ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 July 2004, Volume 36 Issue 04 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    Constraints of Lexical Tone on Semantic Activation in Chinese Spoken Word Recognition
    Zhou Xiaolin, Qu Yanxuan, Shu Hua, Gareth Gaskell, William Marslen-Wilson
    2004, 36 (04):  379-392. 
    Abstract ( 2620 )   PDF (509KB) ( 1623 )  
    Constraints of lexical tones on semantic activation on the recognition of spoken words in Chinese was investigated in three cross-modal priming lexical decision experiments. In Experiments 1 and 2, disyllabic compound words that shared the same segmental templates but differed in lexical tones (e.g., tiao4 yue4, jump vs. tiao2 yue1, treaty; numbers denote tone types) were used as auditory primes while words that were semantically related to one of the pairs were visually presented for lexical decision. The semantic primes and the tone-mismatch primes differed in the tones of the first, the second, or both syllables. In Experiment 3, nonword tone-mismatch primes were created by changing the first or the second tones of semantic primes. The similarity between the original tones and the resulting tones was also manipulated. It was found that the appearance of significant priming effects for the tone-mismatch primes depended on lexical competition environment, the goodness of fit between input tones and underlying tones, and the constituent position of mismatching tones. The results are discussed in terms of how tonal information in speech input is mapped onto the lexicon, how tonal information is represented in the lexicon, and how tonal constraints on semantic activation are influenced by competition environment.
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    The Role of Accentuation in Spoken Discourse Comprehension
    Yang Yufang, Li Xiaoqing
    2004, 36 (04):  393-399. 
    Abstract ( 2186 )   PDF (400KB) ( 1377 )  
    Three experiments were carried out to investigate the role accentuation plays in spoken discourse comprehension. The first experiment examined how accentuation influenced on-line processing speed during discourse comprehension, using sentence-by-sentence auditory moving window technique. The second and third experiments explored the effect of accentuation on the immediate results of discourse processing (namely the activation of information in discourse representation), using word recognition task. The results showed that: compared to neutral accentuation, appropriate accentuation speeded up discourse processing and inappropriate accentuation slowed discourse processing; compared to neutral accentuation, appropriate accentuation enhanced the activation of new information in discourse representation; however, inappropriate accentuation suppressed the activation of important new information although it enhanced the activation of old information it marked. Therefore, appropriate accenting accelerated discourse comprehension and inappropriate accentuation impeded discourse processing, both were exhibited both in on-line processing time and in immediate result of discourse processing.
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    The Influence Factors and Nonlinear Modeling of Color Constancy
    Shen Mowei, Chen Shuo, Zhou Xing, Wang Qiqun
    2004, 36 (04):  400-409. 
    Abstract ( 1074 )   PDF (554KB) ( 1669 )  
    The influence of illuminant, surface, and background on color constancy was investigated using computer simulation technology. The results showed that the characteristics of illuminant, surface, and background independently influenced the degree of color constancy. The degree of color constancy varied with illuminant change and reached the maximum under the neutral illuminant. Furthermore, the degree of color constancy fluctuated with surface variation in the surface matching test, which showed that color constancy was also dependent on the characteristics of the surface. The degree of color constancy in the same background was higher than that in a different background. Based on the results of the present study, a nonlinear color constancy model was established to approximate the test data. The model proved to be able to reflect the mechanism of human color constancy to a certain degree.
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    Global and Local Processing under Attended and Unattended Conditions
    Han Shihui, Wang Chun, Zhou Lei
    2004, 36 (04):  410-416. 
    Abstract ( 2004 )   PDF (368KB) ( 1753 )  
    Previous studies of global and local perception usually require subjects to respond to targets at the global or local level of compound stimuli, which are task relevant and attended. The current study investigated how global and local processes differ from each other when compound stimuli are unattended by examining the priming effect produced by global or local information of compound letters on responses to the following targets. In Experiment 1, we found a negative priming effect produced by compound stimuli on responses to probe letters. However, the priming effects produced by global and local primes did not differ. In Experiment 2, when the stimulus onset asynchrony between primes and probes was reduced relative to that used in Experiment 1, the priming effect arising from both global and local primes was eliminated. Interestingly, subjects made more errors to local than global letters when responding to the primes in both experiments. The results are discussed in terms of the advantage of global over local processing under the attended and unattended conditions.
