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CN 11-1911/B

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    25 June 2023, Volume 55 Issue 6 Previous Issue    Next Issue

    Reports of Empirical Studies
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    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Regional asynchrony and eye region-specificity in part-based processing and holistic processing during face familiarization
    WANG Zhe, NI Hao, FENG Dan, YAN Linlin, SUN Yu-Hao P
    2023, 55 (6):  861-876.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00861
    Abstract ( 202 )   HTML ( 41 )  
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    People recognize familiar faces more quickly and accurately than unfamiliar faces. Previous studies found that both holistic processing and part-based processing play a role in recognizing familiar faces efficiently. However, familiarization with faces may not happen and be accomplished in a short period of time for both types of processing. Few research has focused on the progress of familiarization with individuals' faces in real life: Did it reach a ceiling-level of recognition in a short period of time (sudden change) or over a long period of time (gradual change)? And what role did part-based processing and holistic processing play in the recognition improvement during face familiarization?

    In the current study, we recruited 57 undergraduate students, 30 from one class (Group 1: 20 females, M age = 18.4, SD = 0.8) and the remaining 27 from another class (Group 2: 18 females, M age = 19.2, SD = 0.8). They got along with their classmates for 1 month (Group 1) and 13 months (Group 2) of daily interactions, respectively. Three delayed-matching tasks (Whole-face Learning, Regional-part Learning, and Regional-periphery Learning) were used to test the participants' face recognition performance in part-based processing and holistic processing. The “Regional-part” was an eye or the mouth, respectively. The “Regional-periphery” was a face with an eye masked or the mouth masked. In each trial, a fixation point (800 ms) was presented at the center of the screen, then the learning stimulus (500 ms) was presented with the specific part (eye or mouth) at the fixation point location. After that, four whole faces (5000 ms) were displayed on the screen after a blank (1000 ms). The participants were asked to choose the face with the same identity as the learning stimuli.

    Results showed: (1) The recognition performance of familiar faces improved with the increase in daily-interaction time. The familiarity effect (the difference between recognizing the classmates and strangers) of participants with 13 months of daily interaction (M = 7.9%) was higher than that of participants with 1 month (M = 3.2%; F(1,55) = 7.98, p= 0.007, ηp² = 0.13). (2) The recognition performance of familiar faces (Regional-part: M = 80.1%; Regional-periphery: M = 92.4%) was higher than that of unfamiliar faces (Regional-part: M = 75.9%; Regional-periphery: M = 85.5%) in the Regional-part Learning task (F(1,55) = 22.94, p< 0.001, ηp² = 0.29) and in the Regional-periphery Learning task (F(1,55) = 61.90, p< 0.001, ηp² = 0.53), which indicated that both the part-based processing and holistic processing were enhanced by familiarity. (3) With the increase in face familiarity, the performance of the eye region and mouth region showed regional asynchronization. Participants with 1 month of daily-interaction time showed no familiarity effect in recognizing the region of the eye (familiar: M = 75.7%; unfamiliar: M = 72.4%; F(1,55)= 3.78, p= 0.057, ηp² = 0.06), but a significant familiarity effect in recognizing the peripheral region of the eye(familiar: M = 91.7%; unfamiliar: M = 88.4%; F(1,55) = 7.57, p= 0.008, ηp² = 0.12); and they showed significant familiarity effects both in recognizing the region of the mouth (familiar: M = 84.7%; unfamiliar: M = 78.5%; F(1,55) = 12.39, p= 0.001, ηp² = 0.18) and the peripheral region of the mouth (familiar: M = 92.0%; unfamiliar: M = 83.9%; F(1,55) = 20.40, p< 0.001, ηp² = 0.27). Participants with 13 months showed a familiarity effect in recognizing the region of the eye (familiar: M = 78.3%; unfamiliar: M = 71.1%; F(1,55) = 16.17, p< 0.001, ηp² = 0.23), and a stronger familiarity effect in recognizing the peripheral region of the eye (familiar: M = 93.5%; unfamiliar: M = 86.4%; F(1,55) = 29.76, p< 0.001, ηp² = 0.35); and they showed no familiarity effect in recognizing the region of the mouth (familiar: M = 81.8%; unfamiliar: M = 81.4%; F(1,55) = 0.04, p= 0.837) but a familiarity effect in recognizing the peripheral region of the mouth (familiar: M = 92.4%; unfamiliar: M = 83.3%; F(1,55) = 23.05, p< 0.001, ηp² = 0.30). (4) For unfamiliar faces (r = 0.412, p = 0.024; r = 0.439, p = 0.022) and familiar faces with 1 month (r = 0.428, p = 0.018) and 13 months daily interaction (r = 0.609, p = 0.001), the performance of recognizing the peripheral region of the eye was positively correlated with the performance of recognizing the whole faces. For familiar faces with 13 months of daily interaction, the performance of recognizing the region of the eye was positively correlated with the performance of recognizing the whole face (r = 0.562, p = 0.002).

    The results implied that familiarization of face identity was gradual. Familiarization promoted part-based processing and holistic processing. The improvement of the holistic processing preceded that of the part-based processing. In addition, the improvement in recognizing the eye region and the mouth region showed regional asynchrony during familiarization. Familiar face recognition has eye region specificity. Holistic processing in the eye region plays a key role in the establishment of memory representations of familiar faces. These results suggest that Regional Asynchrony and Eye Region-specificity emerged during the familiarization. New knowledge for understanding the mechanism of face memory representation formation was provided.

