The 3IH relates to the effect of mental imagery on information processing. To be more specific, it states that mentally imagining a concept e. The term concept stands for an idea that, if applied, significantly affects the idiosyncratic relevance of an object or group of objects. Consequently, we would expect that the idea of being a rat affects the idiosyncratic relevance of objects that are semantically related e.
We expect the effects on information processing to be reflected in both correct responses and response times.
SAGE Reference - The Cognitive Neuropsychology of Object Recognition and Action
To test this, we conducted a series of two experiments. In Experiment 1, we examined associative learning in a static context. In Experiment 2, subjects were guided through a virtual environment and were subsequently tested for correct landmark recognition. In Experiment 1, we tested the 3IH by using a static environment. In the experimental group, subjects conducted a role adoption task by means of mental imagery prior to learning stimuli landmarks and associated directions.
In the control group, subjects did not receive a role adoption task. In the role adoption task, subjects were asked to imagine themselves being a rat living in the sewer rat group. Both the control and the rat group learned either landmarks that were semantically related to the role adoption task of the experimental group or landmarks that were not so. If the 3IH holds for associative learning, we would expect the rat-group to perform superior in linking imagery-congruent landmarks with directions and perform inferior in case of imagery-incongruent landmarks.
Subjects were 80 students from the Justus Liebig University Giessen, who were recruited via circular mail within the university. Four subjects were excluded after reporting difficulties with the instruction. The mean age of the remaining 76 subjects 62 females, 14 males was Previous studies in landmark recognition research already showed that there are no gender effects [e. Subjects provided informed written consent and reported normal or corrected-to-normal visual acuity.
All subjects received course credit for participation. The experiment was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and experimental protocols were approved by the local ethics board of the Justus Liebig University Giessen — The role adoption task was presented in German and was conducted by using guided imagery see S1 Text. It consisted of visual information e.
They are your home. The landmarks see S1 Fig were either imagery-incongruent pictures of animals or imagery-congruent e. To what extent would this picture be relevant to you? It is important to note that we did not control whether the content of the images were factually appropriate. We took the 30 highest rated pictures and randomly chose 15 of them as target stimuli and the other half as distractors.
The 30 imagery-incongruent pictures were also randomly divided in 15 target and 15 distractor stimuli. The scene on which these landmarks were presented was depicting an intersection in a sewer. The factor role adoption task consisted of two levels control and rat.
The control group did not receive a role adoption task while the rat group did. The factor landmark type also consisted of two levels imagery-congruent and imagery-incongruent. Hence, subjects were randomly assigned to one of the four conditions of our 2x2 factorial design between-subjects. Then, subjects of the control group simply waited for a certain amount of time 1min 46s.
In case of the role adoption task, subjects wore headphones and began the guided imagery phase 1min 46s. After that, for each condition, the instructions were presented on the screen and subjects had to confirm that they understood the instructions by pressing a button. The main experiment consisted of two elements: the learning phase and testing phase Fig 2. Landmarks LM were presented in combination with an arrow pointing either left, straight or right.
During testing, landmarks were presented as a cue and subjects indicated the correct direction by pressing the corresponding arrow key.
First, the learning phase started. The background depicted an intersection in a sewer system. During each encoding trial, a landmark was presented at the top center of the screen in combination with an arrow left, straight or right that was presented below the landmark. Both, landmarks and arrows were presented randomly thus in random combination.
The subjects were instructed to learn the landmark-direction combinations. For each encoding trial, subjects had seven seconds. This duration was chosen because it resembled the time that subjects had to encode in such an environment of another experiment between two decision points [ 32 ].
The next trial started after an inter-trial-interval of one second. The encoding phase ended after the presentation of all 15 landmark-direction combinations. Subsequently after the encoding phase, subjects started with the recognition phase. In this phase, we added 15 distractor landmarks to the 15 landmarks that were presented before. Again, during each recognition trial, a landmark was randomly presented at the top center of the screen right after a fixation cross. This time, however, subjects had to 1 indicate the correct direction by pressing the corresponding arrow keys and 2 reject distractor landmarks by pressing the space key.
