Subscribe: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance - Vol 35, Iss 6
Preview: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance - Vol 35, Iss 6

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance - Vol 43, Iss 8

The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance publishes studies on perception, control of action, and related cognitive processes.

Last Build Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 04:00:48 GMT


A large-scale horizontal-vertical illusion produced with small objects separated in depth.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT

We conducted two experiments (total N = 81) to investigate the basis for the large-scale horizontal-vertical illusion (HVI), which is typically measured as 15%–20% and has previously been linked to the presence of a ground plane. In a preliminary experiment, vertical rods of similar angular extents that were either large (4.5–7.5 m) and far, or small (0.9–1.5 m) and near, were matched to horizontal extents in a virtual environment by adjustment of horizontal gaps or rods. Large/far objects showed a larger HVI (∼13%) than did small objects (∼7%), as has been shown before, but the horizontal gap normally used to measure the large-scale HVI was not the source of the larger bias. In the second experiment, we found that simply separating the comparison rod in depth from the vertical rod (thus forcing an evaluation of size at a distance) was sufficient to produce a large HVI (17%), even with small rods. The results are interpreted in light of evidence that the large-scale HVI is dependent on ground plane orientation and may be related to differential angular expansion in the visual coding of elevation and azimuth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Co-representation of others’ task constraints in joint action.

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Previous research has demonstrated that humans tend to represent each other’s tasks even if no interpersonal coordination is required. The present study asked whether coactors in a joint action rely on task co-representation to achieve temporal coordination even if this implies increased movement effort for an unconstrained actor. Pairs of participants performed reaching movements back and forth between two targets, with the aim of synchronizing their landing times. One of the participants needed to move over an obstacle while the other had no obstacle. The results of four experiments showed that the participant without obstacle moved as if an obstacle was obstructing her way. Further amplifying the demands on interpersonal coordination led to a significant increase of this effect, indicating that unconstrained actors represented their coactor’s task constraint and adjusted their own actions accordingly, particularly under high coordination demands. The findings also showed that unconstrained actors represented the object property constraining their coactor’s movement rather than parameters of this movement. We conclude that joint action partners rely on task co-representation to achieve temporal coordination in a task with asymmetric task constraints. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Digit–color synaesthesia only enhances memory for colors in a specific context: A new method of duration thresholds to measure serial recall.

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT

For digit–color synaesthetes, digits elicit vivid experiences of color that are highly consistent for each individual. The conscious experience of synaesthesia is typically unidirectional: Digits evoke colors but not vice versa. There is an ongoing debate about whether synaesthetes have a memory advantage over non-synaesthetes. One key question in this debate is whether synaesthetes have a general superiority or whether any benefit is specific to a certain type of material. Here, we focus on immediate serial recall and ask digit–color synaesthetes and controls to memorize digit and color sequences. We developed a sensitive staircase method manipulating presentation duration to measure participants’ serial recall of both overlearned and novel sequences. Our results show that synaesthetes can activate digit information to enhance serial memory for color sequences. When color sequences corresponded to ascending or descending digit sequences, synaesthetes encoded these sequences at a faster rate than their non-synaesthetes counterparts and faster than non-structured color sequences. However, encoding color sequences is approximately 200 ms slower than encoding digit sequences directly, independent of group and condition, which shows that the translation process is time consuming. These results suggest memory advantages in synaesthesia require a modified dual-coding account, in which secondary (synaesthetically linked) information is useful only if it is more memorable than the primary information to be recalled. Our study further shows that duration thresholds are a sensitive method to measure subtle differences in serial recall performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Dual-target cost in visual search for multiple unfamiliar faces.

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT

The efficiency of visual search for one (single-target) and either of two (dual-target) unfamiliar faces was explored to understand the manifestations of capacity and guidance limitations in face search. The visual similarity of distractor faces to target faces was manipulated using morphing (Experiments 1 and 2) and multidimensional scaling (Experiment 3). A dual-target cost was found in all experiments, evidenced by slower and less accurate search in dual- than single-target conditions. The dual-target cost was unequal across the targets, with performance being maintained on one target and reduced on the other, which we label “preferred” and “non-preferred” respectively. We calculated the capacity for each target face and show reduced capacity for representing the non-preferred target face. However, results show that the capacity for the non-preferred target can be increased when the dual-target condition is conducted after participants complete the single-target conditions. Analyses of eye movements revealed evidence for weak guidance of fixations in single-target search, and when searching for the preferred target in dual-target search. Overall, the experiments show dual-target search for faces is capacity- and guidance-limited, leading to superior search for 1 face over the other in dual-target search. However, learning faces individually may improve capacity with the second face. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

The impact of evidence reliability on sensitivity and bias in decision confidence.

