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Volume 8 Issue 3 (2012)

The direction of masked auditory category priming correlates with participants' prime discrimination ability original article

pp. 210-217 | First published on 27 September 2012 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0116-y

Christina Bermeitinger, Dirk Wentura, Christopher Koppermann, Micha Hauser, Benjamin Grass, Christian Frings


Semantic priming refers to the phenomenon that participants typically respond faster to targets following semantically related primes as compared to semantically unrelated primes. In contrast, Wentura and Frings (2005) found a negatively signed priming effect (i.e., faster responses to semantically unrelated as compared to semantically related targets) when they used (a) a special masking technique for the primes and (b) categorically related prime-target-pairs (e.g., fruit-apple). The negatively signed priming effect was most pronounced for participants with random prime discrimination performance, whereas participants with high prime discrimination performance showed a positive effect. In the present study we analyzed the after-effects of masked category primes in audition. A comparable pattern of results as in the visual modality emerged: The poorer the individual prime discrimination, the more negative is the semantic priming effect. This result is interpreted as evidence for a common mechanism causing the semantic priming effect in vision as well as in audition instead of a perceptual mechanism only working in the visual domain.

Keywords: semantic priming, masked priming, auditory priming, semantic memory, negative semantic priming effect, category priming, auditory primes and targets

The processing of inter-item relations as a moderating factor of retrieval-induced forgetting original article

pp. 218-225 | First published on 27 September 2012 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0117-x

Tobias Tempel, Werner Wippich


We investigated influences of item generation and emotional valence on retrieval-induced forgetting. Drawing on postulates of the three-factor theory of generation effects, generation tasks differentially affecting the processing of inter-item relations were applied. Whereas retrieval-induced forgetting of freely generated items was moderated by the emotional valence as well as retrieval-induced forgetting of read items, even though in the reverse direction (Experiment 1), fragment completion eliminated the moderation of retrieval-induced forgetting by emotional valence (Experiment 2). The results corroborate the assumption that the processing of inter-item relations is crucial for the immunization against retrieval-induced forgetting. Moreover, differential processing of inter-item relations may clarify the mixed results on moderating factors of retrieval-induced forgetting that have been reported.

Keywords: retrieval-induced forgetting, generation effect, episodic memory, recall, inhibition

Memory for facial expression is influenced by the background music playing during study original article

pp. 226-233 | First published on 27 September 2012 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0118-9

Michael R. Woloszyn, Laura Ewert


The effect of the emotional quality of study-phase background music on subsequent recall for happy and sad facial expressions was investigated. Undergraduates (N = 48) viewed a series of line drawings depicting a happy or sad child in a variety of environments that were each accompanied by happy or sad music. Although memory for faces was very accurate, emotionally incongruent background music biased subsequent memory for facial expressions, increasing the likelihood that happy faces were recalled as sad when sad music was previously heard, and that sad faces were recalled as happy when happy music was previously heard. Overall, the results indicated that when recalling a scene, the emotional tone is set by an integration of stimulus features from several modalities.

Keywords: music, emotion, memory, facial expression

The very same thing: Extending the object token concept to incorporate causal constraints on individual identity original article

pp. 234-247 | First published on 30 September 2012 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0119-8

Chris Fields


The contributions of feature recognition, object categorization, and recollection of episodic memories to the re-identification of a perceived object as the very same thing encountered in a previous perceptual episode are well understood in terms of both cognitive-behavioral phenomenology and neurofunctional implementation. Human beings do not, however, rely solely on features and context to re-identify individuals; in the presence of featural change and similarly-featured distractors, people routinely employ causal constraints to establish object identities. Based on available cognitive and neurofunctional data, the standard object-token based model of individual re-identification is extended to incorporate the construction of unobserved and hence fictive causal histories (FCHs) of observed objects by the pre-motor action planning system. It is suggested that functional deficits in the construction of FCH s are associated with clinical outcomes in both autism spectrum disorders and later-stage stage Alzheimer?s disease.

Keywords: emotional memory enhancement, explicit/ implicit retrieval, intentional/incidental encoding

Can you eat it? A link between categorization difficulty and food likability original article

pp. 248-254 | First published on 30 September 2012 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0120-2

Yuki Yamada, Takahiro Kawabe, Keiko Ihaya


In the present study we examined whether categorization difficulty regarding a food is related to its likability. For this purpose, we produced stimulus images by morphing photographs of a tomato and a strawberry. Subjects categorized these images as either a tomato or a strawberry and in separate sessions evaluated the food's eatability or the subject?s willingness to eat (Experiments 1 and 2) and the likeliness of existence of each food (Experiment 2). The lowest score for ca- tegorization confidence coincided with the lowest scores for eatability, willingness to eat, and likeliness of existence. In Experiment 3, we found that food neophobia, a trait of ingestion avoidance of novel foods, modulated food likability but not categorization confidence. These findings suggest that a high categorization difficulty generally co-occurs with a decrease in food likability and that food neophobia modulates likability. This avoidance of difficult-to-categorize foods seems ecologically valid because before eating we have little information regarding whether a food is potentially harmful.

Keywords: categorization, food neophobia, appetite, emotion

Emotional enhancement of immediate memory: Positive pictorial stimuli are better recognized than neutral or negative pictorial stimuli original article

pp. 255-266 | First published on 27 September 2012 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0121-1

Hanna Chainay, George A. Michael, Mélissa Vert-pré, Lionel Landré, Amandine Plasson


We examined emotional memory enhancement (EEM) for negative and positive pictures while manipulating encoding and retrieval conditions. Two groups of 40 participants took part in this study. Both groups performed immediate implicit (categorization task) and explicit (recognition task) retrieval, but for one group the tasks were preceded by incidental encoding and for the other group by intentional encoding. As indicated by the sensitivity index (d'), after incidental encoding positive stimuli were easier to recognize than negative and neutral stimuli. Participants' response criterion was more liberal for negative stimuli than for both positive and neutral ones, independent of encoding condition. In the implicit retrieval task, participants were slower in categorizing positive than negative and neutral stimuli. However, the priming effect was larger for emotional than for neutral stimuli. These results are discussed in the context of the idea that the effect of emotion on immediate memory enhancement may depend on the intentionality to encode and retrieve information.

Keywords: emotional memory enhancement, explicit/ implicit retrieval, intentional/incidental encoding