increasing word position along the sentence. The worsening in recognition was unlikely due to differences in word audibility or word type and was uncorrelated with age or working memory capacity. Using a probabilistic model of word recognition, we show that the worsening effect probably occurs because misunderstandings generate inaccurate predictions that outweigh the benefits from accurate predictions. Analyses also revealed that predictions overruled the potential benefits from noise adaptation. We conclude that although speech predictability can facilitate sentence recognition, it can also result in declines in word recognition as the sentence unfolds because of inaccuracies in prediction.
  • Perception and conception in understanding evolutionary trees
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Laura R. Novick, Linda C. Fuselier Relationships depicted in evolutionary trees depend solely on levels of most recent common ancestry. Integrating discipline-based education research in biology with perceptual/cognitive psychology, the authors predicted, however, that the Gestalt principles of perceptual grouping would affect how students interpret these relationships. Experiment 1 (N = 93) found that students segment 6–9 branch trees in accordance with the Gestalt principle of connectedness. Experiment 2 (N = 310) found that students in introductory through advanced biology classes predominantly believed, incorrectly, that the evolutionary relationships among a set of target taxa differed in two trees because the grouping of those taxa differed. Experiment 3 (N = 99) found that students from these same classes were more likely to make inferences consistent with the depicted evolutionary relationships when Gestalt grouping supported those inferences. The authors discuss implications for improving students’ understanding of cladograms.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Designators, descriptions, and artifact persistence
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Kristan A. Marchak, D. Geoffrey Hall Hobbes' (1672/1913) famous puzzle of the Ship of Theseus – in which a wooden ship's parts are replaced plank by plank, and the old planks are subsequently reassembled to create a second ship – has been the source of debate about the criteria that underlie human judgments of individual artifact persistence. This puzzle has led some philosophers to the paradoxical conclusion that an artifact observed at one time is the same persisting individual as two artifacts seen at a later time. We argue that prior discussions of the puzzle have conflated property persistence (judged in conjunction with a description, like “Theseus' ship”) with individual persistence (judged in conjunction with a designator, like “X”). In three studies, we manipulated the linguistic expression (description, designator) used to label the original object in the puzzle. When participants solved the puzzle in conjunction with a description, they gave systematically high ratings to any object (either or both) that could be inferred to match the description. Yet when participants solved the same puzzle in conjunction with a designator, they gave significantly higher ratings to one post-change object (the object made of the reassembled old parts) than to the other post-change object (the object made of replacement parts). The results suggest that individual persistence judgments concerning the puzzle (i.e., those made in conjunction with a designating expression) are not paradoxical but rather are based on the continuity of the object's parts/material.
  • Predictive cues reduce but do not eliminate intrinsic response bias
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Mingjia Hu, Dobromir Rahnev Predictive cues induce large changes in people’s choices by biasing responses towards the expected stimulus category. At the same time, even in the absence of predictive cues, humans often exhibit substantial intrinsic response biases. Despite the ubiquity of both of these biasing effects, it remains unclear how predictive cues interact with intrinsic bias. To understand the nature of this interaction, we examined data across three previous experiments that featured a combination of neutral cues (revealing intrinsic biases) and predictive cues. We found that predictive cues decreased the intrinsic bias to about half of its original size. This result held both when bias was quantified as the criterion location estimated using signal detection theory and as the probability of choosing a particular stimulus category. Our findings demonstrate that predictive cues reduce but do not eliminate intrinsic response bias, testifying to both the malleability and rigidity of intrinsic biases.
  • The representation selection problem: Why we should favor the
           geometric-module framework of spatial reorientation over the view-matching
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Alexandre Duval Many species rely on the three-dimensional surface layout of an environment to find a desired goal following disorientation. They generally do so to the exclusion of other important spatial cues. Two influential frameworks for explaining that phenomenon are provided by geometric-module theories and view-matching theories of reorientation respectively. The former posit a module that operates only on representations of the global geometry of three-dimensional surfaces to guide behavior. The latter place snapshots, stored representations of the subject’s two-dimensional retinal stimulation at specific locations, at the heart of their accounts. In this paper, I take a fresh look at the debate between them. I begin by making a case that the empirical evidence we currently have does not clearly favor one framework over the other, and that the debate has reached something of an impasse. Then, I present a new explanatory problem—the representation selection problem—that offers the prospect of breaking the impasse by introducing a new type of explanatory consideration that both frameworks must address. The representation selection problem requires explaining how subjects can reliably select the relevant representation with which they initiate the reorientation process. I argue that the view-matching framework does not have the resources to address this problem, while a certain type of theory within the geometric-module framework can provide a natural response to it. In showing this, I develop a new geometric-module theory.
