full text available abstract only
Volume 13 (2017) Volume 12 (2016) Volume 11 (2015) Volume 10 (2014) Volume 9 (2013) Volume 8 (2012) Volume 7 (2011) Volume 6 (2010) Volume 5 (2009) Volume 4 (2008) Volume 3 (2007) Volume 2 (2006) Volume 1 (2005)

Volume 13 Issue 3 (2017)

Processing of Internal and External Signals for Performance Monitoring in the Context of Emotional Faces original article

pp. 190-200 | First published on 30 September 2017 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0219-5

Christian Valt, Marina Palazova, Birgit Stürmer


Performance monitoring can be based on internal or external signals. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate whether relating performance to external signals affects internal performance monitoring. Thirty participants performed a task in which responses were followed by faces whose expressions were partially contingent upon performance. Instructions given to half of the participants mentioned a link between task performance and the upcoming face expression. Instructed participants showed smaller error-related negativity (Ne/ERN) to erroneous responses and larger N170 to faces as compared to participants in the not-instructed group. In addition, we observed a correlation between ∆Ne/ERN and P1-latency benefit for angry faces after errors. Taken together, processing of internally generated signals for performance monitoring is reduced by instructions referring to an emotional face. Furthermore, we relate the correlation between the magnitude of internal monitoring and facilitation in processing angry faces to priming induced by the negative affective meaning of errors.

Keywords: performance monitoring, emotional face expressions, error-related negativity (Ne/ERN), early visually-evoked potentials, N170

A Diffusive-Particle Theory of Free Recall original article

pp. 201-213 | First published on 30 September 2017 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0220-4

Francesco Fumarola


Diffusive models of free recall have been recently introduced in the memory literature, but their potential remains largely unexplored. In this paper, a diffusive model of short-term verbal memory is considered, in which the psychological state of the subject is encoded as the instantaneous position of a particle diffusing over a semantic graph. The model is particularly suitable for studying the dependence of free-recall observables on the semantic properties of the words to be recalled. Besides predicting some well-known experimental features (forward asymmetry, semantic clustering, word-length effect), a novel prediction is obtained on the relationship between the contiguity effect and the syllabic length of words; shorter words, by way of their wider semantic range, are predicted to be characterized by stronger forward contiguity. A fresh analysis of archival free-recall data allows to confirm this prediction.

Keywords: cognition, neurosemantics, experimental semantics, episodic/short-term memory, free recall, psycho-linguistics, neurolinguistics

Repetition Blindness for Faces: A Comparison of Face Identity, Expression, and Gender Judgments original article

pp. 214-223 | First published on 30 September 2017 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0221-3

Karen Murphy, Zoe Ward


Repetition blindness (RB) refers to the impairment in reporting two identical targets within a rapid serial visual presentation stream. While numerous studies have demonstrated RB for words and picture of objects, very few studies have examined RB for faces. This study extended this research by examining RB when the two faces were complete repeats (same emotion and identity), identity repeats (same individual, different emotion), and emotion repeats (different individual, same emotion) for identity, gender, and expression judgment tasks. Complete RB and identity RB effects were evident for all three judgment tasks. Emotion RB was only evident for the expression and gender judgments. Complete RB effects were larger than emotion or identity RB effects across all judgment tasks. For the expression judgments, there was more emotion than identity RB. The identity RB effect was larger than the emotion RB effect for the gender judgments. Cross task comparisons revealed larger complete RB effects for the expression and gender judgments than the identity decisions. There was a larger emotion RB effect for the expression than gender judgments and the identity RB effect was larger for the gender than for the identity and expression judgments. These results indicate that while faces are subject to RB, this is affected by the type of repeated information and relevance of the facial characteristic to the judgment decision. This study provides further support for the operation of separate processing mechanisms for face gender, emotion, and identity information within models of face recognition.

Keywords: repetition blindness, face recognition, emotion processing, face identity

Trypophobic Discomfort is Spatial-Frequency Dependent original article

pp. 224-231 | First published on 30 September 2017 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0222-2

Kyoshiro Sasaki, Yuki Yamada, Daiichiro Kuroki, Kayo Miura


Clusters of holes, such as those in a lotus seedpod, induce trypophobic discomfort. Previous research has demonstrated that high-contrast energy at midrange spatial frequencies in images causes trypophobic discomfort. The present study examined the effects on discomfort of eliminating various spatial frequency components from the images to reveal how each spatial frequency contributes to the discomfort. Experiment 1 showed that eliminating midrange spatial frequencies did not affect trypophobic discomfort, while Experiment 2 revealed that images of holes that consisted of only high-spatial frequencies evoked less discomfort than other images and that images containing only low or midrange spatial frequencies induced as much trypophobic discomfort as did the original images. Finally, Experiment 3 found that participants with a high level of the trypophobic trait experienced stronger discomfort from the original images and the images containing only low or midrange spatial frequencies than participants with a low level of the trypophobic trait. Our findings thus suggest that trypophobic discomfort can be induced by middle and low spatial frequencies.