We chose five seconds to allow comparability to prior studies and to limit the possibility of rehearsal.
- Nuclear Theory Summer Meeting on eHRIC [wkshop procs];
- To View More...;
- Larousse des cocktails?
- A rat in the sewer: How mental imagery interacts with object recognition.
The experiment finished after 30 trials of the recognition phase. For each trial we measured two dependent variables. First, we measured if a decision was correct. We defined a correct decision as correct landmark-direction combination and correct rejection of distractors. Second, we measured response times for each trial. Responses slower than five seconds were counted as errors. All subjects who received a role adoption task confirmed that they could visually imagine what they were told to.
Fig 3 depicts the results of our first experiment. The results of our two by two analysis of variance [ control vs rat role adoption task x imagery congruent vs incongruent landmarks ] were as follows. Performances of all four landmark type x role adoption task conditions are depicted. The error bars represent the SEM. In terms of response times, there was a similar pattern Fig 3 ; bottom. Post-hoc analysis reveals that subjects with a role adoption task were significantly faster compared to subjects without such task when congruent landmarks were used 1.
Our first experiment related to the processing of spatial information to the extent that we investigated a key component in landmark-based wayfinding: associative learning of landmarks and directions. It aimed to investigate the 3IH by using a static environment i.
Information Routing, Correspondence Finding, and Object Recognition in the Brain / Edition 1
Indeed, our results supported our hypothesis for both correct decisions and response times. Subjects in the experimental group used guided mental imagery, i. These subjects were better in encoding and retrieving semantically congruent landmark information and their corresponding directions compared to subjects who did not receive such a treatment.
At the same time, these subjects were worse in encoding and retrieving semantically incongruent landmark information and their corresponding directions compared to subjects who did not receive such a treatment. This pattern was expected according to the 3IH. We see that mental imagery can both facilitate and impede information processing. The role adoption task could have led to changes in schemata.
These schemata in turn could have facilitated the detection of schemata-congruent stimuli and could have hindered the detection of schemata-incongruent information during the exploration phase. If that was indeed the case, then testing our hypothesis in a more dynamic environment for encoding should also lead to a similar pattern of results, especially if we consider the importance of movement and space for the perceptual cycle model. Earlier we emphasized the role of semantics and that this could have an influence in regards to landmark recognition.
The problem with that is that we did not control for differences in conceptual knowledge about rats. Therefore, in the next experiment, we decided to address the problem of a static environment and the problem of pre-existing knowledge for landmark-recognition. In Experiment 2, our aim was to investigate the Imagery-Induced Interaction Hypothesis 3IH on landmark recognition in a dynamic environment. Compared to Experiment 1, two major changes were made. First, the encoding phase was now conducted in a virtual environment.
Subjects learned landmarks along a path in a virtual sewer system before the pure recognition of landmarks was tested. Second, next to the control group and the first experimental group rat we added a second experimental group.
This group also conducted a role adoption task. Instead of imagining being a rat, these subjects were asked to imagine being a fictitious character. We introduced this group in order to control for pre-existing knowledge. For example, in Experiment 1, subjects were told to imagine being a rat with grey fur. Therefore, by not mentioning the rat explicitly, we hoped to reduce potentially confounding elements of the role adoption task.
The sample consisted of 72 students from the Justus Liebig University Giessen 61 females, 11 males , who were also recruited via circular mail. The mean age was All subjects reported normal or corrected-to-normal visual acuity, provided informed written consent and received course credit for participation. Subjects who reported epilepsy or epilepsy in close relatives or colorblindness were excluded from the study in advance. This time, the experimental conditions consisted of two groups with different role adoption tasks.
The first one was the same as in Experiment 1 imagining being a rat.