The emergence of “Sense of agency” contributes to self-recognition. However there are few useful experimental paradigms for evaluating the development process of the sense of agency in young infants because the sense of agency is a subjective sense and young infants cannot verbally describe their internal experience. In this article, we propose a new experimental paradigm for examining the sense of agency using on-line eye tracking which we named “eye-scratch task”. This task enables us to evaluate the emergence processes of the sense of agency by a trajectory of voluntary eye movement. Besides, this task enables direct comparison of eye movement trajectories between infants and adults in common criteria. Hence, we can discriminate whether an infant feels the sense of agency or not by comparison with adults. Further, we analyzed participants' behavior in the task by the concept of feed-forward model that are the most famous computational frameworks for motor control and sense of agency. And we claim that our new infant's model based measurement give fruitful suggestions to the computational modeling for the development process of the sense of agency and self-recognition.
The sense of agency is the sense that one is causing an action. The predictive account of the sense of agency proposes that sensory prediction based on efferent information plays a critical role in generating the sense of agency. Alternatively, the inferential account of the sense of agency proposes that we experience the sense of agency when we infer that one's own thoughts are the cause of an action. According to this account, the inference occurs when a thought appears in consciousness prior to an action, is consistent with the action, and is not accompanied by conspicuous other causes of the action. Recent study showed that both of these factors did contribute to the sense of agency. In this paper, multi-layered model of sense of agency was presented. Within this framework, the basic level consists in sensori-motor processes, while the higher level comprises conceptual process. At the basic level, the non-conceptual feeling of agency is produced by sensori-motor integration process of efferent with afferent information. In case of incongruence between these indicators, the pre-conceptual feeling of agency is further processed by inference mechanism to form an attribution of agency (judgment of agency). This paper proposes that what is self-specific is not judgment of agency but rather non-conceptual feeling of agency. That is, the intertwining of action and its sensory consequence in the world makes self so special.
This study investigated the effects of rotation and delay of visual feedback on self-body movement recognition. In the present experiment, visual feedback of subject's hand movement was delayed by hundreds of milliseconds and rotated by 0-270°(at 90° intervals). The subject was required to judge the temporal discrepancy between the hand movement and its visual feedback in a forced-choice manner. In one group the subject was instructed to move their own hand at the experimenter's instruction (active movement), while in another group the subject's hand was moved by the experimenter (passive movement). The results showed that the delay detection rate was increased as the delay length becomes larger both in active and passive movements. Statistical analyses revealed that rotation of visual feedback has an effect to elongate the delay detection threshold (50% detection rate), and the threshold was significantly longer in the 180° rotation condition than in the 0° rotation condition. The steepness of delay detection curve was significantly steeper in active than passive movement. However, there was no significant interaction between rotation and movement (active ⁄ passive) factors. We suppose independent effects of rotation and delay of visual feedback on self-body recognition.
Intact face perception is an important function for individual identification in highly socialized human community. Recent studies revealed that there are hereditary individual differences on the cognitive skills related to face identification, named congenital⁄hereditary prosopagnosia. The investigation on the congenital⁄hereditary prosopagnosia would advance our understanding of the face identification mechanism, however, has not been conducted with Japanese samples. The development of the Japanese version of the congenital⁄hereditary prosopagnosia screening scale is the first step of the congenital⁄hereditary prosopagnosia study in Japan. In this study, we attempted the translation of the original screening scale into Japanese, and also investigated the relationship between the score of scale and behavioral⁄physiological responses on face stimuli. As a result, we found highly internal consistency and test-retest reliability for the Japanese version of the congenital⁄hereditary prosopagnosia screening scale. Also we have revealed the score was related to some behavioral performances and ERP responses related to the self-face perception.
