Journal Cover
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.826
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 170  
 
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ISSN (Print) 0278-7393 - ISSN (Online) 1939-1285
Published by APA Homepage  [86 journals]
  • When numbers are not exact: Ambiguity and prediction in the processing of
           sentences with bare numerals.
    • Abstract: It is generally assumed that bare numerals (e.g., three) have two readings: the exactly and the at least reading. It has been a matter of debate whether one of these two readings is derived from the other pragmatically. To shed light on this question research has aimed at characterizing the processing demands associated with these alternative interpretations. Here we use a sentence-picture verification paradigm where participants are asked to judge whether “N pictures contain Xs” is true in a situation where (a) exactly N, (b) fewer than N, or (c) more than N pictures contain Xs. The critical case is the last one, where accepting responses indicate the at least interpretation of the numeral, whereas rejecting responses indicate the exactly interpretation. We show that the responses linked to the exactly and at least readings lead to quantitatively different event-related brain potentials (ERPs), which presumably reflect different cognitive processes. For the exactly responders, the ERPs elicited by content nouns downstream from the quantifier phrase formed a negativity effect in the condition with more than N Xs, relative to the condition with exactly N Xs. However, no such effect was evident for the responders who applied the at least interpretation. We argue that the lack of any ERP effect for the at least responders is not compatible with any theory presupposing an exactly semantics of numerals. The observed N400 effect is furthermore shown to be modulated by the type of alternatives presented in the context scenario. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 22 Oct 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • Is there adaptation of speech production after speech perception in
           bilingual interaction'
    • Abstract: In dialogue, speakers tend to adapt their speech to the speech of their interlocutor. Adapting speech production to preceding speech input may be particularly relevant for second language (L2) speakers interacting with native (L1) speakers, as adaptation may facilitate L2 learning. Here we asked whether Dutch-English bilinguals adapt pronunciation of the English phonemes /æ/ and coda /b/ when reading aloud sentences after exposure to native English speech. Additionally, we tested whether social context (presence or absence of a native English confederate) and time lag between perception and production of the phoneme affected adaptation. Participants produced more English-like target words that ended in word-final /b/ after exposure to target phonemes produced by a native speaker, but the participants did not change their production of the phoneme /æ/ after exposure to native /æ/. The native English speaking confederate did not show consistent changes in speech production after exposure to target phonemes produced by L2 speakers. These findings are in line with Gambi and Pickering’s simulation theory of phonetic imitation (Gambi & Pickering, 2013). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 27 Sep 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • A new argument for co-active parses during language comprehension.
    • Abstract: One perennially important question for theories of sentence comprehension is whether the human sentence processing mechanism is parallel (i.e., it simultaneously represents multiple syntactic analyses of linguistic input) or serial (i.e., it constructs only a single analysis at a time). Despite its centrality, this question has proven difficult to address for both theoretical and methodological reasons (Gibson & Pearlmutter, 2000; Lewis, 2000). In the present study, we reassess this question from a novel perspective. We investigated the well-known ambiguity advantage effect (Traxler, Pickering, & Clifton, 1998) in a speeded acceptability judgment task. We adopted a signal detection theoretic approach to these data, with the goal of determining whether speeded judgment responses were conditioned on one or multiple syntactic analyses. To link these results to incremental parsing models, we developed formal models to quantitatively evaluate how serial and parallel parsing models should impact perceived sentence acceptability in our task. Our results suggest that speeded acceptability judgments are jointly conditioned on multiple parses of the input, a finding that is overall more consistent with parallel parsing models than serial models. Our study thus provides a new, psychophysical argument for coactive parses during language comprehension. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 20 Aug 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • Representation and selection of determiners with phonological variants.
