The InceptionTime Model for Measuring Neurotransmitters in the Human Brain

Description
The InceptionTime model is a tool modified for time series regression. For the first time in history, Read Montague’s lab at Virginia Tech has developed methods to measure neurotransmitters in the human brain using InceptionTime to analyze fast-scan cyclic voltammetry

The InceptionTime model is a tool modified for time series regression. For the first time in history, Read Montague’s lab at Virginia Tech has developed methods to measure neurotransmitters in the human brain using InceptionTime to analyze fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) data. FSCV has been around for decades and has been previously used to study concentrations of the neurotransmitter dopamine. However, unlike older analysis techniques such as principal component regression, InceptionTime can distinguish between catecholamines such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, thereby vastly increasing FSCV’s utility. This paper serves as an investigation of the InceptionTime model, its applications in FSCV experiments, and provides information about electrochemical concepts that are integral in understanding the value of this research.
Date Created
2024-05
Agent

Does it Reinforce or Ridicule? Predicting Inferences of Endorsement vs. Subversion in Stereotype Humor

193582-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Stereotype humor is a highly prevalent but particularly divisive phenomenon, with the potential for both negative and positive social implications. While highly subjective, interpretations of stereotype humor's subtext (support/challenge of stereotype) have major implications for reactions to this type of

Stereotype humor is a highly prevalent but particularly divisive phenomenon, with the potential for both negative and positive social implications. While highly subjective, interpretations of stereotype humor's subtext (support/challenge of stereotype) have major implications for reactions to this type of humor. This experimental study (N = 104) represents a novel investigation of the effect of two facets of stereotype humor, explicitness of stereotyping and stereotype distortion, on judgments of stereotype endorsement (support) versus subversion (challenge) in memes about four different groups (Asian, Hispanic, Irish, White) and associated group stereotypes. In this completely within-subjects design, participants viewed several memes about the target groups which varied systematically by the two factors of interest and provided judgments of stereotype endorsement versus subversion, ratings of funniness, and ratings of offensiveness. Multilevel models were used to determine the effect of explicitness, distortion, and their interaction, as well as target group, on judgements of stereotype humor while accounting for nesting of responses within participants. Results showed that stereotype distortion (e.g., exaggeration) and explicit stereotyping (e.g., overtly linking group to stereotype) both significantly predicted greater ratings of subversion. Unexpectedly, stereotype distortion also predicted greater levels of offense. Interestingly, marginalized group membership (i.e., Asian, Hispanic) significantly predicted lower ratings of subversion, lower funny ratings, and higher offense ratings. Findings highlight the significant role of explicitness and distortion when considering how individuals interpret the subtext of stereotype humor. Furthermore, findings underscore the major influence of group status on judgments and social implications of this type of humor. Overall, this study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which individuals interpret stereotype humor, providing valuable insights for promoting better intergroup relations and communication.
Date Created
2024
Agent

Stealth Assessment of Reading Comprehension Skill and Vocabulary Knowledge using Game Performance

190704-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
The current study explores the extent to which literacy game performance can be used to assess reading comprehension skill and vocabulary knowledge. Standardized reading assessments have the benefit of years of validation across different age groups and reading comprehension levels,

