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Cognition
Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.455
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 168  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0010-0277
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3162 journals]
  • Intuitive statistical inferences in chimpanzees and humans follow
           Weber’s law
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): Johanna Eckert, Josep Call, Jonas Hermes, Esther Herrmann, Hannes Rakoczy Humans and nonhuman great apes share a sense for intuitive statistical reasoning, making intuitive probability judgments based on proportional information. This ability is of fundamental importance, in particular for inferring general regularities from finite numbers of observations and, vice versa, for predicting the outcome of single events using prior information. To date it remains unclear which cognitive mechanism underlies and enables this capacity. The aim of the present study was to gain deeper insights into the cognitive structure of intuitive statistics by probing its signatures in chimpanzees and humans. We tested 24 sanctuary-living chimpanzees in a previously established paradigm which required them to reason from populations of food items with different ratios of preferred (peanuts) and non-preferred items (carrot pieces) to randomly drawn samples. In a series of eight test conditions, the ratio between the two ratios to be discriminated (ROR) was systematically varied ranging from 1 (same proportions in both populations) to 16 (high magnitude of difference between populations). One hundred and forty-four human adults were tested in a computerized version of the same task. The main result was that both chimpanzee and human performance varied as a function of the log(ROR) and thus followed Weber’s law. This suggests that intuitive statistical reasoning relies on the same cognitive mechanism that is used for comparing absolute quantities, namely the analogue magnitude system.
       
  • Cognitive development attenuates audiovisual distraction and promotes the
           selection of task-relevant perceptual saliency during visual search on
           complex scenes
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): Clarissa Cavallina, Giovanna Puccio, Michele Capurso, Andrew J. Bremner, Valerio Santangelo Searching for a target while avoiding distraction is a core function of selective attention involving both voluntary and reflexive mechanisms. Here, for the first time, we investigated the development of the interplay between voluntary and reflexive mechanisms of selective attention from childhood to early adulthood. We asked 6-, 10-, and 20-year-old participants to search for a target presented in one hemifield of a complex scene, preceded by a task-irrelevant auditory cue on either the target side (valid), the opposite side (invalid), or both sides (neutral). For each scene we computed the number of salient locations (NSL) and the target saliency (TgS). All age groups showed comparable orienting effects (“valid minus neutral” trials), indicating a similar capture of spatial attention by valid cues which was independent of age. However, only adults demonstrated a suppression of the reorienting effect (“invalid minus neutral” trials), indicating late developments in the reallocation of spatial attention toward a target following auditory distraction. The searching performance of the children (both 6- and 10-year-olds), but not of the adults, was predicted by the NSL, indicating an attraction of processing resources to salient but task-irrelevant locations in childhood; conversely, only adults showed greater performance with increased TgS in valid trials, indicating late development in the use of task-related saliency. These findings highlight qualitatively different mechanisms of selective attention operating at different ages, demonstrating important developmental changes in the interplay between voluntary and reflexive mechanisms of selective attention during visual search in complex scenes.
       
  • Meaning before order: Cardinal principle knowledge predicts improvement in
           understanding the successor principle and exact ordering
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): Elizabet Spaepen, Elizabeth A. Gunderson, Dominic Gibson, Susan Goldin-Meadow, Susan C. Levine Learning the cardinal principle (the last word reached when counting a set represents the size of the whole set) is a major milestone in early mathematics. But researchers disagree about the relationship between cardinal principle knowledge and other concepts, including how counting implements the successor function (for each number word N representing a cardinal value, the next word in the count list represents the cardinal value N + 1) and exact ordering (cardinal values can be ordered such that each is one more than the value before it and one less than the value after it). No studies have investigated acquisition of the successor principle and exact ordering over time, and in relation to cardinal principle knowledge. An open question thus remains: Is the cardinal principle a “gatekeeper” concept children must acquire before learning about succession and exact ordering, or can these concepts develop separately' Preschoolers (N = 127) who knew the cardinal principle (CP-knowers) or who knew the cardinal meanings of number words up to “three” or “four” (3–4-knowers) completed succession and exact ordering tasks at pretest and posttest. In between, children completed one of two trainings: counting only versus counting, cardinal labeling, and comparison. CP-knowers started out better than 3–4-knowers on succession and exact ordering. Controlling for this disparity, we found that CP-knowers improved over time on succession and exact ordering; 3–4-knowers did not. Improvement did not differ between the two training conditions. We conclude that children can learn the cardinal principle without understanding succession or exact ordering and hypothesize that children must understand the cardinal principle before learning these concepts.
       