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    Serially Presented Stimuli May Be Processed Simultaneously: Evidence From Study on the Attentional Blink
    Zhang Kan, Du Feng
    2004, 36 (04):  417-425. 
    Abstract ( 1142 )   PDF (535KB) ( 1350 )  
    Whether serially presented stimuli can be processed simultaneously or sequentially are tested by adopting a simplified AB paradigm. It was found that, when two stimuli (Target and Probe, T & P for short respectively) were serially presented without distracter between them, their pattern of RT matched the prediction of the Parallel Model exactly (Experiment 1). However, when T was immediately followed by a backward mask (in other words, T & P were interrupted by a distracter), T & P’s pattern of RT accorded with the Serial Model (Experiment 2). These patterns of results indicated that serially presented stimuli which have no distracter between them can be processed simultaneously. And this kind of parallel mechanism is extremely capacity-limited and possibly deals with only two objects simultaneously. Moreover, it can be interrupted by long interval between two targets.
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    Knowing that You Know and Knowing that You don't Know: a fMRI Study on Feeling-of-Knowing (FOK)
    Luo Jing, Kazuhisa Niki,Ying Xiaoping,Luo Yuejia
    2004, 36 (04):  426-433. 
    Abstract ( 2498 )   PDF (526KB) ( 1620 )  
    Neural correlates of feeling-of-knowing (FOK) were investigated by event-related fMRI and unrelated word-pairs in a standard Recall-Judgment-Recognition (RJR) procedure. According to performance in post-scan criterion test, FOK trials were categorized as “PP” (positive-FOK, positive/“hits”-recognition), “NN” (negative-FOK, negative/”misses”-recognition), “NP” (negative-FOK, negative-recognition), and “PN” (positive-FOK, negative-recognition). Contrasts between accurate FOK predictions (PP, NN) and inaccurate ones (NP, PN) revealed no difference. Further analysis indicated PP and NN were different; combining them together might conceal differences. Specifically, PP was associated with left prefrontal activities in BA 8 or BA 47 relative to NN or NP respectively. This observation queried the conventional view that regarded PP and NN as the same kind of “accurate FOK predictions”, and called for dissociations between feeling-of-knowing (PP) and feeling-of-not-knowing (NN).
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    Difference of Neural Correlates between Subitizing and Counting Reflected by ERPs
    Luo Yuejia,Nan Yun,Li Hong
    2004, 36 (04):  434-441. 
    Abstract ( 2257 )   PDF (505KB) ( 1157 )  
    The event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in normal young subjects to investigate the calculational abilities with/without distractors, and shed light on the relationship of subitizing and counting. The results show that the discontinuity of the effects of the variation of distractors from the subitizing range to the counting range. The electrophysiological evidences support the idea of the two processes being implemented in different functional systems. The distractor’s number variation caused different type of ERPs waveforms in two enumeration processings. The results confirmed the argument that subitizing and counting are two functionally different processings in the brain, they can be differentiated by the different effects of the variation of distractors.
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    Self-face identification in Chinese students
    Zhu Ying,Qi Jianli,Zhang Jian
    2004, 36 (04):  442-447. 
