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Volume 17 Issue 1 (2021)

Editorial Letter: The Road Ahead

pp. 1-2
First published on 1 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0311-4
Charles-Étienne Benoit, Piotr Kałowski, Konrad Janowski
Benoit, C-E., Kałowski, P., & Janowski, K. (2021). Editorial letter: The road ahead. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 1-2.

It has been more than two years since our previous newsletter. Much has happened since and it is important to look back and write to you all about the major changes that occurred under the supervision of Dr. Konrad Janowski, the Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Cognitive Psychology (ACP).

Keywords: editorial

Does Location Uncertainty Modulate Unconscious Processing Under Continuous Flash Suppression?

pp. 3-14
First published on 6 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0312-3
Fenja Mareike Benthien, Guido Hesselmann
Corresponding author:
Guido Hesselmann, Am Köllnischen Park 2,10179 Berlin, Germany.
Benthien, F. M., & Hesselmann, G. (2021). Does location uncertainty modulate unconscious processing under continuous flash suppression? Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 3-14.

Previous research suggests that selective spatial attention is a determining factor for unconscious processing under continuous flash suppression (CFS), and specifically, that inattention toward stimulus location facilitates its unconscious processing by reducing the depth of CFS (Eo et al., 2016). The aim of our study was to further examine this modulation-by-attention model of CFS using a number priming paradigm. Participants (N = 26) performed a number comparison task on a visible target number (“compare target to five”). Prime-target pairs were either congruent (both smaller or larger than five) or incongruent. Spatial attention toward the primes was varied by manipulating the uncertainty of the primes’ location. Based on the modulation-by-attention model, we hypothesized the following: In trials with uncertain prime location, RTs for congruent prime-target pairs should be faster than for incongruent ones. In trials with certain prime location, RTs for congruent versus incongruent prime-target pairs should not differ. We analyzed our data with sequential Bayes factors (BFs). Our data showed no effect of location uncertainty on unconscious priming under CFS (BF0+ = 5.16). However, even visible primes only weakly influenced RTs. Possible reasons for the absence of robust number priming effects in our study are discussed. Based on exploratory analyses, we conclude that the numerical order of prime and target resulted in a response conflict and interfered with the predicted priming effect.

Keywords: continuous flash suppression, interocular suppression, unconscious processing, priming

Evaluating the Contribution of Emotional Valence to Associative Memory: Retrieval Practice Matters

pp. 15-32
First published on 6 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0313-2
Aiqing Nie, Guimei Jiang, Mengmeng Li
Corresponding author:
Aiqing Nie, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, 148 Tianmushan Road, Hangzhou, China 310028.
Nie, A., Jiang, G., & Li, M. (2021). Evaluating the contribution of emotional valence to associative memory: Retrieval practice matters. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 15-32.

Research has indicated that emotional valence can influence associative memory, but it is less clear whether it still works when the retrieval practice is controlled. The current study combined an associative recognition task with a paradigm of retrieval practice, with negative, neutral, and positive word pairs serving as stimuli. Results revealed that intact pairs possessed higher correct response proportions than rearranged, old+new, and new pairs; the rearranged pairs were more likely to be classified as intact; a negative impairment effect was observed in both learning conditions; the retrieval practice effect was sensitive to the interaction of emotional valence by pair type. We shows that the involvement of the recollection-driven process varies with pair type, providing telling evidence for the dual-process models; the occurrence of negative impairment effect conforms to the account of spontaneous interactive imagery; the contribution of desirable difficulty framework is modulated by the interaction of emotional valence by pair type.

Keywords: associative memory, emotional valence, retrieval practice pairs, dual-process models

The Influence of Anthropomorphism on Giving Personal Names to Objects

pp. 33-37
First published on 6 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0314-1
Serge Brédart
Corresponding author:
Serge Brédart, Psychology and Neuroscience of Cognition Research Unit, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium.
Brédart, S. (2021). The influence of anthropomorphism on giving personal names to objects. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 33-37.

Some people give a proper name to an owned individual object, such as a car or a computer. The study examined whether giving a proper name to a specific object is associated with object personification, and more specifically, whether object personification is a prerequisite to name giving. The latter question was assessed by asking 130 participants whether, in their adult life, they had ever given a personal name to an object, and if so, whether they had attributed psychological characteristics to that named object. The general relationship between personal name giving and personification was assessed by evaluating whether the scores from a questionnaire on anthropomorphism differed in participants who reported having given a specific name to at least one personal object, compared with those who reported not doing so (Mann-Whitney’s U test). Results showed that the scores from the questionnaire on anthropomorphism were significantly higher for participants who had given specific names to objects than for participants who had not done so. However, object personification was not found to be a prerequisite to name giving. Indeed, about 40 percent of people who reported giving personal names to objects did not attribute psychological qualities to these objects.

