ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 April 2010, Volume 42 Issue 04 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    Influence of Absolute Pitch on Music Syntax Processing
    JIANG Cun-Mei,ZHANG Qian,LI Wei-Jun,YANG Yu-Fang
    2010, 42 (04):  443-451. 
    Abstract ( 1292 )   PDF (398KB) ( 2035 )  
    Absolute pitch is defined as a unique ability to identify musical tones without external reference. Does pitch relation processing benefit from this ability? Miyazaki (1992, 1993) provided negative evidence suggesting that the poorer performances were observed in transposing musical intervals for absolute pitch possessors relative to the controls. Absolute pitch possessors also had difficulties in perceiving transposed melodies, whereas they performed better in the melodies played in the C major mode as compared to the controls (Miyazaki & Rakowski, 2002). It is well known that music syntax highly reflects the relationship of pitch in tonal music.
    Does music syntax processing benefit from absolute pitch? The question was investigated in two experiments. All the participants were music education undergraduate students, who were recruited by means of advertisements. They were tested in the basic grouping rules of music syntax and segment music phrase structure in the current study. 31 absolute pitch possessors and 31 non-absolute pitch possessors as the controls were selected as the subjects for this study, who were matched in gender and musical background. Experiment 1 involving the basic grouping rules of music syntax focuses on examining the abilities to find tonality and mode, perceiving tendency of melodic pitches and harmonic functional progression. These musical stimuli were played in major keys with C, D, E, Eb, and C minor. Experiment 2 investigated the ability to segment phrase structure, concentrating on segmenting phrase and hierarchy level within phrase structure in four tonal music pieces. The music pieces were mainly played in C major.
    Results showed that AP possessors scored higher in the tasks of tonality and mode, tendency of melodic pitches and harmonic functional progression compared to the controls in Experiment 1. Furthermore, AP possessors performed better on segmenting phrase and hierarchy level within phrase structures. The findings indicated that the superiority of music syntax processing AP possessors showed may be attributed to their excellent pitch perceptions.
    In conclusion, absolute pitch may not be perfect in music sense, especially in transposing music processing. However, it goes without saying that AP possessors can identify a specified pitch without external reference due to their long-term pitch memories. For those AP possessors, music syntax processing may benefit from their exceptional memories, thus leading to the superiority of performances on the basic grouping rules of music syntax and segment phrase structure. However, this must be viewed as a tentative study, and more systematic investigation into this question is needed in future.
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    The Asymmetric Effect of Bilingualism and Diglossia on Picture Naming and Picture Classification

    ZHANG Ji-Jia,ZHANG Feng-Ling
    2010, 42 (04):  452-466. 
    Abstract ( 1402 )   PDF (525KB) ( 1806 )  
    The language representation of bilinguals and monolinguals is an essential issue in cognitive psychology. Much research has examined the bilinguals by fulfilling picture naming tasks and picture classification tasks. Results showed that bilingualism affects picture naming but not picture classification. Two theories were put forward to explain this phenomenon. The theory of cross-language interference assumes that mental representations of the two languages (first and second languages) have the same semantic representation and different lexical representations. Competitions among different lexical representations were involved in the process of lexical selection, therefore bilinguals should have more difficulties than monolinguals in this task. Weaker links hypothesis suggests that bilinguals have the same lexical selection mechanisms as what monolinguals have. However, bilinguals have less chances to practice either the first or the second languages, whereas monolinguals have more chances to practice their native language, so that links between semantics and phonology in bilinguals’ lexical system are weaker. How do the Mandarin-English bilinguals and Cantonese-Mandarin bilinguals name pictures and categorize pictures? Is there any common points between the Mandarin-English bilinguals and Cantonese-Mandarin diglossia speakers and bilinguals of western languages?
