Publications by authors named "Xianyou He"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Environmental Aesthetic Value Influences the Intention for Moral Behavior: Changes in Behavioral Moral Judgment.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 06 15;18(12). Epub 2021 Jun 15.

School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China.

The environment affects moral behavior. Previous research found that a beautiful environment leads to pro-social behavior, which is related to behavioral intention. However, the effect of environmental aesthetic value on immoral and moral behavior remains unclear. Therefore, in the present study, we explored the effect of environmental aesthetic value on behavioral intention and its possible mechanisms. We conducted four experiments. Experiment 1 adopted the priming paradigm and IAT paradigm to explore the relationship between environmental aesthetic value and behavioral intention. It used photographs of the environment as priming stimuli and scene drawings of behavior as target stimuli. The results showed that participants had a higher intention to engage in moral behavior in an environment with a high aesthetic value, and a lower intention to engage in immoral behavior, compared to in an environment with a low aesthetic value. Similarly, an environment with a low aesthetic value was related to immoral behavior. Experiment 2 further explored the possible mechanism for the above results: changes in moral judgment. The results showed that moral judgment in different environments may lead to different behavioral intentions. The current study extends prior research by demonstrating the effect of environmental aesthetic value on behavioral intention and moral judgment, and good knowledge about the relationship between environmental aesthetic value and moral behavior. In addition, it provides a new hypothesis for the relationship between environment and behavior according to the results of the environment-behavior matching hypothesis, which can provide a new perspective on moral education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126477DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8296289PMC
June 2021

The effect of action observation on aesthetic preference of Chinese calligraphy: An fMRI study.

Brain Behav 2021 Jun 21. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Key Laboratory of Brain, Cognition and Education Sciences (South China Normal University), Ministry of Education.

Introduction: There is some evidence suggesting that movement perception has an effect on aesthetic experience. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the observation of creators' creative action (the process that calligraphers create calligraphy) remain unclear.

Methods: In this study, participants were scanned with fMRI while performing aesthetic judgments on Chinese calligraphy images with/without action observation.

Results: Behavioral results showed that both the work by the expert and novice with action observation were rated significantly higher on aesthetic preference than those without action observation. Imaging results showed that brain regions associated with perceptual, cognitive, and emotional processing were commonly activated by calligraphy images with/without action observation. However, compared with no action observation, aesthetic judgments of calligraphy images with action observation elicited stronger activation in the anterior cingulate cortex and the bilateral insula. Meanwhile, the superior parietal lobe which is associated with relevant inner action imitation, was also activated when observing the creator's action.

Conclusions: Brain activation in the superior parietal lobe, anterior cingulate cortex, and the bilateral insula indicated that observing the creative action of the creators contributed to the aesthetic experience of the observer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.2265DOI Listing
June 2021

Human spatial navigation: Neural representations of spatial scales and reference frames obtained from an ALE meta-analysis.

Neuroimage 2021 Jun 12;238:118264. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Key Laboratory of Brain, Cognition and Education Sciences (South China Normal University), Ministry of Education; School of Psychology, Center for Studies of Psychological Application, and Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510631, China. Electronic address:

Humans use different spatial reference frames (allocentric or egocentric) to navigate successfully toward their destination in different spatial scale spaces (environmental or vista). However, it remains unclear how the brain represents different spatial scales and different spatial reference frames. Thus, we conducted an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of 47 fMRI articles involving human spatial navigation. We found that both the environmental and vista spaces activated the parahippocampal place area (PPA), retrosplenial complex (RSC), and occipital place area in the right hemisphere. The environmental space showed stronger activation than the vista space in the occipital and frontal regions. No brain region exhibited stronger activation for the vista than the environmental space. The allocentric and egocentric reference frames activated the bilateral PPA and right RSC. The allocentric frame showed more stronger activations than the egocentric frame in the right culmen, left middle frontal gyrus, and precuneus. No brain region displayed stronger activation for the egocentric than the allocentric navigation. Our findings suggest that navigation in different spatial scale spaces can evoke specific and common brain regions, and that the brain regions representing spatial reference frames are not absolutely separated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118264DOI Listing
June 2021

The Role of Understanding on Architectural Beauty: Evidence From the Impact of Semantic Description on the Aesthetic Evaluation of Architecture.

