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eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

This year, the Cognitive Sciences and Psychology Division of ULAB established their first paper series on eScholarship OpenAccess. We had fourteen mentors, more than eighty mentees, and six graduate students. All of our groups' hard work throughout the year culminated into fourteen final papers, posters, and presentations.


Special thanks to our faculty advisor, Professor D'esposito, as well as our graduate students, Roya Baharloo, Zuzanna Balewski, Sophia Batchelor, Celia Ford, Jessica Jones, and Brooke Staveland. ULAB would not have been possible without your support!


Our board would like to thank all of our mentors and mentees for their hard work and final projects, as well. It was a pleasure serving you this year and we know you will all achieve much more in the future!


Sincerely,

ULAB Board 2019 - 2020

Hareen Seerha, Research Director

Shreeya Garg, Lab Manager

Rajan Parikh, Lab Manager

Lexi Zhou, Operations

Arushi Sahay, Operations & Social Chair

Ashish Ramesh, CS Director

Josephine Widjaja, Editor-in-Chief

Samadi Karunasundera, Finance Chair



Cover page of The Effect of Mood States on the Reduction of False Memories: A Replication andExtension Study

The Effect of Mood States on the Reduction of False Memories: A Replication andExtension Study

(2020)

Previous research has documented that mood affects memory accuracy. The present study aimsto (1) replicate earlier work showing that mood (negative, positive, neutral) and valence affectsmemory consolidation, (2) examine whether retrieval processes are more likely to preserve falsememories when a mood is induced, (3) identify error prevalence associated with memoryconsolidation. A recognition-memory standard for photographs depicting script-like events wasused. Individuals in both negative and positive moods–similar in arousal levels–correctlyidentified more target events and are more confident in fewer false memories comparing toindividuals in a neutral mood. This shows that arousal (but not valence) helps predict memoryperformance. These findings suggest that arousal state affects memory while mood mediates trueand false memory.

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Cover page of Selectively Distracted: Divided Attention and Memory for Important Information - A replication and extension study

Selectively Distracted: Divided Attention and Memory for Important Information - A replication and extension study

(2020)

Distractions and multitasking are generally detrimental to learning and memory.Nevertheless, people often study while listening to music, sitting in noisy coffee shops, orintermittently checking their e-mail. The experiment we replicated examined how distractionsand divided attention influence one’s ability to selectively remember valuable information.Participants studied lists of words that ranged in value from 1 to 10 points while completing adigit-detection task, while listening to music, or without distractions. Most of the figures weresuccessfully replicated using the given dataset and tools like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.Since we were able to arrive at the same conclusion as the original author, we believe thisexperiment is valid and reliable for application to further extension studies. Our extension studyexamined correlations between gender and recall ability and between age and recall ability. Weconcluded that there was no significant correlation between these variables, suggesting thesefactors did not affect the outcome. This extension further supports the author’s results, as age andgender were seemingly not confounding variables.

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Cover page of Do human screams permit individual recognition? - Replication

Do human screams permit individual recognition? - Replication

(2020)

The replication seeks to provide some insight into whether nonlinguistic vocalizations,such as screams, are able to aid humans in identifying individuals based solely on theirscreaming patterns. Participants were asked to distinguish vocalizers after listening to tworecordings. Response accuracies and discriminability indices were calculated to check for screamreceptiveness. We also interpreted d’ scores in order to break down response errors and accuracyfor each participant. According to our findings, the majority of listeners were able to distinguishindividuals based on their screams.The replication also focused on results derived from vocalizer gender differences. Byanalyzing the varying mean response latencies created by male and female vocalizers, we wereable to interpret how well humans are at discriminating against each gender's screams. The goalof this project is to further our understanding of the evolutionary purpose behind screams and toprovide further insight into how screams are related to an individual's identity.