    Using the task of picture naming and picture classification, 4 experiments were conducted to examine the performances of Mandarin-English bilinguals and Cantonese-Mandarin diglossia speakers. Experiment 1 and 3 investigated the differences between Mandarin-English bilinguals and Mandarin monolinguals, Cantonese-Mandarin diglossia subjects and Mandarin monolinguals with picture naming and picture classification tasks, respectively. Experiment 2 and 4 examined the same issue of experiment 1 and 3 by repeated the same pictures 5 times. 40 Mandarin-English bilinguals, 82 Mandarin monolinguals and 42 Cantonese-Mandarin diglossia undergraduates took part in these experiments. All pictures came from Snodgrass and Vanderwart. In the naming task, participants were asked to name the pictures presented on the screen of the computer as quickly and correctly as possible. In the categorizing task, participants were asked to decide whether the item a picture represents belongs to a certain category by pressing F or J on the keyboards of the computer.
    Results showed an asymmetric effect of bilingualism and diglossia on picture naming and picture classification. Bilinguals named pictures in their dominant language more slowly and with more errors than monolinguals did. In contrast, bilinguals, and Cantonese-Mandarin diglossia as well, named pictures as quickly as monolinguals did and classified them as quickly and as accurately as monolinguals did when the items were presented four or five times. The study suggests that bilingualism and diglossia affect picture naming but not affect picture classification. The results supported the theory of cross-language interference and the hypothesis of weaker links.
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    The Preliminary Study on the Nature of the Retrieval Process of Temporal Situation Models: Activation and Inhibition
    HE Xian-You,YAN Sai-Jun
    2010, 42 (04):  467-473. 
    Abstract ( 1123 )   PDF (285KB) ( 1534 )  
    This study used the retrieval interference methodology and negative priming paradigm to explore the specific mechanisms that are involved in the process of the retrieval of temporal situation modes. The cohort was 28 students from South China Normal University. The experimental material was 18 sentences in the form of “somebody does a certain kind of sport at an exact time”. The sentences were divided into two kinds, i.e., the same time and the different time condition, and each condition had one to three fan levels. For each experimental condition there was also a control condition.
    When compared the reaction time of sentences from different fan levels, significant Fan effect was found under the different time condition, while there was no Fan effect under the same time condition. This was consistent with the previous results. The retrieval process analysis shows that the reaction time of the target sentences under experimental condition was significantly shorter than that of the control condition, suggesting that there was a significant negative priming effect. This indicated that a suppression mechanism was involved during the retrieval process. To further explore this idea about the relationship between negative priming and Fan effect, the data from these two conditions were submitted to a correlation analysis. The two variables were significantly negatively correlated, and the negative priming effect was larger when there were one irrelevant model rather two. The number of models that needed to be suppressed on the prime trial had an influence on the degree of inhibition on the target trial. All the results indicated that during the retrieval process of temporal situation models, both activation and inhibition were involved rather than only activation.
    The results supported the inhibition views about long-term memory retrieval. But up to now, an appropriate way had not been found to exclude the possibility of other explanations for the negative priming effect. Therefore, it is needed to further explore the nature of the retrieval process of temporal situation models.
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    The Staged Construction of Temporal Discounting
    HE Jia-Mei,HUANG Xi-Ting,YING Ke-Li,LUO Yang-Mei
    2010, 42 (04):  474-484. 
    Abstract ( 1228 )   PDF (508KB) ( 1873 )  
    Temporal discounting is the psychological phenomenon that the value of future rewards is discounted with time to their receipt. The popular method to investigate temporal discounting is asking subjects to determine the indifferent point, using “choice” or “matching” method under the delay and interval experimental paradigms(Tversky, Sattath, & Slovic, 1988; Read & Roelofsma, 2003).
    It is found that as the temporal distance between the event and its reward increases, the subjective value of the reward decreases, and the discounted speed also slow down (Green & Myerson, 1996; Cajueiro, 2006; Rubinstein, 2003). It means the time intervals between sooner and delayed rewards are the same in the two intertemporal choice problems. Most people prefer later rewards in the distant future but prefer sooner rewards when the times of receiving the two delayed rewards approach to the near future, even if the time intervals between the two options were unchanged. It suggests that the temporal background we set for the same time interval is more important than we thought. That is proved by some researches using interval experimental paradigms (Read, 2003; Scholten & Read, 2006). So it’s necessary for us to look into the mental construction of temporal background in temporal discounting, the difference among the differently future distance.
