Flashcards in Lecture 9 (Cognition) - Slides Deck (18)
Attention & Memory
- We have a limited amount of resources that we can expend and allocate
- Importance of speed of response
- Psychological adaptations evolved in response to frequent selection pressures
- Having enhanced responses, attention and memory to specific things may be this
- But our ability to solve problems does not seem to generalize to all domains. It is specific to the problem it solves
- Example: Wason Task, 3 areas of enhanced attention
Wason Selection Task
(what is it, other experiments)
1) Indicate only the card(s) you definitely need to turn over to see if the following rule is true.
"If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other side" - If P then Q
A B 2 3
- Correct Answer: A and 3 (P and not-q)
- A confirms the theory, 3 tries to falsify
- 25% of people get this right
- If presented in social contexts relevant to evo. psych (e.x. cheater detection), correct responses improve dramatically
- If a person is drinking beer, they must be 18 years old
3 Social Scenarios which influence memory and attention
- Mate value relevant traits direct attention (Dewall and Manner (2 experiments))
- Mate preferences influence memory encoding & retrieval (Manner 2007)
- Object location memory influenced by survival-relevance (about the context, not the item itself) (Silverman et al. 2007)
- Sex differences in spatial abilities track sexual division of foraging labour (Krasnow et al. 2011)
- High caloric payoff items remembered more accurately (new et al)
- Emotion produced by perception of present/impending danger and causes some kind of action on our part
- Obvious adaptive value (evolutionary lag when it comes to fears - afraid of spiders more than cars/guns)
- Normal in appropriate circumstances
- Ohman et al, Face Experiment
DeWall & Manner, 2008
- Saw 2 sets of photos (men/women) of 12 targets
- Targets manipulated by exposure time (unlimited vs. 4-seconds)
and "status" (wore a suit or rags)
- Task: Estimate % of targets that we high status 2 or distractor: eyes open, smiling, etc.
When participants had limited time to assess, they over-estimate proportion of high status that are present but NOT for females （almost underestimation）
-Why not status cues in females? May not represent information that is relevant to their mating goals/reproduction
- Why status? High SES men capture our attention
High SES men represent 2 categories: attraction for females, and intrasexual competition in males
- Effect exists for males AND females viewers
- Limitations on attentional capacity caused participants to base their frequency estimates on targets that captured their attention more
- Fitness-relevant stimuli may capture our attention even when performing another task.
DeWall & Manner, 2008
- 2 different kinds of motivation influencing our attention and summary
- Took Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (Measures sexual restrictiveness (e.x. how important is commitment to sex), Relationship Alternatives Scale (motivation to mate/current relationship satisfaction)
- Set up with an eye tracker
- Presented with photo arrays (8 targets).
- Manipulated attractiveness and social status of 2 targets (2 were high att/high SS, 2 high att/low ss, etc..)
- Participants spent more than half the time attending to high status male targets (replicates exp. 1), less than half to hight status females.
- Spent more time looking at high status males than high status females
- Spent more than half the time looking at high att male/females
- SOI: positive association between SOI scores and attention to attractive opposite sex. Suggests they are looking for mates. But what we attend to when we look differs
- RAS: Interest in alternatives was positively associated with attention to high status males for female viewers only. Suggests females are looking for EPCs
- Mate choice relevant attributes capture our attention when they are specific to our reproductive goals
Maner et al. (2007)
(What kind of psychological effect occurs)
- Participants were primed to be motivated towards mate-searching/mate-guarding by writing about 1 of 2 scenarios (write 5 sentences that are about mate-searching/guarding (or control), pick the most valent sentence and write more about it)
- Scenario 2 was writing about intrasexual vigilance (guarding mate) by writing about anxiety or jealousy (both -ve valence)
- Took SOI and measured intrasexual vigilance measures.
- Then completed a visual dot probe procedure: looked at a mid-line "x", then a picture of a face was presented quickly, then a circle or a square would be presented where the face was or elsewhere
- Faces were manipulated for attraction
- Measured reaction time and accuracy
- Effect: Attentional Adhesion: "capturing attention through slower reaction time and accuracy
- For both men and women, attractive women capture our attention. Because high attractive women are attractive to men but represent competition for women.
- SOI + Attractiveness: When primed to sexual arousal/mate-searching (mating goals), individuals with an unrestricted score are unable to disengage from an attractive opposite-sex targets as a restricted individual (~150 ms). Attractiveness effect occurs in those who are ready to mate.
- Vigiliance: Those score high on vigilance and are primed to jealousy were unable to disengage as quickly as controls or low vigilance.
- Harder to disengage attention from attractive females but not males
- Attentional adhesion predicted by mating goals and intrasexual competition.
Allan et al. 2012
- Learning procedure: looked at 30 faces masc/fem, shown random object beside their face (types of fish), then given an distractor -sudoku for 5 minutes.
- Were then only shown the object paired to the previous face and asked which of the two (fish) had they previously seen.
- Women who like masc. male faces remember the associated objects more accurately.