Psychol Rep 2021 Mar 23:332941211002135. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Key Laboratory of Brain, Cognition and Education Sciences, South China Normal University, Ministry of Education, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, Center for Studies of Psychological Application, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, P. R. China.

There is evidence that greater aesthetic experience can be linked to artworks when their corresponding meanings can be successfully inferred and understood. Modern cultural-expo architecture can be considered a form of artistic creation and design, and the corresponding design philosophy may be derived from representational objects or abstract social meanings. The present study investigates whether cultural-expo architecture with an easy-to-understand architectural appearance design is perceived as more beautiful and how architectural photographs and different types of descriptions of architectural appearance designs interact and produce higher aesthetic evaluations. The results showed an obvious aesthetic preference for cultural-expo architecture with an easy-to-understand architectural appearance design (Experiment 1). Moreover, we found that the aesthetic rating score of architectural photographs accompanied by an abstract description was significantly higher than that of those accompanied by a representational description only under the difficult-to-understand design condition (Experiment 2). The results indicated that people preferred cultural-expo architecture with an easy-to-understand architectural appearance design due to a greater understanding of the design, providing further evidence that abstract descriptions can provide supplementary information and explanation to enhance the sense of beauty of abstract cultural-expo architecture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00332941211002135DOI Listing
March 2021

The neural mechanism of aesthetic judgments of dynamic landscapes: an fMRI study.

Sci Rep 2020 11 27;10(1):20774. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

Most previous neuroaesthetics research has been limited to considering the aesthetic judgment of static stimuli, with few studies examining the aesthetic judgment of dynamic stimuli. The present study explored the neural mechanisms underlying aesthetic judgment of dynamic landscapes, and compared the neural mechanisms between the aesthetic judgments of dynamic landscapes and static ones. Participants were scanned while they performed aesthetic judgments on dynamic landscapes and matched static ones. The results revealed regions of occipital lobe, frontal lobe, supplementary motor area, cingulate cortex and insula were commonly activated both in the aesthetic judgments of dynamic and static landscapes. Furthermore, compared to static landscapes, stronger activations of middle temporal gyrus (MT/V5), and hippocampus were found in the aesthetic judgments of dynamic landscapes. This study provided neural evidence that visual processing related regions, emotion-related regions were more active when viewing dynamic landscapes than static ones, which also indicated that dynamic stimuli were more beautiful than static ones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77658-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7695698PMC
November 2020

Contrast Effect of Facial Attractiveness in Groups.

Front Psychol 2020 15;11:2258. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

Research on facial attractiveness is an important part of aesthetics. Most relevant studies in the area have focused on the influence of individual perspectives on facial attractiveness, but it is necessary to consider the effect of contextual information on facial attractiveness. In this study, we examine the influence on attractiveness of special faces in a given group. We define a "special face" as one that is significantly different from other members of the same group in terms of facial attractiveness. We conducted three experiments to explore the influence of different modes of presentation and central positions in a group on the judgment of attractiveness of the special face. The results show the following: (1) When the special face was part of a given group, the subjects made more extreme judgments than without it: that is, they judged the most attractive face as more attractive and the least as less attractive than when faces were presented alone. (2) The subjects rated the most attractive faces lower and the least attractive faces higher when the target faces in the middle of the group than in other positions. The results favored the contrast effect: when the subjects judged the attractiveness of target stimulus, they always compared it with the environment, which then became a reference in this regard. Moreover, the greater the amount of contextual information perceived, the higher the likelihood that assimilation would occur.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.02258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7523431PMC
September 2020

Study on the Surface Properties and Aggregation Behavior of Quaternary Ammonium Surfactants with Amide Bonds.

ACS Omega 2020 Jul 7;5(28):17042-17050. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Qiqihar University, Qiqihar 161006, China.

