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Journal Cover Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
  [SJR: 2.226]   [H-I: 121]   [157 followers]  Follow
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 0278-7393 - ISSN (Online) 1939-1285
   Published by APA Homepage  [74 journals]
  • Do the effects of working memory training depend on baseline ability
    • Abstract: There is a debate about the ability to improve cognitive abilities such as fluid intelligence through training on tasks of working memory capacity. The question addressed in the research presented here is who benefits the most from training: people with low cognitive ability or people with high cognitive ability' Subjects with high and low working memory capacity completed a 23-session study that included 3 assessment sessions, and 20 sessions of training on 1 of 3 training regiments: complex span training, running span training, or an active-control task. Consistent with other research, the authors found that training on 1 executive function did not transfer to ability on a different cognitive ability. High working memory subjects showed the largest gains on the training tasks themselves relative to the low working memory subjects—a finding that suggests high spans benefit more than low spans from training with executive function tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 29 May 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • Orthography affects second language speech: Double letters and geminate
           production in English.
    • Abstract: Second languages (L2s) are often learned through spoken and written input, and L2 orthographic forms (spellings) can lead to non-native-like pronunciation. The present study investigated whether orthography can lead experienced learners of EnglishL2 to make a phonological contrast in their speech production that does not exist in English. Double consonants represent geminate (long) consonants in Italian but not in English. In Experiment 1, native English speakers and EnglishL2 speakers (Italians) were asked to read aloud English words spelled with a single or double target consonant letter, and consonant duration was compared. The EnglishL2 speakers produced the same consonant as shorter when it was spelled with a single letter, and longer when spelled with a double letter. Spelling did not affect consonant duration in native English speakers. In Experiment 2, effects of orthographic input were investigated by comparing 2 groups of EnglishL2 speakers (Italians) performing a delayed word repetition task with or without orthographic input; the same orthographic effects were found in both groups. These results provide arguably the first evidence that L2 orthographic forms can lead experienced L2 speakers to make a contrast in their L2 production that does not exist in the language. The effect arises because L2 speakers are affected by the interaction between the L2 orthographic form (number of letters), and their native orthography–phonology mappings, whereby double consonant letters represent geminate consonants. These results have important implications for future studies investigating the effects of orthography on native phonology and for L2 phonological development models. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 15 May 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • Surviving blind decomposition: A distributional analysis of the
           time-course of complex word recognition.
    • Abstract: The current study addresses a discrepancy in the psycholinguistic literature about the chronology of information processing during the visual recognition of morphologically complex words. Form-then-meaning accounts of complex word recognition claim that morphemes are processed as units of form prior to any influence of their meanings, whereas form-and-meaning models posit that recognition of complex word forms involves the simultaneous access of morphological and semantic information. The study reported here addresses this theoretical discrepancy by applying a nonparametric distributional technique of survival analysis (Reingold & Sheridan, 2014) to 2 behavioral measures of complex word processing. Across 7 experiments reported here, this technique is employed to estimate the point in time at which orthographic, morphological, and semantic variables exert their earliest discernible influence on lexical decision RTs and eye movement fixation durations. Contrary to form-then-meaning predictions, Experiments 1–4 reveal that surface frequency is the earliest lexical variable to exert a demonstrable influence on lexical decision RTs for English and Dutch derived words (e.g., badness; bad + ness), English pseudoderived words (e.g., wander; wand + er) and morphologically simple control words (e.g., ballad; ball + ad). Furthermore, for derived word processing across lexical decision and eye-tracking paradigms (Experiments 1–2; 5–7), semantic effects emerge early in the time-course of word recognition, and their effects either precede or emerge simultaneously with morphological effects. These results are not consistent with the premises of the form-then-meaning view of complex word recognition, but are convergent with a form-and-meaning account of complex word recognition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • Does testing increase spontaneous mediation in learning semantically
           related paired associates'
    • Abstract: Carpenter (2011) argued that the testing effect she observed for semantically related but associatively unrelated paired associates supports the mediator effectiveness hypothesis. This hypothesis asserts that after the cue-target pair mother-child is learned, relative to restudying mother-child, a review test in which mother is used to cue the recall of child leads to (a) greater activation of the mediator (father), and (b) greater strengthening of the links in the cue-to-mediator (mother-father) and mediator-to-target (father-child) associative chain. This chain is then spontaneously used for recalling child when mother is given as the cue in a final test. The mediator effectiveness hypothesis is supported by the finding that relative to review restudying, mother-child review testing leads to better recall of the target child in the final test when cued by either mother or father. The present Experiment 1 examined an alternative account of this testing effect for mediator-to-target recall. By this account, when given as a cue, the mediator elicits the original cue, which in turn covertly cues the target via a test-strengthened cue-target association. Contrary to this account, the mediator-to-target testing effect did not depend on the preexisting mediator-cue associative strength. Experiment 2 provided a more direct test of the mediator effectiveness hypothesis by having participants recall the mediator and then the target in the final test. Contrary to predictions made by the mediator effectiveness hypothesis, (a) the cue-to-target testing effect was of the same magnitude whether the mediator was recalled or not, and (b) overall target recall was lower, not higher, when participants recalled the mediator. Thus, spontaneous mediation does not underlie the testing effect that occurs for semantically related but associatively unrelated paired associates. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 10 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • A common capacity limitation for response and item selection in working
