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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 12 Issue 1 (2016)

Letter from the Editors editorial

pp. 1-1 | First published on 31 March 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0181-4

Rob H. J. van der Lubbe, Ulrich Ansorge



Does Controlling for Temporal Parameters Change the Levels-of-Processing Effect in Working Memory? original article

pp. 2-9 | First published on 31 March 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0182-3

Vanessa M. Loaiza, Valérie Camos


The distinguishability between working memory (WM) and long-term memory has been a frequent and long-lasting source of debate in the literature. One recent method of identifying the relationship between the two systems has been to consider the influence of long-term memory effects, such as the levels-of-processing (LoP) effect, in WM. However, the few studies that have examined the LoP effect in WM have shown divergent results. This study examined the LoP effect in WM by considering a theoretically meaningful methodological aspect of the LoP span task. Specifically, we fixed the presentation duration of the processing component a priori because such fixed complex span tasks have shown differences when compared to unfixed tasks in terms of recall from WM as well as the latent structure of WM. After establishing a fixed presentation rate from a pilot study, the LoP span task presented memoranda in red or blue font that were immediately followed by two processing words that matched the memoranda in terms of font color or semantic relatedness. On presentation of the processing words, participants made deep or shallow processing decisions for each of the memoranda before a cue to recall them from WM. Participants also completed delayed recall of the memoranda. Results indicated that LoP affected delayed recall, but not immediate recall from WM. These results suggest that fixing temporal parameters of the LoP span task does not moderate the null LoP effect in WM, and further indicate that WM and longterm episodic memory are dissociable on the basis of LoP effects.

Counterfactual Evaluation of Outcomes in Social Risk Decision-Making Situations: The Cognitive Developmental Paradox Revisited original article

pp. 10-19 | First published on 31 March 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0183-2

Iván Padrón, María Jose Rodrigo, Manuel de Vega


We report a study that examined the existence of a cognitive developmental paradox in the counterfactual evaluation of decision-making outcomes. According to this paradox adolescents and young adults could be able to apply counterfactual reasoning and, yet, their counterfactual evaluation of outcomes could be biased in a salient socio-emotional context. To this aim, we analyzed the impact of health and social feedback on the counterfactual evaluation of outcomes in a laboratory decision-making task involving short narratives with the presence of peers. Forty risky (e.g., taking or refusing a drug), forty neutral decisions (e.g., eating a hamburger or a hotdog), and emotions felt following positive or negative outcomes were examined in 256 early, mid- and late adolescents, and young adults, evenly distributed. Results showed that emotional ratings to negative outcomes (regret and disappointment) but not to positive outcomes (relief and elation) were attenuated when feedback was provided. Evidence of development of cognitive decision-making capacities did also exist, as the capacity to perform faster emotional ratings and to differentially allocate more resources to the elaboration of emotional ratings when no feedback information was available increased with age. Overall, we interpret these findings as challenging the traditional cognitive developmental assumption that development necessarily proceeds from lesser to greater capacities, reflecting the impact of socio-emotional processes that could bias the counterfactual evaluation of social decision-making outcomes.

Fast and Conspicuous? Quantifying Salience With the Theory of Visual Attention original article

pp. 20-38 | First published on 31 March 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0184-1

Alexander Krüger, Jan Tünnermann, Ingrid Scharlau


Particular differences between an object and its surrounding cause salience, guide attention, and improve performance in various tasks. While much research has been dedicated to identifying which feature dimensions contribute to salience, much less regard has been paid to the quantitative strength of the salience caused by feature differences. Only a few studies systematically related salience effects to a common salience measure, and they are partly outdated in the light of new findings on the time course of salience effects. We propose Bundesen’s Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) as a theoretical basis for measuring salience and introduce an empirical and modeling approach to link this theory to data retrieved from temporal-order judgments. With this procedure, TVA becomes applicable to a broad range of salience-related stimulus material. Three experiments with orientation pop-out displays demonstrate the feasibility of the method. A 4th experiment substantiates its applicability to the luminance dimension.

Keywords: salience, visual attention, Bayesian inference, theory of visual attention, computational modeling

Abnormalities in the Visual Processing of Viewing Complex Visual Stimuli Amongst Individuals With Body Image Concern original article

pp. 39-49 | First published on 31 March 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0185-0

A. J. F. Duncum, K. J. Atkins, F. L. Beilharz, M. E. Mundy


Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and clinically concerning body-image concern (BIC) appear to possess abnormalities in the way they perceive visual information in the form of a bias towards local visual processing. As inversion interrupts normal global processing, forcing individuals to process locally, an upright-inverted stimulus discrimination task was used to investigate this phenomenon. We examined whether individuals with nonclinical, yet high levels of BIC would show signs of this bias, in the form of reduced inversion effects (i.e., increased local processing). Furthermore, we assessed whether this bias appeared for general visual stimuli or specifically for appearance-related stimuli, such as faces and bodies. Participants with high-BIC (n = 25) and low-BIC (n = 30) performed a stimulus discrimination task with upright and inverted faces, scenes, objects, and bodies. Unexpectedly, the high-BIC group showed an increased inversion effect compared to the low-BIC group, indicating perceptual abnormalities may not be present as local processing biases, as originally thought. There was no significant difference in performance across stimulus types, signifying that any visual processing abnormalities may be general rather than appearance-based. This has important implications for whether visual processing abnormalities are predisposing factors for BDD or develop throughout the disorder.

Keywords: body image, visual processing, inversion effect, perceptual learning, faces, bodies, scenes, objects, body dysmorphic disorder

Word Meaning Frequencies Affect Negative Compatibility Effects In Masked Priming original article

pp. 50-66 | First published on 31 March 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0186-x

Andreas Brocher, Jean-Pierre Koenig


Negative compatibility effects (NCEs)—that is, slower responses to targets in related than unrelated prime-target pairs, have been observed in studies using stimulus-response (S-R) priming with stimuli like arrows and plus signs. Although there is no consensus on the underlying mechanism, explanations tend to locate NCEs within the motor-response system. A characteristic property of perceptuo-motor NCEs is a biphasic pattern of activation: A brief period in which very briefly presented (typically) masked primes facilitate processing of related targets is followed by a phase of target processing impairment. In this paper, we present data that suggest that NCEs are not restricted to S-R priming with low-level visual stimuli: The brief (50 ms), backward masked (250 ms) presentation of ambiguous words (bank) leads to slower responses than baseline to words related to the more frequent (rob) but not less frequent meaning (swim). Importantly, we found that slowed responses are preceded by a short phase of response facilitation, replicating the biphasic pattern reported for arrows and plus signs. The biphasic pattern of priming and the fact that the NCEs were found only for target words that are related to their prime word’s more frequent meaning has strong implications for any theory of NCEs that locate these effects exclusively within the motor-response system.

Keywords: masked priming, response inhibition, word recognition, negative compatibility effects, lexical ambiguity