Presentation Title

Using a Delayed Match-to-Samples Task to Investigate the Isolated Processing of Geometric Shapes and Their Corresponding Shape Words

Location

Room 2908

Session Format

Paper Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Humanities & Social Sciences - Psychology, Sociology & Political Science

Co-Presenters, Co- Authors, Co-Researchers, Mentors, or Faculty Advisors

Bradley R. Sturz, PhD; Ty W. Boyer, PhD; Candyce Asby, Travis Baker, Allison Dyches, Destiny Brooks, and Chelsea Scordas

Abstract

Evidence suggests an isolated system dedicated to processing geometric information (Spelke, Lee, & Izard, 2010). Isolating geometric processing from linguistic and semantic processing has remained difficult. Recently, Sturz, Edwards, and Boyer (2014) utilized a delayed match-to-sample (DMTS) task to present participants with a sample composed of either a shape, a shape word, or a bi-dimensional stimulus composed of a shape and a shape word. After a delay, participants were required to identify the sample shape or the sample word by selecting between two shapes or two shape words. Results suggested that sample shapes did not interfere with selecting a correct match in the presence of two shape words, but a sample shape word result in interference in selecting between two shapes. Interference took the form of increased reaction times and increased errors in the presence of selecting between two shapes but not two words. Results were interpreted as suggesting that shapes do not activate a semantic representation of shape words but shape words activate a spatial representation of shapes. The present experiments attempted to replicate and extend these results. Experiment 1 included a condition that was identical to the original condition (Unfilled) and one condition in which the shapes were filled (Filled) to address a potential explanation based upon sample shape saliency. Experiment 2 tested the assumption that shapes do not activate a semantic representation by reversing the matching requirement such that a sample shape word needed to be matched to its corresponding shape whereas a sample shape needed to be matched to its corresponding shape word. Such a reversal should require the semantic processing of shapes and result in increased reaction time and decreased accuracy. Experiment 1 replicated the asymmetrical results for both Filled and Unfilled conditions and provides evidence against an explanation based upon saliency. As predicted Experiment 2 produced a symmetrical pattern of results and indicated that word targets took a significantly longer time to match compared to shape targets. Collectively, results support an isolated system dedicated to processing geometric information by suggesting that both shapes and shape-words are automatically processed by two different psychological mechanisms.

Keywords

Modularity, Domain specificity, Geometry, Semantics, Suppression, Delayed match-to-sample task

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-24-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 5:00 PM

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Apr 24th, 4:00 PM Apr 24th, 5:00 PM

Using a Delayed Match-to-Samples Task to Investigate the Isolated Processing of Geometric Shapes and Their Corresponding Shape Words

Room 2908

Evidence suggests an isolated system dedicated to processing geometric information (Spelke, Lee, & Izard, 2010). Isolating geometric processing from linguistic and semantic processing has remained difficult. Recently, Sturz, Edwards, and Boyer (2014) utilized a delayed match-to-sample (DMTS) task to present participants with a sample composed of either a shape, a shape word, or a bi-dimensional stimulus composed of a shape and a shape word. After a delay, participants were required to identify the sample shape or the sample word by selecting between two shapes or two shape words. Results suggested that sample shapes did not interfere with selecting a correct match in the presence of two shape words, but a sample shape word result in interference in selecting between two shapes. Interference took the form of increased reaction times and increased errors in the presence of selecting between two shapes but not two words. Results were interpreted as suggesting that shapes do not activate a semantic representation of shape words but shape words activate a spatial representation of shapes. The present experiments attempted to replicate and extend these results. Experiment 1 included a condition that was identical to the original condition (Unfilled) and one condition in which the shapes were filled (Filled) to address a potential explanation based upon sample shape saliency. Experiment 2 tested the assumption that shapes do not activate a semantic representation by reversing the matching requirement such that a sample shape word needed to be matched to its corresponding shape whereas a sample shape needed to be matched to its corresponding shape word. Such a reversal should require the semantic processing of shapes and result in increased reaction time and decreased accuracy. Experiment 1 replicated the asymmetrical results for both Filled and Unfilled conditions and provides evidence against an explanation based upon saliency. As predicted Experiment 2 produced a symmetrical pattern of results and indicated that word targets took a significantly longer time to match compared to shape targets. Collectively, results support an isolated system dedicated to processing geometric information by suggesting that both shapes and shape-words are automatically processed by two different psychological mechanisms.