The purpose of this study was to examine how the learning experience affects associative strength between lexical representations of first and second language (L1, and L2) and conceptual representation, and word processing. The critical experimental manipulations were L2 proficiency, word frequency, and matching direction. The subjects were advanced learners and beginners. Association strength was assessed by measuring reaction time and error rate in translation recognition tasks with three sets of English (L2) and Japanese (L1) words that were high or low frequency, and corresponding pictures. The results showed that (1) the two associations involving L2 words were stronger when L2 word frequency was high, (2) both L2-L1 and L2-Picture association were strengthened with L2 proficiency. However, (3) there was no difference between L2-L1 and L2-Picture conditions. Moreover, (4) the association between L1 words and pictures were strong regardless of L2 proficiency or word frequency. These results suggest that L2 learning experience strengthens both associations involving L2 words.
The purpose of this longitudinal study was to examine the moderating effects of age and social support from family members in the relationship between the bereavement of friends and depression. The participants were 1402 Japanese community-dwelling men and women aged between 40 and 79 years, who had done the baseline and the two-year follow-up surveys of the National Institute for Longevity Sciences-Longitudinal Study of Aging (NILS-LSA). By using hierarchical multiple regression analysis, we detected a significant interaction between age, social support from family members, and the bereavement of friends. Younger participants who were receiving less support from family members after the loss of friends showed significantly higher depression scores.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship in the parents among social support, psychological stress response, and acceptance of the fact that their children had progressive muscular dystrophy. Parents of progressive muscular dystrophy patients, 326 in total, completed a questionnaire that included scales of social support, acceptance of muscular dystrophy, positive thought on child's muscular dystrophy, and psychological stress response. Results of analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that features of the social support received by the parents differed at different stages of the disease, but levels of acceptance of the disease and psychological stress response were not different. Results of analysis of covariance structure suggested that social support increased parent's positive cognition about the disease, the cognition in turn increased their acceptance of the disease, and the acceptance reduced psychological stress responses. Finally, social support systems that were available to the parents of children with muscular dystrophy were discussed.
Appraisal theories of emotions assume that the emotions are elicited by the appraisals of events or circumstances along with the several dimensions. However, there are some inconsistencies among the dimensions proposed by various appraisal theories. The purpose of this study was to integrate the appraisal dimensions that were proposed by Scherer, Roseman, and Smith & Ellsworth's theories by empirically investigating the appraisals associated with each emotion. Three hundred seventy-six Japanese participants recalled a past experience associated with one of 13 emotions, and rated the nature of the emotional event along the appraisal dimensions proposed by them. A factor analysis identified eight factors: pleasantness, self/other control, certainty, anticipated effort and attention, novelty, human/situation control, motivational state, and coping potentials. These dimensions were consistently proposed by the appraisal theorists. Moreover the associations between each emotion and its appraisal profiles were mostly consistent with the previous theories except for a few dimensions. Discussion argued that the appraisal dimensions identified in this study adequately capture the important features of major emotions.
Although it is expected that a social dilemma is solved by giving people feedback information about others' cooperative behavior, previous studies demonstrated that the information may promote cooperative behavior in some situations but may promote non-cooperative behavior in other situations. The study hypothesize that the feedback information of the others' cooperative behavior promote cooperative behavior for those who feel high obligation to cooperate in a social dilemma situation, such as a problem of bicycle parking behavior on road, but promote defective behavior for those who have low moral obligation. This is because the former people are hypothesized to attribute the cause of other's cooperative behavior to their social and intrinsic motivation, but the latter are hypothesized to attribute it to the egoistic motivation. The data from an experiment (n=126) supported the hypotheses.
The error-related negativity (ERN) is a component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) that is associated with action monitoring and error detection. The ERN amplitude reflects attentional resource allocated to error detection. The present study examined whether discrete or gradational allocation strategy of attentional resource in error detection using the ERN amplitude. Only Eriksen flanker task was used in the single task condition. Eriksen flanker task was used as a primary task and Sternberg memory search task was used as a secondary task in the dual task conditions. The task difficulty of the secondary task manipulated in the present study included the memory load. Memory set sizes of 2, 4 and 6 were used in the Sternberg memory search task (M2, M4 and M6 conditions). The results indicated that reaction time was gradually delayed in the primary task as the task difficulty of the secondary task gradually increased. However the ERN amplitude of the primary task decreased in M6 condition alone. In conclusion, discrete allocation strategy of attentional resource was adopted in the error detection.
Two experiments were performed to examine how the apparent depth of a shaded circle on a plane was affected by the direction and the distance of a highlight in the shaded area from the center of the circle. Fourteen undergraduates were asked to rate the concentrically shaded circle according to the apparent depth using the method of magnitude estimation. Experiment 1 showed that the rating was the highest in the upper-left, upper-right, and top conditions of the direction and the lowest in the bottom condition. Experiment 2 showed that the rating was the highest when the highlight was located at a third of the diameter of the circle apart from the center and the lowest when the highlight was on the edge of the circle or in the center. On the whole, the results support Ramachandran's “Assumption of Light From Above”, which states that humans perceive a circle shaded bright in the top and dark in the bottom as convex due to their long experience on the earth since their birth.
Nicotine is classified as a dependence-producing drug. This study investigated the rewarding property of nicotine employing the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm in a three-compartment box, and compared it with that of methamphetamine (MAP). In place conditioning using a biased method, rats were placed in one (white or black) compartment under the drug treatment and placed in the other compartment without drug. In the preference test conducted after conditioning, the time spent in the nicotine-paired compartment significantly increased compared with that in the baseline test, suggesting nicotine's rewarding property, although the property was weaker compared with that of MAP. Chronic nicotine pretreatment by a subcutaneous osmotic mini-pump for 7days before place conditioning tended to increase the rewarding property of nicotine, and the possible mechanism of this effect was discussed.
This study examined how children used shape similarity information when they inferred the meaning of a novel label which was given to a familiar object. When children were shown two objects similar only in shape (white paper cup and glass), 5: 7- to 6: 7-year-old children (N=28, M=5:11) assigned the novel label only to the object identical to the target, whereas 4: 7- to 5: 6-year-old children (N=28, M=4:11) mapped the novel label to all objects within the familiar object category. When children of both age groups (N=15, M=5:8, range=5:3 to 6:2; N=12, M=4:10, range=4:3 to 5:1) were shown two paper cups identical except color (white paper cup and pink one), children selected both of the two objects. These results showed children in both age groups regarded the objects identical except color as those given the same label; on the other hand, children did not think of the objects similar only in shape as qualified for the same label. Therefore the results imply that what is treated as “shape similarity” in this area of research includes the similarity not only in shape but also in other dimensions such as material.