An international conference organized biannually by the Interregional Association for Cognitive Studies (IACS) brings together scholars from all over Russia as well as their international colleagues. The present review covers the 8th International Conference on Cognitive Science that was held in October 2018 in Svetlogorsk, Russia. We provide an overview of the plenary talks and highlight the main topics of oral and poster presentations, as well as talks from interdisciplinary workshops that took place during the final two days of the conference. The special focus of this review is neurocognitive research. Noteably, both the talks and poster presentations featured many studies in neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics, as well as research in cognitive development and animal cognition, further developing cultural and evolutionary perspectives on cognition.
This article analyzes the similarities between the scientific biographies of Benjamin Lee Whorf, one of the authors of the hypothesis of linguistic relativity, and Daniel Everett, who described the Pirahã language. It discusses their roles in contemporary scientific communities and society in general, as well as their views and achievements. The analysis examines the similarity of their scientific destinies, the tremendous success of their theoretical constructions, outstepping the boundaries of linguistics, and the associated critical impact on their reputations. However questionable might be the accuracy of specific observations, it does not change the value of the discussions they provoked. The role of the hypothesis of linguistic relativity in science is determined not by its verity, but by the array of studies for which it has become both a methodology and an incentive. Everett participates in the construction of its new version, that is a complex and interdisciplinary study of language and culture in correlation with the norms of behavior and thinking.
This article reviews the research in visual working memory (VWM) over the past 20 years. We describe research methodologies in the field and focus on commonly used paradigms such as change detection and continuous report (including the use of mixed models for analysis) that aim to measure the capacity and precision of VWM. We also consider the organization of units of storage in VWM; in particular, we describe feature binding and representing multiple objects as ensemble summary statistics. We review theories that try to explain the nature of VWM limitations: structural theories (slot-based), resource theories, hybrid theories (slot and resource theories), and a recently suggested hierarchical encoding theory. Theories aiming to explain forgetting mechanisms in VWM are reviewed. We also discuss the neural correlates of VWM encoding and storage, as well as neurophysiological models of VWM that are substantially influenced by the mentioned theories.
Ensemble perception refers to the ability of an observer to precisely estimate summary statistics of multiple objects (average feature value, feature distribution range, numerosity, etc.) at a glance. This article reviews the properties and research methodology of ensemble perception. Further, we consider the theoretical debate around mechanisms of information sampling and summary statistics calculation. One theory suggests a coarse, parallel and exhaustive mechanism, whereas another theory assumes high-precision processing of a small subsample of items to accomplish proxy statistics for the entire ensemble. We describe the evolving view of the internal ensemble representation that initially was viewed as a single magnitude (e.g., average size, speed, etc.) but later thought of as the entire feature distribution of all items. We also discuss the role of ensemble representations in various perceptual tasks. Finally, we describe potential neural correlates and neurally plausible models of ensemble perception.
Since pre-school age, children rely on contextual information while generalizing information about new objects. It is still uncertain what underlies this inductive selectivity; whether it is associative learning, which depends on the numbers of features that an object has, or conceptual learning, which depends on the features’ content. In the first experiment, we varied the contextual information and found that 4-5-year-olds rely more on contextual features of the object (shape and colour of the background), but not on spatial ones (location). In the second experiment we varied the combination of context features and showed that, given a lack of information about an object (shape only), children rely on contextual spatial features more than on the object’s features. Moreover, they prefer not to rely on contextual information at all if the object’s information was modified (same shape but different colour). Together, these results indicate the dependence of inductive selectivity on conceptual learning, not only associative learning.
This paper discusses the design of exploratory objects that stimulate curiosity and exploration without instructions or explicitly posed problems. It is proposed that such an object can be considered as a specially designed meta-affordance as a challenge to curiosity and exploratory activity containing a variety of different affordances of lower levels. The concepts of deexploratory and counter-exploratory objects are also introduced. Deexploratory objects prevent non-desirable curiosity and exploration. Counter-exploratory objects are designed to do damage during their exploration. It is concluded that the comparison of objects having different specially designed exploratory, deexploratory and counter-exploratory components provide an opportunity to better understand practices of guided activity (management, manipulation) with positive and negative intentions. English full text: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322644152_Exploratory_and_Counter-Exploratory_Objects_Design_of_Meta-Affordances
The paper briefly introduces the history of cognitive psychology from its emergence in the 1950s until the present. The unique contribution of cognitive psychology to psychological science is discussed. The main lines of cognitive psychology criticism and self-criticism are outlined: they include the single representational format in the information processing system, the limited resources of this system, and the degree of similarity in information processing between living and artificial systems. A number of state of the art research areas have emerged as a response to these criticisms: among them are embodied cognition, situated cognition, social and distributed cognition, emotional cognition, and many others. Possible scenarios of the further development of cognitive psychology and cognitive science are analyzed.
The review covers the studies implemented at the intersection of cognitive and affective sciences that were presented at the conference of the International Society for Research on Emotion (ISRE) in July 2019 in Amsterdam. Three groups of studies are described: (1) interaction between emotional and cognitive processes — the most popular topics were the relationships between emotions and executive functions, memory, and decision making; (2) emotion perception including biological and social determinants of emotion perception, cross-cultural specificity of emotional expressions, and the role of facial mimicry; and (3) affective computing — the design of systems used for recognition and simulation of human emotions. The conference demonstrates the popularity of studies of the interactions between emotion and cognition.