    Abstract ( 2580 )   PDF (385KB) ( 1863 )  
    Previous research using morphed stimuli has demonstrated that the right hemisphere may be preferentially involved in self-face recognition. To test this further, we employed a face-identification task and examined hand response differences in Chinese college students. Thirteen right-handed volunteers were presented ‘movies’ in which one face morphed into another. They were told to stop the ‘movies’ when the face looked like the end face more than the start face. The frames of the movie were pictures in which famous faces were combined with the participants’ faces (self) or their good friends’ faces (familiar). The results demonstrated that when responding with the left hand, participants had a tendency to identify the morphed images as their own face. The left hand advantage of self-face recognition was consistent with previous findings. However, the left-hand advantage also existed in familiar-face recognition under certain trials, which differs with results from Western participants. This difference is consistent with the idea of an “Independent” and “Interdependent” self. We suggest that research on the self in neuropsychology may need to consider the complexity of culture and context.
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    Brain Response is Shaped by Language Experience: Evidence from an fMRI Study on Beginning Second Language Learners
    Dong Qi, Xue Gui, Jin Zhen, Zeng Yawei
    2004, 36 (04):  448-454. 
    Abstract ( 2380 )   PDF (449KB) ( 1592 )  
    Functional MRI was used to explore the role of language experience in shaping the neural substrates of phonological processing. Twelve Chinese children who had very limited exposure to second language (L2), i.e., English, were scanned while they were performing visually presented rhyme judgment tasks in their two languages. We found that the phonological processing of subjects’ native language and their newly obtained L2 elicited overlapping activation in the left inferior frontal region. More important, thought the L2 tasks were more difficult and thus caused more intensive activation in bilateral parietal lobule, the Broca’s area was less intensively activated in the L2 tasks. These results confirm and extend the view that the involvement of Broca’s area in phonological processing is gradually increased as a function of language experience.
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    An Event-Related Potential Study On The Relationship Between Encoding And Stimulus Distinctiveness
    Guo Chunyan,Zhu Ying, Ding Jinhong,Fan Silu
    2004, 36 (04):  455-463. 
    Abstract ( 1936 )   PDF (562KB) ( 1574 )  
    The relationship between memory encoding and stimulus distinctiveness detection was examined by means of event-related potentials (ERP) in a single-trial word list learning paradigm with recognition following distraction. To manipulate primary and secondary distinctiveness, encoding of deep vs. shallow processing was contrasted, and encoding of high vs. low frequency words was contrasted. The major results were: (1) According to behavioral results, low-frequency words had more accurate recognition than high-frequency ones; deep processing had more accurate recognition than shallow processing; and there was a significant main effect of word frequency in deep processing whereas no significant difference in shallow processing. (2) Amplitudes of late positive component (LPC) were larger for low- than for high-frequency words; for low-frequency words, ERPs were more positive for the subsequently recognized than for the unrecognized words. Therefore, encoding success was dependent on indirect processing and word frequency.
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    The development of fluid intelligence: Evidence for the role of working memory but not processing speed
    Liu Chang
    2004, 36 (04):  464-475. 
    Abstract ( 3156 )   PDF (647KB) ( 1948 )  
    This study recruited 243 children ranging from 10 to 18 years of age to investigate the role of working memory and processing speed in the development of fluid intelligence. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling indicated that there are strong correlations between working memory, processing speed and fluid intelligence constructs. However, nearly all of the age-related improvements in fluid intelligence are accounted for by developmental changes in working memory, which also greatly account for the magnitude of age-related increase in processing speed. Moreover, age-related increases in speed don’t mediate age-related improvements in fluid intelligence directly or indirectly when the role of working memory in the development of fluid intelligence has been considered. The results suggested that children’s working memory underlies the development of fluid intelligence while processing speed may be related to individual differences in fluid intelligence.
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    Mechanisms of Implicit Sequence Learning of School Students
    Ding Jinhong, Yuan Rubing, Guo Chunyan, Tian Xuehong
    2004, 36 (04):  476-481. 
