The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of schema evoked by labeling on the processing of faces as ambiguous visual stimuli. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to rate portrait photographs according to scales composed of personality traits and occupational prototypicality. The results showed that personality impression determines the occupational prototypicality. In Experiment 2, the way in which occupational labels for faces affect personality impression was examined. Comparing the rating of personality traits of three portrait photographs with or without occupational labels showed that presenting a face with an occupational label distorts the personality impression. Experiment 3 was done to investigate labeling effect in varying degrees of congruency between the occupations speculated from a particular face and given occupational labels. Labeling effect upon impression formation was observed in the non-congruency cases (neutral examples and incongruent examples), but not in the congruent cases. Together three results suggested that "top-down" processing dominates impression formation from faces.
We examined applicability of the generic-view principle to the extraction of structure from motion. In particular we manipulated the angle between the line of sight and the rotation axis of the spherical surface that was defined by moving paired or unpaired random dots. The image motions of the sphere were categorized using an aspect graph and assigned values of genericness/accidentalness. The generic image motions elicited clearer/more depth than the accidental ones in the paired-dot stimuli, being mostly consistent with the predictions of the generic-view principle. The effect of the generic image motion was less in the unpaired-dot stimuli than in the paired-dot stimuli. It is suggested that the combination of the generic-view principle and the relative-motion hypothesis could better explain perception of the rotating sphere in general. Thus, both of them seem to contribute to the processing of structure from motion.
Relative retinal motion yields depth perception when combined with an observer's head movement to form motion parallax, as well as relative motion perception when the observer's head is stationary. The present study compared detection thresholds of relative motion and depth from identical random dots patterns containing sinusoidally modulated velocity gradients, to explore relation of their processings. In Exp. 1, the detection thresholds were determined as a function of the spatial frequencies (SFs) of the velocity gradient. SF threshold functions of the motion and depth showed U-shapes similar except that the depth threshold was elevated above the motion threshold and increased more considerably in the higher SFs. In Exp. 2, the detection thresholds were determined as a function of viewing distance. The depth threshold decreased with the viewing distance, whereas the motion threshold did not change. These results suggest that the relative motion detector and the depth detector are different in the following respects: (1) the depth detector is located later in the processing path, (2) it has larger receptive field area, and (3) it includes distance information.
The more complex the spatial structure of images is, the longer time the visual system will spend to analyze its correspondence problem of apparent motion. I investigated the relation between the structural complexity of stimulus and the temporal property of correspondence process. In the experiments, three kind of stimulus-series (from simple to complex; a dotted pattern, an opaque pattern, and human-faces) were prepared and presented by the frame-splitting procedure (Suga & Kato, 1994, 1995) through either partial mask or random-pass filter. This procedure provides a mean of investigating experimentally the temporal limitation concerned with solving correspondence problem. In the results, to all correspondence problems under these experimental conditions, the temporal upper limitation of 100 ms were indicated. The results are discussed in terms of the visual buffer without the influence of the stimulus complexity.
This study examined the locus of Stroop-like interference and facilitation effects on the processing of line-drawn picture categorizing, using a unique version of Stroop-like picture-picture categorizing task, which both target and distracting stimuli were pictures, from which semantic information can be processed without lexical processing. In this task, to clarify the effect of lexical, phonological processing on reaction, participants were divided into two groups of reaction type, key press and verbal reaction group, and were required to respond category of the target pictures (animal or fruit) ignoring the distracting pictures. To clarify the effect of semantic relations on the amount of interference, the following conditions were presented under the combination of target and distracting pictures: same stimulus (SS), same category (SC), different category (DC), neutral (N), and control (C). To investigate the time course of processing, stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between target and distractor was varied. In the results, Stroop-like interference effect was seen both types of reaction groups, but facilitation effect was significantly only on verbal reaction group, whereas not on key press group. These results indicate that the cause of interference is semantic, lexical, and phonological processing, whereas the cause of facilitation is mainly lexical, phonological processing.
This study quantitatively investigated directed attention of stroke patients with left unilateral spatial neglect (USN) using visual target detection. Twenty-three stroke patients with left USN and sixteen elderly control subjects participated in the experiment. Directional response time to detect visual target was measured using a personal computer system. The patients were also examined with the line bisection test. The elderly controls detected all targets and showed no directional difference in response time. On the other hand, the patients with USN showed delayed response time or failed to detect the targets presented in the left space. A significant correlation was found between the number of omissions in the affected left side of space and the percent shift of dividing point in the line bisection test. We also found a significant correlation between the ability of visual target detection and the patients' ability of locomotion. Thus, it is concluded that our new method of computerized evaluation of visual inattention is clinically useful to describe USN objectively.