    The psychologically mechanistic research of temporal discounting focused on figuring out which area of the brain is associated with immediate and delayed reward (McClure, Laibson, Loewenstein, & Cohen, 2004; Wittmann, Leland, & Paulus, 2007; Berns, Laibson, & Loewnstein, 2007; Sanfey, Loewenstein, McClure, & Cohen, 2006), however, these researches didn’t reach to the evaluation of reward which occurs in differently future distance.
    The previous research found that the mental future time can be sectioned into three parts, and the psychological construction of future time is staged (Huang, 1994). Therefore, it is reasonable to predict that the psychological construction of temporal discounting is also staged.
    Using the unit area under curve of the temporal discounting ratio as the main indicator to display how fast the subjective value of rewards changes as delay time, three experiments and one questionnaire survey were designed to discuss the staged construction of temporal discounting, selecting college students and teachers from primary and middle schools as subjects respectively. College students were asked to answer the questionnaire concerned with why they had such choice between different amounts of reward received at differently delay time. The result demonstrated that subjects thought about temporal discounting based upon the expectancy of their own future life. The delay time is divided into three stages in mental construction: because of loss aversion and risk seeking, subjects are willing to have short wait for the rewards which will be received within two weeks. Even if the range which the rewards will be received is from future two weeks to future ten years, focusing on requirement and risk, they are also willing to have long wait under the compensatory strategy. But because of risk aversion, they are not willing to wait for the rewards which will be received in the range from future ten years to future fifty years. In the three stages it is found the second stage in temporal discounting is more impressionable to several factors, like methods to determine the indifferent point, the experimental paradigms and the source of subjects.
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    The Role of Iconic Memory in Visual Search under Dynamic Condition
    LI Bin-Yin,XU Bai-Hua,CUI Xiang-Yu,SHENG Feng,LEI Jing-Yu
    2010, 42 (04):  485-495. 
    Abstract ( 1659 )   PDF (431KB) ( 1998 )  
    The role of memory in visual search has become a controversial issue. Most theories of serial visual search support the view that visual search requires memory and a serial scanning mechanism, such as the processes of inhibition of return in serial search (Klein, 1988). However, Horowitz and Wolfe (1998) claimed that serial visual search worked without memory. They compared the search rates in both static and randomly dynamic conditions that prevented parallel accumulation of information of a particular letter and found no significant difference between the two conditions. In the present study, iconic memory was examined in dynamic conditions. Besides, the new object advantage was tested to explain the outcome of Wolfe’s study.
    In experiment 1 a comparison was made between two conditions: In the restrained dynamic condition, the items moved to positions previously occupied by other items every 110ms. In the static condition, the display items remained in the same location from one frame to the next. In experiment 2 a comparison was made between a restrained dynamic condition and a random condition, in which the items moved to positions not occupied by any item in the last frame. In experiment 3, half of the items moved to new locations and half randomly moved to ones previously occupied. This experiment compared two conditions: the target moving to new locations and the target moving to old locations where items appeared in the last frame. Different groups of students participated in the experiment 1,2 and 3, 10, 14, and 12 students, respectively. In all experiments, the number of letters in the display (set-size) varied between 8, 12, and 16. The slope of the target-present reaction time × set-size function was used to measure the efficiency of display search. Repeated measures ANOVA and linear regression were used to analyze the data.
    The main results of this study were as follows: first, the efficiency of search under static conditions was significantly higher than that under restrained dynamic conditions; secondly, the efficiency of search under random conditions was also significantly higher than that under restrained dynamic conditions; thirdly, the two conditions in experiment 3 showed no difference.
