Age-related brain changes are the main cause of cognitive decline. Active cognitive task perform- ance as well as resting-state activity might be a sensitive index for studying differences in aging. We investigated age-related changes in the spontaneous neuronal activity with functional mag- netic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a resting-state condition. To evaluate differences in aging, we analyzed functional connectivity between resting-state networks in two groups of older and younger healthy volunteers. Seven resting-state networks were isolated, and cross-correlation matrices were computed for the time courses. Older subjects showed decreased activity of the auditory, visual, sensory-motor networks, frontoparietal and salience networks accompanied by increased coupling of the salience network with the sensorimotor and default mode network compared to younger subjects. The age-related differences in functional connectivity may be due to aging impairment of the prefrontal cortex leading to a loss of activation in the salience, senso- rimotor and visual networks in older subjects compared to the younger subjects. However, the default mode network was more prominent in the left hemisphere and showed more coupling with the salience network in older subjects than in younger subjects, indicating possible compen- satory engagement of cognitive control regions in resting-state cognition. The results show that independent of task design and performance the functional connectivity method reflects neural changes in the aging brain.
The study presented in this paper is focused on the development of theoretical models of the dialogic and non-dialogic nature of the personal relationship to the Other. Based on the philosophical and psychological research of the dialogue (M. M. Bakhtin, M. Buber, J. Sartre, E. Levinas, H. J. M. Hermans, T. Maranhao, M. Puchalska-Wasyl, F . Rivetti Ваrbo, T. Zittoun), the author emphasizes the involvement of the individual in various forms of activity that, due to personal efforts, acquire a dialogical character. The “personality’s attitudes toward significances” stand out among these forms, including the relation to another significant person. The author develops an understanding of dialogue as a complete realization of the relation to the Other in the dimensions between-I-and-Other, I-in-Other, Other-in-I, and I-in-Self-with-Other. Non-dialogicity, which rarely happens to be the subject of psychological research, firstly can be defined as one of the possibilities for the formation of an attitude; secondly, as a regress of the dialogical attitude; thirdly, as a binary opposition present in the conscious plane, or “in the shade” of the dialogical dynamics of the attitude; fourthly, as a trend that conflicts with dialogicity in favour of the development of dialogue. Following the multilateral view on the genesis of dialogicity/non-dialogicity in the personality’s relation to the Other, a number of theoretical models have been developed: a model of the dialogic attitude to the significance; models of the I in the context of a dialogical attitude; the existential model of regression in the dialogicity of the I-Other relation; a model of personal prerequisites of non-dialogicity in relation to the I-Other; a model of oppositions to dialogicity in the dimensions of the I-Other relation.
The experimental study of top-down influences upon visual search for a target letter in large let- ter arrays has been performed. The core question of this study was whether words embedded into random letter strings — and not perceptually segregated for an observer — can influence effici- ency of the search for letters embedded either in words, or in random letter sequences between words. The experiment was based on an original modification of the classic selective attention test developed a century ago by H. Muensterberg. Participants performed visual search for a pre- defined letter of the Russian alphabet in letter matrices which included Russian words. In the first experimental condition, target letters always belonged to words, but the participants were not warned about the words, or about the arrangement of target letters in the matrix. In the second experimental condition, target letters never belonged to words. In the third (control) condition, there were no words embedded into letter matrices. The study revealed a dissociation between visual search efficiency and subjective representation of the search task. Although pre- sentation conditions did not influence search rate, the participants significantly differed in their subjective experience of this influence. If target letters belonged to words, the words subjective- ly facilitated performance; whereas, if target letters did not belong to words, the words subjecti- vely hampered the search. Moreover, if target letters were embedded in words, the participants noticed the words twice as often as in the opposite condition. We interpret this result as a disso- ciation between top-down processes in the visual system, and top-down influences upon visual search arising from chunking in visual information processing.