  • VAMP (Voting Agent Model of Preferences): A computational model of
           individual multi-attribute choice
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Anouk S. Bergner, Daniel M. Oppenheimer, Greg Detre This paper proposes an original account of decision anomalies and a computational alternative to existing dynamic models of multi-attribute choice. To date, most models attempting to account for the “Big Three” decision anomalies (similarity, attraction, and compromise effects) are variants of evidence accumulation models, or rational Bayesian analysis. This paper provides an existence proof of a new approach in the form of a multi-agent system based on the principles of voting geometry. Assuming there are a number of neural systems (agents) within an individual’s brain, the Big Three decision anomalies can arise as a natural consequence of aggregating preferences across these agents. We operationalize these principles in VAMP, (Voting Agent Model of Preferences), and compare its performance to existing computational models as well as to empirical data. This provides a fundamentally different lens for understanding decision anomalies in multi-attribute choice.
  • Shades of surprise: Assessing surprise as a function of degree of deviance
           and expectation constraints
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Judith Gerten, Sascha Topolinski Merging recent surprise theories renders the prediction that surprise is a function of how strong an event deviates from what was expected and of how easily this event can be integrated into the constraints of an activated expectation. The present research investigates the impact of both these factors on the behavioral, affective, experiential, and cognitive surprise responses. In two experiments (total N = 1257), participants were instructed that ten stimuli of a certain type would appear on the screen. Crucially, we manipulated the degree of deviance of the last stimulus by showing a stimulus that deviated to either no, a medium, or a high degree from the previous nine stimuli. Orthogonally to this deviation, we induced an expectation with either high, moderate, or low constraints prior to the experimental task. We measured behavioral response delay and explicit ratings of liking, surprise, and expectancy. Our findings point out an overall only low association between the behavioral, affective, experiential, and cognitive surprise responses and reveal rather dichotomous response patterns that differentiate between deviance and non-deviance of an event. Challenging previous accounts, the present evidence further implies that surprise is not about the ease of integrating an event with the constraints of an explicit a-priori expectation but rather reflects the automatic outcome of implicit discrepancy detection, resulting from a continuous cognitive fine-tuning of expectations.
  • Time and information in perceptual adaptation to speech
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Ja Young Choi, Tyler K. Perrachione Perceptual adaptation to a talker enables listeners to efficiently resolve the many-to-many mapping between variable speech acoustics and abstract linguistic representations. However, models of speech perception have not delved into the variety or the quantity of information necessary for successful adaptation, nor how adaptation unfolds over time. In three experiments using speeded classification of spoken words, we explored how the quantity (duration), quality (phonetic detail), and temporal continuity of talker-specific context contribute to facilitating perceptual adaptation to speech. In single- and mixed-talker conditions, listeners identified phonetically-confusable target words in isolation or preceded by carrier phrases of varying lengths and phonetic content, spoken by the same talker as the target word. Word identification was always slower in mixed-talker conditions than single-talker ones. However, interference from talker variability decreased as the duration of preceding speech increased but was not affected by the amount of preceding talker-specific phonetic information. Furthermore, efficiency gains from adaptation depended on temporal continuity between preceding speech and the target word. These results suggest that perceptual adaptation to speech may be understood via models of auditory streaming, where perceptual continuity of an auditory object (e.g., a talker) facilitates allocation of attentional resources, resulting in more efficient perceptual processing.
  • Social contingency modulates the perceived distance between self and other
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Atsushi Sato, Ai Matsuo, Michiteru Kitazaki Although social contingency, namely contingent reactions of other to one's own actions, critically affects attachment formation, can it also modulate the perceived distance between self and other' Previous studies have suggested a positive answer. However, these studies are criticized for not showing true top-down effects on perception because of pitfalls such as task demands. We show that social contingency reduced the perceived distance between self and other while avoiding pitfalls. According to Emmert’s law, the perceived size of an afterimage increases with perceived distance. Thus, if social contingency modulates the perceived distance, the perceived size of afterimage should inevitably reflect it. The results showed that the size of the afterimages of a face that contingently responded to participants’ actions was perceived as smaller than those of non-contingent and unresponsive faces. This effect was more salient with increasing viewing distances. Thus, prior knowledge of interaction with environment modulates online perceptual processing in size constancy, probably through its influence on perceived distance.
  • The rare preference effect: Statistical information influences social
           affiliation judgments
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Natalia Vélez, Sophie Bridgers, Hyowon Gweon Shared preferences—liking the same things—facilitate and strengthen bonds between individuals. However, not all shared preferences are equally meaningful; sharing a rare preference with someone is often more exciting and meaningful than sharing a common preference. Here we present evidence for the rare preference effect: Participants chose to interact with (Experiment 1), and endorsed interactions between (Experiment 2), individuals who shared a rare preference, rather than those who shared a common preference, and this tendency increased with the relative rarity of the preference. While having a preference usually implies knowing and liking something, the presence of shared knowledge alone was sufficient to give rise to the rare preference effect (Experiments 3 & 4). Further, we find that social affiliation judgments are modulated by the causal process by which individuals came to have shared knowledge: Participants preferred to interact with someone who acquired a shared preference deliberately rather than accidentally (Experiment 5). In addition to the many cultural and emotional factors that drive mutual attraction, these results suggest that people’s decisions about with whom to interact are systematically influenced by the statistics of the social environment.