    • Abstract: Successful completion of any cognitive task requires selecting a particular action and the object the action is applied to. Oberauer (2009) suggested a working memory (WM) model comprising a declarative and a procedural part with analogous structures. One important assumption of this model is that both parts work independently of each other, and previous work has indeed reported evidence for the independent selection of memory lists and tasks, for example. The present study focused on the selection of single items in declarative and single responses in procedural WM. To this end, WM updating tasks were implemented as Task 2 in a Psychological Refractory Period setup in 3 experiments. The prediction based on the locus of slack logic is that item switch costs are present with a long but not with a short stimulus onset asynchrony. Contrary to this prediction, item switch costs were neither absent nor at least smaller at the short stimulus onset asynchrony. These results help to further constrain the WM model and thus to refine its computational implementation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • A learning perspective on individual differences in skilled reading:
           Exploring and exploiting orthographic and semantic discrimination cues.
    • Abstract: The goal of the present study is to understand the role orthographic and semantic information play in the behavior of skilled readers. Reading latencies from a self-paced sentence reading experiment in which Russian near-synonymous verbs were manipulated appear well-predicted by a combination of bottom-up sublexical letter triplets (trigraphs) and top-down semantic generalizations, modeled using the Naive Discrimination Learner. The results reveal a complex interplay of bottom-up and top-down support from orthography and semantics to the target verbs, whereby activations from orthography only are modulated by individual differences. Using performance on a serial reaction time (SRT) task for a novel operationalization of the mental speed hypothesis, we explain the observed individual differences in reading behavior in terms of the exploration/exploitation hypothesis from reinforcement learning, where initially slower and more variable behavior leads to better performance overall. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • Hold it! The influence of lingering rewards on choice diversification and
    • Abstract: Learning to choose adaptively when faced with uncertain and variable outcomes is a central challenge for decision makers. This study examines repeated choice in dynamic probability learning tasks in which outcome probabilities changed either as a function of the choices participants made or independently of those choices. This presence/absence of sequential choice–outcome dependencies was implemented by manipulating a single task aspect between conditions: the retention/withdrawal of reward across individual choice trials. The study addresses how people adapt to these learning environments and to what extent they engage in 2 choice strategies often contrasted as paradigmatic examples of striking violation of versus nominal adherence to rational choice: diversification and persistent probability maximizing, respectively. Results show that decisions approached adaptive choice diversification and persistence when sufficient feedback was provided on the dynamic rules of the probabilistic environments. The findings of divergent behavior in the 2 environments indicate that diversified choices represented a response to the reward retention manipulation rather than to the mere variability of outcome probabilities. Choice in both environments was well accounted for by the generalized matching law, and computational modeling-based strategy analyses indicated that adaptive choice arose mainly from reliance on reinforcement learning strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • Ad hoc categories and false memories: Memory illusions for categories
           created on-the-spot.
    • Abstract: Three experiments were designed to test whether experimentally created ad hoc associative networks evoke false memories. We used the DRM (Deese, Roediger, McDermott) paradigm with lists of ad hoc categories composed of exemplars aggregated toward specific goals (e.g., going for a picnic) that do not share any consistent set of features. Experiment 1 revealed considerable levels of false recognitions of critical words from ad hoc categories. False recognitions occurred even when the lists were presented without an organizing theme (i.e., the category’s label). Experiments 1 and 2 tested whether (a) the ease of identifying the categories’ themes, and (b) the lists’ backward associative strength could be driving the effect. List identifiability did not correlate with false recognition, and the effect remained even when backward associative strength was controlled for. Experiment 3 manipulated the distractor items in the recognition task to address the hypothesis that the salience of unrelated items could be facilitating the occurrence of the phenomenon. The effect remained when controlling for this source of facilitation. These results have implications for assumptions made by theories of false memories, namely the preexistence of associations in the activation-monitoring framework and the central role of gist extraction in fuzzy-trace theory, while providing evidence of the occurrence of false memories for more dynamic and context-dependent knowledge structures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • The different time course of phonotactic constraint learning in children
           and adults: Evidence from speech errors.
