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ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

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    25 July 2021, Volume 53 Issue 7 Previous Issue    Next Issue

    Reports of Empirical Studies
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    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Effects of trial history on cross-modal non-spatial inhibition of return
    ZHANG Ming, SANG Hanbin, LU Ke, WANG Aijun
    2021, 53 (7):  681-693.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00681
    Abstract ( 260 )   HTML ( 12 )  
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    The individual response to stimuli is influenced not only by the stimulus itself but also by the previous stimulus, which shows that the response to the stimulus in the current trial is influenced by the previous trial, that is, the trial history. This study used the prime- neutral cue-target paradigm to explore the effect of the validity of the preceding trial on cross-modal non-spatial inhibition of return. In Experiment 1, the cue validity between two consecutive trials was used to investigate the effect of trial history on cross-modal non-spatial inhibition of return. To reduce the effect of the trial history on cross-modal non-spatial inhibition of return, Experiment 2 examined whether the effect of the trial history on cross-modal non-spatial inhibition of return was reduced by prolonging the duration of the inter-trial-interval (ITI). The results showed that the inhibition of return in the current trial under invalid preceding trials condition was significantly less than that under valid preceding trials condition, and the effect varied with the modalities of cue and target. When ITI was extended, the influence of the previous trial on the current trial could be effectively reduced. Therefore, this study showed that trial history could have an effect on cross-modal non-spatial return inhibition, and this effect could be reduced by increasing ITI between trials.

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    Precision requirement of working memory representations influences attentional guidance
    CHE Xiaowei, XU Huiyun, WANG Kaixuan, ZHANG Qian, LI Shouxin
    2021, 53 (7):  694-713.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00694
    Abstract ( 234 )   HTML ( 28 )  
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    Previous studies demonstrated that the allocation of working memory (WM) resources contributes to attentional guidance when the WM representations match the targets of a visual search task. Could the allocation of WM resources also influence the attentional guidance when the WM representations match the distractors of a visual search task? Three behavioral and one event-related potentials (ERP) experiments were conducted by using the attention capture paradigm to explore the effect of precision requirement of WM representations on attentional guidance. The behavioral results showed that (1) only one memory item could guide attention under low precision requirement, and the item in high-active state captured more attention than that in low-active state; (2) two memory items could guide attention under high precision requirement, and the items in high- and low-active state captured comparable attention. The ERP results showed that during the maintenance phase of WM, items under high precision requirement elicited larger negative slow waves and late positive components than that under low precision requirement. During the search task, memory-matching distractors in high precision condition elicited larger N2 and smaller N2pc than non-matching distractors under high precision requirement, whereas memory-matching distractors and non-matching distractors elicited equal N2 and N2pc under low precision requirement. These results suggest that precision requirement of WM representations influences attentional guidance, and the underlying mechanism might be that maintaining WM representations under high precision requirement costs more resources than that under low precision requirement, and therefore the resource for searching targets declines and the attention captured by memory-matching distractors increases.

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    Average percept in ensemble perception is based on morphed average object: Evidence from average facial attractiveness
    TIAN Xinran, HOU Wenxia, OU Yuxiao, YI Bing, CHEN Wenfeng, SHANG Junchen
    2021, 53 (7):  714-728.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00714
    Abstract ( 211 )   HTML ( 11 )  
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    Human beings can quickly extract statistical information of a set to form an average representation. The previous study proposed two views on how average representation is formed: to synthesize the set members as a morphed average stimulus, or to calculate the mean of the set members. It is difficult to distinguish these two viewpoints since they predict similar results of the set stimuli in the previous study. However, average representation of facial attractiveness might be appropriate to test these two viewpoints, given that the mean of attractiveness of multiple faces is different from the attractiveness of morphed average face from these faces. The classical mean discrimination task (Experiments 1 and 2) and the attractiveness evaluation task (Experiments 3 and 4) were used to investigate the average representation of facial attractiveness and lend support to the view that the average representation is based on the synthetic average stimulus. Face sets with large and small set size were adopted in four experiments to explore how average representation is formed. The results showed that average stimulus was formed in face sets no matter which set size, and the processing of the average representation may depend on the morphed average stimulus, but not the mean of the set members. In addition, the attractiveness of the face set is greater than the average attractiveness of its members as enhanced by the morphed average stimulus, but this group attractiveness effect is modulated by the set size. This study provides new evidence for the formation mechanism of average representation and the group attractiveness effect.