Keywords: personification, anthropomorphism, proper names

Comprehensive Assessment of Spatial Ability in Children: A Computerized Tasks Battery

pp. 38-49
First published on 6 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0315-0
Solmaz Soluki, Samira Yazdani, Ali Akbar Arjmandnia, Jalil Fathabadi, Saeid Hassanzadeh, Vahid Nejati
Corresponding author:
Vahid Nejati, Department of Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran.
Soluki, S., Yazdani, S., Arjmandnia, A. A., Fathabadi, J., Hassanzadeh, S., & Nejati, V. (2021). Comprehensive assessment of spatial ability in children: A computerized tasks battery. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 38-48.

Spatial ability is known to have an important role in learning different skills in childhood and achieving success in specific professions. A vast majority of the studies on this topic have focused on adults, and few on in children. In this study, eight tasks were selected to assess eight factors of spatial ability and were modified to be suitable for children. Computerized versions of the tasks were designed and their reliability was measured. One-hundred and ten Iranian children aged 9 to 12 years old participated in the study. In order to assess the test-retest reliability, half of the participants were tested twice. Internal consistency reliability was calculated for some of the tasks. Intraclass correlation coefficients were obtained by test-retest reliability analysis for all tasks ranging from 0.689 to 0.997. The range of Cronbach's α coefficient was found to be between 0.335 and 0.784. The range of the ω coefficient was from 0.428 to 0.798. Each modified task had adequate reliability for assessing the respective spatial ability factors. This battery can help to identify the level of spatial performance in children.

Keywords: spatial ability, factors of spatial ability, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, school-age children

The Effect of Reviewer Profile Photo on Purchase Decision: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

pp. 49-57
First published on 6 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0316-x
Xiaoli Tang, Zhijie Song
Corresponding author:
Xiaoli Tang, School of Economics and Management, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao 066004, China.

Zhijie Song, School of Economics and Management, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao 066004, China.
Tang, X., & Song, Z. (2021). The effect of reviewer profile photo on purchase decision: Evidence from event-related potentials. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 49-57.

Although the number of studies on online reviews is growing, the impact of reviewer photo on consumer purchase decision-making has not yet been examined systematically. In particular, the underlying neural mechanisms have remained underexplored. Thus, the present study investigated whether and how reviewer photos affects consumers to make a purchase decision by using event-related potentials (ERPs). At the behavioral level, participants demonstrated a higher purchase rate with a shorter RT in situations with reviewer photos compared to situations without reviewer photos. Meanwhile, at the neural level, compared with situations without reviewer photos, situations with reviewer photos attracted more rapid attention resources at the early automatic processing phase, which induced a greater P2 amplitude, then mobilized more sustained attention allocation at the cognitive monitoring phase due to its evolutionary significance which elicited a more negative N2 amplitude, and finally resulted in a better evaluative categorization with higher motivational and emotional arousal due to its social presence which evoked a larger late positive potential (LPP) amplitude at the late elaborate cognitive processing phase. Those results illuminated the neural pathway of purchase decision-making when consumers were exposed in different conditions of reviewer photo. Moreover, the current study provided evidence for the underlying influence of reviewer photo on purchase decision-making in online shopping.

Keywords: online shopping, reviewer photo, purchase decision, P2, N2, LPP

Behavioural and ERP Effects of Cognitive and Combined Cognitive and Physical Training on Working Memory and Executive Function in Healthy Older Adults

pp. 58-69
First published on 6 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0317-y
Hanna Chainay, Clémence Joubert, Stéphanie Massol
Corresponding author:
Hanna Chainay, Laboratoire d’Etude des Mécanismes Cognitifs, Université Lyon 2, 5, avenue Pierre Mendès France, 69676 Bron, France.
Chainay, H., Joubert, C., & Massol, S. (2021). Behavioural and ERP effects of cognitive and combined cognitive and physical training on working memory and executive function in healthy older adults. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 58-69.

Cognitive and physical training have been shown to be effective in improving older adults’ cognition. However, it is not yet clear whether combined cognitive and physical training offers an advantage compared to cognitive training alone. Twenty-two older adults performed cognitive or combined cognitive and physical training in order to compare their effects on working memory event-related potentials (ERPs) and on working memory and executive function performance. Before and after eight weeks of training, performance in Plus Minus, Flanker, Updated Span, and Complex Span tasks was measured, and ERPs were registered during performance of an n-back task (0-back, 2-back, and 3-back). Post-training behavioural improvement was observed in Updated Span, Complex Span, and n-back tasks. During the n-back task, the N2/P3 complex was modulated by training, with a decrease in N2 amplitude and an increase in P3 amplitude in the post-training session compared to the pretraining session. These changes in ERP components suggest that both types of training potentially reduce the need for attentional control to perform the tasks correctly and increase working memory capacity. Thus, based on our data, no conclusion can be reached on the direct advantage of combined training, either at behavioural or at neural level. However, the present study might suggest an indirect advantage of such a combined training, because the cognitive benefit was found to be highly similar in both types of training. Using combined cognitive and physical training may produce a potential improvement in general fitness and an increased appeal of training.