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    The distinct effects of reward prediction error on item and associative memory: The influence of metamemory
    LONG Yiting, JIANG Yingjie, CUI Can, YUE Yang
    2023, 55 (6):  877-891.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00877
    Abstract ( 145 )   HTML ( 23 )  
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    Episodic memory consists of item memory and associative memory. Individual cognitive resources are typically allocated to more valuable information during encoding through metamemory, leading to competitive processing of item and associative information. Reward prediction error (RPE), defined as the difference between reward results and reward expectations, has two properties: valence (positive or negative) and salience (degree of difference). To examine the impact of reward prediction error valence and salience on item and associative memory, and how reward prediction error influences memory based on metamemory, three experiments were conducted.

    In Experiment 1, the effect of RPE on memory performance and metamemory monitoring in retrieval was investigated. The reward results included 1, 4 and 7, and their proportions in high and low value pictures were 2:3:5 and 5:3:2 respectively. RPE is generated by the difference between the reward results and the value prediction given by the subject, including −6, −3, 0, 3 and 6, and its salience is calculated as unsigned RPE (URPE). Number of subjects for analysis is 34, and the process is shown in Figure 1. In the learning stage, participants were presented with indoor and outdoor scene pictures. They were asked to predict the score of each picture and then received feedback on the actual score. Through this reinforcement learning process, participants had to find out which type of pictures is more valuable, and 30% of the scores were accumulated into the total score. To induce the effect of reward motivation on memory, participants were introduced to the opportunity to choose between two pictures and receive the value of the selected picture, although the actual program did not include a decision-making stage. After the learning stage, participants were tested on item and reward associative memory.

    On the basis of taking reward result as another independent variable, take RPE and URPE as the independent variables respectively to carry out the generalized mixed linear model (GMLM) on the hit rate of item and associative memory. The results are shown in Table 1. The performance of associative memory is higher in positive valence and low salience of RPE. On the basis of taking the memory result in each trial as another independent variable, RPE and URPE were taken as the independent variables respectively to carry out the mixed linear model (MLM) of item and associative memory JOCs. The results are shown in Table 2. When RPE valence is positive, the associative memory JOCs are higher in correct trials and lower in wrong trials, indicating the promotion of RPE positive valence to the metamemory monitoring at retrieval.

    Experiment 2 recorded the eye-movement data (the change of pupil diameter and the fixation time of pictures and scores during the reward feedback display screen) of the subjects, to investigate the effect of RPE on the metamemory control during memory encoding. Number of subjects for behavior and eye movement analysis are 23 and 20. The process is shown in Figure 2. In order to avoid the unsignificant results of item memory in Experiment 1, the presentation time of each screen in the learning stage is adjusted.

    The results of the GMLM on the hit rates of item and associative memory are shown in Table 3. Contrary to the associative memory performance, positive valence and high salience of RPE improved item memory performance. MLM was carried out on the picture fixation time, score fixation time, mean and maximum change of pupil diameter (Table 4). With the decrease of RPE salience, the subjects' fixation time on pictures was shortened, and the fixation time on scores was prolonged, which was consistent with the effect of salience on memory performance, revealing the allocation of cognitive resources through metamemory control based on RPE salience. The positive valence and low salience of RPE promote the change of pupil diameter. Because the performance of associative memory is also higher in these conditions, this may indicate that individuals have taken measures to increase the degree of encoding effort in order to promote associative memory.

    In Experiment 3, the reward results were set as 1, 3, 5 and 7 to increase the RPE levels, in order to verify the stability of the influence of RPE valence and salience on item and associative memory when the overlap between the RPE valence and reward result size is reduced. 27 subjects were included in analysis, and the process was similar to Experiment 2, except for the value feedback time increased to 5 s. The results of GMLM of memory performance are shown in Table 5. The effects of RPE on item and associative memory performance are the same as those of Experiment 2, which shows that the effects of RPE valence and salience on item and associative memory are stable.

    To sum up, the results above suggest that the effects of RPE on item and associative memory are distinct. During the encoding stage, individuals use the valence and salience of reward prediction error as cues to allocate cognitive resources differently in item and associative memory encoding through metamemory control. In the retrieval stage, positive valence of reward prediction error enhances the metamemory monitoring level of associative memory retrieval.

    Keywords reward prediction error, associative memory, eye movements, episodic memory, metamemory

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    Associations between empathy and negative affect: Effect of emotion regulation
    GUO Xiao-dong, ZHENG Hong, RUAN Dun, HU Ding-ding, WANG Yi, WANG Yan-yu, Raymond C. K. CHAN
    2023, 55 (6):  892-904.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00892
    Abstract ( 390 )   HTML ( 50 )  
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    Empathy refers to understanding, inferring and sharing others’ emotional states, which can be divided into affective and cognitive components. Although empathy contributes to prosocial behaviors and harmonious interpersonal relationships, it also increases an individual’s negative emotional experiences and affect distress. Emotion regulation, the psychological process of managing one’s own emotions, has been found to be closely associated with empathy. Cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression are two commonly used strategies to regulate emotions, of which cognitive reappraisal is effective in reducing negative emotional experiences while expressive suppression is usually correlated with more affective distress. However, the roles of emotion regulation strategies in the empathic response are still unclear.

