Mizuno and Matsui (2016) observed more salient homophone effects for Japanese homophones as the number of mates increased, indicating that Japanese homophones activate their multiple mates. However, as Japanese has many homophones that generally have multiple mates, their finding implies that Japanese is a language that requires considerable processing times. Given the evidence for context effects, it is possible that no homophone effects would emerge within congruous contexts because Japanese homophones should be processed smoothly, irrespective of mate numbers. The present experiment compares lexical decision times for homophones with multiple mates, for homophones with a single mate, and for nonhomophones within both congruous and incongruous contexts. In the congruous contexts, no homophone effects were observed for either of the two homophone conditions, which indicates that Japanese homophones are processed as smoothly as nonhomophones when appropriate context is provided. Finally, the paper discusses the need to investigate language processing within realistic situations.
This study investigates the characteristics and functions of involuntary autobiographical memory cued by consuming “shikohin”, such as alcohol, tea, coffee, and tobacco. Four hundred and eight participants were instructed to record the contents of everyday involuntary autobiographical memories that were triggered by consuming shikohin and to describe the effects of those memories on their thinking and behavior within their current situations. Data was collected concerning 382 such involuntary memories. The majority of those memories were vivid, frequently emotional and positive and of importance. Moreover, analysis using the KJ method extracted two functional categories. The first category relates to the orientation of behavior (with subcategories including initiating communication, coping, and behavior modification) while the second relates to the initiation of mental processes (with subcategories including nostalgia, emotion change and linked memories). We discuss how these findings are related the psychological effects of consuming shikohin.
What causes patterns of functional specialization in the human brain? Are such responses built into our genetic inheritance, or do they arise through learning and experience with environmental structure? The nature and extent of diversity in human cognition hinges upon answers to these questions. I will discuss new work suggesting that the functional profiles of different cortical regions are jointly constrained by their long-range anatomical connectivity and by learning and experience. At a coarse scale this arrangement produces homologies across individuals with little effect of experience, but at a finer scale, substantial individual variability can be observed. I will support these arguments with reference to new brain imaging, computational modeling, and patient studies of semantic memory—the form of memory that supports knowledge about the meanings of words and objects. The convergence of methods suggests a new account of semantic representation that reconciles long-standing theoretical disputes.
Psychology suffers from the problem of studying a narrow database: most research is conducted on samples that are from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic societies. The problem is both that many psychological phenomena appear differently across cultures, and that WEIRD samples are psychological outliers on many dimensions. I will review some evidence that reveals the extent of cultural diversity in various psychological processes, and will discuss some implications. In particular, the WEIRD people problem intersects with a recent concern of a replicability crisis in psychology because failed replications conducted in other cultures might indicate boundary conditions for an effect, rather than a problem with internal validity. Moreover, as one solution to the replicability crisis is to collect larger sample sizes this has the unwanted consequence of further incentivizing the reliance on cheap convenience samples, which would exacerbate the WEIRD people problem. Implications and recommendations will be discussed.