  • I remember emotional content better, but I’m struggling to remember
           who said it!
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): Ludovic Le Bigot, Dominique Knutsen, Sandrine Gil The joint impact of emotion and production on conversational memory was examined in two experiments where pairs of participants took turns producing verbal information. They were instructed to produce out loud sentences based on either neutral or emotional (Experiment 1: negative; Experiment 2: positive) words. Each participant was then asked to recall as many words as possible (content memory) and to indicate who had produced each word (reality monitoring). The analyses showed that both self-production and emotion boost content memory, although emotion also impairs reality monitoring. This study sheds light on how both factors (emotion and production) may constrain language interaction memory through information saliency.
       
  • Communicative intent modulates production and comprehension of actions and
           gestures: A Kinect study
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): James P. Trujillo, Irina Simanova, Harold Bekkering, Asli Özyürek Actions may be used to directly act on the world around us, or as a means of communication. Effective communication requires the addressee to recognize the act as being communicative. Humans are sensitive to ostensive communicative cues, such as direct eye gaze (Csibra & Gergely, 2009). However, there may be additional cues present in the action or gesture itself. Here we investigate features that characterize the initiation of a communicative interaction in both production and comprehension.We asked 40 participants to perform 31 pairs of object-directed actions and representational gestures in more- or less- communicative contexts. Data were collected using motion capture technology for kinematics and video recording for eye-gaze. With these data, we focused on two issues. First, if and how actions and gestures are systematically modulated when performed in a communicative context. Second, if observers exploit such kinematic information to classify an act as communicative.Our study showed that during production the communicative context modulates space–time dimensions of kinematics and elicits an increase in addressee-directed eye-gaze. Naïve participants detected communicative intent in actions and gestures preferentially using eye-gaze information, only utilizing kinematic information when eye-gaze was unavailable.Our study highlights the general communicative modulation of action and gesture kinematics during production but also shows that addressees only exploit this modulation to recognize communicative intention in the absence of eye-gaze. We discuss these findings in terms of distinctive but potentially overlapping functions of addressee directed eye-gaze and kinematic modulations within the wider context of human communication and learning.
       
  • Intention, attention and long-term memory for visual scenes: It all
           depends on the scenes
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): Karla K. Evans, Alan Baddeley Humans have an ability to remember up to 10,000 previously viewed scenes with apparently robust memory for visual detail, a phenomenon that has been interpreted as suggesting a visual memory system of massive capacity. Attempts at explanation have largely focused on the nature of the stimuli and been influenced by theoretical accounts of object recognition. Our own study aims to supplement this by considering two observer-based aspects of visual long-term memory, one strategic, whether the observers are aware or not that their memory will subsequently be tested and the other executive, based on the amount of attentional capacity available during encoding. We describe six studies involving visual scenes ranging in difficulty from complex manmade scenes (d′ = 2.54), to door scenes with prominent features removed (d′ = 0.79). To ensure processing of the stimuli, all participants have to make a judgement of pleasantness (Experiments 1 and 2) or of the presence or absence of a dot (Experiment 3). Intention to learn influence performance only in the most impoverished condition comprising doors with prominent features removed. Experiments 4–6 investigated the attentional demands of visual long-term memory using a concurrent task procedure. While the demanding task of counting back in threes clearly impaired performance across the range of materials, a lighter load, counting back in ones influences only the most difficult door scenes. Detailed analysis of error patterns indicated that clear differences in performance level between manmade and natural scenes and between unmodified and modified door scenes was reflected in false alarm scores not detections, while concurrent task load affected both. We suggest an interpretation in terms of a two-level process of encoding at the visual feature rather than the whole scene level, with natural images containing many features encoded richly, rapidly and without explicit intent. Only when scenes are selected from a single category and with distinctive detail minimised does memory depend on intention to remember and on the availability of substantial executive capacity.
       
  • The relationship between parental mental-state language and
           2.5-year-olds’ performance on a nontraditional false-belief task
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): Erin Roby, Rose M. Scott A growing body of evidence suggests that children succeed in nontraditional false-belief tasks in the first years of life. However, few studies have examined individual differences in infants’ and toddlers’ performance on these tasks. Here we investigated whether parental use of mental-state language (i.e. think, understand), which predicts children’s performance on elicited-response false-belief tasks at older ages, also predicts toddlers’ performance on a nontraditional task. We tested 2.5-year-old children in a verbal nontraditional false-belief task that included two looking time measures, anticipatory looking and preferential looking, and measured parents’ use of mental-state language during a picture-book task. Parents’ use of mental-state language positively predicted children’s performance on the anticipatory-looking measure of the nontraditional task. These results provide the first evidence that social factors relate to children’s false-belief understanding prior to age 3 and that this association extends to performance on nontraditional tasks. These findings add to a growing number of studies suggesting that mental-state language supports mental-state understanding across the lifespan.
       