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    Exploring the cognitive mechanism of irrelevant speech effect in Chinese reading: Evidence from eye movements
    WU Sanmei, TIAN Liangsu, CHEN Jiaqiao, CHEN Guangyao, WANG Jingxin
    2021, 53 (7):  729-745.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00729
    Abstract ( 234 )   HTML ( 7 )  
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    Eye-tracking is used to explore the cognitive mechanism of irrelevant speech effects in Chinese reading. The types of background speech (intelligible background speech, unintelligible background speech, and silence) were manually assigned, and three distinct experiments were conducted to investigate the irrelevant speech effects on the reading of simple sentences, complex sentences, and paragraphs. The results showed no significant difference in key eye movement measures between a silent background and an unintelligible background speech condition across all three experiments. In Experiment 1 (simple sentences), there was no significant difference between the silent and intelligible background speech condition. However, in Experiment 2 (complex sentences), normal reading was disrupted with an intelligible background speech, and an ISE was seen for more difficult sentences. Finally, Experiment 3 (paragraphs) also suggested an ISE. The conclusions from the three experiments include two aspects. Firstly, unintelligible background speech does not disrupt normal reading significantly, which contradicts the Phonological-Interference Hypothesis. Secondly, intelligible background speech can disrupt the reading of complex (but not simple) sentences as well as paragraph reading, which is supportive of the Semantic-Interference Hypothesis. It can be inferred from such findings that irrelevant speech might disrupt later stages of lexical processing and semantic integration in reading, and such disruption is modulated by the difficulty of the reading task.

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    Effects of contextual facilitation and inhibitory reaction in lexical ambiguity resolution for the Han and Uyghur nationalities
    YANG Qun, ZHANG Jijia, FAN Conghui
    2021, 53 (7):  746-757.  doi: 10.3724/SPJ.1041.2021.00746
    Abstract ( 116 )   HTML ( 4 )  
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    Lexical ambiguity is a common phenomenon in language. In Chinese, there are many kinds of ambiguous words, which is one of the important reasons that ethnic minority students have difficulty in learning Chinese. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the contextual facilitation and context-inhibiting effects of Uygur and Han Chinese college students on the resolution of Chinese ambiguous words. The results showed that the contextual facilitation effect appeared in both nationalities, but the contextual facilitation effect of Han nationality students was significantly greater than that of Uygur nationality students under the condition of short-term processing; there is no significant difference in the contextual facilitation effect between the two nationalities under the condition of long-term processing. Under the condition of short-time processing, only Han nationality students can effectively restrain the interference of irrelevant information, and under the condition of long-time processing, students of both nationalities can effectively restrain the interference of irrelevant information. The whole study shows that with the increase of processing time, Uygur college Students’ contextual facilitation effect and inhibition of irrelevant information can reach the same level as Han college students.

