Automatic Lexical Access in Visual Modality: Eye-Tracking Evidence
Language processing has been suggested to be partially automatic, with some studies suggesting full automaticity and attention independence of at least early neural stages of language comprehension, in particular, lexical access. Existing neurophysiological evidence has demonstrated early lexically specific brain responses (enhanced activation for real words) to orthographic stimuli presented parafoveally even under the condition of withdrawn attention. These studies, however, did not control participants’ eye movements leaving a possibility that they may have foveated the stimuli, leading to overt processing. To address this caveat, we recorded eye movements to words, pseudowords, and non-words presented parafoveally for a short duration while participants performed a dual non-linguistic feature detection task (color combination) foveally, in the focus of their visual attention. Our results revealed very few saccades to the orthographic stimuli or even to their previous locations. However, analysis of post-experimental recall and recognition performance showed above-chance memory performance for the linguistic stimuli. These results suggest that partial lexical access may indeed take place in the presence of an unrelated demanding task and in the absence of overt attention to the linguistic stimuli. As such, our data further inform automatic and largely attention-independent theories of lexical access.
Eye tracking is a non-invasive method that has proven invaluable in studying attention, cognitive control and other higher order mental processes. The term mental attentional capacity was introduced by Juan Pascual-Leone in the Theory of Constructive Operators within the framework of a neo-Piagetian approach to cognitive development, where it is also known as the M-operator. It corresponds to the number of schemes that can be maintained and processed in the focus of mental attention (MA) and thus could be interpreted as a maturational component of working memory. To our knowledge, no eye tracking studies have been conducted so far with parametric measures of mental attentional capacity, which involve evaluating the effect on mental attentional load on eye movements. In the current study, groups of adults and children completed all levels of MA load in two interference conditions (high and low). The results of this study show that the eye movements of adults and children during a cognitive task are affected differently by MA load.
Linguistic problems of individuals with agrammatic aphasia are not solely restricted to the grammatical domain: a considerable delay in lexical processing was also found in this clinical population (Prather et al., 1997). It was suggested that language processing abilities of aphasic individuals is predictable from their working memory (WM) capacities (Caspari et al., 1998; Friedmann & Gvion, 2003; Wright & Fergadiotos, 2012), however experimental evidence for that is still sparse.
The goal of the present study was to investigate the time course of lexical ambiguity resolution in healthy individuals and patients with agrammatism as a function of their WM span. We hypothesized that patients’ poorer than overall normal performance could at least partly be explained by their reduced WM capacities. Specifically, patients and healthy low WM span individuals were expected to demonstrate similar processing strategies.
Inefficient lexical processing has been found in both fluent and non-fluent aphasia, although different underlying mechanisms were proposed for those two clinical populations (Prather et al., 1997). Individuals with non-fluent aphasia were suggested to have delayed initial lexical activation, while problems of individuals with fluent aphasia concerned inhibition of irrelevant activation. The current study was designed to further tap into the time course of lexical processing in non-fluent and fluent aphasia. Specifically, lexical ambiguity resolution was investigated using an eye‐tracking‐while‐listening paradigm.
We investigated automatic Spatial–Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) effect in auditory number processing. Two experiments continually measured spatial characteristics of ocular drift at central fixation during and after auditory number presentation. Consistent with the notion of a spatially oriented mental number line, we found spontaneous magnitude-dependent gaze adjustments, both with and without a concurrent saccadic task. This fixation adjustment (1) had a small-number/left-lateralized bias and (2) it was biphasic as it emerged for a short time around the point of lexical access and it received later robust representation around following number onset. This pattern suggests a two-step mechanism of sensorimotor mapping between numbers and space — a first-pass bottom-up activation followed by a top-down and more robust horizontal SNARC. Our results inform theories of number processing as well as simulation-based approaches to cognition by identifying the characteristics of anoculomotor resonance phenomenon.
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.
The distractive effects on attentional task performance in different paradigms are analyzed in this paper. I demonstrate how distractors may negatively affect (interference effect), positively (redundancy effect) or neutrally (null effect). Distractor effects described in literature are classified in accordance with their hypothetical source. The general rule of the theory is also introduced. It contains the formal prediction of the particular distractor effect, based on entropy and redundancy measures from the mathematical theory of communication (Shannon, 1948). Single- vs dual-process frameworks are considered for hypothetical mechanisms which underpin the distractor effects. Distractor profiles (DPs) are also introduced for the formalization and simple visualization of experimental data concerning the distractor effects. Typical shapes of DPs and their interpretations are discussed with examples from three frequently cited experiments. Finally, the paper introduces hierarchical hypothesis that states the level-fashion modulating interrelations between distractor effects of different classes.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.