  • Mental states modulate gaze following, but not automatically
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): Gustav Kuhn, Ieva Vacaityte, Antonia D.C. D'Souza, Abbie C. Millett, Geoff G. Cole A number of authors have suggested that the computation of another person’s visual perspective occurs automatically. In the current work we examined whether perspective-taking is indeed automatic or more likely to be due to mechanisms associated with conscious control. Participants viewed everyday scenes in which a single human model looked towards a target object. Importantly, the model’s view of the object was either visible or occluded by a physical barrier (e.g., briefcase). Results showed that when observers were given five seconds to freely view the scenes, eye movements were faster to fixate the object when the model could see it compared to when it was occluded. By contrast, when observers were required to rapidly discriminate a target superimposed upon the same object no such visibility effect occurred. We also employed the barrier procedure together with the most recent method (i.e., the ambiguous number paradigm) to have been employed in assessing the perspective-taking theory. Results showed that the model’s gaze facilitated responses even when this agent could not see the critical stimuli. We argue that although humans do take into account the perspective of other people this does not occur automatically.
       
  • Adaptation to other people’s eye gaze reflects habituation of high-level
           perceptual representations
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 180Author(s): Colin J. Palmer, Colin W.G. Clifford Our sense of where another person is looking depends upon multiple features of their face, relating to both the deviation of their eyes and the angle of their head. In this way, gaze direction is a higher-level perceptual property that is dependent on holistic processing of lower-level visual cues. A key paradigm in social perception research is sensory adaptation, which has been used to probe how properties like gaze direction are encoded in the visual system. Here we test whether sensory adaptation acts on higher-level, perceptual representations of gaze direction, or occurs to lower-level visual features of the face alone. To this end, participants were adapted on faces that evoke the Wollaston illusion, in which the direction that the face appears to look differs from its veridical eye direction. We compared across sets of images that were exactly matched in the lower-level features of the face image, but perceptually distinct due to differences in the conjunction of head and eye direction. The changes in participants’ perception of gaze direction following adaptation were consistent with habituation having occurred to the perceived gaze direction of the Wollaston faces, where this is dependent on integration of eye direction and head direction, rather than to lower-level sensory features of the face alone. This constitutes strong evidence for adaptable representations of other people’s gaze direction in the visual system that are abstracted from lower-level facial cues.
       
  • Electrophysiological evidence for the effects of emotional content on
           false recognition memory
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Zhiwei Zheng, Minjia Lang, Wei Wang, Fengqiu Xiao, Juan Li Two competing hypotheses attempt to explain the effects of emotional content on the production of false memory. The conceptual relatedness account posits that negative emotion increases false memory by strengthening familiarity process, whereas the distinctiveness heuristic account postulates that negative emotion reduces false memory by influencing recollection process. Here, using the categorized pictures paradigm, we examined these hypotheses by investigating emotional influences on false recognition memory performance and the event-related potential (ERP) correlates of familiarity and recollection. Participants were presented with positive, neutral, or negative pictures from various categories during encoding and later completed a recognition test while electroencephalogram data were recorded. Behavioral results revealed lower corrected false recognition rates for negative and neutral pictures than for positive ones, with no significant difference between negative and neutral pictures. In addition, negative pictures were associated with a more conservative response bias in comparison with neutral and positive pictures. Importantly, ERP results revealed enhanced recollection-related parietal old/new effects for negative pictures relative to positive and neutral pictures, but comparable familiarity-related early frontal old/new effects across each type of emotional valence category during both true and false recognition. Our results suggest that emotionally negative content may affect production of false memory mainly by engaging a distinctiveness heuristic. Methodological implications of these findings are discussed.
       
  • Successful structure learning from observational data
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Anselm Rothe, Ben Deverett, Ralf Mayrhofer, Charles Kemp Previous work suggests that humans find it difficult to learn the structure of causal systems given observational data alone. We identify two conditions that enable successful structure learning from observational data: people succeed if the underlying causal system is deterministic, and if each pattern of observations has a single root cause. In four experiments, we show that either condition alone is sufficient to enable high levels of performance, but that performance is poor if neither condition applies. A fifth experiment suggests that neither determinism nor root sparsity takes priority over the other. Our data are broadly consistent with a Bayesian model that embodies a preference for structures that make the observed data not only possible but probable.
       
  • How broad are thematic roles' Evidence from structural priming
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Jayden Ziegler, Jesse Snedeker Verbs that are similar in meaning tend to occur in the same syntactic structures. For example, give and hand, which denote transfer of possession, both appear in the prepositional-object construction: “The child gave/handed the ball to the dog.” We can call the child a “giver” in one case and a “hander” in the other, or we can refer to her more generally as the agent, or doer of the action. Similarly, the dog can be called the recipient, and the ball, the theme. These generalized notions of agent, recipient, and theme are known as thematic roles. An important theoretical question for linguists and psycholinguists is what the set of thematic roles is. Are there a small number of very broad roles, perhaps with each one mapping onto a single canonical syntactic position' Or are there many distinct roles, several mapping to the same syntactic position but conveying subtly different meanings' We investigate this question across eleven structural priming experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk (total N = 2914), asking whether speakers treat the thematic roles recipient and destination (i.e., location or spatial goal) as interchangeable, suggesting the broad role of goal, or distinct, suggesting two separate roles. To do so, we look for priming between dative sentences (e.g., “The man gave the ball to the dog”), which have a recipient role (dog), and locative sentences (e.g., “The man loaded hay onto the wagon”), which instead have a destination role (wagon). Our pattern of findings confirms that thematic role mappings can be primed independent of syntactic structure, lexical content, and animacy. However, we find that this priming does not extend from destinations to recipients (or vice versa), providing evidence that these two roles are distinct.
       