Despite the growth of negative attitudes to homosexuals in Russia the research into this topic has been extremely scarce. Based on the analysis of social discourse, we have created a pool of items and undertaken three empirical studies aimed to develop and validate the Russian Attitudes to Homosexuals Inventory (RAHI) and investigate the associations of homophobic attitudes with a range of demographic and psychological variables. In Study 1 we used an online sample (N = 1,007) and explored the structure of the item pool, finding 8 factors, 5 of which referred to different dimensions of perceived threat of homosexuals (to individuals, morals, society, Russian culture, and heterosexual lifestyle) and 3 described social strategies directed at homosexuals (criminal punishment, medical treatment, and discrimination vs. protection). The scales were highly reliable (α = .82-.91) and formed a single second-order dimension, labelled general index of homophobia. Negative attitudes to homosexuals were stronger in males, religious respondents, and those heterosexuals who denied having experienced any feelings of same-sex attraction in their life. In Study 2 (paper-based sample, N = 292) we cross-validated the second-order structure of the RAHI. Using hierarchical multiple regression we found that homophobia was positively predicted by authoritarianism and negatively predicted by experience of same-sex attraction and social contact with homosexuals as friends. We also found weaker positive associations of homophobia with religiosity, social identification with gender, masculinity, extraversion, and social desirability, as well as a negative association with openness. In Study 3 we used contrast groups of neutral and anti-homosexual online community members (N = 330 and N = 107) to check the criterion validity of the RAHI. The findings are in line with the existing body of research from other countries, but reveal the culturally-specific features of the content of Russian homophobia (e.g., homosexuality is viewed as a result of Western influence). The RAHI emerged as a valid and reliable tool, which can be used for future Russian-language studies.
Nowadays, there is an increasing interest on the acquisition of the reading fluency. This is characterized as an automated reading which leads higher rates of speed and accuracy and allows the reader to carry out higher-level comprehension processes. A key factor for the achievement of a reading fluency is the establishment of word representations in the reader’s lexicon, which allow the direct visual recognition of words. It is widely accepted that to construct these mental representations a repeated visual exposure to novel words is needed. However, the nature of memory traces reached after this training is a question hotly debated in behavioral literature. While some authors argue that a simple visual training enables the formation of lexical traces for novel words, others argue that a training not only in orthographic but also in other word features (as the phonology or meaning) is required for the acquisition of high quality lexical representations. The use of more suitable measures for exploring the brain response during this process could contribute to solve this question. In this sense, the ERP approach emerges as a powerful tool to study the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the acquisition of the lexical reading, and particularly the training conditions under which the formation of high quality lexical representations is possible. In this paper, the main contributions from the ERP literature to the understanding of the novel word lexicalization are reviewed.
A classification of spectral patterns of EEG underlies several cognitive neurotechnologies including passive and active brain-computer interfaces. Despite arithmetic tasks often being used in studies of cognitive workload, there is a lack of findings describing a possibility to recognize EEG patterns related to different types of math operations. In the present work, we have shown that the power spectral density of EEG can be used to classify types of mental operations including a classification of verbal and different mathematical tasks for simple arithmetic operations or logical tasks with arithmetic progressions. The verbal tasks were separated from arithmetic ones significantly better than arithmetic from logical tasks, and verbal from logical tasks. Better discrimination of verbal tasks from arithmetic but not from logical tasks supports the hypothesis of unique EEG patterns associated with verbal activity that apparently differ from mental operations in arithmetic. Additionally, we compared the behavioral performance in problem solving and accuracy of EEG classification in two groups of subjects with education in math or humanities (N=8+8). We obtained the predicted differences related to better performance of the math group in solving math tasks than the humanitarian group. However, the classification accuracy of tasks based on EEG did not differ significantly between groups and was essentially higher than random. Considered together, our results support the hypothesis that EEG patterns reflect individual cognitive states corresponding to mental operations and can be used in classification of different cognitive activity.