    Our results showed that under both random and static conditions visual search required memory, which did not support the visual search model proposed by Horowitz and Wolfe (1998). According to our results, under static conditions, observers might use a static search process and check the items one by one. In addition, under random conditions observers first compare the locations of items in the present frame with the previous locations in the last frame, which were kept in their iconic memory, and then guide attention to focus on new locations and suppress old ones. The findings of our study would help to explain why Wolfe did not observe a difference between static and random conditions and to reveal the role of iconic memory in visual search under random conditions. Finally, our study also indicated that the new object advantage was not significant under random conditions. Generally speaking, iconic memory contributes to the performance of visual search under random conditions by effective guidance of attention.
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    Neural Mechanism of Figural Inductive Reasoning: An fMRI Study

    MEI Yang,LIANG Pei-Peng,LU Sheng-Fu,ZHONG Ning,LI Kun-Cheng,YANG Yan-Hui

    2010, 42 (04):  496-506. 
    Abstract ( 1400 )   PDF (629KB) ( 1588 )  
    The neural mechanism of human inductive reasoning is still unclear. Compared with the sentential, numerical task, the figural inductive reasoning task has its advantage. Therefore, a figural inductive reasoning task was designed in an fMRI experiment to examine the neural substrates of human inductive reasoning. The present study is exploratory one and we have no prior hypothesis.
    The figural inductive reasoning task used was composed of simple geometric figures described by shape and stripe orientation, and was homogeneous to the sentential inductive reasoning tasks used in the previous studies. Two experimental tasks were designed according to the magnitude of shared attributes: sharing two common attributes (2T) and sharing one common attribute (1T), and rest acted as the control task. Fourteen college students participated in this study.
    The fMRI results showed: 1) Inductive reasoning as contrast to baseline activated a large number of brain regions including the prefrontal cortex (BA 6, 9, 11, 46, 47), caudate, putamen, and thalamus, which might reflect the important role of the fronto-striato-thalamus loop in human figural inductive reasoning. 2) Perceptual information integration in figural inductive reasoning was related to the right inferior frontal gyrus (BA 47), the bilateral head of caudate, putamen.
    This study explored the neural substrates of human inductive reasoning by using a figural task, which would be helpful to in-depth understand the information-processing mechanism of human inductive reasoning.
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    What Kinds of Information Are Used in the Onset of Interception with Hand
    TANG Ri-Xin,ZHANG Zhi-Jun,LIU Yu-Li,ZHAO Ya-Jun
    2010, 42 (04):  507-517. 
    Abstract ( 998 )   PDF (505KB) ( 1368 )  
    What kinds of information do humans use to avoid or achieve a collision? This question has driven a large number of research studies on a variety of topics, including time-to-collision (TTC), and interception. Many studies have been designed around the assumption that TTC is estimated entirely on the basis of ‘tau’, but some other researchers have disagrees with this approach, reasoning instead that observers could start intercepting using relative distance or absolute distance alone. The aim of the present study was to investigate what kind of information is used in interception by hand. In addition, the speed coupling effect, has been explained by different and inconsistent theories. This study was designed to examine whether this phenomenon was related with the startup of hand.
    Fifteen undergraduate students participated in both of two experiments. All of them had normal vision or vision correction to normal. Experiment 1’s program was run on a Dell computer using Borland C++ Builder. Subjects were asked to press the key to release a ball, in order to achieve a collision with a moving target ball. The distance between the target ball and the collision point were recorded when subjects released the ball. In experiment 2, Subjects were asked to hit the moving ball using their index fingers along the fixed paths. The tracks of the subject’s hand were recorded by a movement-analysis system based on active infrared markers (Optotrak 3020; Northern Digital). The program also recorded the distance between target ball and the interception point when the hand started to move. All of the dependent variables were analyzed with repeated measure ANOVA.
    The results showed that (1) Different velocities of the target ball influenced the distance and time to collision differently. Time to collision was shorter in Experiment 1 if the target ball moved more quickly, and it was longer when the target ran more slowly. The same situation occurred in the interception made by hand. But the effects of the size of the target ball were different in Experiment 1 and 2. (2) The acceleration of the hand was affected significantly by the velocity of the target ball. If the velocity of ball was beyond Medium, there were no significant effects.
    The conclusions are directed by the study: These results did not favor the attempts to account interception onset solely with tau hypothesis, nor the distance hypothesis. It appears that tau and distance may both be used in interception. The speed coupling effect is related with the error of the estimate.
