Archive of all online content


Volume 11 Issue 2 (2015)

Invisible Stimuli, Implicit Thresholds: Why Invisibility Judgments Cannot be Interpreted in Isolation

pp. 31-41
First published on 30 June 2015 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0169-3
Thomas Schmidt
Corresponding author:
Thomas Schmidt, Faculty of Social Sciences, Experimental Psychology Unit, University of KaiserslauternErwinSchrödinger-Str. Geb. 57, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Schmidt T. (2015). Invisible Stimuli, Implicit Thresholds: Why Invisibility Judgments Cannot be Interpreted in Isolation. Advances in cognitive psychology, 11(2), 31-41.

Some studies of unconscious cognition rely on judgments of participants stating that they have “not seen” the critical stimulus (e.g., in a masked-priming experiment). Trials in which participants gave invisibility judgments are then treated as those where the critical stimulus was “subliminal” or “unconscious,” as opposed to trials with higher visibility ratings. Sometimes, only these trials are further analyzed, for instance, for unconscious priming effects. Here I argue that this practice requires implicit assumptions about subjective measures of awareness incompatible with basic models of categorization under uncertainty (e.g., modern signal-detection and threshold theories). Most importantly, it ignores the potential effects of response bias. Instead of taking invisibility judgments literally, they would better be employed in parametric experiments where stimulus visibility is manipulated systematically, not accidentally. This would allow studying qualitative and double dissociations between measures of awareness and of stimulus processing per se.

Keywords: visibility judgments, psychophysics, thresholds, signal detection, statistical artifact

Is Semantic Processing During Sentence Reading Autonomous or Controlled? Evidence from the N400 Component in a Dual Task Paradigm

pp. 42-55
First published on 30 June 2015 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0170-2
Annette Hohlfeld, Manuel Martín-Loeches, Werner Sommer
Corresponding author:
Annette Hohlfeld, Neurologic Rehabilitation Center Wolletzsee Zur Welse 2, 16278 Wolletz, Germany.
Hohlfeld, A., Martín-Loeches, M., & Sommer, W. (2015). Is Semantic Processing During Sentence Reading Autonomous or Controlled? Evidence from the N400 Component in a Dual Task Paradigm. Advances in cognitive psychology, 11(2), 42-55.

The present study contributes to the discussion on the automaticity of semantic processing. Whereas most previous research investigated semantic processing at word level, the present study addressed semantic processing during sentence reading. A dual task paradigm was combined with the recording of event-related brain potentials. Previous research at word level processing reported different patterns of interference with the N400 by additional tasks: attenuation of amplitude or delay of latency. In the present study, we presented Spanish sentences that were semantically correct or contained a semantic violation in a critical word. At different intervals preceding the critical word a tone was presented that required a high-priority choice response. At short intervals/high temporal overlap between the tasks mean amplitude of the N400 was reduced relative to long intervals/low temporal overlap, but there were no shifts of peak latency. We propose that processing at sentence level exerts a protective effect against the additional task. This is in accord with the attentional sensitization model (Kiefer & Martens, 2010), which suggests that semantic processing is an automatic process that can be enhanced by the currently activated task set. The present experimental sentences also induced a P600, which is taken as an index of integrative processing. Additional task effects are comparable to those in the N400 time window and are briefly discussed.

Keywords: N400, dual task, semantic processing, reading, automaticity, P600

Expertise, Working Memory and Articulatory Suppression Effect: Their Relation with Simultaneous Interpreting Performance

pp. 56-63
First published on 30 June 2015 | DOI:10.5709/acp-0171-1
Irene Injoque-Ricle, Juan Pablo Barreyro, Jesica Formoso, Virginia I. Jaichenco
Corresponding author:
Irene Injoque-Ricle, Instituto de Investigaciones, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad de Buenos Aires. Gral. Juan Lavalle 2353 (C1052AAA), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Injoque-Ricle, I., Barreyro, J. P., Formoso, J., & Jaichenco, V. I. (2015). Expertise, Working Memory and Articulatory Suppression Effect: Their Relation with Simultaneous Interpreting Performance. Advances in cognitive psychology, 11(2), 56-63.

Simultaneous interpreting is a complex bilingual verbal activity that involves the auditory perception of an oral communication and the production of a coherent discourse. One of the cognitive functions underlying simultaneous interpreting is working memory. The aim of this work was to study the relationship between expertise, working memory capacity and articulatory suppression effect, and the ability to perform simultaneous interpreting. For this purpose, four working memory tasks and one simultaneous interpreting task were administered to thirty Spanish-speaking professional English interpreters. Results showed that simultaneous interpreting ability might be supported by the working memory´s capacity to store or process information, but also by the ability of the interpreter to cope with the articulatory suppression effect. We conclude that interpreters may have or develop resources to support the effect caused by articulatory suppression.

Keywords: working memory, articulatory suppression, simultaneous interpreting

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). Advances in Cognitive Psychology is co-financed by the Ministry of Education and Science (Ministerstwo Edukacji i Nauki) under the program "Rozwój czasopism naukowych," RCN/SN/0494/2021/1.

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. Advances in Cognitive Psychology jest współfinansowane przez Ministerstwo Edukacji i Nauki w ramach programu "Rozwój czasopism naukowych," RCN/SN/0494/2021/1.