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Cover page of Aerobic Exercise for Alzheimer’s Disease

Aerobic Exercise for Alzheimer’s Disease

(2020)

There is growing interest in the potential of exercise interventions in therapy for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This paper replicates and extends upon some of the analysis of a randomized controlled pilot study that investigates the effect of a 26-week aerobic exercise program on memory, executive function, functional ability, and depression in 68 participants who were likely to develop AD. The replication was focused specifically on the analysis performed on the Memory Composite outcome variable, reproducing an interaction model between two of the main variables, Treatment Arm (Stretching and Toning Exercise versus Aerobic Exercise) and Timepoint (Baseline, Week 13, Week 26). The replication yielded the same values as the original study with similarly insignificant p-values. Using RStudio, the present study tests three additional interaction models, the interaction between Sex and Treatment Arm, between Sex and Timepoint, and between Sex, Treatment Arm, and Timepoint. These tests yielded insignificant p-values, implying that, contrary to the previous literature on gender differences in AD and exercise interventions, gender may not be a differentiating factor in memory. The hypothesis was that the exercise type affects the interaction between time and memory loss in early AD patients.

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Cover page of The effect of food anticipation on cognitive function- A replication study

The effect of food anticipation on cognitive function- A replication study

(2020)

Several lines of evidence indicate that glucose can enhance cognitive performancewithout being ingested. Previous research has found that the effect of food anticipation can boostcognitive resources in a testing environment [1]. This study was designed to replicate thefindings utilizing the same population, examining the effect that food anticipation has oncognitive abilities among multiple weight groups. 182 students were included in this replicationstudy. In order to accurately measure the results, the study randomized the order that foodanticipation tasks and cognitive tests were performed. The results indicated that an anticipatoryfood reward effect enhanced the cognitive capabilities of individuals categorized by BMI asoverweight and obese. Furthermore, this effect shifted the attention of these individuals towardlite food options as opposed to regular. Finally, this anticipatory food effect reduced emotionalarousal regarding food for individuals in the obese BMI category. We replicated previousfindings of increased cognitive resources in the presence of food anticipation prior to test taking.These findings add to the growing literature that the presence of food can boost cognitiveresources in testing environments. Future studies should shift the focus away from weight as adriving factor in the results, and instead look at how socio-economic status (SES) and foodinsecurity may affect eye gaze behavior and the anticipatory reward effect associated with foodcues.

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Cover page of An Extension Study: fMRI use to Distinguish Between Deception andGeneral Memory

An Extension Study: fMRI use to Distinguish Between Deception andGeneral Memory

(2020)

The purpose of this study is to expand upon the findings published by Junhong Yu, Qian Tao,Ruibin Zhang, Chetwyn C.H. Chan, and Tatia M.C. Lee in their paper, “Can fMRI discriminatebetween deception and false memory? A meta-analytic comparison between deception and falsememory studies” by conducting a meta-analysis to compare brain activation between deceptionand general memory1 recollection (Yu et al., 2019). Meta-analyses compile fMRI results frommany individual studies with regard to a specific cognitive task into one, cumulative dataset. Themeta-analyses for this extension were compiled by Neurosynth using FMRIB Software Library(FSL) to measure the amount of brain activation corresponding to areas involved in bothdeception and memory in general (“Nipype: Neuroimaging in Python,” 2020). The purpose ofthis extension is to understand how general memory recollection might compare to deception.The prediction of this study is that by broadening the memory dataset to include data from falseand true memory, activation will be reported in more areas than those reported in Yu and hiscolleagues separate analysis of each kind of memory. This, in turn, should make it more difficultto differentiate deception from memory recollection when it is not known to be true or false.While Yu et al. 2019 concluded that areas associated with truthful memory and false memorywere both separately distinguishable from deception, the results found in this study indicate thatactivation involved with general memory was distinguishable from deception only in theprecuneus and cingulate gyrus.