A number of techniques, including conductivity, surface tension, dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and H nuclear magnetic resonance (H NMR), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and H-H 2D nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy (H-H 2D NOESY), have been used to investigate the effect of amide bonds on the interfacial and assembly properties of a cationic surfactant, -anilinoformylmethyl--cetyl-,-dimethyl ammonium chloride ( ), in aqueous solutions. The adsorption of has been found to be much better than that of the conventional cationic surfactant, benzyl cetyldimethylammonium chloride () at the air/water interface and in solution. The surface tension measurements show the presence of two critical aggregation concentrations (CAC and CAC) for . The presence of a strong intermolecular hydrogen bond of was confirmed by H NMR and FT-TR. The molecular interactions of were detected by H-H 2D NOESY. The results show that the rigid group (phenyl) of was partially overlapped with its alkyl chain in aqueous solution, and the possible aggregation behavior for was proposed. The effects of an inorganic salt (NaCl) and an organic salt (CHCOONa) to the aggregates of have been discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c00294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7376569PMC
July 2020

Does Number Perception Cause Automatic Shifts of Spatial Attention? A Study of the Att-SNARC Effect in Numbers and Chinese Months.

Front Psychol 2020 12;11:680. Epub 2020 May 12.

Department of Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence, Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands.

The Attentional Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes (Att-SNARC) effect has shown that number perception induces shifts in spatial attention (Fischer et al., 2003; Dodd et al., 2008). However, many replications were attempted and they often failed. In the present study, we investigated whether the Att-SNARC effect can be found for numbers in different notations: months in Arabic form, Simplified Chinese form, Traditional Chinese form (includes numerical ordinal information) and in Chinese non-numerical form (an ordinal sequence). By varying the cognitive task, we also examined whether the effect is a consequence of automatic perceptual processing. In Experiment 1, an Att-SNARC effect was observed for numbers regardless of notation. In Experiment 2 (order-irrelevant task) and Experiment 3 (order-relevant task), the effect was also found consistently for months in Arabic form, Simplified Chinese form, and Traditional Chinese form. This effect was not observed for months in Chinese non-numerical form in Experiment 3. These results show that number and numerical sequence perception automatically causes a spatial shift of attention. Our study provides positive evidence for the Att-SNARC effect and indicates that the effect can generalize to other numerical ordinal sequences that contain numeric information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00680DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235174PMC
May 2020

The Effects of Facial Attractiveness and Familiarity on Facial Expression Recognition.

Front Psychol 2019 25;10:2496. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

The classic theory of face perception holds that the invariant (e.g., identity and race) and variant (e.g., expression) dimensions of face information are independent of one another. Two separate neural systems are involved in face processing. However, the dynamic theory of face perception indicates that these two neural systems interact bidirectionally. Accordingly, by using the emotion categorization task and morph movies task, we investigated the influence of facial attractiveness on facial expression recognition and provided further evidence supporting the dynamic theory of face perception in both the static and dynamic contexts. In addition, this research used familiar celebrities (including actors, television personalities, politicians, and comedians) and explored the role of familiarity in face perception. In two experiments, the participants were asked to assess the expressions of faces with different levels of attractiveness and different levels of familiarity. We found that regardless of being in a static or dynamic face situation, happy expressions on attractive faces can be recognized more quickly, highlighting the advantage of happy expression recognition. Moreover, in static and dynamic familiar face situations, familiarity has a greater impact on expression recognition, and the influence of attraction on expression recognition may be weakened or even unaffected. Our results show that facial attractiveness influences the recognition of facial expressions in both static and dynamic contexts and highlight the importance of familiarity in face perception.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02496DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6886515PMC
November 2019

Neural correlates of appreciating natural landscape and landscape garden: Evidence from an fMRI study.

Brain Behav 2019 07 1;9(7):e01335. Epub 2019 Jun 1.

Preschool Education Guidance Center of Tianhe District, Public Kindergarten of Guangzhou Government, Guangzhou, P. R. China.

Introduction: Rambling natural landscapes or landscape gardens may invoke positive emotions. However, the manner in which people experience landscape gardens and the cortical differences in the appreciation of the naturalness and artificiality of landscapes remain unknown.

Methods: This study scanned participants with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they viewed photographs of natural landscapes and landscape gardens and performed scene type judgment task.

Results: As predicted, we identified brain regions that were associated with perceptual process, cognitive process, and rewarding experience when appreciating natural landscapes and landscape gardens without color preference. Meanwhile, the contrast between the appreciation of landscape gardens and natural landscapes was characterized by stronger activations of the inferior occipital lobe, the left superior parietal lobule (SPL), the right fusiform gyrus, the right cuneus, and the right hippocampus.

