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Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale - Vol 71, Iss 4

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Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology The Canadian Psychological Association is partnering with the American Psychological Association to publish Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology. In each issue, subscribers receive original research papers that advance the understating of the broad field of experimental psychology.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Chemotherapy and cognitive impairment: An animal model approach.
    A substantial number of cancer survivors who undergo chemotherapy report cognitive disturbances that severely limit daily function (chemobrain). Despite supportive neuropsychological evidence, there is controversy over whether cognitive impairment is caused by the chemotherapy or is the result of potentially confounding factors that include the disease itself, age, and psychological stress. Our research program, conducted on rodents, has confirmed that a range of cognitive processes, mediated in particular by hippocampal and prefrontal brain regions, are affected by anticancer drugs in combination with tumor development and that many of the effects are long lasting. This work has also provided evidence of protective factors (cognitive reserve, physical exercise, environmental enrichment) and the potential of pharmacological treatment (donepezil) interventions in reducing these effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Underestimation in linear function learning: Anchoring to zero or x-y similarity?
    Function learning research has shown that people tend to underestimate positive linear functions when extrapolating Y for X-values below the training range. Kwantes and Neal (2006) proposed that this underestimation occurs because people anchor their Y-estimates at zero. It is equally plausible, however, that people are biased to make Y-estimates similar to the presented X-value. To differentiate these 2 explanations, 135 participants extrapolated positive linear functions with a y-intercept either greater than or less than zero. In line with the anchoring hypothesis, participants underestimated in the lower extrapolation region when the y-intercept was positive, but overestimated when the y-intercept was negative. These results are consistent with a version of the extrapolation association model (EXAM; Delosh, Busemeyer, & McDaniel, 1997), which proposes that people interpolate linearly between the training exemplars and zero in the lower extrapolation region. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Independent learning of spatial and nonspatial sequences.
    A small number of studies have examined whether learning the structures of two uncorrelated sequences can proceed independently of one another. Limitations in those studies have left their results open to alternative explanations. The present study addressed the limitations. The visuospatial serial reaction time task, initially introduced by Mayr (1996), was used to examine whether learning the structure of a sequence of visuospatial target locations (spatial sequence) and learning the structure of a sequence of target identities and responses (nonspatial sequence) can proceed independently of one another. Employing a dual-sequence/single-sequence paradigm, learning a nonspatial sequence did not affect learning a spatial sequence. This suggests that spatial sequence learning and nonspatial sequence learning can proceed independently of one another. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The brain’s representations may be compatible with convolution-based memory models.
    Convolution is a mathematical operation used in vector-models of memory that have been successful in explaining a broad range of behaviour, including memory for associations between pairs of items, an important primitive of memory upon which a broad range of everyday memory behaviour depends. However, convolution models have trouble with naturalistic item representations, which are highly auto-correlated (as one finds, e.g., with photographs), and this has cast doubt on their neural plausibility. Consequently, modellers working with convolution have used item representations composed of randomly drawn values, but introducing so-called noise-like representation raises the question how those random-like values might relate to actual item properties. We propose that a compromise solution to this problem may already exist. It has also long been known that the brain tends to reduce auto-correlations in its inputs. For example, centre-surround cells in the retina approximate a Difference-of-Gaussians (DoG) transform. This enhances edges, but also turns natural images into images that are closer to being statistically like white noise. We show the DoG-transformed images, although not optimal compared to noise-like representations, survive the convolution model better than naturalistic images. This is a proof-of-principle that the pervasive tendency of the brain to reduce auto-correlations may result in representations of information that are already adequately compatible with convolution, supporting the neural plausibility of convolution-based association-memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Chronométrage et perception temporelle.
    This article provides an overview of some contemporary research avenues in the field of timing and time perception. After a brief description of different categories of temporal experiences, the article describes how research on psychological time falls within a psychophysical perspective. Next, some factors changing sensitivity to time or perceived duration are reported. Four main sources affecting this sensitivity are identified : the modality in which the intervals to be estimated are marked, the length of the markers, the number of intervals presented, and whether people are counting explicitly or not when estimating time. When emphasis is placed on the perceived duration of intervals, 3 important factors of influence are retained: attention, the space between markers and emotion and its expression. The biological bases required for processing temporal information are then briefly reviewed, and the article ends with the description of perturbations of the relation to time in some pathologies (schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and depression). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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