    We conducted two studies to investigate the roles of emotion regulation on the negative affect related to empathy using self-report questionnaires and experimental task respectively. Study 1 administered the Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy (QCAE), the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21) to 442 college students. The moderating effects of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression on the association between empathy and negative affect were examined separately. Study 2 adopted the Chinese version of the Empathic Accuracy Task (EAT) to further examine the effect of emotion regulation (i.e. cognitive reappraisal) on cognitive empathy and affective responses. The EAT requires participants to continuously rate targets’ emotional valence in video clips as a second person and rate emotional valence and arousal of both targets and themselves after each video. Seventy-five participants (33 for Experiment 1 and 42 for Experiment 2) were recruited to perform the EAT under two conditions, i.e., naturally viewing without any instructions and applying cognitive reappraisal while viewing the scenarios. Paired sample t tests and repeated-measure ANOVA were performed to examine the effect of cognitive reappraisal on task performance.

    As shown in Figure 1, findings from Study 1 showed that affective empathy was significantly correlated with higher levels of anxiety (r = 0.14, p = 0.003) and stress (r = 0.14, p < 0.001), while empathic concern was correlated with less anxiety (r = -0.28, p < 0.001), stress (r = -0.27, p < 0.001) and depression (r = -0.22, p < 0.001). However, when participants endorsed cognitive reappraisal more frequently, such positive association between affective empathy and stress was reduced (β = 1.48, Wald = 5.22, p = 0.022), while the negative association between empathic concern and anxiety was strengthened (β = 0.66, Wald = 4.73, p = 0.030). Cognitive empathy was significantly correlated (or marginally significantly) with reduced depression (QCAE-CE: r = -0.08, p = 0.096; IRI-PT: r = -0.11, p = 0.019; IRI-FS: r = -0.10, p = 0.034). Expressive suppression strengthened the negative association between cognitive empathy and depression (β = 1.77, Wald = 5.32, p= 0.021). Moreover, negative correlations between cognitive empathy and anxiety (β = 1.33, Wald = 4.67, p = 0.031) as well as stress (β = -0.37, Wald= 4.43, p= 0.035) emerged for participants endorsing cognitive reappraisal more frequently. Findings from Study 2 showed that task performances of the EAT were significantly improved when participants endorsed cognitive reappraisal strategy compared to the condition of naturally viewing. Specifically, under the cognitive reappraisal condition participants scored higher empathic accuracy (Experiment 1: t = -2.27, p= 0.030, Cohen’s d = 0.40; Experiment 2: F(1, 40) = 4.13, p = 0.049, η2 = 0.09), experienced less negative affect (Experiment 1: t = -2.68, p= 0.012, Cohen’s d = 0.47; Experiment 2: F(1, 40) = 29.20, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.42) in reaction to others’ affect distress, and experienced more positive affect in reaction to others’ positive emotions (Experiment 1: t = -10.9, p< 0.001, Cohen’s d = 1.90; Experiment 2: F(1, 40) = 31.54, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.44) (see Table 1 & Figure 2).

    Taken together, the findings from these two studies suggested that both cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression play a protective role in the associations between empathy and negative affect, and the endorsement of cognitive reappraisal would improve task performance on both cognitive and affective empathy. Our findings shed light on the psychological mechanisms of empathy and provide new approach for improving individuals’ social cognitive ability, especially for early intervention in clinical and subclinical populations.

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    Emotion regulation promotes forgetting of negative social feedback: Behavioral and EEG evidence
    XIE Hui, LIN Xuanyi, HU Wanrou, HU Xiaoqing
    2023, 55 (6):  905-919.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00905
    Abstract ( 254 )   HTML ( 38 )  
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    Receiving negative social feedback, e.g., social rejection, criticism, can bring social pain. Painful experiences tend to get sticky in minds that cause sustained mental distress, thereby contributing to the onset of psychiatric disorders such as depression. Here, we asked whether engaging in different emotion regulation strategies (cognitive reappraisal and distraction) toward negative social feedback would relieve subjective social pain and facilitate forgetting of unwanted social feedback. Besides, we examined whether and how individual differences in depressive symptoms may influence the neural activity and behavioral benefits of emotion regulation.

    During the experiment, participants (N = 66; 16 males; aged 20.6 ± 1.9 years) received positive and negative social personality feedback from their peers in an ostensible peer evaluation task. While reading social feedback, participants were instructed to either naturally watch or actively down-regulate their negative emotions using either cognitive reappraisal or distraction strategy, with electroencephalograms (EEGs) being recorded. Subsequently, participants completed a surprise recall test during which they verbally recalled the feedback upon seeing photos of peers from the previous session. We also measured participants’ self-evaluation and their attitudes toward peers. In addition to immediate tests, participants also completed the same tests after 24 hours to examine possible long-term benefits of emotion regulation. To understand the neural correlates of different emotion regulation strategies, we used both univariate event-related potential (ERP) analysis and the multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA).