Conclusions: Responses in these regions indicate that the appreciation of landscape gardens and natural landscapes relies on common cortical regions, and suggest the possibility that the inferior occipital lobe, the SPL, the fusiform gyrus, and the cuneus may be specifically associated with the appreciation of landscape gardens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6625478PMC
July 2019

The effect of temporal concept on the automatic activation of spatial representation: From axis to plane.

Conscious Cogn 2018 10 6;65:95-108. Epub 2018 Aug 6.

School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China.

Temporal concepts could be represented horizontally(X-axis) or vertically (Y-axis). However, whether the spatial representation of time exists in the whole plane remains unclear. In this study, we investigated whether processing temporal concepts would automatically activate spatial representations in a whole plane without any guidance or cue. Participants first indicated whether a word was past-related or future-related, then, they identified a target in different visual fields. In Experiment 1, the results demonstrated that past time mapped onto the left and top in a plane or axis, while future time mapped onto the right and bottom, with the horizontal effect being stronger than the vertical effect. In Experiment 2, an index of eye movement showed a similar data pattern. Thinking about temporal concepts activates spatial schema automatically without guidance or cue, and the time-space metaphor is represented not only as an axis but also as a whole plane. The results were discussed in terms of the possible cultural differences that made the Chinese participants tend to be more flexible in spatial representation of time because of their comprehensive thinking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2018.06.020DOI Listing
October 2018

Sequential biases on subjective judgments: Evidence from face attractiveness and ringtone agreeableness judgment.

PLoS One 2018 11;13(6):e0198723. Epub 2018 Jun 11.

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, Center for Studies of Psychological Application, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

When people make decisions about sequentially presented items in psychophysical experiments, their decisions are always biased by their preceding decisions and the preceding items, either by assimilation (shift towards the decision or item) or contrast (shift away from the decision or item). Such sequential biases also occur in naturalistic and real-world judgments such as facial attractiveness judgments. In this article, we aimed to cast light on the causes of these sequential biases. We first found significant assimilative and contrastive effects in a visual face attractiveness judgment task and an auditory ringtone agreeableness judgment task, indicating that sequential effects are not limited to the visual modality. We then found that the provision of trial-by-trial feedback of the preceding stimulus value eliminated the contrastive effect, but only weakened the assimilative effect. When participants orally reported their judgments rather than indicated them via a keyboard button press, we found a significant diminished assimilative effect, suggesting that motor response repetition strengthened the assimilation bias. Finally, we found that when visual and auditory stimuli were alternated, there was no longer a contrastive effect from the immediately previous trial, but there was an assimilative effect both from the previous trial (cross-modal) and the 2-back trial (same stimulus modality). These findings suggested that the contrastive effect results from perceptual processing, while the assimilative effect results from anchoring of the previous judgment and is strengthened by response repetition and numerical priming.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0198723PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5995378PMC
December 2018

Differences in school climate and student engagement in China and the United States.

Sch Psychol Q 2018 06;33(2):323-335

Department of Psychology, South China Normal University.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine differences between American and Chinese students in their perceptions of school climate and engagement in school, and in the relation between school climate and engagement.

Method: Confirmatory factor analyses were used to support the factor structure and measurement invariance of the two measures administered: The Delaware School Climate Survey-Student and the Delaware Student Engagement Scale. Differences in latent means were tested, and differences in relations between variables were examined using multilevel hierarchical linear modeling. Participants consisted of 3,176 Chinese and 4,085 American students, Grades 3-5, 7-8, and 10-12.

Results: Chinese students perceived school climate more favorably than American students, particularly beyond elementary school. Findings were more complex for student engagement. In elementary school, American students reported greater cognitive-behavioral and emotional engagement, and especially the former. In middle school and high school, Chinese students reported greater emotional engagement; however, no significant differences were found for cognitive-behavioral engagement. Most intriguing were results of multilevel hierarchical modeling that examined associations between school climate and student engagement: They were significant in American schools but not Chinese schools.

Conclusion: Chinese students, compared with American students, perceived the climate of their schools more favorably, especially after elementary school. However, among Chinese students, their perceptions of school climate were unrelated to their self-reported engagement in school-school climate did not seem to matter as much. (PsycINFO Database Record
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/spq0000247DOI Listing
June 2018

Situations restructure the congruency between action and valence in the action-evaluation effect.

