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Do We Know What Our Bodies Are Doing?

Huston, Jesse ('10);  Banks, William;  Isham, Eve*
*Claremont Graduate University, Claremont CA

Providing delayed auditory feedback alters the reported time of willing an action (W) in a linear fashion (Banks & Isham, 2008). When a button press is followed by a beep after a delay of 5, 20, 40, or 60 ms, W shifts forward in time correspondingly. If the time of deciding to act is inferred retrospectively from feedback, is it the same for timing the action (M)? We asked participants to make spontaneous button presses and report M. We found a similar effect for M as we did with W, suggesting similar mechanisms influenced by feedback. To delineate between feedback and cognition, we had other subjects observe a video of someone else pressing a button. The subjects reported M and W. We found the same effect without the subject personally performing the action.
Funding provided by: Pomona College Psychology Dept

Gotcha! How We Resolve Temporal Delays Between Senses

Macellaio, Matthew ('09);  Scharr, Alexandra ('10);  Freedman, Alex R. ('10);  Huston, Jesse ('10);  Banks, William;  Isham, Eve*
*Claremont Graduate University, Claremont CA

Although information from different senses reaches the cortex at different times, one typically perceives sounds and accompanying actions simultaneously. The brain interprets delayed signals and makes a fused conscious event of all the senses. This creates an ambiguity as to the order of events within a window of about 100 milliseconds. Both studies in our experiment involved catching an object moving over a stationary target by pressing a key. Cues were offset from 60 ms before to 90 ms after the beginning of motion. In study 1, the cue was a click sound, and in study 2, the cue was a full-screen flash. We were able to change participants’ reaction time using delayed sound cues, but not delayed visual cues. This points to a fundamental difference in temporal integration, where events become fused together if temporal delays occur between senses but not if they occur within the same sense.
Funding provided by: Pomona College SURP

The Face Says It All: Facial Appearance of Fortune 1000 CEOs Predicts Company Ranking

Pillemer, Julianna ('09);  Burke, Deborah

Previous research shows that a male CEO’s facial appearance predicts his company’s success. The present study examined whether facial characteristics of female CEOs also predicts Fortune 1000 ranking, and if the traits related to success differ across gender. Participants rated photographs of 40 Fortune 1000 CEOs (20 male, 20 female) on competence, dominance, facial maturity, masculinity, femininity, interpersonal warmth, powerfulness, compassion, supportiveness, and leadership ability. Mean trait ratings across participants for each CEO were calculated and correlated with company ranking, separately by gender of CEO. For female CEOs, “supportiveness” ratings were significantly negatively correlated with company rank (i.e. those CEOs who were rated as more supportive had a lower, or better, ranking in the Fortune 1000), whereas for males, “powerful” ratings were significantly related to company rank (p<.05). These findings suggest that facial characteristics indicate traits which predict leadership success, but the relevant traits differ by CEO gender.
Funding provided by: Pomona College SURP

Good Food, Bad Food: The Relationship Between Demographics and Implicit Attitudes Towards Food

Royal, Justin ('09);  Kurtz, Jaime

"Who ever decided that ice cream and pizza are “bad” while apples and oatmeal are “good”? And why are some people so quick to attach certain foods to morality? Furthermore, can this “food schema” be predicted by factors such as body weight, gender, athleticism, or ethnicity? The present study explores the relationship between various demographics and performance on a computerized implicit association task in an attempt to explain who has stronger attitudes towards different foods, and whether strong implicit associations are advantageous to overall healthiness. Participants paired and reverse-paired images of healthy, nutritious foods with “good” and images of unhealthy foods with “bad;” reaction times indicated the strength of participants’ food schema. Participants were also measured on how much snack food they ate in the laboratory setting prior to the computerized task, and completed a questionnaire including items such as dietary and medical history, eating behaviors, and relevant demographics."

Resolving Tip-of-the-Tongue Experiences: Does Failure in Word-Finding Increase Recurrence?

Tan, Victoria ('09);  Trujillo, Andrew ('09); Burke, Deborah;  Chae, Bryan*
*Claremont Graduate University, Claremont CA

A tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) experience is a word-finding failure with partial access to the word's semantic and phonological properties but an inability to produce it. Warriner and Humphreys (2008) reported that giving participants more time to resolve a laboratory-induced TOT increased the probability of TOT recurrence for the same word. We investigated this finding by asking participants to produce a word corresponding to a word definition or a picture and description of a famous person. If the participant indicated a TOT for a word, they were randomly allotted either 10 or 30 seconds to resolve it, after which the answer was provided. After 48 hours, participants returned and were presented with the same definition and pictures. Results showed an equal proportion of second-day TOTs followed 10 and 30 second TOTs, suggesting that giving participants more time to resolve a TOT does not affect probability of TOT recurrence for that word.
Funding provided by: The Paul K. Richter and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Award (VT);  NIH grant R37 AG 08835 (DB)

Research at Pomona