  • Vision dominates in perceptual language: English sensory vocabulary is
           optimized for usage
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Bodo Winter, Marcus Perlman, Asifa Majid Researchers have suggested that the vocabularies of languages are oriented towards the communicative needs of language users. Here, we provide evidence demonstrating that the higher frequency of visual words in a large variety of English corpora is reflected in greater lexical differentiation—a greater number of unique words—for the visual domain in the English lexicon. In comparison, sensory modalities that are less frequently talked about, particularly taste and smell, show less lexical differentiation. In addition, we show that even though sensory language can be expected to change across historical time and between contexts of use (e.g., spoken language versus fiction), the pattern of visual dominance is a stable property of the English language. Thus, we show that across the board, precisely those semantic domains that are more frequently talked about are also more lexically differentiated, for perceptual experiences. This correlation between type and token frequencies suggests that the sensory lexicon of English is geared towards communicative efficiency.
       
  • A new approach to differentiate states of mind wandering: Effects of
           working memory capacity
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Matthew J. Voss, Meera Zukosky, Ranxiao Frances Wang Although widely studied, the process of how mind wandering occurs and is subsequently sustained still remains unclear. Moreover, the traditional concept of mind wandering tendency/frequency based on the self- or probe-caught methods alone is incoherent and problematic. We developed a new approach to characterize the mind wandering process by combining the self-caught and probe-caught methods to estimate the time of focus and time of mind wandering separately, and examined their relationship to working memory capacity. Participants performed an OSPAN task and subsequently a basic Mindfulness Meditation Task (focus on breath). During the meditation task, participants indicated when they became aware that they were mind wandering (self-caught method), or were asked if they were mind wandering when probed (probe-caught method). Results showed that time of focus but not time of mind wandering increased with greater working memory capacity. This suggests that individuals with higher working memory capacity were able to focus on the current task longer, but had little effect on the ability to monitor and terminate mind wandering once it occurred. The theoretical and methodological implications of this new approach are discussed.
       
  • Communicative eye contact signals a commitment to cooperate for young
           children
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Barbora Siposova, Michael Tomasello, Malinda Carpenter Making commitments to cooperate facilitates cooperation. There is a long-standing theoretical debate about how promissory obligations come into existence, and whether linguistic acts (such as saying “I promise”) are a necessary part of the process. To inform this debate we experimentally investigated whether even minimal, nonverbal behavior can be taken as a commitment to cooperate, as long as it is communicative. Five- to 7-year-old children played a Stag Hunt coordination game in which they needed to decide whether to cooperate or play individually. During the decision-making phase, children’s partner made either ostensive, communicative eye contact or looked non-communicatively at them. In Study 1 we found that communicative looks produced an expectation of collaboration in children. In Study 2 we found that children in the communicative look condition normatively protested when their partner did not cooperate, thus showing an understanding of the communicative looks as a commitment to cooperate. This is the first experimental evidence, in adults or children, that in the right context, communicative, but not non-communicative, looks can signal a commitment.
       
  • Continuous to discrete: Ensemble-based segmentation in the perception of
           multiple feature conjunctions
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Igor S. Utochkin, Vladislav A. Khvostov, Yulia M. Stakina Although objects around us vary in a number of continuous dimensions (color, size, orientation, etc.), we tend to perceive the objects using more discrete, categorical descriptions (e.g., berries and leaves). Previously, we described how continuous ensemble statistics of simple features are transformed into categorical classes: The visual system tests whether the feature distribution has one or several peaks, each representing a likely “category”. Here, we tested the mechanism of segmentation for more complex conjunctions of features. Observers discriminated between two textures filled with lines of various lengths and orientations, which had same distributions between the textures, but opposite directions of correlations. Critically, feature distributions could be “segmentable” (only extreme feature values and a large gap between them) or “non-segmentable” (both extreme and middle values with smooth transition are present). Segmentable displays yielded steeper psychometric functions indicating better discrimination (Experiment 1). The effect of segmentability arises early in visual processing (Experiment 2) and is likely to be provided by global sampling of the entire field (Experiment 3). Also, rapid segmentation requires both feature dimensions having a “segmentable” distribution supporting division of the textures into categorical classes of conjunctions. We propose that observers select items from one side (peak) of one dimension and sample mean differences along a second dimension within the selected subset. In this scenario, subset selection is a limiting factor (Experiment 4) of texture discrimination. Yet, segmentability provided by the sharp feature distributions seems to facilitate both subset selection and mean comparison.
       