Brain responses of 7–10-year-old Finnish children to two speech contrasts incorporated in pseudowords (PWs) and varying in perceptual difficulty were studied. An oddball paradigm was used to record event-related potentials (ERPs) to a standard PW /baka/ and two deviant PWs: the easier = /baga/ and the more difficult /bag*a/ that sounded as intermediate between /baka/ and /baga/. An ability of children to actively discriminate the more difficult contrast was investigated in two separate behavioral sessions that alternated with the ERP recording blocks. The enhanced amplitude of the most negative response to the standard, not to the deviants, suggested formation of an acoustic template for the frequent PW during the experiment. There was no reliable block effect on the amplitude of the mismatch negativity (MMN), an automatic index of an experience-dependent auditory memory trace. This suggests consolidation of the short-term representation of the repetitively presented PW that took place during passive exposure to stimuli, rather than changes in the preattentive discrimination process. This was also supported by the evidence from a behavioral discrimination test. No perceptual learning to discriminate the difficult speech contrast could be seen in the children in the absence of the active behavioral discrimination.
One of the topics in current psycholinguistics research is studying the factors affecting syntactic choice in sentence production. Previous research suggests that syntactic choice results from an interplay between linguistic and non-linguistic factors, and a speaker’s attention to the elements of a described event represents one such factor. It is a well-established fact that our attention receives inputs from various attentional modalities (e.g auditory, motor, olfactory etc.) simultaneously. Afterwards, attention filters the input by a number of factors (e.g. saliency) and allocates resources to the most prominent and important input at the given moment. This poses a question of whether other attentional modalities affect syntactic choice in a similar manner to visual modality. In this study we aimed to understand whether auditory and visual attention can affect syntactic choice. English native speakers described drawings of simple transitive events while their attention was directed to the location of the agent or the patient of the depicted event by means of either an auditory (monaural beep) or a visual (red circle) explicit lateral cue. We have measured the amount of passive structures produced. Our results were not significant, however there was a visible trend in visual cueing condition. In this paper we discuss possible reasons for such outcomes.
This article examines the relationship between value orientations and Entrepreneurial Intention according to Reasoned Action Approach. The empirical base of this study late on the results of a representative survey conducted in 2 regions of Russia (Central Federal District and the North Caucasian Federal District). The total sample included 2,061 respondents. Interviews were conducted with representative samples of 1,026 respondents from the Central Federal District of Russia, including Moscow, and 1,035 respondents from the North Caucasian Federal District of Russia. It was selected a subsample (269 pers.) from this sample. The subsample was composed of the respondents intending to open a business in the next 2 years. The results of research carried out in the framework of Reasoned Action Approach, allowed us to confirm the validity of the Theory of Planned Behavior in the Russian sample. The questionnaire included methods related to the assessment of values (PVQ-R), entrepreneurial intentions, and demographic variables.
To establish convergent and divergent validity of all the constructs of the theory of planned behaviour, attitude toward the behaviour, social norms, perceived behavioural control, and intention as well as the additionally introduced concept of implementation intention, we tested our measurement model simultaneously for all measures. For this purpose we conducted a simultaneous confirmatory factor analysis using maximum likelihood estimation for estimating all parameters.
It was also found that the value of Self-Direction (Action) is positively associated with the components of model of entrepreneurial planned behavior (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control). Value of Security (Personal) is negatively associated with attitude toward idea of opening a new business.