Sci Rep 2018 03 20;8(1):4896. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

The action-evaluation effect indicates that the processing of affective valence is affected by bodily actions. However, whether this effect is based on bodily simulation or situational priming is unknown. Moreover, P2 is a neural marker for this effect, suggesting the integration between valence and actions. Whether the P2 component is modulated by the situation is also unknown. In this study, we tested this effect in multiple situations to examine (1) whether this effect is dependent on the situation and (2) the amplitude of P2 is modulated by the situation. During the experiments, participants pushed/pulled computer mice to verify the valence of affective words in far-near (Experiment 1), front-back (Experiments 2a-2b), and up-down (Experiments 3a-3b) situations. Pulling (or pushing) mice responding to positive (or negative) words were treated as the congruent condition, while the opposite combination was the incongruent condition. In the far-near situation, participants' response times were faster and the amplitude of the P2 component was smaller in the congruent condition than the incongruent one; however, these results were reversed in other situations. The results suggested that the congruency of action-evaluation effect was restructured by the situation. Therefore, the action-evaluation effect might be based on situational priming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23095-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5861086PMC
March 2018

Attentional Bias to Beauty with Evolutionary Benefits: Evidence from Aesthetic Appraisal of Landscape Architecture.

Front Psychol 2018 7;9:71. Epub 2018 Feb 7.

Preschool Education Guidance Center of Tianhe District, Public Kindergarten of Guangzhou Government, Guangzhou, China.

Substantial evidence suggests that beauty is associated with the survival and reproduction of organisms. Landscape architecture is composed of a series of natural elements that have significant evolutionary implications. The present study used one pilot material ratings and three experiments to examine the mechanisms of aesthetic appraisals of landscape architecture. The results confirmed that landscape architecture elicited a sense of beauty and captured visual attention more easily than other types of architecture during explicit aesthetic rating task (Experiment 1) and implicit aesthetic perception task (dot-probe paradigm, Experiment 2). Furthermore, the spatial cueing paradigm revealed that response latencies were significantly faster for landscape architecture than non-landscape architecture on valid trials, but there was no significant difference in this contrast on invalid trials at 150-ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA, Experiment 3a). At 500-ms SOA (Experiment 3b), participants responded significantly faster for landscape architecture on valid trials, but reacted significantly slower for landscape architecture on invalid trials. The findings indicated that the beauty of landscape architecture can be perceived implicitly, and only faster orienting of attention, but not delayed disengagement of attention was generated at early stages of the processing of landscape architecture. However, the attentional bias at later stages of attentional processes may be resulted from both faster orienting of attention and delayed disengagement of attention from landscape architecture photographs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00071DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5808338PMC
February 2018

Evolutionary Effect on the Embodied Beauty of Landscape Architectures.

Evol Psychol 2018 Jan-Mar;16(1):1474704917749742

3 School of Journalism & Communication, Media State-level Experimental Teaching Demonstration Center, Jinan University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.

According to the framework of evolutionary aesthetics, a sense of beauty is related to environmental adaptation and plasticity of human beings, which has adaptive value and biological foundations. Prior studies have demonstrated that organisms derive benefits from the landscape. In this study, we investigated whether the benefits of landscape might elicit a stronger sense of beauty and what the nature of this sense of beauty is. In two experiments, when viewing classical landscape and nonlandscape architectures photographs, participants rated the aesthetic scores (Experiment 1) and had a two-alternative forced choice aesthetic judgment by pressing the reaction button located near to (15 cm) or far from (45 cm) the presenting stimuli (Experiment 2). The results showed that reaction of aesthetic ratings for classical landscape architectures was faster than those of classical nonlandscape architectures. Furthermore, only the reaction of beautiful judgment of classical landscape architecture photograph was significantly faster when the reaction button was in the near position to the presenting photograph than those in the position of far away from the presenting photograph. This finding suggests a facilitated effect for the aesthetic perception of classical landscape architectures due to their corresponding components including water and green plants with strong evolutionary implications. Furthermore, this sense of beauty for classical landscape architectures might be the embodied approach to beauty based on the viewpoint of evolutionary aesthetics and embodied cognition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474704917749742DOI Listing
September 2018

The influence of time units on the flexibility of the spatial numerical association of response codes effect.