- No effect for women looking at women.
- Specific to potential mates for women because of choosiness - women want to have a longer period of assessment. Might have to do with recalling social info about potential mates
- Might not be the same for men because of different mate goals/preferences. It isn't as costly for men to make a bad choice or have less memory for good quality mates.
Foraging Adaptation Theory
Theory: Food items that are relevant to survival are going to have privilege in our cognition (ex memory)
- Participants asked to rate and remember 8 food items at 8 locations
- Rate how easily the item could be collected
- Read they were doing this for survival or scavenger hunt (control)
- Then given a surprise recall task. Shown a banana, and asked to click on the screen where it was located.
- Doesn't matter if the items were near/far on the screen, but the scenario manipulation made participants more accurate at recalling where the pixelated food item on the screen was
- We are not privelaged to remember apples/grapes overall. It's about the relevance of those items to US and our situation.
- Does it matter if they are fruits or animals?
- Hunting scenario: ease of capturing prey for survival vs. hunting contests.
- Same effect as fruit (scenario influenced accuracy)
Foraging Adaptation Theory
- Contextual framing in terms of survival results in more object location memory for both stationary and moving food items
- Hunting mobile prey and gathering immobile resources have different computational requirements
- Sex differences should occur in foraging-relevant cognitive functions that mirror sexual division of labor
Food Adaptation Theory
(Sex advantages and differences)
- Male advantage
- Prey pursued over erratic courses, unfamiliar environments, should advantage men in the use of cardinal directions and 3-d mapping
- Silverman et al. 2007
- Female Advantage
- Must register and store multiple locations within well-known constrained environments
- Silverman et al. 2007, Krasnow et al. 2011, New et al
- Females: prefer colours associated with ripeness
- Make finer taste discriminations
- Have better taste memory
- Better at discriminating/remembering plants
- Prefer fruits over meats
Silverman et al. 2007
(OLM and 3DMRT)
- Online, 40 countries, 250k participants (huge sample)
- Object Location Memory Task: Going to see a bunch of items, remember where they are, then some move and you have to identify which move (would expect females to have an advantage)
- 3D Mental Rotation Task: see block shapes, asked to select which of the following options are that shape.
- OLM: Females better than males, 3D: vice versa
- Sex differences in spatial abilities tracks sexual division of foraging labour
Krasnow et al. 2011
- Viewed object array
- Images of fruit, tools, animals, buildings, electronics
- Asked 2 questions: 1) Non-spatial memory: Is this item old or new? 2) What location was this old item seen in the array.
- Only reliable sex difference found in spatial memory was in the fruit category. Women remember fruit location better than men.
New et al
- Farmers market mapped out in a grid.
- Participants thought they were going to look at farmer market stalls and taste food/rate them
- For 'farmer's market research'
- After visiting all stalls, participants taken to center of market and asked to point in the direction of each stall (measured degrees of accuracy in pointing)
- Women are more accurate at point to location of food items than men
- Foods with higher caloric density were pointed to more accurately by both sexes
- Even after they controlled for everything possible.
- (see chart)
(Defenses against attack, which was due to warfare)
- Survival-relevant stimuli increase RTs and accuracy for both human/non-human threats (fruit, face fear experiments)
- Freezing (if unsure where threat is, better to stand still)
- Fighting (show you are not a prey item, hope competitor disengages)
- Fainting: exclusively human, women faint more and happens in children more than adults to be not seen as a combatant. Might have evolved due to warfare.
Evolved Physiological Reactions
(what inputs into it?)
- Psychological adaptation inputs into evolved physiological reactions
- Epinephrine: aids in blood clotting, and releases stored glucose in the liver (burst of energy you need to respond)
- Heart rate: Divert blood flow from digestion to muscles
- Increased respiration
Ohman et al
- Participants exposed to 3x3 photo matrices
- Task: are the pictures all the same or is 1 different. Determine if they are same/different
- Measured RT
- Images were either fear relevant (snakes/spiders) or irrelevant
- (chart) Performance for discrimination in each image position on the screen
- Snakes and spiders detected faster/more accurately than flowers/mushrooms within a matrix of the other distractor
- Effect is stronger if you have a phobia to the fear
(Fear experiment and other)
- Does a threatening face caputre our attention like snake/spiders?
- Same paradigm as Ohman et al. except with illustrated faces with emotional expression (through eyebrow direction and mouth)
- Tested with friendly, scheming, sad, threatening and neutral expressions
- Our reaction time and accuracy is much better for threatening faces only
- Tested if it's based on a place cell as a proximate theory and examined if inverted faces have the same results (is it encoded at a deep brain level)
- Why inverted: Low level facial perception is tested with this method. Inverted faces are difficult to process and encourages you to focus on how the lines are arranged)
- Emotional distractors negatively influence our accuracy and reaction time
- Still an advantage regardless of inversion or what kind of distractor it is
- We still interpret inverted faces as faces.
- ** Threatening faces act like snakes/spiders**
- See chart