  • Meta-ethics and the mortality: Mortality salience leads people to adopt a
           less subjectivist morality
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Onurcan Yilmaz, Hasan G. Bahçekapili Although lay notions in normative ethics have previously been investigated within the framework of the dual-process interpretation of the terror management theory (TMT), meta-ethical beliefs (subjective vs. objective morality) have not been previously investigated within the same framework. In the present research, we primed mortality salience, shown to impair reasoning performance in previous studies, to see whether it inhibits subjectivist moral judgments in three separate experiments. In Experiment 3, we also investigated whether impaired reasoning performance indeed mediates the effect of mortality salience on subjectivism. The results of the three experiments consistently showed that people in the mortality salience group reported significantly less subjectivist responses than the control group, and impaired reasoning performance partially mediates it. Overall, the results are consistent with the dual-process interpretation of TMT and suggest that not only normative but also meta-ethical judgments can be explained by this model.
       
  • Listening effort during speech perception enhances auditory and lexical
           processing for non-native listeners and accents
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Jieun Song, Paul Iverson Speech communication in a non-native language (L2) can feel effortful, and the present study suggests that this effort affects both auditory and lexical processing. EEG recordings (electroencephalography) were made from native English (L1) and Korean listeners while they listened to English sentences spoken with two accents (English and Korean) in the presence of a distracting talker. Neural entrainment (i.e., phase locking between the EEG recording and the speech amplitude envelope) was measured for target and distractor talkers. L2 listeners had relatively greater entrainment for target talkers than did L1 listeners, likely because their difficulty with L2 speech recognition caused them to focus more attention on the speech signal. N400 was measured for the final word in each sentence, and L2 listeners had greater lexical processing in high-predictability sentences than did L1 listeners. L1 listeners had greater target-talker entrainment when listening to the more difficult L2 accent than their own L1 accent, and similarly had larger N400 responses for the L2 accent. It thus appears that the increased effort of L2 listeners, as well as L1 listeners understanding L2 speech, modulates their auditory and lexical processing during speech recognition. This may provide a mechanism to compensate for their perceptual challenges under adverse conditions.
       
  • Deconstructing the Gratton effect: Targeting dissociable trial sequence
           effects in children, pre-adolescents, and adults
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Christopher D. Erb, Stuart Marcovitch The Gratton effect refers to the observation that performance on congruency tasks is often enhanced when the congruency of the current trial matches that of the previous trial. This effect has been at the center of recent debates in the literature on cognitive control as researchers have sought to identify the cognitive and neural underpinnings of the effect. Here, we use a technique known as reach tracking to demonstrate that the Gratton effect originally observed in the flanker task is not a singular effect but the result of two separate trial sequence effects that impact dissociable processes underlying cognitive control. Further, our results indicate that these dissociable processes follow divergent developmental trajectories across childhood, pre-adolescence, and adulthood. Taken together, these findings suggest that manual dynamics can be used to disentangle how key processes underlying cognitive control contribute to the response time effects observed across a wide range of cognitive tasks and age groups.
       
  • Developing incrementality in filler-gap dependency processing
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Emily Atkinson, Matthew W. Wagers, Jeffrey Lidz, Colin Phillips, Akira Omaki Much work has demonstrated that children are able to use bottom-up linguistic cues to incrementally interpret sentences, but there is little understanding of the extent to which children’s comprehension mechanisms are guided by top-down linguistic information that can be learned from distributional regularities in the input. Using a visual world eye tracking experiment and a corpus analysis, the current study investigates whether 5- and 6-year-old children incrementally assign interpretations to temporarily ambiguous wh-questions like What was Emily eating the cake with __' In the visual world eye-tracking experiment, adults demonstrated evidence for active dependency formation at the earliest region (i.e., the verb region), while 6-year-old children demonstrated a spill-over effect of this bias in the subsequent NP region. No evidence for this bias was found in 5-year-olds, although the speed of arrival at the ultimately correct instrument interpretation appears to be modulated by the vocabulary size. These results suggest that adult-like active formation of filler-gap dependencies begins to emerge around age 6. The corpus analysis of filler-gap dependency structures in adult corpora and child corpora demonstrate that the distributional regularities in either corpora are equally in favor of early, incremental completion of filler-gap dependencies, suggesting that the distributional information in the input is either not relevant to this incremental bias, or that 5-year-old children are somehow unable to recruit this information in real-time comprehension. Taken together, these findings shed light on the origin of the incremental processing bias in filler-gap dependency processing, as well as on the role of language experience and cognitive constraints in the development of incremental sentence processing mechanisms.
       