The aim of the current study was to provide an empirical evidence of an emotional state’s influence on the updating of affective information in working memory. The emotional congruence effect was expected: participants in a happy emotional state would be more successful in updating positive information compared to negative and neutral information. It was also expected that participants in a negative emotional state would show the opposite pattern of results. The sample included 66 subjects (age: M = 18.56; SD = 1.02). To measure updating, an affective n-back task was applied with positive, negative and neutral words as stimuli. To induce an emotional state, a combination of autobiographical memories and music listening was used. No emotional congruence effect has been obtained. The pattern of results for reaction times and accuracy was similar in both groups; most likely, it was partially caused by the sequence effect. In all types of trials, participants responded faster after emotion induction. The accuracy of responses to negative (M = 0.83; SD = 0.12) was significantly different compared to positive (M = 0.78; SD = 0.16) and neutral trials (M = 0.73; SD = 0.21). The results show that the updating of emotional stimuli is more effective compared to neutral stimuli; among emotional stimuli, updating negative stimuli is more effective compared to positive stimuli.
Standardized tests with normative data have become the gold standard for assessing reading skills and for diagnosing a specific reading disorder (developmental dyslexia) in many languages. For Russian, there is one such reading assessment test called the Standardized Assessment of Reading Skills, developed by A.N. Kornev and first published in 1997. However, the most recent available normative data on this methodology were collected more than a decade ago, and researches did not control for several important variables. Furthermore, no details have been published about the diagnostic validity of this test. We used the test to assess reading skills in 90 typically developing Russian primary school children in 2018. In this article, we present the results of testing typically developing children, including updated values of reading fluency and, for the first time, metrics of reading comprehension and weighted error scores. Additionally, we tested 50 children with clinically diagnosed developmental dyslexia and provide information about the sensitivity and specificity of the Standardized Assessment of Reading Skills.
This paper explores language comprehension and production in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by an epileptogenic focus near language areas or their homologues in the brain. Behavioral studies have shown that language processing in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy could be impaired across language domains — from single words to discourse. Neuroimaging data suggest that temporal lobe epilepsy may lead to changes in the lateralization and localization of language functions, reorganization of functional connections, and alterations in cortical structure and white matter tracts. The severity of language impairments and the degree of functional and structural reorganization in the brain correlate with clinical factors, including lateralization of the epileptogenic focus, age at seizure onset, disease duration, and frequency of epileptiform activity.
At the age of 12-24 months, infants are actively interested in objects used by adult, despite the number of experienced difficulties in achieving their goals. What is making the child attempt to handle an object for designated purpose while watching the adult? One of the evident explanations concerns the efficiency of the adult’s behavior and child’s desire to achieve the same result. However, widely known researches prove that a child is guided not exclusively by result, but also by adult’s intention. In our study, we verified the reason guiding a child’s choice in ambiguous condition modeled by situations opposing intentional and efficient behavior style of the adult. We discovered, that 16-20 months old infants preferred copying adult’s intentional action (even if the action was not providing for an attractive result), but not accidental (even if the action was providing for an attractive result). However, the tendency of following the intention is developing in process of growing, as no similar pattern is observed at 12-16 months children. Here we also discuss the found out phenomenon in terms of its relation to the existing data on overimitation effect's research including the age range of its manifestation. Our data allow assuming that development of infant experience acquisition through interaction with an adult is, probably not carried out by complication of instrumental activity but through adjoining the child’s learning process of action planning while acquiring the experience.
The Implicit Learning Seminar is an annual scientific event that brings together researchers of unconscious cognition from different countries. Axel Cleeremans, Zoltan Dienes, Elisabeth Norman, and other well-known figures in the field of implicit learning regularly participate in the seminar. Its informal atmosphere, narrow topic range and small number of participants are ideal for discussing issues that go beyond what is usually presented in scientific articles. Special attention is paid to the results of “failed” experiments, in addition to discussions of theoretical frameworks, methodological issues, and empirical studies. The article describes the seven-year history of the seminar and gives a brief overview of the topics discussed in the May 2018 event which was held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) is a group of noninvasive brain stimulation methods that apply weak electric currents through the scalp to interfere with brain activity. TES methods include transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS). These methods are prominent in contemporary cognitive neuroscience, but the specific mechanisms of TES neuromodulation are still unclear. This review is devoted to the history of TES, the most established effects of TES, as well as the possibilities and limitations of TES applications for research in cognitive neuroscience, for neurorehabilitation and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, and for cognitive enhancement in healthy people.
The aim of the study was to compare the performance of adults and children on the object orientation task performed on tablets. In this task, participants decide whether the images of objects on a tablet screen are presented in upright or inverted orientation. Participants respond by tapping the screen with a finger of either hand. The effect of orientation is an acceleration of the motor response in the trials with spatial compatibility of the object’s functional part and the hand used for the response. When presenting the task on a computer monitor, the image perception area and the motor response area are spatially separated. When performing the task on a tablet, they share a common space, which is important for explaining the effect in the embodied cognition account. Initially, we found that in adults who performed the task on the tablet, the object orientation effect was observed only for objects with one functional part (handle). In the case of objects with two functional parts (handle and spout), this effect was found in relation to the other functional part (spout), which defines the spatial directivity of the general form of the object. These results are discussed considering the change of the visual field and its relation to motor actions when performing the task on a tablet. In children, no object orientation effect was found.