Environmental identity is a self-concept that incorporates and is defined by a relationship with nature; it is useful for predicting relevant social attitudes and behavior. In the current paper, the concept is investigated in three empirical studies using the Environmental Identity (EID) scale. Study 1 (n = 222) was devoted to validating the Russian version of the EID scale. Along with the EID scale, we measured environmental attitudes with the New Environmental Paradigm and Global Awareness of Consequences scales. Results showed that, in line with the original version, the Russian version has a one-factor structure and good internal consistency (α = .88), and is positively connected with environmental concern, global awareness of consequences, egoistic, altruistic and biospheric values. Study 2 (n = 94) investigated the connection between EID and attitudes toward the plant world using the People and Plants questionnaire. EID predicted all variables describing people’s attitudes towards plants: Joy, Aesthetics, Experience of interaction with plants, Closeness to nature, and Ecology. Finally, Study 3 (n = 200) examined the connection between EID and empathy with nature and people. Dispositional Empathy with Nature and Interpersonal Reactivity Index scales were used. It was revealed that EID was positively connected and contributed to both types of empathy, more strongly impacting empathy with nature. It is concluded that the Russian version of the EID scale is a valid and reliable instrument. In addition, the EID concept seems to relate to a more general ability to connect with things external to oneself. As such, it has the potential to be helpful in forming psychotherapeutic programs and in designing restorative environments.
Ethnic prejudices is a crucial factor affecting the relationship between ethnic groups. To measure blatant ethnic prejudice questionnaires are used which include questions and statements that reflect different aspects of negative attitudes towards ethnic groups. Since most of these techniques were created in North America and Western Europe, they reflect the content of ethnic prejudices prevalent in these regions, and need cultural adaptation. The aim of this study is to adapt the scale of blatant and subtle prejudice by Pettigrew and Meertens (Pettigrew & Meertens, 1995) for a Russian sample. The study included a pilot phase and a main phase. Participants of the pilot phase (N = 354) filled out the original version of the questionnaire translated into Russian, evaluating migrants who arrived in Russia from Central Asia and the Caucasus. The results showed the low structural validity of the original version of the scale. Participants of the main phase of the study (N = 402) filled out a modified version of the questionnaire, which included 28 statements that form six scales. The results showed that the highest structural validity is exhibited by a five-factor model, which includes the following scales: the perceived economical threat, the perceived physical threat, the avoidance of close contact, the perceived problems in adaptation, the exaggeration of cultural differences. The results demonstrated that Russian prejudices against migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus are associated with relative deprivation, ethnic identity and the intensity of intergroup contact. The structure of the methodology is universal and the link between individual factors and variables depend on the group that serves as the object of prejudice. In particular, relative deprivation and the number of contacts are more tightly linked to prejudice against migrants form Central Asia than prejudice against migrants from the Caucasus.
The Russian adaptation of the scale for estimating ambivalent attitudes toward men by P. Glick and S. Fiske is presented in the paper. The process of adaptation consisted of three stages and the full and short versions of the questionnaire were examined: the factor structure, the consistency of scales, and the structural and external validity were analyzed. In Study 1, an original inventory was translated into the Russian language and a confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the model of six factors, which formed two more general factors: hostility and benevolence, fitted the data well. However, further analysis indicated some problems with the formulation of items due to the cultural specifics. In Study 2, we examined the modified version of the Russian version of the AMI and created the short version. Results showed that this measure has adequate psychometric properties. In Study 3, we reproduced the results of the previous study on heterosexual and bisexual samples and examined the predictors of the AMI scales. The results demonstrated the stability of the factor structure of the scale in groups of people with different sex and sexual orientation, its internal consistency and validity. However, they showed that the short version of the questionnaire (12 statements) better corresponds to the empirical data than the long version (20 statements) does. The obtained results allow the Russian-language version of AMI to be considered as a reliable and valid tool for assessing ambivalent attitudes toward men.
The aim of this study is to develop and examine a scale that measures three components of perceived political efficacy: personal, collective and external. Twelve statements were formulated based on four abilities: 1) ability to influence the enactment of new laws and political decisions, 2) ability to facilitate the election of a political leader, 3) ability to demand that existing laws and political decisions be observed and 4) ability to express any political opinions freely and publicly. Data was collected online via social media from Russian, Kazakh and Ukrainian samples (N = 2,184) between 2015 and 2017. The scale’s structural validity was tested using confirmatory factor analysis. Results showed that with some modification the short version of the proposed model exhibits good fit indexes across all samples. Configural, metric and scalar invariance of the short version of the Perceived Political Efficacy Scale was also successfully tested. Additionally, differences in political efficacy between certain age groups were discovered, as well as between countries. Namely, people in the 30+ age bracket exhibited higher political efficacy than those in the 18–19 age bracket. Ukrainian respondents showed significantly higher personal and collective efficacy when compared to Russian and Kazakh respondents. Kazakh respondents exhibited the highest level of external efficacy.