  • Stronger shared taste for natural aesthetic domains than for artifacts of
           human culture
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Edward A. Vessel, Natalia Maurer, Alexander H. Denker, G. Gabrielle Starr Individuals can be aesthetically engaged by a diverse array of visual experiences (paintings, mountain vistas, etc.), yet the processes that support this fundamental mode of interaction with the world are poorly understood. We tested whether there are systematic differences in the degree of shared taste across visual aesthetic domains. In Experiment 1, preferences were measured for five different visual aesthetic domains using a between-subjects design. The degree of agreement amongst participants differed by domain, with preferences for images of faces and landscapes containing a high proportion of shared taste, while preferences for images of exterior architecture, interior architecture and artworks reflected strong individual differences. Experiment 2 used a more powerful within-subjects design to compare the two most well matched domains—natural landscapes and exterior architecture. Agreement across individuals was significantly higher for natural landscapes than exterior architecture, with no differences in reliability. These results show that the degree of shared versus individual aesthetic preference differs systematically across visual domains, even for photographic images of real-world content. The findings suggest that the distinction between naturally occurring domains (e.g. faces and landscape) versus artifacts of human culture (e.g. architecture and artwork) is a general organizational principle governing the presence of shared aesthetic taste. We suggest that the behavioral relevance of naturally occurring domains results in information processing, and hence aesthetic experience, that is highly conserved across individuals; artifacts of human culture, which lack uniform behavioral relevance for most individuals, require the use of more individual aesthetic sensibilities that reflect varying experiences and different sources of information.
       
  • Numerical cognition is resilient to dramatic changes in early sensory
           experience
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Shipra Kanjlia, Lisa Feigenson, Marina Bedny Humans and non-human animals can approximate large visual quantities without counting. The approximate number representations underlying this ability are noisy, with the amount of noise proportional to the quantity being represented. Numerate humans also have access to a separate system for representing exact quantities using number symbols and words; it is this second, exact system that supports most of formal mathematics. Although numerical approximation abilities and symbolic number abilities are distinct in representational format and in their phylogenetic and ontogenetic histories, they appear to be linked throughout development--individuals who can more precisely discriminate quantities without counting are better at math. The origins of this relationship are debated. On the one hand, symbolic number abilities may be directly linked to, perhaps even rooted in, numerical approximation abilities. On the other hand, the relationship between the two systems may simply reflect their independent relationships with visual abilities. To test this possibility, we asked whether approximate number and symbolic math abilities are linked in congenitally blind individuals who have never experienced visual sets or used visual strategies to learn math. Congenitally blind and blind-folded sighted participants completed an auditory numerical approximation task, as well as a symbolic arithmetic task and non-math control tasks. We found that the precision of approximate number representations was identical across congenitally blind and sighted groups, suggesting that the development of the Approximate Number System (ANS) does not depend on visual experience. Crucially, the relationship between numerical approximation and symbolic math abilities is preserved in congenitally blind individuals. These data support the idea that the Approximate Number System and symbolic number abilities are intrinsically linked, rather than indirectly linked through visual abilities.
       
  • The costs and benefits of temporal predictability: impaired inhibition of
           prepotent responses accompanies increased activation of task-relevant
           responses
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Inga Korolczuk, Boris Burle, Jennifer T. Coull While the benefit of temporal predictability on sensorimotor processing is well established, it is still unknown whether this is due to efficient execution of an appropriate response and/or inhibition of an inappropriate one. To answer this question, we examined the effects of temporal predictability in tasks that required selective (Simon task) or global (Stop-signal task) inhibitory control of prepotent responses. We manipulated temporal expectation by presenting cues that either predicted (temporal cues) or not (neutral cues) when the target would appear. In the Simon task, performance was better when target location (left/right) was compatible with the hand of response and performance was improved further still if targets were temporally cued. However, Conditional Accuracy Functions revealed that temporal predictability selectively increased the number of fast, impulsive errors. Temporal cueing had no effect on selective response inhibition, as measured by the dynamics of the interference effect (delta plots) in the Simon task. By contrast, in the Stop-signal task, Stop-signal reaction time, a covert measure of a more global form of response inhibition, was significantly longer in temporally predictive trials. Therefore, when the time of target onset could be predicted in advance, it was harder to stop the impulse to respond to the target. Collectively, our results indicate that temporal cueing compounded the interfering effects of a prepotent response on task performance. We suggest that although temporal predictability enhances activation of task-relevant responses, it impairs inhibition of prepotent responses.
       