The discrimination of three kinds of CV syllables, consisting of a stop consonant and a vowel (/ba/, /da/, and /ga/), was experimentally investigated using an AX-discrimination paradigm under auditory-alone, visual-alone, and audiovisual presentation conditions. The role of shortterm memories was examined by evaluating the strength of two psychological effects-the stimulus order effect (SOE) and the effect of temporal interval of stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). For the conditions other than the visual-alone condition, 14 subjects were instructed to compare the timbres of the paired stimuli. It was investigated how auditory and phonetic memories are made use of in the discrimination of audiovisual stimuli and their temporal decay characteristics. The SOA was either two or four seconds. The stimuli were audiovisually congruent and incongruent CV-syllables. The effect of SOA was found and weak evidence for the SOE was obtained. The results are discussed with regard to the role of auditory and phonetic memories. The results can be interpreted that the auditory memory of the non-fused syllable had the characteristics similar to that of the prototype, while the auditory memory of the fused syllable had the characteristics similar to the midway stimulus on the stimulus continuum.
The effect of top-down information on modulation of bottom-up activity in feature search was examined using three modified feature search tasks; target detection, target discrimination, and homogeneity judgment. Top-down information on a target was assumed to be varied with the task. Efficiency of bottom-up information was manipulated by varying the number of targets in a display, which ranged from none to all. Results from the target detection task (Experiment 1) showed that reaction time (RT) for target (s) in one target condition was longer than that in multiple target conditions, suggesting that a feature singleton is not necessarily one of the most useful bottom-up information for visual search. RT as a function of the number of targets in a display varied with the task. When participants were asked to discriminate an attribute of targets (Experiment 3), RT was linearly decreased. When homogeneity of each display was judged (Experiment 2), RT showed U-shape function. These results suggest that top-down processing is involved in feature search and that weighting of it depends on the task.
We explored the numerical ability of rats by using Davis and Bradford's (1986) task. The task was to enter one box of defined ordinal number among an array of boxes in a large enclosure. The position of boxes and the total number of the boxes were varied from trial to trial. In Experiment 1, 3 of 4 rats correctly chose the 3rd box from arrays varied ranging from 3 to 12 boxes. In Experiment 2, the ordinal number of the correct box was increased in a stepwise fashion while the total number of boxes was simultaneously varied. Two rats succeeded even when the correct box was in position 7. These results suggest that the rat's performance was based on numerical cues, not on the relative position of the boxes.
The present study investigated whether adaptation to amplitude modulation was selective in the modulation and carrier-frequency domains and specific to the ear of presentation. Both carrier and modulator were sinusoids. Elevation of modulation-detection threshold was maximum when the modulation and carrier frequencies of the adaptor and test tone were identical. Little interaural transfer of adaptation was observed. Moreover, adaptation to a two-component modulator did not elevate threshold at its beat frequency. These results suggest that a modulation filter bank exists for each critical band at an early stage in the auditory system, and that the modulation waveform is resolved into components.
Human visual system has an anistropy in sensitivity to the discrimination of depth curvature defined by binocular disparity depending on modulation directions. Shear curvature (depth modulation in vertical direction) is easier to perceive than compressive curvature (depth modulation in horizontal direction). To explore this anisotropy we measured the performance for concave-convex discrimination using random-dot stereogram with varied duration and density. Discrimination performance increased monotonically with duration increase for shear curvature. For compressive curvature, however, the performance first peaked at a short duration (33 ms). It, then, degraded for a while, and increased again at longer durations. The first peak probably reflects the local processing of disparity, and the second increase might reflect the global-integration processing.
Using a dual-task method, we examined the differences of the performance of each task in order to investigate the components of working memory. In Experiment 1, the subjects were required the maintenance of the spatial information and the processing of the articulation. In Experiment 2, the subjects were required the maintenance of the verbal information and the processing of the articulation. The results showed that spatial and verbal working memory may have two different pools of cognitive resources. Experiment 3 tested the separability of working memory resources by comparing the magnitude of correlations between the performance on Experiment 1 and 2 with the spatial span and reading span tasks. These results also supported the separability of working memory.
The aim of this study was to investigate the phenomenon of attentional blink during the recognition of compound patterns, which comprised larger (global) letters containing smaller (local) letters, appearing in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). Sixteen undergraduate students were first required to identify a target defined at the global or local level, and to detect a probe presented randomly at either the local or global level in a posttarget stream. When the target appeared at the local level, no attentional blink occurred for any of the probes, whether presented at the local or global level. In contrast, when the target appeared at the global level, a significant attentional blink was observed, especially for those probes presented at the local level. These results suggest an asymmetric property when switching the focus size of attention, that is, an attentional shift to the global level can be conducted easily, whereas a shift to the local level requires a greater cost.