    Results showed that after receiving negative social feedback, emotion regulation significantly modulated subjective emotional ratings (F(2, 130) = 66.6, p< 0.001, ηp2 = 0.506). Compared to natural watch (4.14 ± 0.81), both reappraisal (5.33 ± 0.95, p < 0.001) and distraction (5.10 ± 0.78, p < 0.001) attenuated participants’ negative ratings (a higher number indicating less negative or more positive feelings). Moreover, emotion regulation also influenced participants’ memory of social feedback valence (F(2, 130) = 7.80, p< 0.001, ηp2 = 0.107) and the specific word (F(2, 130) = 10.0, p< 0.001, ηp2 = 0.134). Specifically, for the valence accuracy, participants scored higher in the natural watch condition (0.50 ± 0.25) than the reappraisal (0.43 ± 0.27, p = 0.007) and distraction (0.41 ± 0.25, p < 0.001) conditions. For the word accuracy, participants recalled more specific words in the natural watch condition (0.07 ± 0.10) than the reappraisal (0.03 ± 0.07, p < 0.001) and distraction (0.03 ± 0.07, p < 0.001) conditions. These results demonstrated that both cognitive reappraisal and distraction induced forgetting of negative social feedback. Importantly, the mnemonic benefits of emotion regulation, i.e., forgetting of negative social feedback, were still evident on Day 2 after a 24-hour delay. In addition, participants' depression level significantly moderated the whole brain EEG activity patterns involved in different emotion regulatory strategies. Specifically, in the low-depression group, frontal-central EEG activity distinguished between watch and reappraisal conditions within 2~5 s post-feedback; whereas in the high-depression group, the whole-brain EEG activity patterns distinguished between watch and distraction conditions within 2~3 s post-feedback. Moreover, the amplitude of central-parietal late positive potential (LPP) under the distraction condition were negatively correlated with participants’ depression level (r = −0.386, p = 0.009), suggesting that participants with higher depressive symptoms might be more effective in using distraction to regulate negative emotion than their low-depression counterparts.

    Together, these results demonstrate that both cognitive reappraisal and distraction strategies could alleviate social pain and facilitate forgetting of negative social feedback. Moreover, distraction may be a more suitable regulatory strategy among individuals with high levels of depression. In conclusion, this study broadens our understanding of the relationship between emotion and memory from the perspectives of social cognition and motivated forgetting; and provides insights for the alleviation of social pain using emotion regulation strategies.

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    Development of emotional bias in infants aged from 0 to 1 year old: A near-infrared spectroscopy study
    ZHANG Dandan, LI Yiwei, YU Wenwen, MO Licheng, PENG Cheng, LIU Lili
    2023, 55 (6):  920-929.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00920
    Abstract ( 111 )   HTML ( 26 )  
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    People tend to give priority to negative information and allocate more cognitive resources such as perception, attention and memory to negative, compared to positive, information. This phenomenon is called "negativity bias", which is well established across toddlers, children, adolescents and adults. However, this emotional bias remains controversial in infants, especially in young infants that are less than six months old. Furthermore, it is still unclear whether the emotional bias changes from no bias or positivity bias to negativity bias during infants’ development in the first year of life.

    In this study, we used near-infrared spectroscopy to examine the neural responses to angry and happy prosodies in 45 neonates (22 girls and 23 boys, Mage = 5.2 ± 1.7 days old) and 45 infants (24 girls and 21 boys, Mage = 12.7 ± 1.4 months old). The experiment was conducted in the neonatal ward of Peking University First Hospital. NIRS data were recorded when the infants were at active sleeping or staying quietly (Figure 1; Table 1). Using a passive listening task, we investigated the brain functional connectivity during automatic processing of emotional prosodies of anger and happiness. The experiment was divided into three emotional blocks (using angry, happy and neutral prosodies, respectively). The order of the three blocks was counterbalanced among the participants. Each block contained 10 sentences, which were repeated six times, that is, 60 sentences were presented during the experiment in a random order.

    The results showed that emotional category had a significant main effect on 60 pairs of functional connectivity (F (2, 176) ≥ 8.518, p (FWE) ≤ 0.044), which revealed that angry and happy prosodies evoked stronger functional connectivity than neutral prosody, whereas there was no significant difference between the angry and happy conditions. The observed significant functional connectivity was mainly distributed within the right hemisphere or across bilateral hemispheres (Figure 2). More importantly, the interaction between emotion and group was significant in 21 pairs of brain connectivities (F(2, 176) ≥ 8.355, p(FWE) ≤ 0.040; Table 2). In the neonatal group, it was found that: 1) the main effects of the above emotions were significant in the brain connectivities of 3/21 pairs (anger > neutral; t (44) ≥ 2.932, p(FWE) ≤ 0.039) and 21/21 pairs (happiness > neutral; t (44) ≥ 3.543, p(FWE)≤ 0.040); 2) Significant positive bias was found in 14/21 pairs of brain connectivities (happiness > anger; t (44) ≥ 3.932, p(FWE) ≤ 0.046). Of these 14 pairs of brain functional connectivities, 12 pairs were distributed in the right hemisphere (connectivities between the right hemisphere's inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus), and 2 pairs were transhemispheric brain functional connectivities. In the infant group, it was found that: 1) the main effect of emotion was significant in the brain connectivities of 20/21 pairs (anger > neutral; t (44) ≥ 3.926, p (FWE) ≤ 0.047) and 3/21 pairs (happiness > neutral; t(44) ≥ 4.123, p(FWE) ≤ 0.023); 2) Significant negative bias was found in 10/21 pairs of brain connectivities (anger > happiness; t (44) ≥ 4.055, p(FWE) ≤ 0.030). Of these 10 pairs of brain functional connectivities, 8 pairs were distributed in the right hemisphere (connectivities between the right hemisphere's inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus), and 2 pairs were transhemispheric brain functional connectivities.