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    Spillover effects of third-party punishment on cooperation: A norm-based explanation
    CHEN Sijing, XING Yilin, WENG Yijing, LI Chang
    2021, 53 (7):  758-772.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00758
    Abstract ( 261 )   HTML ( 13 )  
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    A large body of experimental evidence demonstrates that in presence of third-party punishers, cooperators can gain higher payoffs than defectors. As a result, third-party punishment (TPP) that changes the payoff structure of defectors is believed to be a key in promoting cooperation. However, this rationale is contrary to an important finding in behavioral economics: individuals are not necessarily rational decision makers and do not have purely self-regarding preferences. This contradiction raises an interesting question: can this finding also be applied to defectors? We aim to explore this question through three experiments.
    In Experiment 1, 240 undergraduates participated in a Public Goods Game and were divided randomly into three conditions: control condition (CC), low defection cost condition (LC), and high defection cost condition (HC). In each round of the game, participants in CC decided whether to contribute 10 tokens from the initial endowment to the public account. All the tokens contributed to the public account were doubled and evenly allocated to all group members. Participants who retained 10 tokens needed to pay a tax of 1 token. The procedures in LC and HC were identical to that in CC. An exception is that in LC and HC, independent punishers could discipline defectors by paying 5 tokens to reduce the payoff of defectors by 1 token in LC and 10 tokens in HC. In Experiment 2, 179 participants who defected in Stage 1 were selected as sample in Stage 2 and were divided randomly into two conditions: CC (89 participants) and punishment condition (PC, 90 participants). Participants in PC were told they had been punished in Stage 1, whereas those in CC received no feedback. All participants’ levels of norm activation and cooperation in different games were then measured. Experiment 2 was replicated in Experiment 3, where the participants were not game players but spectators, and their levels of norm activation and cooperation were measured before and after the game. The participants in defection condition observed a defection and the consequent punishment, whereas those in norm condition observed a fair offer and no punishment.
    In Experiment 1, the defection cost in LC was lower than that in CC, so participants in LC had a stronger incentive to defect. However, the results revealed a significantly higher cooperation level in LC. A plausible explanation is that the defection cost in form of punishment served as a norm reminder, but cost in form of tax lacked this function, implying that even defectors are not necessarily benefit maximizers. The results of Experiment 2 confirmed this explanation: compared with unpunished defectors, the punished ones manifested a higher level of norm activation. The bootstrap analysis showed that the norm activation completely mediated TPP and cooperation. Experiment 2 also found a spillover effect of TPP: the punished defectors still demonstrated a high cooperation in a new different game where the sanction was absent. Finally, Experiment 3 found another spillover effect of TPP: bystanders who did not experience the punishment in person but witnessed it showed a significantly higher cooperation in subsequent interactions.
    In conclusion, oftentimes, people defect simply because they are unaware of the existence of a certain norm and activating people’s norms through TPP can significantly reduce their selfish behaviors. In addition to being an economic means to reduce defectors’ payoff, TPP serves as a norm reminder. The two spillover effects found in this study suggest that TPP as a means of norm activation may be more efficient than as an economic means because of its cost-effectiveness. These findings shed new light on the understanding of extensive cooperation among genetically unrelated individuals.

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    Effect of group membership on unfairness perception under co-experience conditions
    LV Sasa, SUN Xin, SHEN Linlin, WU Yuqing, ZHAO Shu, WANG Fei, WANG Zuojun
    2021, 53 (7):  773-787.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00773
    Abstract ( 274 )   HTML ( 16 )  
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    A large body of research examined the effect of experiencing unfairness on an individual’s unfairness perception. However, the literature primarily focuses on experiencing unfairness at the individual level. A dearth of research investigating the effect of co- experiencing unfairness with others exists. The present study examined the effect of co-experiencing unfairness with another group member on unfairness perception. Three experiments were designed to test two competing hypotheses. The first hypothesis was derived from the “reference change” view, which posited that co-experiencing unfairness with other group members would decrease unfairness perception. The second hypothesis was derived from group membership research, which posited that co-experiencing unfairness with other group members would increase unfairness perception.
    In Experiment 1, the participants were assigned to one of three conditions, that is, the experiencing unfairness alone condition (the “alone condition”), coexperiencing unfairness with another individual condition (the “individual coexperience condition”), and the coexperiencing unfairness with another group member condition (the “group coexperience condition”). In the alone condition, the participant acting as the responder was allocated a small amount of money (e.g., RMB 2 out of RMB 10) by the proposer in a two- person ultimatum game. The participant was instructed to decide whether to accept or reject the allocation for her/himself. One proposer and two responders were involved in the two coexperience conditions, in which the two responders were allocated a small amount of money (e.g., each responder received RMB 2 out of RMB 12) by the proposer in a three-person ultimatum game. In other words, the two responders coexperienced unfairness. In contrast to the individual coexperience condition, in which the participants were told to make a decision for themselves, the participants in the group coexperience condition were informed that the two responders formed a group and thus needed to make a decision (i.e., to accept or reject the allocation) for the group. Furthermore, payoff commonality was employed to enhance group membership. Specifically, the participants in the group coexperience condition were told that “if one of you rejects the allocation, then both of you and the proposer will obtain nothing in the trial”. The results of the experiment showed that coexperiencing unfairness with another group member decreased unfairness perception and the rejection rate for the unfair allocation compared with experiencing unfairness alone.
    In Experiment 2, group membership was manipulated by asking the participants to make a decision for the group in turn. The results duplicated the findings on unfairness perception from Experiment 1. The results also showed that the group coexperience condition decreased the rejection rate for the unfair allocation compared with the alone condition, but the results did not reach statistical significance. In Experiment 3, two group coexperience conditions (i.e., a group of strangers and a group of friends) were examined. The results demonstrated that the participants in both group coexperience conditions reported a lower unfairness perception than those in the alone condition. Similar to Experiment 2, coexperiencing unfairness with either strangers or friends decreased the rejection rate for the unfair allocation, but the results did not reach statistical significance. These results have certain implications for reducing individuals’ unfairness perception in social contexts.