Br J Psychol 2018 May 17;109(2):299-320. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Center for Studies of Psychological Application and Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.

The Spatial Numerical/Temporal Association of Response Codes (SNARC/STEARC) effects are considered evidence of the association between number or time and space, respectively. As the SNARC effect was proposed by Dehaene, Bossini, and Giraux in 1993, several studies have suggested that different tasks and cultural factors can affect the flexibility of the SNARC effect. This study explored the influence of time units on the flexibility of the SNARC effect via materials with Arabic numbers, which were suffixed with time units and subjected to magnitude comparison tasks. Experiment 1 replicated the SNARC effect for numbers and the STEARC effect for time units. Experiment 2 explored the flexibility of the SNARC effect when numbers were attached to time units, which either conflicted with the numerical magnitude or in which the time units were the same or different. Experiment 3 explored whether the SNARC effect of numbers was stable when numbers were near the transition of two adjacent time units. The results indicate that the SNARC effect was flexible when the numbers were suffixed with time units: Time units influenced the direction of the SNARC effect in a way which could not be accounted for by the mathematical differences between the time units and numbers. This suggests that the SNARC effect is not obligatory and can be easily adapted or inhibited based on the current context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5947571PMC
May 2018

Neural substrates of embodied natural beauty and social endowed beauty: An fMRI study.

Sci Rep 2017 08 2;7(1):7125. Epub 2017 Aug 2.

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, Center for Studies of Psychological Application, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, P. R. China.

What are the neural mechanisms underlying beauty based on objective parameters and beauty based on subjective social construction? This study scanned participants with fMRI while they performed aesthetic judgments on concrete pictographs and abstract oracle bone scripts. Behavioral results showed both pictographs and oracle bone scripts were judged to be more beautiful when they referred to beautiful objects and positive social meanings, respectively. Imaging results revealed regions associated with perceptual, cognitive, emotional and reward processing were commonly activated both in beautiful judgments of pictographs and oracle bone scripts. Moreover, stronger activations of orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and motor-related areas were found in beautiful judgments of pictographs, whereas beautiful judgments of oracle bone scripts were associated with putamen activity, implying stronger aesthetic experience and embodied approaching for beauty were elicited by the pictographs. In contrast, only visual processing areas were activated in the judgments of ugly pictographs and negative oracle bone scripts. Results provide evidence that the sense of beauty is triggered by two processes: one based on the objective parameters of stimuli (embodied natural beauty) and the other based on the subjective social construction (social endowed beauty).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07608-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5541072PMC
August 2017

Interpersonal choice: The advantage on the left or on the right?

Int J Psychol 2018 Oct 20;53(5):331-338. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

School of Psychology, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China.

This study explored whether body specificity unconsciously influenced preferences for certain people. Participants were presented pictures of the heads of 2 persons who were described as having the similar personality, profession and family background. They were instructed to choose 1 in each pair as the preferred date, preferred friend, more charismatic boss or as the better national leader. The results showed body specificity had an influence on the selection preference on first impression. Participants tended to choose the character on their dominant-hand side. This study not only provided the first social psychological evidence for the body-specificity hypothesis, but also first demonstrated a role for body specificity in impression formation and selection preference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12388DOI Listing
October 2018

"Happy goat says": The effect of a food selection inhibitory control training game of children's response inhibition on eating behavior.

Appetite 2016 12 22;107:86-92. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Department of Psychology, South China Normal University, China. Electronic address:

Recent studies suggest that when inhibitory control is lacking, people are more inclined to indulge in high-calorie food, but inhibitory control can be trained. In this study, a daily-life training game was used to train children and investigate whether strengthening or weakening inhibitory control influences food intake in opposite directions. The baseline of response inhibition was measured by the go/no-go task, and the baseline of food intake was measured by a bogus food taste task. Then, participants performed a food selection training game named "Happy goat says" with three within-subject conditions: the first type of instruction was always paired without a go signal (inhibition manipulation); the second type of instruction was always presented with a go signal (impulsivity manipulation); and the third type of instruction was presented either with a go or no-go signal, both in 50% of the time (control manipulation). Following these manipulations, they went through the go/no-go task and bogus food taste task. In the pre-training food taste task, commission errors were positively correlated with body mass index. Relative to a control group playing Lego blocks (n = 20), the trained group showed a performance improvement on the go/no-go task. The intake of food in the inhibition manipulation was significantly less in the post-training food taste task. These findings demonstrate that children can gain control over the consumption of high-calorie food after a daily-life response inhibition training game.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.07.030DOI Listing
December 2016

A Heavy Heart: The Association between Weight and Emotional Words.