  • What exactly is learned in visual statistical learning' Insights from
           Bayesian modeling
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Noam Siegelman, Louisa Bogaerts, Blair C. Armstrong, Ram Frost It is well documented that humans can extract patterns from continuous input through Statistical Learning (SL) mechanisms. The exact computations underlying this ability, however, remain unclear. One outstanding controversy is whether learners extract global clusters from the continuous input, or whether they are tuned to local co-occurrences of pairs of elements. Here we adopt a novel framework to address this issue, applying a generative latent-mixture Bayesian model to data tracking SL as it unfolds online using a self-paced learning paradigm. This framework not only speaks to whether SL proceeds through computations of global patterns versus local co-occurrences, but also reveals the extent to which specific individuals employ these computations. Our results provide evidence for inter-individual mixture, with different reliance on the two types of computations across individuals. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding the nature of SL and individual-differences in this ability.
  • Vision and proprioception make equal contributions to path integration in
           a novel homing task
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Elizabeth R. Chrastil, Grace L. Nicora, Andrew Huang Navigation is a vital cognitive function for animals to find resources and avoid danger, and navigational processes are theorized to be a critical evolutionary foundation of episodic memory. Path integration, the continuous updating of position and orientation during self-motion, is a major contributor to spatial navigation. However, the most common paradigm for testing path integration—triangle completion—includes potential sources of error that cannot be disentangled. Here, we introduce a novel loop closure paradigm to test path integration, including the relative contributions of visual and body-based cues to performance. Contrary to triangle completion, we found that vestibular information alone led to chance performance, while visual optic flow and proprioception made relatively equal and independent contributions. The integration of these two cues was previously unknown, and we found that the two cues were not integrated in a Bayesian ideal manner. Our novel paradigm demonstrates the importance of both vision and proprioception to human path integration and provides the first test of optic flow and proprioception Bayesian cue combination for homing behavior. These findings open up new avenues to study navigation.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • The language of accurate recognition memory
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Ian G. Dobbins, Justin Kantner The natural language accompanying recognition judgments is a largely untapped though potentially rich source of information about the kinds of processing that may support recognition memory. The current report illustrates a series of methods using machine learning and receiver operating characteristics (ROCs) to examine whether the language participants use to justify their ‘old’ and ‘new’ recognition decisions (viz., memory justifications) predicts accuracy. The findings demonstrate that the natural language of observers conveys the accuracy of ‘old’ (hits versus false alarms) but not ‘new’ (misses versus correct rejections) decisions. The classifier trained on this language was considerably more predictive of accuracy than the initial speed of the decisions, generalized to the justification language of two independent experiments using different procedures, and appeared sensitive to the presence versus absence of recollective experiences in the observer’s reports. We conclude by considering extensions of the approach to several basic and applied areas, and, more broadly, to identifying the explicit bases (if any) of classification decisions in general.
  • Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is deontological' Completing moral
           dilemmas in front of mirrors increases deontological but not utilitarian
           response tendencies
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Caleb J. Reynolds, Kassidy R. Knighten, Paul Conway Recent evidence suggests moral dilemma responses reflect concerns about image and identity. If so, enhancing self-awareness should impact dilemma responses—possibly increasing both harm-rejection (consistent with deontological philosophy) and outcome-maximization tendencies (consistent with utilitarian philosophy). Yet, conventional analyses may not detect such effects because they treat harm-rejection and outcome-maximization tendencies as diametric opposites. Instead, we employed process dissociation to assess these response tendencies independently. Across two studies (n = 370), participants who completed dilemmas in front of mirrors—a classic manipulation of self-awareness—tended to reject harm more than those in a control condition. However, the mirror manipulation did not systematically increase outcome-maximization tendencies. These findings suggest that deontological decisions in moral dilemmas may partially reflect self-awareness and concerns about one’s image.
  • Dimensional attention as a mechanism of executive function: Integrating
           flexibility, selectivity, and stability
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2019Source: Cognition, Volume 192Author(s): Aaron T. Buss, Anastasia Kerr-German In this report, we present a neural process model that explains visual dimensional attention and changes in visual dimensional attention over development. The model is composed of an object representation system that binds visual features such as shape and color to spatial locations and a label learning system that associates labels such as “color” or “shape” with visual features. We have previously demonstrated that this model explains the development of flexible dimensional attention in a task that requires children to switch between shape and color rules for sorting cards. In the model, the development of flexible dimensional attention is a product of strengthening associations between labels and features. In this report, we generalize this model to also explain development of stable and selective dimensional attention. Specifically, we use the model to explain a previously reported developmental association between flexible dimensional attention and stable dimensional attention. Moreover, we generate predictions regarding developmental associations between flexible and selective dimensional attention. Results from an experiment with 3- and 4-year-olds supported model predictions: children who demonstrated flexibility also demonstrated higher levels of selectivity. Thus, the model provides a framework that integrates various functions of dimensional attention, including implicit and explicit functions, over development. This model also provides new avenues of research aimed at uncovering how cognitive functions such as dimensional attention emerge from the interaction between neural dynamics and task structure, as well as understanding how learning dimensional labels creates changes in dimensional attention, brain activation, and neural connectivity.
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