    • Abstract: The aim of this study is to contribute to a better understanding of cross-linguistic differences in the time course of determiner selection during language production. In Germanic languages, participants are slower at naming a picture using a determiner + noun utterance (die Katze “the cat”) when a superimposed distractor is of a different gender (gender congruency effect). In Romance languages in which the pronunciation of the determiner also depends on the phonology of the next word, there is no such effect. This difference is traditionally assumed to arise because determiners are selected later in Romance languages (late selection hypothesis). It has further been suggested that in a given language, all determiners are either selected late or early (maximum consistency principle). Data on French have challenged these 2 hypotheses by revealing a gender congruency effect when participants name pictures using the definite singular determiner le-la (l’ before vowels) and a noun, at positive stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA), that is, when there is a delay between the presentation of the picture and that of the distractor. We examined this finding further and investigated whether it generalizes to the indefinite determiner un-une. Results of 4 picture–word interference experiments reveal that gender congruency effects in French are not restricted to the definite determiner or positive SOAs, but can be hard to detect in experiments which do not account for the variability in reading and naming times across participants and trials. We discuss the implications of these results for the modeling of determiner selection across languages. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 16 Aug 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • Spatial memory for vertical locations.
    • Abstract: Most studies on spatial memory refer to the horizontal plane, leaving an open question as to whether findings generalize to vertical spaces where gravity and the visual upright of our surrounding space are salient orientation cues. In three experiments, we examined which reference frame is used to organize memory for vertical locations: the one based on the body vertical, the visual-room vertical, or the direction of gravity. Participants judged interobject spatial relationships learned from a vertical layout in a virtual room. During learning and testing, we varied the orientation of the participant’s body (upright vs. lying sideways) and the visually presented room relative to gravity (e.g., rotated by 90° along the frontal plane). Across all experiments, participants made quicker or more accurate judgments when the room was oriented in the same way as during learning with respect to their body, irrespective of their orientations relative to gravity. This suggests that participants employed an egocentric body-based reference frame for representing vertical object locations. Our study also revealed an effect of body–gravity alignment during testing. Participants recalled spatial relations more accurately when upright, regardless of the body and visual-room orientation during learning. This finding is consistent with a hypothesis of selection conflict between different reference frames. Overall, our results suggest that a body-based reference frame is preferred over salient allocentric reference frames in memory for vertical locations perceived from a single view. Further, memory of vertical space seems to be tuned to work best in the default upright body orientation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • Prominence-sensitive pronoun resolution: New evidence from the
           speed-accuracy tradeoff procedure.
    • Abstract: Past studies have shown that antecedent prominence affects the processing of a pronoun, but these studies have used experimental methodologies that do not make it possible to determine at what stage(s) of pronominal resolution these effects occur. We used the speed-accuracy tradeoff procedure to investigate whether antecedent prominence affects the accuracy of antecedent retrieval, the speed of resolution, or both. Consistent with previous results, we find that accuracy is higher when antecedents are prominent than when they are not (cf. Foraker & McElree, 2007). However, in contrast to previous results, we also find that prominence impacts the speed with which the pronominal dependency is resolved. We consider the implications of our findings for various models of pronoun resolution and offer suggestions for how to implement prominence-sensitive speed differences within a cue-based retrieval architecture. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • Survival analyses reveal how early phonological processing affects eye
           movements during reading.
    • Abstract: Numerous studies have provided evidence that readers generate phonological codes while reading. However, a central question in much of this research has been how early these codes are generated. Answering this question has implications for the roles that phonological coding might play for skilled readers, especially whether phonological codes affect the identification of most words, which can only be the case if these codes are generated rapidly. To investigate the time course of phonological coding during silent reading, the present series of experiments examined survival analyses of first-fixation durations on phonologically related (homophones, pseudohomophones) and orthographic control (orthographically matched words and nonwords) stimuli that were either embedded in sentences in place of correct targets (Experiments 1 and 2) or presented as parafoveal previews for correct targets using the boundary paradigm (Experiments 3 and 4). Survival analyses revealed a discernible difference between processing the phonologically related versus the orthographic control items by as early as 160 ms from the start of fixation on average (160–173 ms across experiments). Because only approximately 18% of first fixation durations were shorter than these mean estimates and follow-up tests revealed that earlier divergence point estimates were associated with shorter gaze durations (e.g., more rapid word identification), results suggest that skilled readers rapidly generate phonological codes during normal, silent reading and that these codes may affect the identification of most words. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • Empirical comparison of the adjustable spanner and the adaptive toolbox
           models of choice.