It is thought that we can discriminate between animate and inanimate things. This ability is called animacy perception. Our discrimination between animate and inanimate things is considered to be an important ability for our social cognition, because animacy perception is assumed to serve as a foundation for considering objects as others that have their own goals, intentions and⁄or emotions. We investigated neural mechanism underlying animacy perception using a real animate thing (turtle) and an inanimate thing (robot) in this study. As far as we know, brain activity related to animacy perception in the course of approaching a real animate thing has not been investigated. In experiment 1, we compared Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) when participants performed reaching actions for the animate thing (animate condition) with those when they performed reaching actions for the inanimate thing (inanimate condition). We found that the amplitude of ERPs in left infero-frontal region, which is said to correspond to mirror system, was significantly higher in the animate condition than in the inanimate condition. Moreover, we found more significant mu suppression in the animate condition than in the inanimate condition, which is said to be an evidence of the activation of mirror system. These results suggest that mirror system is related to animacy perception. In Experiment 2, participants were asked to observe an object, either of the animate thing or the inanimate thing, which was covered in a box so that they could not judge by appearance what it was and to answer whether they felt it as animate or inanimate. We compared ERPs when they performed reaching actions for the objects that they felt as animate with those when they performed reaching actions for the objects that they felt as inanimate. As well as in Experiment 1, we found that the amplitude of ERPs in left infero-frontal region was significantly higher in the former condition than in the latter one. In conjunction with the results in Experiment 1, this result suggests that the activation of mirror system takes a role in subjective attribution of animacy to objects.
Enjoyment is the concept that grew up in a study of media communication during twenty years recently. This concept came from mood management theory that explained selection and reception actions of media, and mood management theory made hedonism a rationale. In a study of enjoyment, many phenomena of paradox who enjoyed negative feelings such as sad films have been reported. However, only the mechanism that concluded in an individual that why paradox was occurred was explained. Based on this problem, this study made a cognitive-affective mechanism model that comprehensively explained enjoyment of an audience of a television drama. A concept called meaningfulness was adopted to regard the mechanism that there was in the society. Empathy was considered to be two constructs called positive system and negative system, and meaningfulness was considered to be a construct called message evaluations. Enjoyment itself was added to those, validity of the model that assumed causation between four constructs were examined by covariance structure analysis. The result showed constant validity of the model. A fabric of enjoyment was suggested. It was able to explain not only paradoxical enjoyment but also non-paradoxical enjoyment. Based on these results, a cognitive-affective mechanism that why enjoyment was occurred among human beings was generally discussed from the viewpoints of empathy and morality and sociality.
Maternal mind-mindedness is known to be a tendency of caregivers to interpret their socially immature infants as social agents and researchers have indicated this is one of promotion factors of infant social development. In this paper, we focused on such caregiver's tendency in mutual imitation of vowels and modeled infant vowel development to investigate the effect of caregivers on infant development. Computational simulation results in our previous study of caregiver-infant mutual imitation showed what we call auto-mirroring bias of the caregiver has a guiding effect in vowel development. This hypothesized bias is the tendency to interpret infant's utterances as more accurate imitations of the caregiver's precedent utterances and considered to be one of behaviors of the mind-mindedness. To verify this bias, we further examined how adult's interpretation was biased by measuring their imitations of synthesized vowels. The result of this subject experiment indicated the bias was enhanced by the anticipation to be imitated. These results of our studies imply the possibility that the way caregiversimitate their infant based on their interpretation of their infants lets them learn caregiver's way of interpreting others, i.e. sociality.
A previous study showed that observing others' trials had a positive effect on performance in insight problem solving, whereas observing one's own past trials had a negative effect. We can assume that these effects are caused by the following two factors: one is that the amount and variety of information may increase by observing others' trials, which in turn enhances the possibility of adopting a new perspective or gaining an insight. The second factor is that, regardless of the type of information that a person gains through observation, the fact that this information is obtained from himself⁄herself may disrupt constraint relaxation and consequently, insight problem solving. In this study, we tested whether or not a person's attribution of the observed actions to self disrupts his⁄her performance on the task. For this purpose, we compared the participants' performances across the following four conditions: (1) the solo condition, in which participants were asked to solve a T-puzzle alone; (2) the self-observation condition, in which each participant was asked to alternate between solving the puzzle and observing each of his⁄her own past trials for 30 seconds; (3) the fake other-observation condition, in which each participant was asked to follow the same procedure as in the self-observation condition, but was instructed that the trials he⁄she observed were those undertaken by another person; and (4) the other-observation condition, in which each participant was asked to alternate between solving the puzzle and observing each of another person's past trials for 30 seconds. The results revealed that the participants' performances in the self-observation condition were inferior to those in the other three conditions. The results indicate that observation may disrupt insight problem solving if one attributes the observed actions to oneself, but not if one attributes them to another person.
Cooperative social decision making among humans requires individuals to read the minds of their partners and estimate their moves. It also leads decision makers to focus on the value of mutual cooperation. In order to examine the distinctive characteristics of human-human decision making, we conducted an experiment that involved the manipulation of the game partner and explicitness of a partner's strategy independently. Participants played a prisoner's dilemma game with a computer partner or a human partner, whose decision making strategy was random or unknown. We observed that the participants increased their preference for mutual cooperation when their partners were human and the expectation for their partners' cooperation was raised when they were not informed about the partners' decision making strategies. Thus, it was found that the social context and expectation about the partner's decision making strategy resulted in different cognitive processes although both of them elicit cooperation.