The current study explores the extent to which literacy game performance can be used to assess reading comprehension skill and vocabulary knowledge. Standardized reading assessments have the benefit of years of validation across different age groups and reading comprehension levels, allowing teachers to evaluate students’ reading performance and relate it to a national standard. However, these assessments reduce classroom time for learning activities, which may be more authentic indicators of student progress. Students’ reading skills can be measured during learning activities by using game-based stealth assessment of literacy. Game-based assessment may be more enjoyable and less likely to invoke test anxiety than traditional assessments, but enjoyment may also impact the validity of the assessment. The current study recruited participants (n=405) to play five literacy games: CON-Artist, Paraphrase Quest, Fix It, Map Conquest, and Vocab Flash. Students also completed the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test (GMRT), which serves as a validated measure of reading comprehension skill and vocabulary knowledge. Students answered enjoyment questions after each game and the GMRT, and they completed the Cognitive Test Anxiety questionnaire, which measures trait-level negative thoughts about test-taking. The results indicate that Vocab Flash predicted 31% of variance in reading comprehension and 21% of variance in vocabulary knowledge. The other games were not predictive beyond Vocab Flash, but each of them was weakly correlated with reading comprehension skill and vocabulary knowledge. Three games were more enjoyable than GMRT Reading Comprehension, but no games were more enjoyable than GMRT Vocabulary. Cognitive Test Anxiety was negatively correlated with the GMRT and Vocab Flash, but not with the other games. Game enjoyment moderated the relationship between game performance and reading skill, albeit in differing directions. Paraphrase Quest was less predictive of reading comprehension for students who enjoyed the game, and Vocab Flash was more predictive of reading comprehension for those who enjoyed the game. The findings of this study suggest that a simple vocabulary game can be used to measure reading comprehension skill and vocabulary knowledge. Future research is needed to better understand how game-based assessments can be designed to minimize the effects of test anxiety and enjoyment on performance.
Date Created
2023
Agent

Theta-Burst Stimulation of Area MT+/V5 Does Not Affect Multiple Object Tracking Performance

189268-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging evidence has demonstrated that multiple object tracking (MOT) tasks draw upon visual perception, attention, and working memory cognitive processes. Functional neuroimaging studies identified the middle temporal visual area (MT+/V5) as one of several brain regions associated

Behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging evidence has demonstrated that multiple object tracking (MOT) tasks draw upon visual perception, attention, and working memory cognitive processes. Functional neuroimaging studies identified the middle temporal visual area (MT+/V5) as one of several brain regions associated with MOT in humans. MT+/V5 is thought to be responsible for processing motion from visual information, regulating smooth pursuit eye movements, and encoding memory for motion. However, it is unclear how MT+/V5 interacts with attention and working memory performance processes during MOT. To investigate this question, the right MT+/V5 region was identified in 14 neurotypical subjects using structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI). The right MT+/V5 was stimulated using intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS), continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS), and sham transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) using a within-subjects design. Average MOT performance was measured before and 5-min, 30-min, and 60-min after each stimulation protocol. There was no significant difference in average MOT performance across time, regardless of the stimulation condition.
Date Created
2023
Agent

The Motivational Utility of Knowledge: Conceptual Change and Comprehension Through the Lens of Fundamental Human Needs

189256-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Past research on knowledge has differentiated between dimensions of knowledge, for example amount or coherence. This dissertation introduces a novel dimension of knowledge, the Motivational Utility of Knowledge (MUK), that is based on hierarchies of human needs (e.g., physical safety,

Past research on knowledge has differentiated between dimensions of knowledge, for example amount or coherence. This dissertation introduces a novel dimension of knowledge, the Motivational Utility of Knowledge (MUK), that is based on hierarchies of human needs (e.g., physical safety, status/esteem, actualization, reproduction). The effects of MUK are tested in a set of four studies on the topic of houselessness. All four studies used the same dataset. Adults in the United States (N = 190) were recruited from an online survey platform and paid for participation. They were first asked about their conceptions of houselessness. Next, they read a set of four texts arguing different views of houselessness, and administered a comprehension test, an emotion while reading test, and asked if the text conflicted with their beliefs. They were then reassessed on their conceptions and administered the MUK scale. Finally, they were given a demographics questionnaire, including questions about their personal experience with houselessness, and were administered a general prior knowledge test and a vocabulary knowledge test. Study 1 examined MUK as a construct and assessed the factor structure of the scale. The analyses showed that the subscales of MUK loaded onto a single factor – overall value of houselessness knowledge. Study 2 situated MUK within the domain of conceptual change. The results demonstrated that participants’ conceptions of houselessness were related to MUK, and that their propensity to engage in conceptual change depended on MUK. Study 3 situated MUK within the domain of text comprehension research and demonstrated that the text-belief consistency effect is enhanced when participants have high MUK. Finally, Study 4 examined MUK as a mediator between conceptions and comprehension and examined the role of MUK in predicting negative emotions. Overall, the findings suggest that MUK plays a role in conceptual change and text comprehension such that participants with high MUK are less likely to revise their knowledge and have worse comprehension when the text conflicts with their beliefs. In addition, MUK may predict emotions while reading about controversial topics, as participants with high MUK were more likely to report negative emotions while reading.
Date Created
2023
Agent