    In addition, the group comparison was carried out in three emotional conditions (Figure 3, Table 2). Under the condition of happy prosody, it was found that 5/21 pairs of brain connectivities were stronger in the neonatal group than in the infant group (neonate > infant; t (44) ≥ 3.820, p(FWE) ≤ 0.022). Four of these five pairs of brain functional connectivities were distributed in the right hemisphere (the connectivities between the right hemisphere's inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus), and one pair is the cross-hemisphere brain functional connectivity. Under the condition of angry prosody, 11/21 pairs of brain connectivities were found to be stronger in the infant group than in the neonatal group (infant > neonate; t(44) ≥ 3.588, p(FWE) ≤ 0.049). Of these 11 pairs of brain functional connectivities, 7 pairs were distributed in the right hemisphere (connectivities between the right hemisphere's inferior frontal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus), and 4 pairs were transhemispheric brain functional connectivities. No significant inter-group differences were found under neutral prosodies.

    By examining the neural response to emotional prosodies at two time points (0 and 1 year old), this study revealed for the first time the changes of emotional bias in a developmental perspective. We found that emotional processing has a positive bias at the beginning of postnatal period, revealed by the stronger functional connectivity for happy than for angry prosodies at the right hemisphere of the superior temporal gyrus, the inferior frontal gyrus, the supramarginal gyrus, and the angular gyrus. However, the emotional processing bias reverses in 1-year-old infants, that is, the brain functional connectivity within the above mentioned brain regions is stronger for angry than that for happy prosodies. Therefore, the reliable phenomenon of “negativity bias” is not innate, although it is always observed in adults and children. Instead, we propose that there is a developmental change from positivity bias to negativity bias in the first year of human life.

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    The effects of phonological awareness and morphological awareness on reading comprehension in early elementary school children: The mediating role of reading fluency
    ZHOU Yitong, XIE Ruibo, WU Xinchun, NGUYEN Thi Phuong, XIA Yue, YU Yanling, WANG Zhenliang
    2023, 55 (6):  930-940.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00930
    Abstract ( 161 )   HTML ( 33 )  
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    The ultimate goal of reading is to achieve the understanding of written text information means reading comprehension, which is closely related to children’s future learning. In recent years, the effects of phonological awareness and morphological awareness on reading comprehension have received extensive attention. Besides, reading comprehension may be influenced not only by factors at the meta-linguistic level but also by higher-level language skills, such as reading fluency. Children in the early elementary grades are in the stage of “learning to read”. In this stage, the younger children are transitioning from word-reading mode to sentence silent mode. Sentence reading fluency is a deep structure of reading fluency. Its cognitive processing is more complex than that of word reading fluency, which may be affected by word reading fluency. However, few studies have been conducted on the possible relationships among phonological awareness, morphological awareness, word reading fluency, sentence silent reading fluency and reading comprehension, especially the chain mediating roles of word reading fluency and sentence silent reading fluency. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the predictive effects of phonological awareness and morphological awareness on children’s reading comprehension in the “learning to read” stage, as well as the chain mediating effects of word reading fluency and sentence silent reading fluency.
    The study included 149 first-graders who were followed three times in two years, with their phonological awareness, morphological awareness measured at Time 1 (the fall semester in grade 1), word reading fluency and sentence silent fluency at Time 2 (the spring semester in grade 1), and reading comprehension at Time 3 (the fall semester in grade 2). In addition, general cognitive ability and auto-regression in reading comprehension, which were served as control variables, were also tested at Time 1 and Time 2 respectively. Spearman correlation analysis was used to investigate the correlation between variables. The results of the correlation analysis found phonological awareness was significantly associated with word reading fluency, sentence silent reading fluency and reading comprehension, and the correlation coefficient was between 0.28 and 0.33 (See Table 1). Meanwhile, word reading fluency and sentence silent reading fluency and reading comprehension were significantly related. In addition to homograph awareness, homophone awareness were significantly correlated with word reading fluency, sentence silent reading fluency and reading comprehension, and the correlation coefficient was between 0.24 and 0.41 (See Table 1 for details). And then, the structural equation model (SEM) was built to investigate the effects of phonological awareness and morphological awareness on reading comprehension and the chain mediating effects of word reading fluency and sentence silent reading fluency.
    The results showed that: (1) phonological awareness and morphological awareness both could directly predict reading comprehension. (2) Word reading fluency mediates the relationship between phonological awareness and reading comprehension, and word reading fluency mediates morphological awareness and reading comprehension. (3) Word reading fluency and sentence silent reading fluency play a chain mediating role between phonological awareness and reading comprehension, and word reading fluency and sentence silent fluency play a chain mediating role between morphological awareness and reading comprehension. The results demonstrated that phonological awareness and morphological awareness not only play an important role in reading comprehension, but also affect sentence fluency through word reading fluency and ultimately affect reading comprehension (See Figure 1 for details).

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    The relationship between metalinguistic awareness and reading fluency in elementary school children: The mediating role of character recognition and vocabulary knowledge
    YU Yanling, XIE Ruibo, WU Xinchun, XIA Yue, WANG Zhenliang, NGUYEN Thi Phuong
    2023, 55 (6):  941-953.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00941
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    Reading is an important skill and an effective way for individuals to obtain information. In the field of reading development, reading fluency, as an essential indicator of children’s reading ability development, has gradually attracted researchers’ attention. According to the Multidimensional View of Reading Fluency, reading fluency involves integrating cognitive skills related to reading, such as phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, and morphological awareness. The processing of low-level cognitive skills is an integral part of reading fluency. In addition, Chinese character recognition and vocabulary knowledge at the word level also play a vital role in children’s reading fluency development. However, few studies have explored the possible relationship between metalinguistic awareness, Chinese character recognition, vocabulary knowledge, and reading fluency. Therefore, to comprehensively investigate the predictive factors and mechanism of the low-grade primary school children’s reading fluency, the study intended to incorporate phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, and morphological awareness into a systematic model to explore the relationship between three metalinguistic awareness and reading fluency, and the mediating role of Chinese character recognition and vocabulary knowledge.