  • Neutralization and homophony avoidance in phonological learning
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Sora Heng Yin, James White Previous research has suggested that homophony avoidance plays a role in constraining language change; in particular, phonological contrasts are less likely to be neutralized if doing so would greatly increase the amount of homophony in the language. Most of the research on homophony avoidance has focused on the history of real languages, comparing attested and unattested (hypothetical) phonological changes. In this study, we take a novel approach by focusing on the language learner. Using an artificial language learning paradigm, we show that learners are less likely to acquire neutralizing phonological rules compared to non-neutralizing rules, but only if the neutralizing rules create homophony between lexical items encountered during learning. The results indicate that learners are biased against phonological patterns that create homophony, which could have an influence on language change. The results also suggest that lexical learning and phonological learning are highly integrated.
       
  • Naturalistic multiattribute choice
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Sudeep Bhatia, Neil Stewart We study how people evaluate and aggregate the attributes of naturalistic choice objects, such as movies and food items. Our approach applies theories of object representation in semantic memory research to large-scale crowd-sourced data, to recover multiattribute representations for common choice objects. We then use standard choice experiments to test the predictive power of various decision rules for weighting and aggregating these multiattribute representations. Our experiments yield three novel conclusions: 1. Existing multiattribute decision rules, applied to object representations trained on crowd-sourced data, predict participant choice behavior with a high degree of accuracy; 2. Contrary to prior work on multiattribute choice, weighted additive decision rules outperform heuristic rules in out-of-sample predictions; and 3. The best performing decision rules utilize rich object representations with a large number of underlying attributes. Our results have important implications for the study of multiattribute choice.
       
  • Basic functional trade-offs in cognition: An integrative framework
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Marco Del Giudice, Bernard J. Crespi Trade-offs between advantageous but conflicting properties (e.g., speed vs. accuracy) are ubiquitous in cognition, but the relevant literature is conceptually fragmented, scattered across disciplines, and has not been organized in a coherent framework. This paper takes an initial step toward a general theory of cognitive trade-offs by examining four key properties of goal-directed systems: performance, efficiency, robustness, and flexibility. These properties define a number of basic functional trade-offs that can be used to map the abstract “design space” of natural and artificial cognitive systems. Basic functional trade-offs provide a shared vocabulary to describe a variety of specific trade-offs including speed vs. accuracy, generalist vs. specialist, exploration vs. exploitation, and many others. By linking specific features of cognitive functioning to general properties such as robustness and efficiency, it becomes possible to harness some powerful insights from systems engineering and systems biology to suggest useful generalizations, point to under-explored but potentially important trade-offs, and prompt novel hypotheses and connections between disparate areas of research.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
       
  • The influence of articulation dynamics on recognition memory
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Berit Lindau, Sascha Topolinski Previous research has demonstrated an effect of consonantal direction on preference, showing that words following inward articulation dynamics (e.g., EMOK or OPIK) are generally liked more than words following outward dynamics (e.g., EKOM or OKIP). The present studies extended this line of research by hypothesizing an effect of consonantal direction on recognition memory, specifically familiarity. In a total of 7 experimental studies (N = 1043), we tested and confirmed this hypothesis, consistently finding increased hits and false alarms for inward compared to outward pseudo-words. This difference was found to be based on a higher perceived familiarity for inward compared to outward pseudo-words. Alternative explanations of an affirmation tendency or a recollection advantage were ruled out in Experiments 4 and 5. Experiments 6a and 6b examined the role of articulation fluency and liking as potential mediators of the effect, but found that neither mediated the influence of consonantal direction on familiarity. Thus, the in-out familiarity effect documented here seems to be a phenomenon that is distinct from the previously described in-out preference effect.
       
  • Nonword repetition depends on the frequency of sublexical representations
           at different grain sizes: Evidence from a multi-factorial analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Jakub M. Szewczyk, Marta Marecka, Shula Chiat, Zofia Wodniecka The nonword repetition task (NWR) has been widely used in basic cognitive and clinical research, as well as in clinical assessment, and has been proposed as a clinical marker for Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Yet the mechanisms underlying performance on this task are not clear. This study offers insights into these mechanisms through a comprehensive examination of item-related variables identified in previous research as possibly contributing to NWR scores and through testing the predictive power of each in relation to the others. A unique feature of the study is that all factors are considered simultaneously. Fifty-seven typically developing children were tested with a NWR task containing 150 nonwords differing in length, phonotactic probability, lexical neighbourhood and phonological complexity. The results indicate that phonological processing of novel words draws on sublexical representations at all grain sizes and that these representations are phonological, unstructured and insensitive to morphemehood. We propose a novel index – mean ngram frequency of all phonemes – that best captures the extent to which a nonword draws on sublexical representations. The study demonstrates the primacy of sublexical representations in NWR performance with implications for the nature of the deficit in SLI.
       