Front Psychol 2016 21;7:920. Epub 2016 Jun 21.

Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, Center for Studies of Psychological Application, School of Psychology, South China Normal University Guangzhou, China.

People often express emotion in language using weight (e.g., a heavy heart, light-hearted, light humor, or heavy-handed), but the question remains whether these expressions of emotion are rooted in the body. Six experiments used a priming paradigm to explore the metaphoric relation between weight perception and emotional words. Experiments 1 and 2 investigated the influence of weight perception on judgments of emotional words and the influence of emotional words on judgments of weight, respectively. A significant difference between the consistent condition (e.g., lightness corresponds to positive words and heaviness corresponds to negative words) and the inconsistent condition (e.g., lightness corresponds to negative words and heaviness corresponds to positive words) was found in Experiment 1 but not in Experiment 2. Experiments 3, 4, and 5 were conducted to exclude potential confounds. Experiment 6 was a repeated-measures study that was conducted to verify the weight-emotion effect. The study confirmed that weight perception affected judgments of emotional words. The results contribute to the growing literature on conceptual metaphor theory and embodied cognition theory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00920DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4914497PMC
July 2016

The embodiment of beauty: Evidence from viewing Chinese concrete words and pictographs.

Int J Psychol 2018 Feb 31;53(1):66-76. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

College of Professional Study, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.

How is beauty embodied? According to the viewpoint of embodied cognition, the aesthetic processing of words or pictographs has roots in their referential archetypes. Four experiments tested whether the beauty of referential archetypes was routinely activated during the explicit and implicit aesthetic evaluations of the font structures of concrete Chinese words and pictographs in congruent or incongruent font colour. Results showed font structures of simplified Chinese words and pictographs were judged to be more beautiful when they referred to beautiful archetypes; and this pattern was reversed when they referred to ugly archetypes. Moreover, judgement was facilitated when font colour was congruent for Chinese words and pictographs referred to beautiful archetypes. For those referred to ugly archetypes, judgement was inhibited in congruent font colour but facilitated in incongruent font colour, suggesting aesthetic perceptions of the font structures of Chinese words and pictographs were derived from their referential natural objects. The spontaneous generation hypothesis of beauty is proposed to account for these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12269DOI Listing
February 2018

Neural correlates for aesthetic appraisal of pictograph and its referent: An fMRI study.

Behav Brain Res 2016 May 4;305:229-38. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Public Kindergarten of Guangzhou Government, Guangzhou, China.

As one kind of language symbols, pictograph has a graphical structure based on its referential object. Are the aesthetic qualities of these referential objects reflected in the cognitive and neural processing of the font structure of pictographs? In this present study, participants performed aesthetic judgments on both pictographs and their referential object images whilst acquiring fMRI data. Square luminance judgment was served as baseline to control for activity in motor brain regions associated with the key responses. Behavioral results showed both font structures of pictographs and their corresponding object images which refer to beautiful objects were rated significantly higher on beauty than those refer to ugly objects. Functional MRI revealed regions of occipital lobe, frontal lobe and inferior orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) that were commonly activated for pictographs and object images referring to beautiful objects in the direct contrasts between beautiful judgment and luminance judgment. Moreover, only the aesthetic judgments of beauty for the pictographs but not the object images elicited activation of motor areas, which implied relevant embodied experience was elicited during the aesthetic perception of novel pictographs. In contrast, activities associated with pictographs referring to ugly objects were limited to visual processing regions of the bilateral inferior occipital gyri, which could be due to the intentions of avoiding ugly or aversive stimulus. In addition, object images were associated with broader recruitment in cortical areas than pictographs, likely due to the increased visual processing demands for the more visually complex object images. These findings indicate that aesthetic perceptions for the font structures of pictographs were derived from their referential objects, which could arouse a similar sense of beauty supported by common neural mechanisms with other aesthetic objects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2016.02.029DOI Listing
May 2016

Cognitive enhancement of healthy young adults with hyperbaric oxygen: A preliminary resting-state fMRI study.

