Session Detail


Talk Session 2-4: Cognitive Development

Sep. 2, 2017 13:00 PM - 14:30 PM

Room: Michelangelo Room
Session chair: Sarina Hui-Lin Chien
Taiwanese Young Children’s Categorization of Racially Ambiguous Faces: Exploring the Early Development of Children’s Essentialist Thinking

Presentation Number:214.01Time:13:00 - 13:15Abstract Number:0032
Chun-Man Chen1, Sarah Gaither3, Sarina Hui-Lin Chien1,2
1Graduate Institute of Biomedical Sciences, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Neural & Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
3Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, USA

Other-race effect (ORE) refers to the observation that people are better at recognizing or memorizing own-race faces than other-race faces. Although the ORE has been reliably demonstrated across ethnicity, biracial faces are rarely explored. In a recent study utilizing Black, White, and biracial ambiguous faces, 4- to 9-year-old White children with non-essentialist thinking could better memorize ambiguous faces than those who employed essentialist thinking. The present study aimed to explore the effect of essentialist thinking on race categorization in Taiwanese children and adults. Sixty 3- to 6- year-old children and thirty adults (mean age= 38 years) performed categorization of biracial-face photos taken from biracial individuals. Two mixed-race conditions were included, Asian (own-race)/White (other-race) biracial faces and Black/White (both other-race) biracial faces. In each mixed-race condition, the child participants performed three tasks: the on-line Categorization Task for 12 racially ambiguous faces, the Crayon Task (to color the skin tone of 4 biracial faces), and the Constancy Task (to determine whether the child employed essentialist thinking or not). The adults performed the on-line Categorization Task only. We found that among the sixty children, about one-third of them employed essentialist thinking on race. For the Asian/White condition, adults and the children with essentialist thinking (N=22) tended to categorize the ambiguous faces as White (other race) (p< .001 in adults, p=.045 in children), whereas the children with non-essentialist thinking (N=38) categorized the ambiguous faces to White and Asian evenly (p=.38). This observation is consistent with the previous study with Caucasian children living in the U.S.. For the Black/White condition, adults and children with essentialist thinking and non-essentialist thinking tended to categorize the Black/White ambiguous faces as White. This is a novel finding. In sum, the present study provided cross-cultural evidence exploring the effect of essentialist thinking on children’s categorization of racially ambiguous faces.

Relationships Among Reaction Time, Reaction Time Variability, and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder in Preschool Children

Presentation Number:214.02Time:13:15 - 13:30Abstract Number:0053
Yu-Chi Chen1, Shoou-Lian Hwang-Gu1,2, Hsing-Chang Ni2, Sophie Hsin-Yi Liang2, Hsiang-Yuan Lin3, Chiao-Fan Lin2, Yu-Han Tseng4, Susan Shur-Fen Gau3,5
1Division of Clinical Psychology, Chang Gung University, Taiwan
2Child Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan
3Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, Taiwan
4Psychology, Soochow University, Taiwan
5Graduate Institute of Brain and Mind Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Children with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) may demonstrate deficits in multiple neuropsychological functions. However, the majority of previous studies relied on single task and mainly focused on school-aged children. The present research recruited 230 preschool children (aged 4–6 years) of whom 83 were at risk for ADHD/ODD and utilized flanker task, day–night Stroop task and K-CPT to measure their responses. We further employed structure equation modeling (SEM) to extract the latent variables among the aforementioned tasks to construct more reliable variables. The results revealed that response inhibition was non-significant between the ADHD risk group and the control group. In contrast, reaction time (RT) and reaction time variability (RTSD) were higher in the ADHD risk group compared to the control. Furthermore, RT and RTSD latent variables were only positively related to inattention behavior; neither was related to impulsivity/hyperactivity behavior, nor ODD. The current study suggests that RT and RTSD might represent core neuropsychological function deficits in preschool children with ADHD and might be useful indexes for the detection of those at risk for ADHD.

Effects of group reminiscence on cognition and memory in later life: Can group reminiscence ward off cognitive impairment?

Presentation Number:214.03Time:13:30 - 13:45Abstract Number:0106
Aya Hosokawa
Center for Gerontology and Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Obu, Aichi, Japan,

Multiple factors such as lifetime experience, lifestyle, culture, and history have effects on cognitive aging. It is articulated that we are to maintain or improve our cognitive abilities with sufficient exposure to environments rich in intellectual and social stimuli from the perspectives of the life-span developmental psychology. Reminiscence defined as an evidence-based intervention for the secondary aging could be considered intellectual and social stimuli. The current study investigated effects of group reminiscence session on cognition and memory in later life to test the hypothesis whether exposure to cognitive and social stimuli could ward off the symptoms of cognitive impairment. Community dwellers in the northeastern city of Japan, aged from 63 to 95 participated in the study. Half of the participants were assigned to receive the intensive intervention, 5 series of bi-weekly group reminiscence session during 10 weeks. After having completed the 10-week group reminiscence session, the group kept on participating in the intermittent reminiscence session. All the participants took cognitive tests including Logical Memory and Verbal Paired Associates from WMS-R, MMSE, and SF-36 before, after, and one year after the intensive reminiscence intervention. The reminiscence group significantly associated more pairs in the subtest from WMS-R in the post-test (M = 21.69, SD = 3.42) than the pre-test (M = 16.63, SD = 4.67) and even maintained their performance in the follow-up test (M = 21.25, SD = 2.49). Moreover, they associated the pairs in fewer trial in the post-test (M = 2.06, SD = 1.29) compared to the pre-test (M = 4.25, SD = 1.69) and even maintained their performance in the follow-up test (M = 2.91, SD = 1.59). The results suggest that the intensive intervention by group reminiscence drew drastic improvement in performance on the memory test while the intermittent intervention contributed to maintaining the improved performance.