The Effect of Curiosity Type on the Delay of Feedback Benefit

Description

After answering a test question, feedback of the correct answer provided after a brief delay can be more beneficial to learning than feedback provided immediately (Brackbill & Kappy, 1962; Kulhavy & Anderson, 1972). Several theoretical models have been proposed to

After answering a test question, feedback of the correct answer provided after a brief delay can be more beneficial to learning than feedback provided immediately (Brackbill & Kappy, 1962; Kulhavy & Anderson, 1972). Several theoretical models have been proposed to explain this delay-of-feedback benefit, with the most well supported being that delaying feedback promotes anticipation of the correct answer, which has been examined using curiosity as a measure of answer anticipation (Mullaney et al. 2014). The present study tested this model across two task designs, one designed to elicit epistemic curiosity, and one designed to elicit perceptual curiosity, to determine if the relationship between curiosity and feedback delay is type-dependent. In Task 1, participants answered trivia questions, reported their subjective level of curiosity to know the answer, and then received correct answer feedback after a variable delay (0s, 4s, or 8s). Task 2 was identical to Task 1, except that participants learned and were tested on the identities of blurred pictures, rather than trivia question answers. A subsequent learning retention test demonstrated a significant effect of curiosity, but not feedback delay, on performance in the trivia task, and no significant effect of curiosity, but a negative effect of feedback delay, on performance in the blurred pictures task. Neither task found a significant interaction effect between curiosity and delay group, which fails to support the answer anticipation model of the delay-of-feedback benefit.

Date Created
2023-05
Agent

Effect of Acute Discomfort on Convergent and Divergent Creative Cognition

Description

Pain has been found in previous research to have a noticeable effect on people’s ability to perform creative tasks. While limited studies in this field exist, most of this work has focused on convergent thinking through the use of compound

Pain has been found in previous research to have a noticeable effect on people’s ability to perform creative tasks. While limited studies in this field exist, most of this work has focused on convergent thinking through the use of compound remote associates tasks (CRAT). In order to investigate how acute pain might affect divergent creative cognition involving a wider answer space, the current study was conducted using an alternate uses task (AUT) during an algometer-based pain intervention. It was found that acute pain did not have a significant effect on accuracy in the CRAT nor on problem solving abilities in the AUT but notably, participants in the pain condition were more likely to say that they solved problems in the CRAT through insight rather than by an analytical approach. This work demonstrates the need for more research in this field to better understand the relationship between creative cognition and pain.

Date Created
2023-05
Agent

The Role of Working Memory in Statistical Word Learning

171807-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Statistical word learning (SWL) has been proposed and tested as a powerful mechanism for word learning under referential ambiguity. Learners are adept at resolving word-referent ambiguity by calculating the co-occurrences between words and referents across ambiguous scenes. Despite the generalizability

Statistical word learning (SWL) has been proposed and tested as a powerful mechanism for word learning under referential ambiguity. Learners are adept at resolving word-referent ambiguity by calculating the co-occurrences between words and referents across ambiguous scenes. Despite the generalizability of such capacity, it is less clear which underlying factors may play a role in SWL, such as learners’ language experience and individual differences of working memory. The current study therefore asked two questions: 1) How do learners of different language experience (monolinguals and bilinguals) approach SWL of different mapping types–when each referent has one name (1:1 mapping) or two names (2:1 mapping)? and 2) How do working memory capacities (spatial and phonological) play a role in SWL by mapping type? In this pre-registered study (OSF: https://osf.io/mte8s/), 69 English monolinguals and 88 bilinguals completed two SWL tasks (1:1 and 2:1 mapping), a symmetry span task indexing spatial working memory, and a listening span task indexing phonological working memory. Results showed no differences between monolinguals and bilinguals in SWL of both mapping types. However, spatial and phonological working memory positively predicted SWL regardless of language experience, but only in 1:1 mapping. The findings show a dissociation of working memory’s role in SWL of different mapping types. The study proposes a novel insight into a theoretical debate underlying statistical learning mechanisms: learners may adopt more explicit processes (i.e. hypothesis-testing) during 1:1 mapping but implicit processes (i.e. associative learning) during 2:1 mapping. Future studies can locate memory-related brain areas during SWL to test out the proposal.
Date Created
2022
Agent

