This study examined relation between English listening, working memory capacity and serial information processing skill. English passages were presented word by word to Japanese university students (N=22) to measure serial information processing skill, and to examine its role in English listening comprehension in relation to working memory capacity. The result of this study showed that even learners with high capacity of working memory perform poorly on listening comprehension test, if they have low serial information processing skill. Working memory capacity measured by the reading span test is not a good predictor of L2 listening comprehension, and found that the participants' serial information processing skill is a possible variable that influences L2 listening comprehension. This study showed the need for continued investigation on L2 listening comprehension from the perspective of serial information processing.
In this study, we investigate the two factors that influence perspective taking in collaborative problem solving and understand the communication process during this activity. We conducted a psychological experiment by constructing a situation where two participants engage in a rule discovery task with different perspectives. While solving the task, each of the participants confronts miscommunication about the other's perspective and has to manage to overcome this situation. The main results indicated that having prior communication experience and dialog communication enhance the understanding of the partner's perspective. Results of protocol analysis indicated that when the participants had communication experience, (a) the degree of utterance biased on a single perspective became small, and (b) the degree of utterance based on a contradictory perspective became small. The participants who communicated by dialog became to do turn taking much frequently compared to the participants who communicated by chat.
We examined whether humans apply body images to non-human objects using mental rotation tasks. In Experiment 1, participants did mental rotation tasks in three conditions: a letter, a human-hand, and a monkey-hand. In the images of the letter, “F” and “R” were presented either in canonical or mirror images in different orientations. In the images of the human-hand, color pictures of a pointing or a grip shape were used as the stimuli. In the images of monkey-hand, pictures of a pointing or a grip shape taken from an anesthetized rhesus monkey were used as the stimuli. In Experiment 2, pictures of a pointing or a grip shape of a black glove were used instead of the monkey-hand. In the images of the letter, the pattern of the reaction time (RT) were symmetrical at the peak of 180 degrees, but those of the other images (i.e., human-hand, monkey-hand, and glove) were not symmetrical, which suggests the effect of biomechanical constraints. In addition, the peak of the RT in the human-hand shifted at 135 degrees to the right hand picture and at 225 degrees to the left hand one. These results suggest that humans tend to receive physical constraints when they mentally rotate not only images of a human hand but also images of a non-human object such as monkey hands and gloves. However, the constraints were not as strong as those of human hand.
This study investigated cognitive processing during silent and oral reading. We focused on the allocation of cognitive resources required for reading comprehension and phonological representation. We examined the utilization of cognitive resources by observing the effect of concurrent tapping on the comprehension of visually presented sentences. We also analyzed the impact of the presentation of irrelevant speech on reading comprehension. Thirty-two participants read sentences both silently and orally. Each reading task was performed under four multiple-task conditions: no-tap⁄no-speech, no-tap⁄speech, tap⁄no-speech, and tap⁄speech. The results indicated that for silent reading, tapping interfered with reading comprehension. Irrelevant speech also interfered with reading comprehension when the readers did not perform the tapping. However, when the readers performed the tapping during the silent reading task, there was no additional disruptive effect of the irrelevant speech. In contrast, for oral reading, neither tapping nor irrelevant speech interfered with reading comprehension. Moreover, there was no interaction between the effects of tapping and irrelevant speech when the participants read the sentences orally. These findings suggest that more cognitive resources are used for silent reading comprehension than for oral reading comprehension. Also, more cognitive resources during silent reading are required to use the phonological representations constructed internally and to support reading comprehension.
This paper discusses some fundamental ideas of situated learning, activity theory, cross-contextual learning and a new field of situational boundary work. Firstly, I take up five questions or misunderstandings often had about situated learning theory and respond to these: 1) does it deny mental processing?, 2) does it consider that external circumstances determine learning?, 3) does it regard internalization of knowledge in a situation as learning?, 4) which does it focus on, individual transformation in a situation or whole collective transformation?, 5) does it consider that transfer doesn't occur? Secondly, I discuss cross-contextual learning or boundary crossing, a main subject in recent activity theory. Thirdly, I interrogate organization or states of boundary itself and our ways of recognition or ethnomethods of its use. This paper constructs some concepts of boundary transformation, multi-boundary, and distantiation.