Human being can be called “social animal”. There are no other animals that can communicate with other individuals in common with human. Many researchers are interested in cognitive and neural functions that exist behind advanced human sociality. Most of these researchers break down human sociality into individual cognitive components, such as mirror neuron system, and try to reveal the stand-alone function of these individual components. There are no doubts that these reductionist approaches are valuable for the realization of human sociality. However, we also feel the limitation of these reductionist approaches for the realization of human sociality. In this paper, we propose the new framework “social belief effect” for the realization of human sociality. We define social belief as a subjective belief on an interacting agent (e.g. the agent is a human individual or not). And “social belief effect” means the preparation of executive functions driven by a social belief. In our framework, various cognitive components are dynamically configured by a social belief and this top-down configuration enabled a dynamical social adaptation. To evaluate our framework, we review related previous studies and our behavioral and fMRI experiments for the direct measurement of “social belief effect”, and discuss its feasibility. And we try to model the neural mechanism of “social belief effect" from these previous experimental studies.
We investigated to what extent humans are sensitive to snakes and spiders in a visual search task. In Experiment 1, fear-relevant deviants (snakes or spiders) were detected faster among fear-irrelevant backgrounds (flowers or mushrooms), than vice versa. Moreover, the detection of the fear-irrelevant target from snake backgrounds was significantly slower than that from spider backgrounds. It indicated that snakes held the attention more strongly than spiders did, that interfered with the effective visual search. In Experiment 2, fear-relevant animals (snakes or spiders) were compared with fear-irrelevant animals (birds or koalas). Fear-relevant animals were detected faster among fear-irrelevant animals, than vice versa. In addition, snakes were detected more rapidly than spiders, suggesting that snakes captured attention more strongly than spiders did. Furthermore, detection of the fear-irrelevant target (birds or koalas) from snake backgrounds was significantly slower than that from spider backgrounds. Again, it was indicated that snakes held the attention more strongly than spiders. We discussed our differences of the sensitivity to snakes and spiders in terms of evolutional origins of detecting hazardous animals.
We classify the explanation of the base rate fallacy into three positions: (1) the neglect view, which argues that the neglect of base rates causes the fallacy; (2) the frequency view, which claims that the fallacy will disappear if information is presented in the natural frequency format instead of the probability format; and (3) a family of theories that focus on mental representations of the task structure. In this paper, three experiments examined the validity of the equiprobability hypothesis, which is one of the theories that emphasize mental representations of the task structure. In Experiments 1 and 2, although we used tasks in which the neglect view predicted high performances, correct answers remained infrequent. In Experiment 3, facilitation by the natural frequency format could barely be distinguished from the effect predicted by the equiprobability hypothesis. Consequently, we suggested that the neglect view was inappropriate and the frequency view could be reinterpreted according to the equiprobability hypothesis.
Self-Explanation is considered to be one of the effective ways to elicit active knowledge construction in general domain. Although the effects of promoting self-explanation have been demonstrated in a variety of domains, there is some discrepancy on the effect on scientific conceptual learning between prior researches. To address this issue, the approach taken here was to develop new prompts based on SBF theory, in which complex systems were described in terms of function and behavior of the components, and to compare the new one (SBF prompts) with the one used in prior researches (Generic prompts). 47 students participated in an experiment and were randomly assigned to SBF prompts group, Generic prompts group, and control group (think-aloud without prompts). Results showed that the performance of SBF prompts group was better than that of control group on inference questions which refered to the function or behavior of components in the text. On the other hand, Generic prompts were not so effective for eliciting self-explanation inferences and for increasing performance on post-tests. In addition, protocol analysis reveled that a learning gain by SBF prompts was mediated by SBF-based explanations during learning. These results suggest that we have to use the prompts which require inferences and monitoring based on a SBF theory to promote scientific conceptual understanding.
When applying inference statistics, power analysis should be performed as a part of research plan, and in reporting the results, some measure of effect size is supposed to be included, as APA noted. However, they have been considered less serious indeed. Power analysis including estimation of effect size will be illustrated with sample effect size and sample statistical power calculated for the articles published in the Cognitive Studies.