Communication: the Primary Function of Natural Language

Presentation Number:214.04Time:13:45 - 14:00Abstract Number:0159
Annie Webster
School of History, Philosophy and Culture, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK,

Language is fundamental to humans and provides us with powers that outstrip all other systems of animal communication. We can use it to give instructions or orders, to share information, to speak to ourselves, and to chat about the weather. Philosophers, however, have long been interested in the underlying primary function of Language, one that explains what it is and where it came from. An ongoing debate splits thinkers between the view that Language exists to improve our thinking capacities and the view it exists as a primarily communicative tool. In this paper, I continue this philosophical venture through the lens of cognitive science and defend the view that Language’s primary function is indeed communication. Evolutionary theory best explains the existence and primary functions of natural phenomena, and there are two approaches that attempt to explain the existence of Language: as (a) the product or biological evolution and natural selection, or (b) the product of cultural evolution and generational transmission. A rich tradition, known as generative linguistics favours (a), claiming that the syntax of Language is a universal and biological phenomenon. This view, however, argues that communication is only a secondary function of Language. Natural selection tells us that a mutation that promoted the systematic use of symbols would have been selected so that an individual could out-compete —not cooperate with— other individuals. Thus it makes more sense to claim Language was selected a improve our thinking capacities. I argue, however, that there are fundamental intuitions of (b) that generative linguists largely ignore. Humans own further biological traits, such as intention-reading capacities, that appear to make us fundamentally social creatures. I will show that a biological syntax has a vital role in maintaining cooperation, and thus was biologically selected for it's communicative, rather than cognitive, function.

Interactive Alignment: Dynamic Social Coordination in Conversation

Presentation Number:214.05Time:14:00 - 14:15Abstract Number:0169
Li-chiung Yang
Linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA,

A key goal for participants in language communication is to bring about a mutually shared experience of ideas, event narratives, and emotional responses. This goal is achieved not only through the exchange of lexical meaning, but also through interactive signaling to coordinate information status, expressed in both verbal and nonverbal forms. This study presents our results on prosodic interactive alignment in spoken dialogues, drawing from extended conversational data in both English and Chinese. Because of the multidimensional goals at work in language, alignment is approached as both building social interactional harmony, and also reflecting informational, organizational and expressive processes in conversations. Our results show that synchrony and dissynchrony in prosody occur at both local inter-phrase level pitch level changes, as well as over dialogue sections extending globally across topics and subtopics. The pattern found for our data is that prosodic synchrony is arrived at gradually, with an initial probing stage where topic is negotiated, followed by mixed synchrony and dissynchrony as options are explored or overturned, until speakers arrive at a mutually fulfilling topic theme, where synchrony is frequent. Near conversation end, participants converge in a descending pitch pattern in a shared recognition of the coming conclusion. Detailed analysis of our data further indicates that participant feedback responses are a critical component of cooperative adaptation to new information, and that the complementary distribution of feedback responses helps to bring about the synchronous prosodic patterns associated with convergent speaker states. Our analysis suggests that prosodic synchrony phenomena occur as a mirror of topically and emotionally synchronized participant states and that these convergent and divergent phenomena are not only strategies to encourage rapport, but also act as organizational indicators providing key information on the degree of understanding, on emotional synchrony, and on the perceived status of a mutually fulfilling topic flow.

Activation of Sensorimotor System and Oriental Painting

Presentation Number:214.06Time:14:15 - 14:30Abstract Number:0047
Lee, Sung-Eun3,1, Eom, Joung-A2, Baek, Seung-cheol1
1German Language and Literature, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
2Aesthetics, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
3Cognitive Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

Ever since the finding of mirror neuron (Rizzolatti & Craighero, 2004), the activation of sensorimotor system in action observation is pretty much known. Recently, there were studies that proves the activation of sensorimotor system even in viewing art. (Sbriscia-Fioretti, Berchio, Freedberg, Gallese, & Umiltà, 2013; Umilta, Berchio, Sestito, Freedberg, & Gallese, 2012). They thought of the artwork as the visible trace of goal directed movement and showed the activation of sensorimotor system. However, both studies were done with the western artwork and it was necessary to examine the result with the oriental painting. This study aimed to investigate the involvement of the sensorimotor system in oriental painting. The oriental paintings are much influenced by the material characteristic that depends on the amount of water in the brush and dryness of the mulberry paper. Therefore, the final results would be the harmonization between the goal directed movement and the spreadity of the medium. The present study investigated whether the oriental painting would evoke the motor resonance in spite of their material characteristic. Statistical analysis on mu rhythm suppression showed no significant in both original art works and control stimuli. This result assured the weakened artist’s creative gesture due to the medium effect influenced on the observer’s perception.