  • Attenuation of visual evoked responses to hand and saccade-initiated
           flashes
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Nathan G. Mifsud, Tom Beesley, Tamara L. Watson, Ruth B. Elijah, Tegan S. Sharp, Thomas J. Whitford Sensory attenuation refers to reduced brain responses to self-initiated sensations relative to those produced by the external world. It is a low-level process that may be linked to higher-level cognitive tasks such as reality monitoring. The phenomenon is often explained by prediction error mechanisms of universal applicability to sensory modality; however, it is most widely reported for auditory stimuli resulting from self-initiated hand movements. The present series of event-related potential (ERP) experiments explored the generalizability of sensory attenuation to the visual domain by exposing participants to flashes initiated by either their own button press or volitional saccade and comparing these conditions to identical, computer-initiated stimuli. The key results showed that the largest reduction of anterior visual N1 amplitude occurred for saccade-initiated flashes, while button press-initiated flashes evoked an intermediary response between the saccade-initiated and externally initiated conditions. This indicates that sensory attenuation occurs for visual stimuli and suggests that the degree of electrophysiological attenuation may relate to the causal likelihood of pairings between the type of motor action and the modality of its sensory response.
       
  • The grasping side of post-error slowing
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: Cognition, Volume 179Author(s): Francesco Ceccarini, Umberto Castiello A common finding across many speeded reaction time (RT) tasks is that people tend to respond more slowly after making an error. This phenomenon, known as post-error slowing (PES), has been traditionally hypothesized to reflect a strategic increase in response caution, aimed at preventing the occurrence of new errors. However, this interpretation of PES has been challenged on multiple fronts. Firstly, recent investigations have suggested that errors may produce a decrement in performance accuracy and that PES might occur because error processing has a detrimental effect on subsequent information processing. Secondly, previous research has been criticized because of the limited ecological validity of speeded RT tasks. In the present study, we investigated error-reactivity in the context of goal-directed actions, in order to examine the extent to which PES effects impact on realistic and complex movements. Specifically, we investigated the effect of errors on the reach to grasp movement (Experiment 1). In addition to RTs, we performed a kinematical analysis in order to explore the underlying reorganization of the movements after an error. The results of the present study showed that error reactivity strategically influences the grasping component of the action, whereas the reaching component appears to be impermeable to PES. The resistance of the reaching component to PES was confirmed in a second ‘only reaching’ experiment (Experiment 2). These finding supports the hypothesis that error reactivity is a flexible process whose effects on behavior also depend on the motor components involved in the action.
       
  • Lazy, not biased: Susceptibility to partisan fake news is better explained
           by lack of reasoning than by motivated reasoning
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 June 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Gordon Pennycook, David G. Rand Why do people believe blatantly inaccurate news headlines (“fake news”)' Do we use our reasoning abilities to convince ourselves that statements that align with our ideology are true, or does reasoning allow us to effectively differentiate fake from real regardless of political ideology' Here we test these competing accounts in two studies (total N = 3446 Mechanical Turk workers) by using the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) as a measure of the propensity to engage in analytical reasoning. We find that CRT performance is negatively correlated with the perceived accuracy of fake news, and positively correlated with the ability to discern fake news from real news – even for headlines that align with individuals’ political ideology. Moreover, overall discernment was actually better for ideologically aligned headlines than for misaligned headlines. Finally, a headline-level analysis finds that CRT is negatively correlated with perceived accuracy of relatively implausible (primarily fake) headlines, and positively correlated with perceived accuracy of relatively plausible (primarily real) headlines. In contrast, the correlation between CRT and perceived accuracy is unrelated to how closely the headline aligns with the participant’s ideology. Thus, we conclude that analytic thinking is used to assess the plausibility of headlines, regardless of whether the stories are consistent or inconsistent with one’s political ideology. Our findings therefore suggest that susceptibility to fake news is driven more by lazy thinking than it is by partisan bias per se – a finding that opens potential avenues for fighting fake news.
       
  • I know why you voted for Trump: (Over)inferring motives based on choice
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 May 2018Source: CognitionAuthor(s): Kate Barasz, Tami Kim, Ioannis Evangelidis People often speculate about why others make the choices they do. This paper investigates how such inferences are formed as a function of what is chosen. Specifically, when observers encounter someone else’s choice (e.g., of political candidate), they use the chosen option’s attribute values (e.g., a candidate’s specific stance on a policy issue) to infer the importance of that attribute (e.g., the policy issue) to the decision-maker. Consequently, when a chosen option has an attribute whose value is extreme (e.g., an extreme policy stance), observers infer—sometimes incorrectly—that this attribute disproportionately motivated the decision-maker’s choice. Seven studies demonstrate how observers use an attribute’s value to infer its weight—the value-weight heuristic—and identify the role of perceived diagnosticity: more extreme attribute values give observers the subjective sense that they know more about a decision-maker’s preferences, and in turn, increase the attribute’s perceived importance. The paper explores how this heuristic can produce erroneous inferences and influence broader beliefs about decision-makers.
       
 
 
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