The Mind in 1500 Words

New Papers in Consciousness Studies 3

Today I’m looking at:

Raccah, Block, & Fox (2021). Does the Prefrontal Cortex Play an Essential Role in Consciousness? Insights from Intracranial Electrical Stimulation of the Human Brain. Journal of Neuroscience, 41(10), 2076–2087.

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“Personality and birth order in large families.”

Textbooks make claims like:

“Dixon [et al] studied 361 siblings belonging to large families and found that younger siblings were significantly more extraverted in terms of sociability compared to older siblings.”

Should we believe them? I look at:

Dixon, Reyes, Leppert, & Pappas (2008). Personality and birth order in large families. Personality and Individual Differences, 44(1), 119–128.

To see

 

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New Papers in Consciousness Studies 2

This week I check out:

Mormann, M., & Russo, J. E. (in press). Does Attention Increase the Value of Choice Alternatives? Trends in Cognitive Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2021.01.004

 

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“Pitch characteristics of infant-directed speech affect infants’ ability to discriminate vowels.”

Textbooks make claims like:

“The use of [child directed speech] makes it easier for infants to make a number of important speech discriminations. The exaggerated intonation of [child directed speech] and longer pauses between words also facilitates speech segmentation and discrimination between vowel sounds.”

Should you believe them? We look at:

Trainor, L. J., & Desjardins, R. N. (2002). Pitch characteristics of infant-directed speech affect infants’ ability to discriminate vowels. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9(2), 335–340.

To find out

 

 

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New Papers in Consciousness Studies 1

Today we’re starting a new series, with a rather different focus. Everyday interesting, important, inc-or cool papers on consciousness are coming out, and it’s impossible to keep up with them all. In this series I’ll pick out papers that look exciting to me as they go to press, and give them a quick once over for us.

 

The first paper is:

 

Gallagher, Colzi, & Sedda (in press 2021). Dissociation of proprioceptive drift and feelings of ownership in the somatic rubber hand illusion. Acta Psychologica, 212, 103192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103192

 

In the show I mention Irvine’s eliminativism about consciousness which you can read about:

Irvine, E. (2012). Consciousness As a Scientific Concept: A Philosophy of Science Perspective. Springer Science & Business Media.

Irvine, E. (2017). Explaining What? Topoi, 36(1), 95–106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11245-014-9273-4

 

For an introduction to conceptual and quality spaces:

Clark, A. (1993). Sensory Qualities. Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy.

Gärdenfors, P. (2000). Conceptual spaces: The geomentry of thought. The MIT Press.

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“Human-centeredness is Not a Universal Feature of Young Children’s Reasoning: Culture and Experience Matter When Reasoning About Biological Entities.”

This week we continue our look at the development of cognition by considering the nature of children's concept of LIFE in different cultural settings in the US.

Medin, Waxman, Woodring, & Washinawatok (2010). Human-centeredness is Not a Universal Feature of Young Children’s Reasoning: Culture and Experience Matter When Reasoning About Biological Entities. Cognitive Development, 25(3), 197–207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2010.02.001

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“No Compelling Evidence That Newborns Imitate Oral Gestures.”

Do newborn babies imitate facial expressions of adults? Some say yes, but:

 

Anisfeld, Turkewitz, Rose, Rosenberg, Sheiber, Couturier‐Fagan, Ger, & Sommer, (2001). No Compelling Evidence That Newborns Imitate Oral Gestures. Infancy, 2(1), 111–122.

 

Didn’t find that they do.

 

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“Discrimination of Facial Expression by 5-Month-Old Infants of Nondepressed and Clinically Depressed Mothers.”

Textbooks make claims like this:

 

“Babies whose mothers deliberately attract attention to themselves and then smile when their babies look towards them are more likely to show a general preference for smiling faces. On the other hand, the infants of mothers who are depressed (and who therefore are less likely to smile) are poorer in discriminating smiling from non-smiling faces than are infants of non-depressed mothers.”

 

Should you believe this? I examine

 

Bornstein, M. H., Arterberry, M., Mash, C., & Manian, N. (2011). Discrimination of Facial Expression by 5-Month-Old Infants of Nondepressed and Clinically Depressed Mothers. Infant Behavior & Development, 34(1), 100–106.

 

And a correction to it, to find out.

 

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“Accuracy and variability in the localisation of spatial targets at three age levels.”

When talking about the perception of body movement (kinaesthesia) textbooks make claims like:

 

Studies using active tasks [i.e. where the subject moves by themselves, rather than letting an experimenter move it] confirm that development [of kinaesthesia] is slow in comparison with other senses, with competence by about six years (slightly earlier than indicated using passive tasks).

 

Should you believe this? I look at:

 

Smothergill (1973). Accuracy and variability in the localisation of spatial targets at three age levels. Developmental Psychology, 8(1), 62–66.

 

To find out

 

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“Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart.”

Textbooks make claims like:

 

“The ultimate check of the strength of inhered factors would seem to be to compare identical twins who have been separated and brought up in different family environments. Bouchard et al located over 100 such twin pair adults who had been separated infancy and measured them on standard IQ tests. They found that the correlation between twin pairs was 0.76. While this is somewhat lower than that found for monozygotic twins reared together (r=.85), it was nevertheless higher than found for dizygotic twins reared together (r=.55). This provided strong evidence that heredity contributes substantially to IQ and that the more similar environments normally experienced by monozygotic twins cannot account for the higher correlation between identical twins than between fraternal twins.”

 

Should you believe this? I examine

Bouchard, Lykken, McGue, Segal, & Tellegen (1990). Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. Science, 250(4978), 223–228

To find out

 

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