The apparent contrast of a center pattern depends on the spatiotemporal attributes of its surround. To examine the contrast perception of moving patterns, we measured the perceived contrast of a center pattern while the direction and velocity of the surround patterns varied. The maximum reduction of apparent contrast occurred when center and surround velocities were matched. When the surround moved faster than the center, however, there was a strong enhancement of apparent contrast at the center even when the surround contrast was high. Our results show that the contrast perception of moving patterns is influenced by directionally-selective mechanisms with both inhibitory and excitatory connection between motion encoding units.
Speed perception from movements of motion-defined boundaries was investigated. A field of random dots (target) moved over a rectangular field of the same random dots (background). When random dots within target area had motion relative to its boundary motion (scroll) in addition to the absolute movement of the target itself (drift), speed perception of the drifting target was overestimated if its scroll direction was the same as the drift. This overestimation of speed was enhanced when background moved oppositely to the drift of target. Such enhancement is not predicted if the overestimation of speed is caused by "motion capture", where the boundary-defining motion captures the motion-defined boundary. Contribution of motion-contrast detectors seems appropriate for the cause of overestimation of speed of the motion-defined boundary.
We investigated the role of motion for perceiving facial expressions by using the stimuli depicting the eyebrows, eyelids, and lips by 18 point-lights. The positional differences of corresponding point-lights between the neutral and the emotional faces were calculated. Two stimuli were presented sequentially. The first stimulus was composed by adding the difference of one facial expression (E1) to the neutral. The second stimulus was composed by adding the difference of another facial expression (E2) to the first. The task was to judge the facial expression by 4 AFC. In the long-ISI condition, no motion was perceived and the subjects equally perceived E1 and E2. Meanwhile, in the no-ISI condition, apparent motion was perceived and the subjects dominantly perceived E2. This dominance disappeared when E2 was disturbed. The results showed that the motion is useful for perceiving facial expressions.
The present study examined whether hand performance facilitated semantic judgment of a phrase of action. Twenty-two participants judged the phrases right or wrong semantically. The phrases were about hand performance (e. g., "hold a bag with hand"). Participants were divided into two groups. One group performed a hand shape concerning the phrase prior to judging the phrase. Another group selected a hand shape picture concerning the phrase prior to judging the phrase. The results showed that only hand performance facilitated the semantic judgment of a phrase presented with action.
When ambient conditions shift from an "uncomfortable" zone to a "neutral" zone, psychological responses move from "hot" to "comfortably cool" or "comfortably warm." In those cases, each movement of the psychological responses reverses on a uni-dimensional scale like ASHRAE scale. Kuno's two-dimensional model explained this phenomenon without contradiction. This model was introduced, and the difference between comfort and pleasantness was mentioned in this paper.
The somewhat commonplace idea that odors are closely connected to emotion has been supported by experimental findings that some specific chemicals activate olfactory receptors to generate neural messages sent to the olfactory centers sharing parts of the limbic system involved in emotional experience. Odors are said to influence mood, elicit intense experiences of pleasure or displeasure, and evoke remote emotional memories. This makes us presume that effects of fragrances might manifest themselves to some extent as a function of person: emotion systems might work as an internal moderator in the regulation of odor perception. This suggests that fragrances would have an indirect effect via some "emotion filter" on the performance of tasks, on mood, and so on. Thus, it is difficult to gain as real understanding of the nature of odor perception without taking some underlying characteristic of smelling into careful consideration, even though we could introduce a variety of indices associated with response systems of affective experiences, performance, and physiological activities. This report focused on distinctive features of odor perception and its measurement before referring to hedonic effects on performance.
The aim of the forum was to pursue the significance of examining the relation between sensation, perception and emotion evoked by stimuli and to find aspect of environmental psychology. In this paper the evaluation of sound environment was discussed from the following viewpoints. (1) The relation between physical properties and perception of sounds was introduced taking the characteristics of hearing into consideration. (2) Timbre is a key attribute of hearing to identify sound source. The recognition, identification and timbre of sounds including the situation were discussed in relation to the evaluation of sound environment. (3) It is one of the main topics of environmental psychology to solve noise problems and create comfortable sound environment. This topic was discussed in relation to the loudness of level-fluctuating noise based on noise criteria and noise quality. (4) Perception, cognition and emotion must be measured objectively in order to predict and improve the sound environment in daily life situation. Though there are many factors difficult to control in the evaluation of actual environment, it is an important and interesting topic in environmental psychology to examine the ecological validity in laboratory experiments.