This study examined relationships between semantic activation and eye fixation in visual word recognition of Japanese Kana and Kanji characters. In a display, a target word of either Kana or Kanji character and four images were presented, and participants identified as quickly and correctly as possible one of four locations that a corresponding target-designated image was presented. At one of the other three locations, an image which was semantically-related (Exp. 1), or an image which was graphemically-related (Exp. 2), to the target word was also presented. Additionally in the display, there were two images which did not relate semantically and graphemically to the target word. The fixation duration was obtained and the time series analyses of fixation revealed following findings. In Exp. 1, participants significantly fixated the semantically-related image longer than non-related images. In Exp. 2, there were significant differences of the time course of fixation to display images between Kana and Kanji conditions, and Kana character was assumed to be processed about 30-50 ms faster than Kanji character. It is suggested that the fixation reflects semantic activations in the visual word recognition.
To examine facilitative effects of experiential cognition in imitation learning, we conducted three experiments using varied observation and imitation tasks of a nursing action involving the movement of a sham patient (university student) from a bed to a wheelchair. The basic imitation task was to observe a videotape of the nursing action performed by an expert, and then to imitate it with the patient. Participants in Experiment 1 (N = 75) saw photographs of the patient in the bed and then in the wheelchair and based only on this information moved the patient without observing the videotape. Participants in Experiment 2 (N = 15) observed the videotape and imitated the movement of the patient. Thereafter, participants in Experiments 1 and 2 received the basic imitation task. Participants in Experiment 3 (N = 17) observed the videotape as many times as they wanted, and imitated the nursing action with pantomiming without the patient, and then with the patient. The results showed that preceding experiential cognition, i.e., estimation of actions (Exp. 1), repetition of the observation and performance (Exp. 2), and self-paced repetition of the observation (Exp. 3) improve performance in the successive imitation task. We conclude that the combination of estimation, observation, and pantomime of actions is a promising method for imitation learning of such pragmatic skills as nursing actions.
Previous studies have suggested that (1) sensory-motor representation can be activated during the comprehension of words or sentences, (2) the activation depends on the participants' past experiences of interaction with real external objects or actual situations, and (3) past experiences can facilitate the comprehension of words or sentences. What kinds of interaction will facilitate the comprehension, however, still remain uncovered. In order to examine this, we conducted an experiment in which thirty-three Japanese university students were randomly assigned to one of the following three groups: (a) participants who were asked to enact the sentences, which included at least one English indefinite pronoun, and observe other participants' enactment --the enactment group, (b) participants who were asked to observe the same enactments as shown by group (a)--the observation group, and (c) participants who were not asked to either enact or observe--the control group. In order to examine what kinds of interaction will facilitate the comprehension of the concept of English indefinite pronouns, we set a grammar test designed to assess students' understanding of the concept before and after the treatment. The grammar test revealed that the enactment group outperformed not only the control group but also the observation group. This result suggests that the experience of enacting sentences can facilitate participants' comprehension of the concept of word meaning--English indefinite pronouns in this study--and that the mere observation of enactments cannot facilitate this comprehension. The reason of the facilitation was discussed.
This study was designed to elucidate collective dynamics in ball sports by developing an index to quantify team cooperation; it also aimed to confirm the validity of that index by applying it to actual game data. Cooperation within a team was quantified in terms of the team divergence coefficient (TD), which was expressed as team convergence-divergence during play. To evaluate use of space on the court or field, a team pressure-field (TP) was calculated as the sum of individual pressure-fields (IPs), based on the pressure-field model developed by Kijima (2008). The TD was then calculated from the TP using Shannon's entropy. We analyzed the relationship between the TD and team distance which was confirmed as a control parameter for pattern of game, by analyzing data from two actual field hockey games played by six-player adult and youth teams. The adult game has shown that it switched the cooperation patterns between divergence and convergence according to the team distance, however, the youth game has not shown. Our results suggest that the team distance would be considered as a control paramter for a team cooperation. We discussed a collective dynamics of team cooperation from a dynamical systems perspective.
We conducted three experiments to investigate the effects of how experiences for solving a source task subconsciously affect problem solving for a target insight problem. In Experiment 1, we verified an experimental paradigm developed for this investigation. We found that the experiences solving the source task actually improved the target problem solving even though the participants were not aware the correspondence between the two tasks. Experiment 2 revealed that the effect that the source task improved problem solving for the target task was not brought about by the perceptual feature shared by the two tasks, but by eye tracking experiences while solving the source task, relaxing the constraint that prevents the solution for the target task. Experiment 3 suggested that the effect emerged for relaxing the constraint only; did not for shifting search for an adequate problem space that involves the target solution. We concluded that in insight problem solving people can use analogical cues without awareness to relax fixations rather than to shift search for the problem spaces.
To maintain our well-ordered social life, we should detect whether a behavior is immoral. In this study, we tried to reveal the plural cognitive processes involved in the moral judgment, using EEG with high temporal resolution. As stimuli, one sentence consisted of three phrases (in Japanese) was used per trial. The predicate was modified to create behavior variations for four conditions: Moral⁄Violation (e.g., He pockets a coin picked up.), Moral⁄Match (He hands over a coin picked up.), Semantic⁄Violation (He empathizes a coin picked up.), Semantic⁄Match (He looks a coin picked up.). We compared ERP responses between violation and match sentences, and demonstrated that N400 component in Semantic⁄Violation was larger than in Semantic⁄Match. For moral sentences, N400 was not significantly different between violation and match, while LPC in Moral⁄Violation was larger than in Moral⁄Match. This suggested that the cognition of moral violation is more complex cognitive process compared with semantic violation.
A nonsense word retrieval test was conducted to examine the effectiveness of two common practices in language classrooms: repetition “with” a teacher and “after” a teacher. Participants were asked to memorize two lists of bisyllabic test words by reading the words aloud with and after the model presentation (repetition phase). Participants heard test words and were expected to reject the “new” test words as “words that were not repeated in the test phase”. The number of correct responses and participants' levels of confidence were analysed, and both ANOVA and ROC (Receiver Operating Chracteristic) curve showed that repetition “with a teacher” significantly surpassed “after a teacher”. These results demonstrate the advantage of pronunciation practice simultaneously with a teacher.
This study proposes constructive simulation, a new research method applied in investigating phenomenon that is difficult to observe. Constructive simulation infers the mechanism that forms a phenomenon using a different mechanism when the similar or analogous phenomenon emerges from the different mechanism. This study determines the procedure of constructive simulation and applies it in the concept generation process in design. First, the virtual concept generation process was explored on the semantic network by tracing the relations between the concepts. Next, the structure of the virtual concept generation process was extracted using the network theory, and its correlation with the evaluated originality score of the actual design products were analyzed. Because a significant correlation was found, it was understood that the analogous phenomenon had emerged from the virtual concept generation process and that the constructive simulation was conducted successfully. Finally, certain hypotheses on the thinking principle in concept generation were inferred from the mechanism of the virtual concept generation process.