    • Abstract: Past research indicates that individuals respond adaptively to contextual factors in multiattribute choice tasks. Yet it remains unclear how this adaptation is cognitively governed. In this article, empirically testable implementations of two prominent competing theoretical frameworks are developed and compared across two multiattribute choice experiments: the adaptive toolbox framework assuming discrete choice strategies and the adjustable spanner framework assuming one comprehensive adaptive strategy. Results from two experiments indicate that in the environments we tested, in which all cue information was presented openly, the toolbox makes better predictions than the adjustable spanner both in- and out-of-sample. Follow-up simulation studies indicate that it is difficult to discriminate the models based on choice outcomes alone but allowed the identification of a small subset of cases where the predictions of both models diverged. Our results suggest that people adapt their decision strategies by flexibly switching between using as little information as possible and use of all of the available information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 23 Jul 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • Bias to (and away from) the extreme: Comparing two models of categorical
           perception effects.
    • Abstract: Categorical perception (CP) effects manifest as faster or more accurate discrimination between objects that come from different categories compared with objects that come from the same category, controlling for the physical differences between the objects. The most popular explanations of CP effects have relied on perceptual warping causing stimuli near a category boundary to appear more similar to stimuli within their own category and/or less similar to stimuli from other categories. Hanley and Roberson (2011), on the basis of a pattern not previously noticed in CP experiments, proposed an explanation of CP effects that relies not on perceptual warping, but instead on inconsistent usage of category labels. Experiments 1 and 2 in this article show a pattern opposite the one Hanley and Roberson pointed out. Experiment 3, using the same stimuli but with different choice statistics (i.e., different probabilities of each face being the target), obtains the same pattern as the one Hanley and Roberson showed. Simulations show that both category label and perceptual models are able to reproduce the patterns of results from both experiments, provided they include information about the choice statistics. This suggests 2 conclusions. First, the results described by Hanley and Roberson should not be taken as evidence in favor of a category label model. Second, given that participants did not receive feedback on their choices, there must be some mechanism by which participants monitor their own choices and adapt to the choice statistics present in the experiment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Jul 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
  • Is preparing for a language switch like preparing for a task switch'
    • Abstract: A key index of top-down control in task switching—preparation for a switch—is underexplored in language switching. The well-documented EEG “signature” of preparation for a task switch—a protracted positive-polarity modulation over the posterior scalp—has thus far not been reported in language switching, and the interpretation of previously reported effects of preparation on language switching performance is complicated by confounding factors. In an experiment using event-related potentials (ERPs) and an optimized picture-naming paradigm that addressed these confounds the language was specified by an auditory cue on every trial and changed unpredictably. There were two key manipulations. First, the cue-stimulus interval allowed either generous (1,500 ms) or little (100 ms) opportunity for preparation. Second, to explore the interplay between bottom-up and top-down language selection, we compared a highly transparent and familiar “supercue”—the name of the language spoken in that language to a relatively opaque cue (short speeded-up fragment of national anthem). Preparation for a switch elicited a brain potential strongly reminiscent of the posterior switch positivity documented in task switching. As previously shown in task switching, its amplitude inversely predicted the performance “switch cost,” demonstrated by our ERP analyses contingent on reaction time (RT). This overlap in the electrophysiological correlates of preparing to switch tasks and languages suggests domain-general processes for top-down selection of task-set and language for production. But, the surprisingly small language switch cost following the supercue in the short CSI suggests that rapid and (possibly automatic) bottom-up selection—not typically observed in task switching—may also occur. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Jul 2018 04:00:00 GMT
       
 
 
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