    149 primary school children were followed up three times a year, with their phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, and morphological awareness measured at Time 1 (fall semester of Grade 1), Chinese character recognition and vocabulary knowledge at Time 2 (spring semester of Grade 1), and word reading fluency and silent reading fluency at Time 3 (fall semester of Grade 2). In addition, rapid naming and general cognitive ability were all measured as control variables at Time1 (fall semester of Grade 1). Spearman correlation analysis was established to investigate the correlation between variables. The structural equation model (SEM) was established to investigate the predictive effect of metalinguistic awareness on reading fluency and the mediating role of Chinese character recognition and vocabulary knowledge.

    As shown in Table 1, the correlation analysis showed that phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, homograph awareness, and compounding awareness were significantly correlated with Chinese character recognition, vocabulary knowledge, word reading fluency, and silent reading fluency, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.19 to 0.42. Homophone awareness was significantly correlated with Chinese character recognition, vocabulary knowledge, and silent reading fluency, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.18 to 0.31. Chinese character recognition and vocabulary knowledge were significantly correlated with word reading fluency and silent reading fluency, respectively, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.33 to 0.73.

    The structural equation model results showed that: (1) phonological awareness directly predicted word reading fluency (β = 0.18, p < 0.01). (2) orthographic awareness not only directly predicted word reading fluency (β = 0.24, p < 0.01) and silent reading fluency (β = 0.23, p < 0.01) but also predicted word reading fluency and silent reading fluency through Chinese character recognition. Specifically, orthographic awareness had significant indirect effects on word reading fluency (β = 0.11, 95% CI = [0.04, 0.21]) and silent reading fluency (β = 0.13, 95% CI = [0.04, 0.22]) through Chinese character recognition, respectively. (3) Morphological awareness significantly predicted silent reading fluency in second grade (β = 0.40, p< 0.01), promoted word reading fluency through Chinese character recognition (β = 0.17, 95% CI = [0.06, 0.38]), and indirectly predicted silent reading fluency through the mediating role of Chinese character recognition (β = 0.19, 95% CI = [0.06, 0.38]) and vocabulary knowledge (β = 0.14, 95% CI = [0.06, 0.31], p= 0.06).

    The findings provide a reference basis for systematically investigating the relationship between metalinguistic awareness and reading fluency among Chinese children and provide theoretical guidance for improving children’s reading fluency skills.

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    The distinctness of visual word recognition in hearing-impaired college readers: The effects of language experience and reading ability
    LAN Zebo, GUO Meihua, JIANG Kun, WU Junjie, YAN Guoli
    2023, 55 (6):  954-967.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00954
    Abstract ( 104 )   HTML ( 28 )  
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    Compared with hearing readers, orthographic information and phonological information may play different roles in the word recognition process for hearing-impaired readers. As a communication mode for hearing-impaired readers, sign language may also affect their word recognition process. A large number of studies have examined the activation of orthographic representation, phonological representation, and sign language representation during visual word recognition in hearing-impaired readers. Previous studies have found that hearing-impaired readers could activate stable orthographic representations, but there were inconsistent results in the activation of phonological representations, whereas studies on hearing-impaired readers who primarily use sign language have found that they can activate stable sign language representations. Hearing-impaired readers grow up in a complex language environment, which leads to great individual differences in language experience and reading ability. However, previous works have not clearly identified the effect of language experience and reading ability on the cognitive mechanism of reading in hearing-impaired readers. Continuous attention to this problem will help to provide a reference to guide reading instruction for hearing-impaired readers.

    This study conducted two semantically related decision tasks to investigate the activation of orthographic, phonological, and sign language representations during Chinese visual word recognition in hearing-impaired college students. Orthographic and phonological representations play an important role in word recognition for hearing readers, but sign language representations are a phenomenon unique to deaf readers. In the current study we investigated the activation of orthographic and phonological representation in Experiment 1 and the activation of sign language representation in Experiment2. To investigate the effects of individual differences, according to their language experience and reading fluency, hearing-impaired college students were divided into deaf college students with oral language experience and higher reading ability (Skilled Oral Deaf, SOD), deaf college students with sign language experience but higher reading ability (Skilled Sign Deaf, SSD), and deaf college students with sign language experience and lower reading ability (Less-Skilled Sign Deaf, LSSD).

    The results of Experiment 1 showed that (a) hearing students showed a stable orthographic interference effect, whereas the phonological interference effect was weak. (b) The SOD group and the SSD group showed similar performance. Both showed a stable orthographic interference effect but did not show a significant phonological interference effect. (c) The SSD group and the LSSD group showed similar performance. Both groups showed a stable orthographic interference effect but did not show a phonological interference effect. Experiment 2 found that (a) hearing students did not show a sign language interference effect. (b) The SOD group and the SSD group differed in performance. The SSD group exhibited a sign language interference effect, whereas this effect was absent in the SOD group. (c) The SSD group performed similarly to the LSSD group. Both groups showed a stable sign language interference effect.