Humans often change their views or opinions while interacting with each other. This often leads to behavioral changes. Such changes are often reciprocal and ultimately lead to an agreement or conclusion. One way to experimentally study human reciprocity would be to offer participants to take part in collective problem solving. This study analyzed feedback-related negativity (FRN) components of visual event-related potentials (ERP) in order to examine how the brain activity changes during joint performance of a task aimed at identifying a genuine image of a famous masterpiece as opposed to its mirror reflection as a function of a number of matched answers. The results of our electroencephalographic analysis showed that both erroneous and mismatched choices evoked comparable FRN responses in the brain activity of jointly working participants, possibly reflecting individual learning process based on action-monitoring and error-detection. When the subjects were asked to judge the stimuli for the second time following the peer’s feedback, the number of matched answers significantly increased while the amplitude of prediction error signal and FRN decreased, indicating conformity changes, possibly underlying the attunement. Our results agree with previous FRN findings supporting the neurobiological model of reinforcement learning, offering a possible neural mechanism of behavioral reciprocity and social attunement
In the last few years Russian society has been going through a stage of political, cultural and economic transformation that brings change to the lifestyle, attitudes, and the worldviews of Russian citizens. The process of development has embraced not only science and technology, but also social and cultural aspects of life. The contemporary image of Russia is in many ways defined by its younger generation that grew up with new economic, social and political standards. Young people’s values, attitudes and aspirations differ from those of the adult generation of Russians, since the last years have been marked by transformations inside the country, as well as by some global changes. This paper demonstrates the results of a study which aimed to identify the relationship between individual values and attitude towards innovation. 380 respondents, young and adult representatives of the Russian population, took part in the research. The respondents belonged to the younger generation (under 25 years old) or to the adult generation (over 45 years old). The principal instrument used was the method of questionnaires. The methodical inventory consisted of three main blocks oriented to the study of the following constructs: the PVQ-R Method of Measuring individual Values (Schwartz et al., 2012) and the method of Self-Assessment of Innovative Qualities of a Personality (Lebedeva& Tatarko, 2009).The goal of the research was to reveal the age differences in values and attitudes towards innovation, and to find which values determine positive or negative attitude towards innovations among representatives of different generations of Russians. The younger generation values of Individually Directed Thought, Stimulation, Achievement, Power/Dominance stimulate the adoption of innovations.
The paper is focused on the history and modern practices of creating and applying interactive exploratory objects and worlds that provoke curiosity in the individual and require exploration and experimentation to learn them and to achieve practical goals. The development, use and demonstration of a wide range of exploratory objects (play, educational, psycho-diagnostic, etc.) in various fields reflects an increasingly wide spread belief: one of the basic human abilities that is needed now and will be in demand in the future is the ability to cope with novelty, including through active exploration and experimentation. Five interrelated directions for the development and popularization of exploratory objects are identified: science; educational practice; assessment; game practices; and literature, art, official and unofficial journalism. Parameters of specially developed interactive exploratory objects and worlds in the context of preparing for encounters with novelty and complexity are discussed. The triangle of tests of intelligence, creativity and exploratory behavior in the space of regulation – freedom is presented. Two types of motivational challenges when exploring new objects are described: exploration for the sake of the very process of cognition and exploration for the sake of desired practical effects. The issue of features of exploratory objects that stimulate posing and solving epistemic problems rather than pragmatic problems, and vice versa, is raised. In conclusion, possible reasons for the mass development and supply of exploratory objects and worlds are formulated.