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    An Investigation of AIDS-related Knowledge and Reactions among College Students in China
    CAI Hua-Jian,DENG Ci-Ping,ZHAO Guo-Xiang,JIANG Li-Xin
    2010, 42 (04):  518-527. 
    Abstract ( 1617 )   PDF (226KB) ( 2633 )  
    A total of 251 Chinese college students from Shanghai (31 males, 88 females) and Guangzhou (59 males, 73 females) completed a series of scales concerning AIDS related knowledge, affective feelings and attitude toward PWA, discomfort of contact with PWA, perceived responsibility of contracting AIDS, and support of coercive polices. Results showed that college students (a)had misconceptions about casual contagion of AIDS, independent of correct beliefs about AIDS, (b) expressed significant negative feelings toward PWA, (c) expressed discomfort of contact with PWA, (d) did not support coercive policies upon PWA ; (e) did not think it was PWA’s responsibility to contract AIDS; and that (a) compared with college students from Guangzhou, those from Shanghai were more knowledgeable of AIDS and exhibited less negative feelings, negative attitude toward PWA and attributed less responsibility to PWA for their contracting of AIDS; and (b) it was misconception about casual contagion of AIDS but not correct beliefs about AIDS that was consistently predictive of negative reactions toward PWA. These findings call for strong efforts in disseminating AIDS related knowledge, particularly what can’t cause AIDS, and eliminating negative reactions towards PWA among college students in China, especially students in Guangzhou area.
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    Attribute Hierarchy Method Based on Graded Response Model with Different Scoring-Weight for Attributes
    LUO-Huan,DING Shu-Liang,WANG Wen-Yi,YU Xiao-Feng,CAO Hui-Yuan
    2010, 42 (04):  528-538. 
    Abstract ( 1337 )   PDF (334KB) ( 1515 )  
    Compared to the traditional test, the value of test for diagnostic assessment test lies in its ability to reveal each student’s specific cognitive strengths and weaknesses and further helps design effective remedy for individual student. More information for cognitive diagnose could be provided by polytomous scoring than dichotomous scoring. So far, the Polytomous Extension of diagnostic assessment still remains at the stage that all the attributes share the same scoring-weight. It is contrary to the fact that attributes are very likely to have different weights. On the assumption that two students respectively grasp the same number of attributes in an item, but not the same attributes, rater should give more scores to the student who answers the more difficult or key attributes correctly, rather than give the same score. It’s imperative for us to study the Cognitive Diagnostic Models(CDM) based on the attributes with different scoring-weight.
    In this paper, a method derived from Bayesian Networks and Least Squares Distance theories is proposed to calculate the score weight of attributes. Additionally, this paper discovers and solves a problem that the weight of the same attributes in different items may not be the same. The cognitive diagnostic model in this paper is Weighted Attribute Hierarchy Method (WAHM) with score weights of attributes, which is based on Graded Response Model (GRM), briefly, it is called WAHM-GRM. Four kinds of attribute hierarchies were separately used as the basis for the simulation. A sample of 5000 expected item response vectors was generated based on each of the four expected response patterns which are normally distributed. Each of the four samples consists of expected response patterns which are free from slips, the observed item response patterns were generated by randomly adding slips to each of the expected response patterns. In this study, the percentage of random errors was manipulated to 5%, 10%,15% and 20% of the total number of item responses to examine whether the number of random errors has an impact on the accuracy of classification methods.
    Simulation results showed that under the condition that attributes with different weights, very high classification accuracy rates remain for all classification methods, including methods A and B, proposed by Leighton et al.(2004) and ration of logarithm likelihood method (LL),proposed by Zhu et al.(2009). Especially for A and B methods, classification accuracy rate of AHM-GRM remains above 90% even when slip is as high as 20%.
    In Conclusion, AHM-GRM with different weighted attributes has a very high classification accuracy rate. In addition, score weights of attribute can guide item builders to distribute scores to the item attributes at the stage of developing item tests.
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