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    The mediating effect of aggression motivation on the relationship between trait anger and reactive aggression: A longitudinal study
    LI Rui, XIA Ling-Xiang
    2021, 53 (7):  788-797.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00788
    Abstract ( 267 )   HTML ( 11 )  
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    Trait anger is an important personality factor that affects reactive aggression. Reactive aggression is based on the motivation of aggression, but the mechanism of trait anger influencing reactive aggression is not clear. This study hypothesizes that trait anger can predict reactive aggression in a longitudinal way by enhancing the specific motivation of reactive aggression (e.g., hostile motivation) and the common motivation of reactive and proactive aggression (e.g., moral approval motivation). To test this hypothesis, a total of 1007 college students from 5 provinces and cities were investigated for trait anger, hostile attribution bias (representing hostile motivation), moral disengagement (representing moral approval motivation), reactive aggression, and proactive aggression. The results showed that: (1) after controlling for gender, trait anger at Wave 1 could predict the reactive aggression at Wave 3 through the hostile attribution bias and moral disengagement at Wave 2; (2) hostile attribution bias can only predict reactive aggression longitudinally, but cannot predict proactive aggression over time; (3) moral disengagement can predict reactive aggression and proactive aggression longitudinally. This result supports the motivation model of trait anger influencing reactive aggression, develops the theory and research on the relationship between personality and aggression, and plays an active role in revealing the motivation mechanism of reactive aggression.

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    Effects associated with long-term training in sports requiring high levels of strategy on brain white matter structure in expert athletes: A DTI study
    QI Yapeng, WANG Yixuan, ZHU Hua, ZHOU Chenglin, WANG Yingying
    2021, 53 (7):  798-806.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00798
    Abstract ( 192 )   HTML ( 4 )  
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    Previous brain imaging studies have shown that the specialized experience achieved by expert sports players after years of training contributes to plasticity in both brain function and structure. However, changes in brain plasticity related to participating in various types of sports, specifically sports that involve higher-level strategies and cognitive function, remain unclear. Table tennis is a sport requiring high levels of strategy. Thus, the present study investigated the white matter structure of the brain in expert table tennis players who had undergone long-term training. Given the accumulating evidence that action processing in the brain occurs along two distinct pathways—dorsal and ventral—we hypothesized that, in addition to changes in the white matter of the dorsal sensorimotor system, the white matter in the ventral pathway linking brain regions related to higher-level cognitive function would differ between expert table tennis athletes and non-athletes.
    An investigational group of 31 expert table tennis athletes (20.06 ± 1.69 years of age) and a control group of 28 college students (20.68 ± 1.66 years of age) who had no professional training in table tennis were recruited for the study. The table tennis athletes were members of university teams, and each athlete had more than 7 years of table tennis training. Diffusion tensor imaging techniques were used to compare white matter microstructure properties of the brain between expert athletes and non-athletes. Statistical analyses were performed using independent t-tests. Further analysis was conducted for the expert athlete group to assess whether any correlation existed between fractional anisotropy (FA) values and training time.
    Consistent with our hypothesis, the white matter microstructure properties of both the dorsal and ventral pathways in expert table tennis athletes significantly differed from those in non-athletes. Specifically, FA values in the bilateral corticospinal fibers, which mainly connect brain regions in the dorsal sensorimotor system, were higher in experts than in non-athletes. Compared with non-athletes, expert athletes also had higher FA values in the left hemisphere inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and bilateral inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF) of the ventral pathway, which are involved in higher-level cognitive processing, such as semantic processing or thinking. By contrast, no white matter region showed a higher FA value in non-athletes than in expert athletes, and no region was found with axial diffusivity difference between the groups. Additionally, radial diffusivity was lower in the left hemisphere superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and bilateral IFOF in experts than in non-athletes. Correlation analysis of the expert group showed significant positive correlations between training time and FA values in both the left hemisphere SLF in the ventral pathway and bilateral corticospinal fibers in the dorsal pathway. Taken together, these findings suggest that enhanced structural integrity of the white matter in both the dorsal and ventral pathways is associated with long-term, expert table tennis training. The observed structural plasticity is conducive to promoting cognitive processing of concrete sensorimotor and abstract information, which would enable expert athletes to excel at sports requiring a high level of strategy.

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