Judgements of learning are subjective estimations about the future recovery of a recently learned piece of information. They might be based on valid cues and therefore be predictors of future performance, or, based on invalid cues and no reflect it. Embodied cognition research showed that we have internalized a numerical scale for which, in the horizontal line, lower numbers are represented on the left and higher numbers on the right. Our aim was to investigate if the spatial numerical distribution on the horizontal space is reflected on metacognitive judgements, specifically, on judgments of learning, JOLs. Participants provided JOLs for words presented either on the left or on the right side of a screen. After a distractor task, participants completed a recognition test. Bayesian analysis showed that JOL´s were not influenced by the place of presentation, neither the later recognition memory test. Our results support previous research about JOL´s and vertical space, strengthening the conclusion that JOLs are a more deliberative process in which the spatial numerical distribution influence fades away.
Political leaders need the support of other citizens to exercise that influence and perform their functions. According to the leader categorization theory, people give more support to the leaders which fit a certain prototype – the idea of a perfect leader. In this study we analyze the link between just world belief, Russian national identity and the idea of a perfect leader. We assumed that the more people believe in a just world, the stronger their national identity is. The more they identify with Russia, the more support they expect from their political leader, and the more power they award to him. Members of psychological and political groups in Russian social media have participated in the study (N = 294). They filled out an online version of the survey, which included scales for measuring just world belief, Russian national identity and the idea of a perfect political leader. To test the hypotheses structural modeling was used. The results confirmed the hypotheses. At the same time, they show, that belief that the world is just towards other people plays a bigger role, than belief in the world being just towards one’s self.
A small percentage of children shows outstanding cognitive abilities and perform at much higher levels than their same age peers. Psychological science has absorbed knowledge from different spheres such as psychometrics, mathematics, statistics, and psychology to develop methods for identifying cognitively gifted children. The study of intelligence has a long history and has been influenced by social environment, wars, education systems and revolutions. In this paper we focus on two main techniques of identifying cognitively gifted children (a) intelligence testing and (b) domain specific exams called Olympiads (e.g., math and physics). We provide a short historical perspective of the evolution of intelligence testing in Europe and the USA and domain specific Olympiads in Russia. We discuss advantages and limitations of both techniques. Moreover, we highlight that cognitive neuroscientists have been trying to understand the brain mechanisms that may drive cognitive abilities in highly performing children using neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We summarize the knowledge we gained to date from fMRI studies and show that the majority of studies examine mathematically gifted male adolescents with mental rotation tasks. Despite critical advances there is still a lot to be done in understanding the semantic brain-behavior relations in cognitively gifted children.
Human choices are not only driven by inner preferences, but also have an impact on behavior. Economists and psychologists have extensively demonstrated that choosing between two attractive options leads to a downgrade of the rejected option and to an upgrade of the chosen one. Preference modulation after the mere act of making a choice has been repeatedly demonstrated over the last 50 years by an experimental paradigm called the ‘free-choice paradigm’. In the past decade the phenomenon of choice-induced preference change generated by cognitive dissonance has been explored by neuroscientists. An increasing amount of research has highlighted the central role of the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) in social conformity and cognitive dissonance. This area represents the dissonance between one’s currently inconsistent and ideally consistent states. However, other brain areas have been linked to cognitive dissonance and its resolution, but as yet the mechanisms underpinning cognitive dissonance and the functional connection among brain areas found involved in cognitive dissonance are still unknown. Here, we firstly review the neural mechanisms and brain areas involved in post-decisional preference change and cognitive dissonance. Secondly, we suggest an integration of the existing neurocognitive mechanism of cognitive dissonance. Finally, we suggest new research lines to further explore neural principles of cognitive dissonance and subsequent post-decisional preference change.
Special Theme of the Issue. Neurocognitive Aspects of Language Function and Use