    Taken together, the following conclusions were drawn from the two studies: (a) after controlling for reading ability, language experience affected Chinese lexical recognition in deaf college students; lexical representation of oral deaf college students was similar to that of hearing readers., orthographic representations were mainly activated; and the activation of phonological and sign language representations was weak. Deaf college students who used sign language developed a unique cognitive mechanism, and they activated stable orthographic and sign language representations during visual word recognition. (b) After controlling for language experience, reading ability did not affect lexical representation during Chinese word recognition in hearing-impaired college students. (c) Based on the results of this study, combined with the representation and processing models of Chinese word recognition, we attempted to construct a cognitive model of Chinese word recognition for hearing-impaired college readers.

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    The neural mechanism of the impact of mathematical anxiety on the math conceptual knowledge: Evidence from a resting-state fMRI study
    CUI Fang, LIAO Xinming, YANG Jiawang, LIU Jie
    2023, 55 (6):  968-977.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00968
    Abstract ( 184 )   HTML ( 25 )  
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    Data from the Program for International Student Assessment and results from meta-analyses have consistently suggested that math anxiety dampens learning and mastering of mathematics. Among several aspects of math ability, conceptual knowledge of math has been confirmed to be negatively correlated with math anxiety levels. However, the neural mechanism responsible for this phenomenon has yet to be explored. The present study used resting-state fMRI to examine how the brain drives the correlation between math anxiety and performance on problems that test conceptual knowledge of math. Behavioral results replicated the negative correlation. Resting-state functional connectivity analysis showed that the functional coupling between the right horizontal segment of the intraparietal sulcus (HIPS) and the right insula fully mediated the correlation between math anxiety level and performance in conceptual knowdedge of math. These results suggest that the interplay between the numerical/calculation brain regions (i.e., the HIPS) and anxiety regions (i.e., insula) might underlie the negative impact that math anxiety has on conceptual math ability. Alternative interpretations are also worth noting. The present findings offer insight into the nature of math anxiety’s effect on math performance. They also pave the way for new methods of neural intervention that can prevent math anxiety from leading to low math performance.

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    Peer victimization trajectories and their relationships with depressive symptoms and externalizing problems: Risk enhancement or risk susceptibility
    XIAO Jiale, SHEN Zijiao, LI Xiaoyan, LIN Danhua
    2023, 55 (6):  978-993.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00978
    Abstract ( 139 )   HTML ( 36 )  
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    This study examined the trajectories of peer victimization and its group heterogeneity from Time 1 to Time 3, and explored how the initial levels and change of peer victimization synergistically influenced the depressive symptoms and externalizing problems at Time 4. This study employed a 4-wave longitudinal design spanning two years. Participants included 1,580 students from three provinces in China who were recruited through multiple schools including elementary (43.16%), junior (33.10%) and senior high (23.73%) schools. The mean age of participants at the baseline was 12.37 years (SD = 2.52, range = 9 to 19 years old; 54.9% males). The results showed that (1) a significant linear decline in peer victimization, and significant differences in the peer victimization trajectories across migrant status. Specifically, compared to urban children, rural-to-urban migrant children, left-behind children and rural children had significantly higher initial levels of peer victimization. Moreover, rural-to-urban migrant children and left-behind children exhibited a steep decline in peer victimization; (2) After controlling for demographics and depressive symptoms and externalizing problems at baseline, individuals who were exposed to higher initial levels showed more depressive symptoms even when they exhibited a steeper decline in peer victimization, supporting the stress sensitization model. In addition, individuals with higher initial levels of peer victimization would have greater externalizing problems when experienced a slower change rate of peer victimization, supporting the stress amplification model. It can be seen that the initial levels and change of peer victimization have unique effects on depressive symptoms and externalizing problems. Future prevention/intervention research needs to develop targeted programs for different problem behaviors in order to effectively improve intervention outcomes.

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    Toward a coherent understanding of risky, intertemporal, and spatial choices: Evidence from eye-tracking and subjective evaluation
    HUANG Yuanna, JIANG Chengming, LIU Hongzhi, LI Shu
    2023, 55 (6):  994-1015.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00994
    Abstract ( 169 )   HTML ( 26 )  
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    This study aims to examine whether risky/intertemporal/spatial choices are coherently reached by choosing between the same units of quantity (Overall PayoffA vs. Overall PayoffB) or by comparing values measured using different units of quantity (∆OutcomeA,B vs. ∆ProbabilityA,B/∆DelayA,B/∆SpaceA,B). Study 1 used an eye-tracking technique to examine whether the outcome dimension and probability/time/space of outcome dimension were directly compared in three choice domains. Our findings show that, from the group-level, decision makers perform a consistent dimension-based search pattern in the three domains, indicating that the decision processes are more dependent on a way of intra-dimensional comparison. From the individual-level, the vast majority of participants were classified as decision makers who using dimension-based strategy. Moreover, the two index we constructed, difference in gaze duration and difference in saccades frequency, could significantly predict the behavioral choice shift. Those results provide supporting evidence for dimension-based strategy in three choice domains. Study 2 used a visual analog scale to examine whether the different units of quantity were treated in an equate-to-differentiate way to reach decisions. Results showed that decisions could be made through an intra-dimensional difference evaluation prescribed by equate-to-differentiate theory. The current paper provides supportive evidence for the comparison rule of “pitting intangible elements against tangible ones” and break a new ground different from the “translating intangible elements into tangible ones” algorithm. Future studies may consider the development of a general model to explain the choices of three different domains.

