Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

  • Self-regulated learning of important information under sequential and simultaneous encoding conditions. 20171102
    Learners make a number of decisions when attempting to study efficiently: they must choose which information to study, for how long to study it, and whether to restudy it later. The current experiments examine whether documented impairments to self-regulated learning when studying information sequentially, as opposed to simultaneously, extend to the learning of and memory for valuable information. In Experiment 1, participants studied lists of words ranging in value from 1–10 points sequentially or simultaneously at a preset presentation rate; in Experiment 2, study was self-paced and participants could choose to restudy. Although participants prioritized high-value over low-value information, irrespective of presentation, those who studied the items simultaneously demonstrated superior value-based prioritization with respect to recall, study selections, and self-pacing. The results of the present experiments support the theory that devising, maintaining, and executing efficient study agendas is inherently different under sequential formatting than simultaneous. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Proactive control processes in event-based prospective memory: Evidence from intraindividual variability and ex-Gaussian analyses. 20171214
    The present study implemented an individual differences approach in conjunction with response time (RT) variability and distribution modeling techniques to better characterize the cognitive control dynamics underlying ongoing task cost (i.e., slowing) and cue detection in event-based prospective memory (PM). Three experiments assessed the relation between proactive control ability, ex-Gaussian parameter estimates (μ and τ), intraindividual variability in responding (coefficient of variation, CoV), and PM cue detection. Experiment 1 examined these relations using a standard nonfocal PM paradigm. Experiments 2 and 3 further assessed how PM importance and PM cue focality, respectively, influenced performance. Across all experiments, nonfocal PM was associated with increases in all cost measures, but only μ reliably predicted cue detection. Importance instructions and focal PM cues selectively increased and decreased μ cost, respectively, relative to the standard nonfocal condition. These findings suggest that μ cost may reflect a target-checking process that benefits cue detection and produces slowing throughout the entire ongoing task. Additionally, across all experiments proactive control was positively associated with μ cost and cue detection, and generally negatively associated with variability cost (τ and CoV). These findings suggest that natural variation in proactive control ability may affect reliance on more efficacious monitoring processes that facilitates cue detection. Furthermore, variability in responding may have little influence on successful PM. The results from the current study highlight the utility of RT variability and distribution analyses in understanding PM costs and have important implications for extant theories of PM concerning the cognitive control processes underlying cue detection. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Boosting maintenance in working memory with temporal regularities. 20171102
    Music cognition research has provided evidence for the benefit of temporally regular structures guiding attention over time. The present study investigated whether maintenance in working memory can benefit from an isochronous rhythm. Participants were asked to remember series of 6 letters for serial recall. In the rhythm condition of Experiment 1A, a wood block sound was presented 6 times with a regular stimulus-onset-asynchrony during the delay between encoding and recall. In the silent condition, no sound was presented. The presence of the regular rhythm resulted in improved memory performance (Experiment 1A.), an effect also observed under articulatory suppression (Experiment 2), suggesting that temporal regularities can enhance maintenance in working memory including attentional refreshing. Experiment 1B confirmed this interpretation by showing that the presentation of a nonisochronous rhythm did not result in improved memory performance in comparison to a silent condition. The findings are discussed in relation to current working memory models and the theoretical framework of dynamic attending. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
  • The serial order of response units in word production: The case of typing. 20171102
    The selection and ordering of response units (phonemes, letters, keystrokes) represents a transversal issue across different modalities of language production. Here, the issue of serial order was investigated with respect to typewriting. Following seminal investigations in the spoken modality, we conducted an experiment where participants typed as many times as possible a pair of words during a fixed time-window. The 2 words shared either their first 2 keystrokes, the last 2 ones, all the keystrokes, or were unrelated. Fine-grained performance measures were recorded at the level of individual keystrokes. In contrast with previous results from the spoken modality, we observed an overall facilitation for words sharing the initial keystrokes. In addition, the initial overlap briefly delayed the execution of the following keystroke. The results are discussed with reference to different theoretical perspectives on serial order, with a particular attention to the competing accounts offered by position coding models and chaining models. Our findings point to potential major differences between the speaking and typing modalities in terms of interactive activation between lexical and response units processing levels. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Does visual salience of action affect gesture production? 20180412
    Past research suggests that speakers gesture more when motor simulations are more strongly activated. We investigate whether simulations of a perceptual nature also influence gesture production. Participants viewed animations of a spider moving with a manner of motion that was either highly salient (n = 29) or less salient (n = 31) and then described each motion event. Speakers in the high-salience condition produced significantly more gestures that depicted manner information. However, they did not produce significantly more gestures overall, more gestures that depicted the spider’s path and direction of motion, or more manner descriptions in speech. Moreover, the effect of visual salience on manner gestures persisted after controlling for expression of manner in speech. These findings suggest that speakers selectively produce gestures expressing features of perceptual representations that are highly salient. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)

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