Clin Neurophysiol 2015 Nov 24;126(11):2058-67. Epub 2015 Jan 24.

Centre for Studies of Psychological Application, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Objective: To date, no study has examined the effect of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) on the cognitive performance and spontaneous brain activity in healthy adults using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI). Our aim was to reveal the neural mechanism underlying the change in cognitive performance caused by increased oxygen.

Methods: In this study, we acquired fMRI data from 20 healthy young adults and used placebo-controlled (PBO) rsfMRI to identify the effect of HBO on the cognitive measures and the regional homogeneity (ReHo) in healthy adults.

Results: Compared to the PBO group, the HBO group showed the following: (1) the scores of the spatial working memory and memory quotient were significantly increased after HBO administration; (2) the ReHo value was significantly increased in three clusters, the left hippocampus, right inferior frontal, and lingual gyri, and for these three clusters, their functional connectivity with the subcortical brain system was significantly increased after HBO administration; and (3) the changes of ReHo values in these clusters generated by HBO administration were correlated with several aspects of cognitive performance, clarifying the cognitive locus of the effect.

Conclusion: Our results suggested that the increased availability of oxygen can, to some extent, improve memory performance.

Significant: Our findings may improve our understanding of the role of HBO in clinical and practical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2015.01.010DOI Listing
November 2015

Resolution of activated background information in text comprehension.

Int J Psychol 2010 Aug;45(4):241-9

South China Normal University, Guangzhou.

The present experiments explored the resolution of activated background information in text comprehension. In Experiment 1, participants read passages that contained an elaboration section that was either consistent or qualified (inconsistent but then corrected to be consistent) with respect to the subsequently presented target sentence (see O'Brien et al., 1998). However, the experiment used two target sentences, and several filler sentences were inserted between the first and second target sentence. The results showed that the reading times for the first target sentence in the qualified elaboration version were significantly longer than those in the consistent elaboration version. These were consistent with O'Brien's study, and further indicated that the basic process captured by the memory-based view appears to generalize to the Chinese reader better than does the here-and-now view. More importantly, the results showed that the reading times for the second target sentence in the qualified elaboration version were as long as those in the consistent elaboration version. These further indicated that the activation of background information not only maintained the coherence of the text, but also allowed for the relevant information to be updated, resulting in a unified information set. When the information was reactivated during ongoing reading, it would be in the form of unified information. In Experiment 2, the first target sentence in each passage from Experiment 1 was converted to a filler sentence, and the second target sentence became the target sentence. The results of Experiment 2 showed that the reading times for the target sentence in the qualified elaboration version were significantly longer than those for the consistent elaboration version. These indicated that the delay between the target sentences and the elaboration section was not responsible for the lack of differences in Experiment 1, and confirmed the conclusion of Experiment 1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207590903085521DOI Listing
August 2010

Predictors of word-level literacy amongst Grade 3 children in five diverse languages.

Dyslexia 2008 Aug;14(3):170-87

Ibis Creative Consultants Ltd, UK.

Groups of Grade 3 children were tested on measures of word-level literacy and undertook tasks that required the ability to associate sounds with letter sequences and that involved visual, auditory and phonological-processing skills. These groups came from different language backgrounds in which the language of instruction was Arabic, Chinese, English, Hungarian or Portuguese. Similar measures were used across the groups, with tests being adapted to be appropriate for the language of the children. Findings indicated that measures of decoding and phonological-processing skills were good predictors of word reading and spelling among Arabic- and English-speaking children, but were less able to predict variability in these same early literacy skills among Chinese- and Hungarian-speaking children, and were better at predicting variability in Portuguese word reading than spelling. Results were discussed with reference to the relative transparency of the script and issues of dyslexia assessment across languages. Overall, the findings argue for the need to take account of features of the orthography used to represent a language when developing assessment procedures for a particular language and that assessment of word-level literacy skills and a phonological perspective of dyslexia may not be universally applicable across all language contexts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dys.369DOI Listing
August 2008