Keywords: trypophobia, spatial frequency, emotion

Gender Classification Based on Eye Movements: A Processing Effect During Passive Face Viewing original article

pp. 232-240 | First published on 30 September 2017 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0223-1

Negar Sammaknejad, Hamidreza Pouretemad, Changiz Eslahchi, Alireza Salahirad, Ashkan Alinejad


Studies have revealed superior face recognition skills in females, partially due to their different eye movement strategies when encoding faces. In the current study, we utilized these slight but important differences and proposed a model that estimates the gender of the viewers and classifies them into two subgroups, males and females. An eye tracker recorded participant’s eye movements while they viewed images of faces. Regions of interest (ROIs) were defined for each face. Results showed that the gender dissimilarity in eye movements was not due to differences in frequency of fixations in the ROIs per se. Instead, it was caused by dissimilarity in saccade paths between the ROIs. The difference enhanced when saccades were towards the eyes. Females showed significant increase in transitions from other ROIs to the eyes. Consequently, the extraction of temporal transient information of saccade paths through a transition probability matrix, similar to a first order Markov chain model, significantly improved the accuracy of the gender classification results.

Keywords: gender classification, fixations, saccades, Markov chain model, left visual field bias

Daytime Effect of Monochromatic Blue Light on EEG Activity Depends on Duration and Timing of Exposure in Young Men original article

pp. 241-247 | First published on 30 September 2017 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0224-0

Irena Iskra-Golec, Krystyna Golonka, Miroslaw Wyczesany, Lawrence Smith, Patrycja Siemiginowska, Joanna Wątroba


Growing evidence suggests an alerting effect of monochromatic blue light on brain activity. Little is known about the moderation of those effects by timing and duration of exposure. The present electroencephalography (EEG) study examined such moderations on delta, theta, alpha1, alpha2, and beta EEG bands. A counterbalanced repeated-measures design was applied. The 16-hr day-time period was divided into three sessions: 07:00-12:20, 12:20-17:40, and 17:40-23:00 (timing of exposure). Two light conditions comparable in luminance but differing in wavelength were applied, namely polychromatic white light and monochromatic blue light (460 nm). There were two durations of exposure—the shorter one lasting 30 min and the longer one lasting 4 hrs. Thirty male students participated in the study. Four factors analyses of variance (ANOVAs, for light conditions, timing of exposure, duration of exposure, and brain area) were performed on each EEG band. Results indicated an alerting effect of short exposure to monochromatic blue light at midday and in the evening, which was demonstrated by a decrease in lower frequency bands (alpha1, delta, and theta, respectively). Long exposure to blue light may have a reverse effect, especially in the morning and at midday, when increases in lower frequency bands (theta in the morning and theta and alpha1 at midday) were observed. It can be concluded that the daytime effect of monochromatic blue light on EEG activity depends on timing and duration of exposure.

Keywords: blue light, timing, duration, EEG bands

Selective Effects of Sport Expertise on the Stages of Mental Rotation Tasks With Object-Based and Egocentric Transformations original article

pp. 248-256 | First published on 30 September 2017 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0225-x

Tian Feng, Zhongqiu Zhang, Zhiguang Ji, Binbin Jia, Yawei Li


It is well established that motor expertise is linked to superior mental rotation ability, but few studies have attempted to explain the factors that influence the stages of mental rotation in sport experts. Some authors have argued that athletes are faster in the perceptual and decision stages but not in the rotation stages of object-based transformations; however, stimuli related to sport have not been used to test mental rotation with egocentric transformations. Therefore, 24 adolescent elite divers and 23 adolescent nonathletes completed mental rotation tasks with object-based and egocentric transformations. The results showed faster reaction times (RTs) for the motor experts in tasks with both types of transformations (object-based cube, object-based body, and egocentric body). Additionally, the differences in favour of motor experts in the perceptual and decision stages were confirmed. Interestingly, motor experts also outperformed nonathletes in the rotation stages in the egocentric transformations. These findings are discussed against the background of the effects of sport expertise on mental rotation.

Keywords: mental rotation, sport expertise, process stages, object-based and egocentric transformations, embodied cognition

Examining Developmental Changes in Children’s Motor Imagery: A Longitudinal Study original article

pp. 257-266 | First published on 30 September 2017 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0226-y

Steffie Spruijt, Marijtje L. A. Jongsma, John van der Kamp, Bert Steenbergen


Using a longitudinal design, the present study examined developmental changes in the employment of (motor) imagery strategies on the hand laterality judgment (HLJ) task in children. All children (N = 23) participated three times, at ages of 5, 6, and 7 years. Error percentages and response durations were compared to a priori defined sinusoid models, representing different strategies to judge hand laterality. Response durations of correct and incorrect trials were included. Observed data showed that task performance was affected by motor constraints, both in children who performed accurately at 5 years of age and in the children who did not. This is the first study to show that 5-year-olds—even when not successful at the task—employ motor imagery when engaged in this task. Importantly, although the children became faster and more accurate with age, no developmental changes in the employed motor imagery strategy were observed at ages of 5, 6, and 7 years. We found that 5-year-old children are able to use a motor imagery strategy to perform the HLJ task. Although performance on this task improved with age, our analyses showed that the employed strategy to solve this task remained invariant across age.

Keywords: motor imagery, development, hand laterality judgment, children