    Abstract ( 2441 )   PDF (361KB) ( 1528 )  
    Two experiments were conducted to investigate the mechanisms of secondary tasks during implicit sequence learning, in which different secondary tasks were used in each experiment. Ninety-six school students participated in these experiments (48 in each). The first experiment concerned with the effect of the secondary task and the sequence structure on the implicit sequence learning. The running-count was used as a secondary task. More difficult secondary task, tone-counting, was used in the second experiment to test the effect of the attention on the implicit sequence learning. The results show that: (1) The mechanism of implicit sequence learning is a pair-wise association mechanism, which forms associations between adjacent items. (2) The secondary task reduces the adolescents’ implicit sequence learning, the reason of these effects is not that the secondary task distracts the attention, but they disrupt the organization of the items in the sequence.
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    The Effect of Mnemonic Key-letters Method on Chinese Children at risk in English Vocabulary Learning
    Lin Chongde,Li Tsingan,Li Hongyu
    2004, 36 (04):  482-490. 
    Abstract ( 2415 )   PDF (409KB) ( 1655 )  
    The key-letters method is the integrative product of the keyword method, a well-known mnemonic strategy in the Western world, with the characteristics of the Chinese characters. With 21 fifth-graders at risk for learning disabilities at elementary school as the experimental group subjects and 39 first-grade normal students from a junior high school as the control group subjects, and with 64 obscure English words as memory test materials, the current experiment examined the effect of the mnemonic key-letters method on Chinese children at risk in English vocabulary learning. The most important and the most exciting finding obtained from the current experiment is as follows: prior to the instructions on the key-letters method, the experimental group subjects were much poorer in English vocabulary learning than the control group ones, however, after completion of the instructions on the key-letters method, the differences between the experimental and control group subjects didn’t approach significance.
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    What is “Chinese” Personality? Subgroup Differences in the Chinese Personality Assessment Inventory (CPAI-2)
    Fanny M Cheung, Shu-fai Cheung, Zhang Jianxin
    2004, 36 (04):  491-499. 
    Abstract ( 3010 )   PDF (318KB) ( 2138 )  
    The Chinese Personality Assessment Inventory (CPAI) is an indigenously developed personality measure, which covers both universal and culture-specific personality dimensions. We argue that a combined emic-etic approach reflects the broader psychological reality and is a useful approach to advance our understanding of psychology cross-culturally. We examine subgroup differences in the CPAI-2 normative sample to illustrate variations and continuity of personality characteristics within the same culture. Sex and age differences on mean scores of the CPAI-2 scales are consistent with expected variations associated socialization and developmental stages. There is no consistent pattern of variations across Hong Kong and different geographical regions within Mainland China. Within-culture and cross-cultural differences illustrate the continuity of individual differences in personality, and the dialectics of emic and etic constructs.
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    Expression of c-fos in Amygdala and Conditioned Immunosuppression
    Lin Wenjuan,Li Jie,Zheng Li,Chen Jihuan, Wang Weiwen
    2004, 36 (04):  500-505. 
    Abstract ( 1713 )   PDF (372KB) ( 1054 )  
    By using c-fos protein production as a marker of neuronal activation, the present work attempts to localize the various subdivisions within the amygdala that may participate in the neural mechanism of conditioned immunosuppression (CIS) in a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm. CTA and CIS were established by intake of saccharin as the conditioned stimulus (CS) with an injection of cyclophosphamide as an unconditioned stimulus (UCS). After animals were re-exposed to CS alone at intervals of 5 or 30 days after two trials of CS-UCS pairing, both CTA and CIS were assessed and the expression of c-fos protein in the amygdala nucleus was also observed correspondingly. The results showed that CTA occurred on both day 5 and day 30 after conditioning but CIS occurred only on day 5 after conditioning. Furthermore, it was found that intensive c-fos expression in the amygdaloid central (CeA) in the CS group was observed at the 5 days interval and a few c-fos immunoreactive inductions at the 30 days interval after re-exposure to CS. In the UCS group, only few c-fos immunoreactive productions in the CeA were detected at either interval testing. By comparing the results of the 5th day with the 30th day, it suggests that the CeA is an important nucleus related to the modulation of CIS. The role of other sub-nuclei of the amygdala in CTA and CIS are also discussed.
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