    • Abstract: Speech errors typically respect the speaker’s implicit knowledge of language-wide phonotactics (e.g., /t/ cannot be a syllable onset in the English language). Previous work demonstrated that adults can learn novel experimentally induced phonotactic constraints by producing syllable strings in which the allowable position of a phoneme depends on another phoneme within the sequence (e.g., /t/ can only be an onset if the medial vowel is /i/), but not earlier than the second day of training. Thus far, no work has been done with children. In the current 4-day experiment, a group of Dutch-speaking adults and 9-year-old children were asked to rapidly recite sequences of novel word forms (e.g., kieng nief siet hiem) that were consistent with phonotactics of the spoken Dutch language. Within the procedure of the experiment, some consonants (i.e., /t/ and /k/) were restricted to the onset or coda position depending on the medial vowel (i.e., /i/ or “ie” vs. /øː/ or “eu”). Speech errors in adults revealed a learning effect for the novel constraints on the second day of learning, consistent with earlier findings. A post hoc analysis at the trial level showed that learning was statistically reliable after an exposure of 120 sequence trials (including a consolidation period). However, children started learning the constraints already on the first day. More precisely, the effect appeared significantly after an exposure of 24 sequences. These findings indicate that children are rapid implicit learners of novel phonotactics, which bears important implications for theorizing about developmental sensitivities in language learning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • The sequence of study changes what information is attended to, encoded,
           and remembered during category learning.
    • Abstract: The sequence of study influences how we learn. Previous research has identified different sequences as potentially beneficial for learning in different contexts and with different materials. Here we investigate the mechanisms involved in inductive category learning that give rise to these sequencing effects. Across 3 experiments we show evidence that the sequence of study changes what information learners attend to during learning, what is encoded from the materials studied and, consequently, what is remembered from study. Interleaved study (alternating between presentation of 2 categories) leads to an attentional focus on properties that differ between successive items, leading to relatively better encoding and memory for item properties that discriminate between categories. Conversely, when learners study each category in a separate block (blocked study), learners encode relatively more strongly the characteristic features of the items, which may be the result of a strong attentional focus on sequential similarities. These results provide support for the sequential attention theory proposing that inductive category learning takes place through a process of sequential comparisons between the current and previous items. Different sequences of items change how attention is deployed depending on this basic process. Which sequence results in better or worse learning depends on the match between what is encoded and what is required at test. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • How perception guides action: Figure-ground segmentation modulates
           integration of context features into S-R episodes.
    • Abstract: Perception and action are closely related. Responses are assumed to be represented in terms of their perceptual effects, allowing direct links between action and perception. In this regard, the integration of features of stimuli (S) and responses (R) into S-R bindings is a key mechanism for action control. Previous research focused on the integration of object features with response features while neglecting the context in which an object is perceived. In 3 experiments, we analyzed whether contextual features can also become integrated into S-R episodes. The data showed that a fundamental principle of visual perception, figure-ground segmentation, modulates the binding of contextual features. Only features belonging to the figure region of a context but not features forming the background were integrated with responses into S-R episodes, retrieval of which later on had an impact upon behavior. Our findings suggest that perception guides the selection of context features for integration with responses into S-R episodes. Results of our study have wide-ranging implications for an understanding of context effects in learning and behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:00:00 GMT
  • Language switching across modalities: Evidence from bimodal bilinguals.
    • Abstract: This study investigated whether language control during language production in bilinguals generalizes across modalities, and to what extent the language control system is shaped by competition for the same articulators. Using a cued language-switching paradigm, we investigated whether switch costs are observed when hearing signers switch between a spoken and a signed language. The results showed an asymmetrical switch cost for bimodal bilinguals on reaction time (RT) and accuracy, with larger costs for the (dominant) spoken language. Our findings suggest important similarities in the mechanisms underlying language selection in bimodal bilinguals and unimodal bilinguals, with competition occurring at multiple levels other than phonology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 04:00:00 GMT
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