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    Effects of memory conversation and group identity on collective memory
    GUO Qianlin, GUAN Jian
    2023, 55 (6):  1016-1028.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.01016
    Abstract ( 118 )   HTML ( 32 )  
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    Collective memory often appears in everyday conversations. Communicating with others about what happened to the past inevitably affects our collective memory by social context. In recent years, several studies have believed that the formation of collective memory depends on a dynamic system of communication, but few research has started from dialogue and interaction backgrounds and used empirical methods to explore factors that may affect collective memory at the group level. On the basis of existing studies, this research thus explores factors that may influence collective memory in an interactive way (i.e., memory conversation). It investigates how memory outcomes under this framework are affected by the interaction social context, which includes memory conversation, information matching, and group identity.

    First, the effect of conversation on collective memory was investigated. Specifically, Experiment 1 explored the effect of activating information content through memory conversation and adopted a single factor (activation mode: conversation vs. individual) pretest-posttest experimental design (Figure 1). Second, the effect of information matching on collective memory was determined. Experiment 2 adopted a single factor (information matching: matching vs. mismatching) pretest-posttest experimental design. Third, the effect of group identity on collective memory in memory conversation was investigated. Experiment 3 adopted a single factor (group identity: in-group vs. out-group) pretest-posttest experimental design (Figure 2).

    The results of the three experiments are as follows: (1) Conversation improved participants’ free recall scores at the individual level, whereas the nominal group did not. At the collective level, the conversation did not affect the group’s collective memory convergence. However, the conversation reduced the number of items forgotten by participants in common, F(1, 19) = 6.55, p = 0.019 (Table 1). (2) Given matching information on memory conversation, individuals can perform better in free recall. Information matching does not affect collective memory convergence, but information matching can increase the number of items remembered in common among participants, F(1, 13) = 13.60, p = 0.003 (Table 2). (3) When inconsistent information comes from the outgroup, individuals’ free recall performance is better. Only if the inconsistent information comes from the outgroup can make the collective memory among participants have more parts to remember in common, F(1, 13) = 25.37, p < 0.001. Meanwhile, inconsistent information from the ingroup and outgroup did not affect the number of items forgotten by participants in common (Table 3 & Figure 3).

    In conclusion, these findings have important implications for understanding the mechanism underlying the effects of memory conversation and group identity on collective memory. Moreover, the function of communication is not to make the memory content close to facts, but to abstract our memories and remember things effectively. Our findings confirm that collective memory is not only recognized as an individual psychological phenomenon but also likely involves a kind of social property. Therefore, given the significant role of communication with collective remembering, placing people in a conversational background is a direct way to investigate collective memory.

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    Accept or change your fate: Exploring the Golem effect and underdog effect of underdog expectations
    MA Jun, ZHU Mengting
    2023, 55 (6):  1029-1048.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.01029
    Abstract ( 393 )   HTML ( 12 )  
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    In organizations, some employees are heralded as rising stars, whilst others are considered underdogs with no prospects. Scholars define individuals’ perceptions that others view them as unlikely to succeed as underdog expectation. The traditional view indicates that when individuals experience underdog expectations from others, they will reduce their subsequent performance through a sense of self-efficacy. This phenomenon, in which one’s performance is manipulated by someone else’s negative assessment, is also known as the Golem effect. Indeed, some studies have suggested that underdog expectations can enhance their desire to prove others wrong to improve performance. However, such studies have only focused on the influence of underdog expectations on employee behavior as social-situation cues but have disregarded its interaction with individuals’ traits. By integrating the preceding arguments, we proposed a comprehensive model based on trait activation theory, which examines the Golem and underdog effects. Specifically, under the moderating effect of underdog expectations, employees with fixed mindsets have a negative impact on subsequent task performance through feedback- avoiding behavior. Meanwhile, employees with growth mindsets have a positive impact on subsequent task performance by proving others wrong. The task context (task focus vs. future focus) plays a role in inhibiting and amplifying the two interactions.

    This study aimed to explore the reasons why employees who are trapped in underdog expectations become a Golem manipulated by fate and how to counter strike and become an underdog in the workplace. This study constructed a three-term interaction model of nested moderated mediation model. Three studies were designed to explore the internal and intervention mechanisms of the Golem and underdog effects activated by underdog expectations. In the first study, the existence of three interactions was initially examined through a multi-source, multi-point questionnaire of 341 employees. To test the stability of the three interactions and the extensibility of the research conclusions in different groups, a second multi-source and multi-time questionnaire survey involving 650 employees and a field study based on a quasi-experiment were designed for retesting. Regression analysis, bootstrap method and Johnson?Neyman (J?N) technology were used to analyse the questionnaire data to examine the moderated mediation effects of the three-term interaction. T-tests were used to analyse data from the field study.

    The analyses of the study showed the following results. (1) The interaction between underdog expectations and fixed mindsets positively affects subsequent task performance through feedback-avoiding behavior. (2) The interaction between underdog expectations and growth mindsets positively affects subsequent task performance through the desire to prove others wrong. (3) Lastly, task focus reduces the positive moderating effect of underdog expectations on fixed mindsets, and future focus strengthens the positive moderating effect of underdog expectations on growth mindsets.

    Findings of our research have several theoretical and practical implications. This study revealed the causes of the Golem and underdog effects, thereby enriching and expanding the research on implicit theory. It showed that fixed and growth mindsets have different paths in processing negative information, which is helpful in integrating the research on underdog and topdog employees. It also provided a theoretical explanation and transformation idea for the emergence and popularity of the depressed culture represented by the lie down and Buddha-like mindsets.

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