Sponsor(s): Chinese Psychological Society; Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
12 issues per year
Current Issue: Issue 02, 2020
Journal official website:http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/0439-755X/home.shtml
Acta Psychologica Sinica is a scholarly journal sponsored by Chinese Psychological Society and Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, co-sponsored by Department of Psychology, Chinese University of HongKong, published monthly by the Science Press. It is to publish original empirical studies and theoretical papers in the broad field of psychology including cognitive and experimental psychology, developmental and educational psychology, physiological and medical psychology, management social psychology, psychological measure, psychological history and method et al.
ZHANG Kan, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
FUNG Helene Hoi Lam, Department of Psychology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
HAU Kit-Tai, Department of Educational Psychology, Chinese Univ
Acta Psychologica Sinica,2020,Vol 52,No. 02
Spatial iconicity is described as the perceptual characteristic of a concrete concept. This idea demonstrates that word pairs are processed faster when their positions match certain references in the physical world (e.g., “heaven” is presented above “ground”). Embodied cognition theory explains that spatial iconicity involves processing concrete words to activate their embodied symbols automatically (e.g., spatial and colour symbols). This process then simulates the perceptual characteristics of the words physical reference. Symbolic theory proposes that spatial iconicity can also be interpreted by linguistic factors (e.g., word order frequency). Word order frequency is higher in the iconicity order than in the reverse-iconic order, which facilitates the processing of word pairs. Symbol interdependency hypothesis integrates the two explanations above, claiming that the embodied and linguistic symbols are involved in shaping spatial iconicity. Furthermore, the respective contributions of these symbols depend on the type of stimuli or task. Despite these claims, the mechanism of spatial iconicity remains controversial. Moreover, whether abstract concepts have a similar spatial iconicity effect is still unknown. In Experiment 1, a semantic relationship judgment task was conducted to investigate the effect of embodied symbols on the processing of moral word pairs. Twenty-six participants were chosen randomly to discriminate the antonymous relationship of the moral word pairs in an iconic (e.g., moral-up & immoral-down) or reverse-iconicity (e.g., moral-down & immoral-up) arrangement. In Experiment 2, a spatial iconicity judgment task was conducted to investigate the effect of linguistic symbols on the processing of moral word pairs. Twenty-seven participants were chosen to distinguish the iconicity of the moral word pairs, which may belong to an antonym or not. The EEG signals and the reaction times during both experiments were recorded. The results showed that when Chinese moral antonyms were arranged against their spatial iconicity (e.g., moral-down & immoral-up), the processing of the antonymous relationship induced a larger N400 than the arrangement that was coherent with the spatial iconicity (e.g., moral-up & immoral-down). Furthermore, the judgment of the antonymous relationship was slower for the antonym pairs in a reverse-iconicity arrangement than in an iconicity arrangement. The results also showed that the Chinese word pairs, which did not have antonyms (e.g., trust-evil), induced a larger N200 and N700 than the antonym pairs (e.g., incorrupt-corrupt) did. Moreover, the reaction time of the iconicity judgment to the word pairs that did not belong to antonyms was slower than that of the antonym pairs. The results of the two experiments revealed that regardless of the task, the embodied and linguistic symbols contributed to spatial iconicity. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of the two symbols were different. This study explored the spatial iconicity of abstract moral concepts, the roles of the embodied symbols and the linguistic symbols in shaping spatial iconicity. The results showed that (1) abstract moral concepts had a similar spatial iconicity to concrete concepts, which could be achieved by mapping the metaphors. (2) Furthermore, embodied and linguistic symbols were involved in shaping spatial iconicity regardless of the task. (3) When processing moral words, linguistic symbols were activated to influence the process. The embodied symbols would only be activated and take effect in the middle of the process.
Acta Psychologica Sinica,2020,Vol 52,No. 02
Stressor presents a risk factor in everyday life by not only triggering stress responses in the body but also influencing cognitive processing. Previous research has shown that the medial frontal cortex and dorsolateral frontal cortex, on which error processing depends, are susceptible to acute stress. However, few studies have explored the effect of stress on error processing. It is still unclear whether individuals with acute stress can effectively detect their own error responses and how acute stress influences the transfer from error monitoring to post-error adjustment. To address these issues, we recruited 52 healthy male participants and randomly assigned them into stress ( n = 26) or control ( n = 26) groups. The participants were first asked to undergo an acute stress test or control-stress test and soon after that perform an error awareness task. Acute stress was induced by the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) which consists of a public speech task and a mental arithmetic task. The error awareness task was a motor go/no-go response inhibition task, in which the participants marked the responses where they recognized errors. Additionally, information on the participants’ heart rates, subjective emotional states, and perceived stress levels was collected to evaluate their immediate reaction to stress. Finally, we used salivary cortisol levels to explore the delayed reaction to stress during the experiment. The acute stress induction was indexed by the increases in free cortisol levels, heart rates, perceived stress levels, and negative affect in the stress group compared with the control group. Two main findings were obtained in this study. First, the accuracy of error awareness in the stress group was lower than that of the control group, and the negative affect under acute stress was negatively predictive of the accuracy of error awareness in the stress group but not the control group, suggesting that acute stress led to poor error monitoring. Second, the accuracy of the first trials after aware errors was significantly lower than that after unaware errors in the stress group, but there was no change in the control group, showing that post-error performance was impaired following acute stress. Altogether, the present study demonstrated that participants could not effectively identify error responses after acute stress, and their post-error adjustment was impaired even when the error responses were identified. Our results show that stress plays an important role in error processing, which is consistent with the biphasic-reciprocal model that proposes that stress responses enhance the activation of the amygdala but impair neural functioning in the prefrontal cortex. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that acute stress impairs the performance monitoring system, which leads to impaired post-error adaptive behaviors.