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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 2 (2016)

Developmental Changes in Mental Rotation: A Dissociation Between Object-Based and Egocentric Transformations original article

pp. 67-78 | First published on 30 June 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0187-y

Sandra Kaltner, Petra Jansen


The present study was conducted to investigate developmental changes of mental rotation performance. We compared children, adults, and older adults regarding their performance in objectbased and egocentric transformations. Both children and older adults showed higher overall reaction times compared to adults. Results were interpreted against the background of impaired working memory capacity in both children and older adults. Since mental changes in working memory are mediated by age differences in cognitive processing speed, cognitive speed is supposed to be the underlying factor. Regarding both types of transformations, an advantage of egocentric over object-based human figures was only found in adults which led us to tentatively propose that children and older adults show deficits in perspective taking compared to adults.

Keywords: mental rotation, developmental changes, object-based and egocentric transformations

The Effects of the Amount of Information on Episodic Memory Binding original article

pp. 79-87 | First published on 30 June 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0188-z

Frine Torres-Trejo, Selene Cansino


The effects of increasing the number of items to be remembered on associative recognition and cued recall were examined. Thirty participants were asked during encoding to determine whether two- and three-item stimuli contained natural objects, artificial objects, or both. In an associative recognition task, the participants indicated whether the stimuli were identical to those presented during encoding, were rearranged by exchanging one of the two-item stimuli for one of the threeitem stimuli, or represented a new stimulus. The correctly identified rearranged item pairs and triads were included in a subsequent cued-recall task in which participants verbally reported the missing item. As the number of items increased, the discrimination of rearranged stimuli diminished, but that of identical trials remained the same. Furthermore, the ability to retrieve the missing item was unaffected. It was concluded that the effect of the amount of information on binding depends on how the information must be retrieved.

Keywords: binding, episodic memory, inter-item, associative recognition, cued-recall

Do Rare Stimuli Evoke Large P3s by Being Unexpected? A Comparison of Oddball Effects Between Standard-Oddball and Prediction-Oddball Tasks original article

pp. 88-104 | First published on 30 June 2016 | DOI: 10.5709/acp-0189-9

Rolf Verleger, Kamila Śmigasiewicz


The P3 component of event-related potentials increases when stimuli are rarely presented. It has been assumed that this oddball effect (rare-frequent difference) reflects the unexpectedness of rare stimuli. The assumption of unexpectedness and its link to P3 amplitude were tested here. A standard-oddball task requiring alternative key-press responses to frequent and rare stimuli was compared with an oddball-prediction task where stimuli had to be first predicted and then confirmed by key-pressing. Oddball effects in the prediction task depended on whether the frequent or the rare stimulus had been predicted. Oddball effects on P3 amplitudes and error rates in the standard oddball task closely resembled effects after frequent predictions. This corroborates the notion that these effects occur because frequent stimuli are expected and rare stimuli are unexpected. However, a closer look at the prediction task put this notion into doubt because the modifications of oddball effects on P3 by expectancies were entirely due to effects on frequent stimuli, whereas the large P3 amplitudes evoked by rare stimuli were insensitive to predictions (unlike response times and error rates). Therefore, rare stimuli cannot be said to evoke large P3 amplitudes because they are unexpected. We discuss these diverging effects of frequency and expectancy, as well as general differences between tasks, with respect to concepts and hypotheses about P3b’s function and conclude that each discussed concept or hypothesis encounters some problems, with a conception in terms of subjective relevance assigned to stimuli offering the most consistent account of these basic effects.

Keywords: P3b, expectancies, oddball, prediction

Phenomenological Characteristics of Autobiographical Memories: Responsiveness to an Induced Negative Mood State in Those With and Without a Previous History of Depression original article

pp. 105-114 | First published on 30 June 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0190-8

Andrew E. P. Mitchell


In this study we investigated the relative accessibility of phenomenological characteristics in autobiographical memories of 104 students with and without a previous history of a depression. Participants recalled personal events that were elicited with cue words and then asked to rate these personal events for a number of phenomenological characteristics. The characteristics were typicality, rumination, valence, importance of others, expectancy, desirability, and personal importance. The effects of previous history of depression (without history or with previous history of depression) and self-reported mood (pre- and post-negative mood induction) on autobiographical recall was examined by employing a mixed factor design. Self-reported mood was measured as a manipulation check, before and after Mood Induction Procedure. Typicality, rumination and personal importance showed significant interaction effects in those with a history of depression. Ordinal regression supported the finding that those with a history of depression had a higher chance of typicality and personal importance than those without a history of depression. The results indicate that recall of autobiographical characteristics is in part dependent on induced negative mood state and on previous history of depression. The findings may prompt future research into targeted interventions that reduce individual tendencies for heightened cognitive reactivity in negative mood states for those with a history of depression.

Keywords: autobiographical memory, history of depression, negative mood state, phenomenological characteristics

Interplay Between the Object and Its Symbol: The Size-Congruency Effect original article

pp. 115-129 | First published on 30 June 2016 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0191-7

Manqiong Shen, Jiushu Xie, Wenjuan Liu, Wenjie Lin, Zhuoming Chen, Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, Ruiming Wang


Grounded cognition suggests that conceptual processing shares cognitive resources with perceptual processing. Hence, conceptual processing should be affected by perceptual processing, and vice versa. The current study explored the relationship between conceptual and perceptual processing of size. Within a pair of words, we manipulated the font size of each word, which was either congruent or incongruent with the actual size of the referred object. In Experiment 1a, participants compared object sizes that were referred to by word pairs. Higher accuracy was observed in the congruent condition (e.g., word pairs referring to larger objects in larger font sizes) than in the incongruent condition. This is known as the size-congruency effect. In Experiments 1b and 2, participants compared the font sizes of these word pairs. The size-congruency effect was not observed. In Experiments 3a and 3b, participants compared object and font sizes of word pairs depending on a task cue. Results showed that perceptual processing affected conceptual processing, and vice versa. This suggested that the association between conceptual and perceptual processes may be bidirectional but further modulated by semantic processing. Specifically, conceptual processing might only affect perceptual processing when semantic information is activated. The current study suggests that some grounded phenomena may be modulated by semantic processes.

Keywords: grounded cognition, perceptual symbol theory, conceptual processing, perceptual processing, size congruent effect