The Influence of the BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism on Mechanisms of Semantic Priming: Analyses with Drift-Diffusion Models of Masked and Unmasked Priming

pp. 70-87
First published on 6 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0318-z
Alexander Berger, Simon Sanwald, Christian Montag, Markus Kiefer
Corresponding author:
Markus Kiefer, Ulm University, Department of Psychiatry Section for Cognitive Electrophysiology, Leimgrubenweg 12, 89075 Ulm, Germany.
Berger, A., Sanwald, S., Montag, C., & Kiefer, M. (2021). The influence of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on mechanisms of semantic priming: Analyses with drift-diffusion models of masked and unmasked priming. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 70-87.

Automatic and strategic processes in semantic priming can be investigated with masked and unmasked priming tasks. Unmasked priming is thought to enable strategic processes due to the conscious processing of primes, while masked priming exclusively depends on automatic processes due to the invisibility of the prime. Besides task properties, interindividual differences may alter priming effects. In a recent study, masked and unmasked priming based on mean response time (RT) and error rate (ER) differed as a function of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (Sanwald et al., 2020). The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is related to the integrity of several cognitive executive functions and might thus influence the magnitude of priming. In the present study, we reanalyzed this data with drift-diffusion models. Drift-diffusion models conjointly analyze single trial RT and ER data and serve as a framework to elucidate cognitive processes underlying priming. Masked and unmasked priming effects were observed for the drift rates ν, presumably reflecting semantic preactivation. Priming effects on nondecision time t0 were especially pronounced in unmasked priming, suggesting additional conscious processes to be involved in the t0 modulation. Priming effects on the decision thresholds a may reflect a speed-accuracy tradeoff. Considering the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism, we found lowered drift rates and decision thresholds for Met allele carriers, possibly reflecting a superficial processing style in Met allele carriers. The present study shows that differences in cognitive tasks between genetic groups can be elucidated using drift-diffusion modeling.

Keywords: semantic priming, BDNF Val66Met, drift-diffusion models, masked, unmasked

The Relationship Between Internal Motor Imagery and Motor Inhibition in School-Aged Children: A Cross-Sectional Study

pp. 88-98
First published on 6 April 2021 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0319-9
Cuiping Wang, Wei Li, Yanlin Zhou, Feifei Nan, Guohua Zhao, Qiong Zhang
Corresponding author:
Qiong Zhang, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University.
Wang, C., Li, W., Zhou, Y., Nan, F., Zhao, G., & Zhang, Q. (2021). The relationship between internal motor imagery and motor inhibition in school-aged children: A cross-sectional study. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 17(1), 88-98.

Functional equivalence hypothesis and motor-cognitive model both posit that motor imagery performance involves inhibition of overt physical movement and thus engages control processes. As motor inhibition in internal motor imagery has been fairly well studied in adults, the present study aimed to investigate the correlation between internal motor imagery and motor inhibition in children. A total of 73 children (7-year-olds: 23, 9-year-olds: 27, and 11-year-olds: 23) participated the study. Motor inhibition was assessed with a stop-signal task, and motor imagery abilities were measured with a hand laterality judgment task and an alphanumeric rotation task, respectively. Overall, for all age groups, response time in both motor imagery tasks increased with rotation angles. Moreover, all children’s response times in both tasks decreased with age, their accuracy increased with age, and their motor inhibition efficiency increased with age. We found a significant difference between 7-year-olds and 9-year-olds in the hand laterality judgment task, suggesting that the involvement of motor inhibition in internal motor imagery might change with age. Our results reveal the underlying processes of internal motor imagery development, and furthermore, provide practical implications for movement rehabilitation of children.

Keywords: internal motor imagery, motor inhibition, school-aged children, cross-sectional

Tasks financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education on the basis of the contract no. 801/P-DUN/2018 out of the funds designed for activities promoting science: Preparation and editing of English versions of articles, Financing foreign Editors-in-Chief, Dissemination of publications and increasing their accessibility to a broad range of readers, Creation of the XML conversion platform to improve the access to the articles (2018-2019).

Zadania finansowane w ramach umowy 801/P-DUN/2018 ze środków Ministra Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego przeznaczonych na działalność upowszechniającą naukę: Finansowanie zagranicznych redaktorów naczelnych; Przygotowanie i edycja anglojęzycznych publikacji; Upowszechnianie publikacji i ułatwianie dostępu do nich szerokiemu gronu odbiorców; Utworzenie nowej platformy do udostępniania artykułów.