Differential Time Frequency Dynamics in Memory and Prioritization of Value-Directed Stimuli

171788-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
The ability to preferentially encode and later retrieve valuable information amidst a plethora of miscellaneous information is an essential aspect of human memory. Several hypotheses have been suggested to explain the enhanced ability to successfully encode high value items. These

The ability to preferentially encode and later retrieve valuable information amidst a plethora of miscellaneous information is an essential aspect of human memory. Several hypotheses have been suggested to explain the enhanced ability to successfully encode high value items. These include the hypothesis that the prefrontal executive control processes are engaged for valuable information, producing elaborative rehearsal strategy. Another hypothesis is that greater attentional resources are allocated to higher value items via the reward driven mid-brain dopamine systems interacting with hippocampal and cortical areas to produce enhanced memory. To further understand the neural mechanisms of value on memory, electroencephalogram data under a value-directed remembering paradigm (VDR) was analyzed for oscillatory activity. During the task, participants encoded words assigned a different point value with the instruction to maximize the point value of recognized words during test. To analyze frequency activity during encoding, conditions of subsequent memory as subjective responses of either recollection (i.e., “remember”) and familiarity (i.e., “know”) were assessed. A possible way to observe the allocation of attention resources in the brain are alpha oscillations (8-15 Hz) which are thought to underlie this process. Participants demonstrated superior memory for high versus low value point items. Following the hypothesis that there is a greater recruitment of attentional resources for high value information, alpha oscillatory power in the occipital/temporal cortex displayed significantly more desynchronization for high value compared to low value conditions during encoding. As well, successful retrieval compared with unsuccessful retrieval and subsequent “remember” or “know” conditions resulted in a qualitatively different, more sustained desynchronization of alpha and other unanticipated frequency band oscillations during encoding that are discussed. Taken together, these findings support previous research for alpha-band desynchronization during encoding items of value into memory and potentially open paths to decouple value and memory driven processes.
Date Created
2022
Agent

The Effects of Levodopa on Cognitive Control in Parkinson's Disease.

171743-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
The present study aimed to compare brain activity changes related to proactive and reactive control strategies in patients with Parkinson’s disease during “On” levodopa and “Off” levodopa conditions. The study consisted of two participants who had received a prior diagnosis

The present study aimed to compare brain activity changes related to proactive and reactive control strategies in patients with Parkinson’s disease during “On” levodopa and “Off” levodopa conditions. The study consisted of two participants who had received a prior diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. The participants completed AX-CPT task as a measure of attention control in two sessions: a) “On Levodopa” and b) “Off Levodopa” while they were in the fMRI scanner. Prior to the analysis, the T1- weighted anatomical scan images and the BOLD multiband functional images of both the participants were BIDS (Brain Imaging Data Structure) validated and preprocessed using the standard FMRIPrep pipeline. The imaging data was then analyzed using SPM12 (Statistical parametric mapping) software. Individual-level analysis of the imaging data was conducted by creating General Linear models for both the participants on “ON” and “OFF” levodopa conditions. The BOLD responses were compared using AY>BY and BX > BY contrasts. Where BX >, BY contrast, measured BOLD activity related to reactive control strategy and AY> BY contrast measured BOLD activity related to the proactive control strategy. It was observed that participants tended towards reactive control strategy in both “On” and “Off” levodopa conditions.
Date Created
2022
Agent