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Cover page of Consistency and variability in functional localisers

Consistency and variability in functional localisers

(2020)

Much of research surrounding reading difficulties is based solely on behavioral analyses.A child’s early and correct diagnosis is imperative to insure that they receive adequate resourcesand support which can severely affect equal opportunities for success in the future. Afterstudying different methods of diagnosis for reading difficulties, we saw most of these tests couldnot assert significant differences between children with and without reading difficulties. Thiscontributes to diagnoses being heavily reliant on behavioral observations. Since statisticallysignificant distinction can’t be made with behavioral tests, researchers are pushed to exploredifferent approaches.In order to explore more concrete approaches to diagnoses, we then looked at fMRI datato determine if we could accurately attribute functional localizations in the brain to responses towords and pictures. Through this, researchers aimed to use specific neuroanatomical images todetermine how the brain activity of a person without reading difficulties corresponds to wordandimage-processing. We compared data between two runs of the same subject as well asbetween subjects in order to determine consistency of the study. Although we could not findconsistency between subject, we were able to explore possible ways to optimize fMRI studies forfuture diagnoses. We hope to one day optimize the data collection system in order to use thelocalization of brain activity to diagnose children with reading difficulties in an unbiased,systematic way.

Cover page of How Do Foreign Accents Impact Perception and Credibility?

How Do Foreign Accents Impact Perception and Credibility?

(2020)

The paper aims to investigate how foreign accents impact perception and credibility by looking at various experiments that the researchers have conducted. To observe the effects that foreign accents have on listeners, we outlined three critical areas: visual and auditory stimuli, subtitle comprehension, and perception. By having an in-group or native accent as our control group, we were able to evaluate how various accents, such as Dutch and German, have a subtle impact on the accuracy of the speakers rated and measured by the participants. Based on our analysis, foreign-accented speakers are perceived to be less credible. In addition, it was concluded that perception also plays a key role in the day-to-day life of non-native speakers. While more research would be beneficial, it is clear that foreign accents reduce the speakers’ credibility and should be considered in environments such as job interviews and other social settings.

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Cover page of The Early Development of Gender-related Gay/lesbian Stereotypes

The Early Development of Gender-related Gay/lesbian Stereotypes

(2020)

In this paper, we detail a theoretical research proposal to investigate the emergence of genderrelated gay males’ and lesbians’ stereotypes using a model called COAT measures which was used in gender stereotypes studies (Liben et al, 2012). Our idea is based on people’s tendency to attribute sexual orientation stereotypes with the opposite gender (Blashill & Powlishta, 2002). Extending on past literature on the early development of gender stereotypes on brilliance in children aged five to seven, we explored whether children in that age range start to perceive and associate gay males and lesbians with gender stereotypes of the opposite gender (Bian et al., 2019). Without carrying out the experiments, we have completed designing the framework of the study and corresponding analysis as well as addressing future ideas to enhance our understanding on the development of gay/lesbian stereotypes. Exploring the association between gender stereotypes, we hypothesize that gay/lesbian stereotypes emerge early at the same time with gender stereotypes.

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Cover page of An Extension of “Can fMRI discriminate between deception and false memory? A meta-analytic comparison between deception and false memory studies”

An Extension of “Can fMRI discriminate between deception and false memory? A meta-analytic comparison between deception and false memory studies”

(2020)

fMRI has the potential of being able to differentiate between false memory and deception, but to apply this ability to real life situations, such as court cases or in neurodegenerative studies involving the brain's ability to recognize memory, it is vital that fMRI can detect the differences between general memory1 and deception, as false memory is often mixed in with true memory during recollection. To determine whether fMRI can do this, the prior study, “Can fMRI discriminate between deception and false memory? A meta-analytic comparison between deception and false memory studies” (Yu et al., 2019) [18] was extended. Yu et al., 2019 found that true memory and false memory, independently, could be distinguished from deception. This extension aims to determine if brain activity resulting from deception can be distinguished from activity caused by general memory as opposed to false memory. Given the broader scope of general memory compared to false memory, the prediction is put forth that general memory recollection will not be distinguishable from deception due to broader regions of activation in the brain. Appropriate meta-analyses for deception and general memory recollection were selected and used to determine z-scores and voxel coordinates of activity in different regions of the brain. The brain structures with the highest z-scores during general memory analysis were the caudate, the medial frontal gyrus, and the insula. The brain structures with the highest z-scores during deception analysis were the inferior frontal gyrus, the supramarginal gyrus, and the insula. After further analysis, it was determined that activation for general memory vs deception can be distinguished by looking at the activation of the cingulate gyrus and the precuneus.

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