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Human observers effortlessly and accurately judge their probability of being correct in their decisions, suggesting that metacognitive evaluation is an integral part of decision making. It remains a challenge for most models of confidence, however, to explain how metacognitive judgments are formed and which internal signals influence them. While the decision-making literature has suggested that confidence is based on privileged access to the evidence that gives rise to the decision itself, other lines of research on confidence have commonly taken the view of a multicue model of confidence. The present study aims at manipulating one such cue: the perceived reliability of evidence supporting an initial decision. Participants made a categorical judgment of the average color of an array of eight colored shapes, for which we critically manipulated both the distance of the mean color from the category boundary (evidence strength) and the variability of colors across the eight shapes (evidence reliability). Our results indicate that evidence reliability has a stronger impact on confidence than evidence strength. Specifically, we found that evidence reliability affects metacognitive readout, the mapping from subjectively experienced certainty to expressed confidence, allowing participants to adequately adjust their confidence ratings to match changes in objective task performance across conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Adding depth to overlapping displays can improve visual search performance.

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Standard models of visual search have focused upon asking participants to search for a single target in displays where the objects do not overlap one another, and where the objects are presented on a single depth plane. This stands in contrast to many everyday visual searches wherein variations in overlap and depth are the norm, rather than the exception. Here, we addressed whether presenting overlapping objects on different depths planes to one another can improve search performance. Across 4 different experiments using different stimulus types (opaque polygons, transparent polygons, opaque real-world objects, and transparent X-ray images), we found that depth was primarily beneficial when the displays were transparent, and this benefit arose in terms of an increase in response accuracy. Although the benefit to search performance only appeared in some cases, across all stimulus types, we found evidence of marked shifts in eye-movement behavior. Our results have important implications for current models and theories of visual search, which have not yet provided detailed accounts of the effects that overlap and depth have on guidance and object identification processes. Moreover, our results show that the presence of depth information could aid real-world searches of complex, overlapping displays. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Is orthographic information from multiple parafoveal words processed in parallel: An eye-tracking study.

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT

In the current study we investigated whether orthographic information available from 1 upcoming parafoveal word influences the processing of another parafoveal word. Across 2 experiments we used the boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) to present participants with an identity preview of the 2 words after the boundary (e.g., hot pan), a preview in which 2 letters were transposed between these words (e.g., hop tan), or a preview in which the same 2 letters were substituted (e.g., hob fan). We hypothesized that if these 2 words were processed in parallel in the parafovea then we may observe significant preview benefits for the condition in which the letters were transposed between words relative to the condition in which the letters were substituted. However, no such effect was observed, with participants fixating the words for the same amount of time in both conditions. This was the case both when the transposition was made between the final and first letter of the 2 words (e.g., hop tan as a preview of hot pan; Experiment 1) and when the transposition maintained within word letter position (e.g., pit hop as a preview of hit pop; Experiment 2). The implications of these findings are considered in relation to serial and parallel lexical processing during reading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

The effect of episodic retrieval on inhibition in task switching.

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Inhibition in task switching is inferred from n–2 repetition costs: the observation that ABA task switching sequences are responded to slower than CBA sequences. This is thought to reflect the persisting inhibition of Task A, which slows reactivation attempts. Mayr (2002) reported an experiment testing a critical noninhibitory account of this effect, namely episodic retrieval: If the trial parameters for Task A match across an ABA sequence, responses should be facilitated because of priming from episodic retrieval; a cost would occur if trial parameters mismatch. In a rule-switching paradigm, Mayr reported no significant difference in n–2 repetition cost when the trial parameters repeated or switched across an ABA sequence, in clear contrast to the episodic retrieval account. What remains unclear is whether successful episodic retrieval modulates the n–2 repetition cost. Across 3 experiments—including a close replication of Mayr—we find clear evidence of reduced n–2 task repetition costs when episodic retrieval is controlled. We find that the effect of episodic retrieval on the n–2 task repetition cost is increased when the cue–task relationship is made more abstract, suggesting the effect is because of interference in establishing the relevant attentional set. We also demonstrate that the episodic retrieval effect is not influenced by retrieval of low-level, perceptual, elements. Together, the data suggest the n–2 task repetition cost—typically attributable to an inhibitory mechanism—also reflects episodic retrieval effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)