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Dzherelievskaya M.A., Vizgina A.V. (2017). Socio-cultural differences in the self-descriptions of two groups of Azerbaijanian students learning in the Russian and Azerbaijani languages. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 107-123

<b>Background</b>: The dimension of individualism-collectivism is regarded as one of the most important cultural factors that influence a person’s self-consciousness, and help shape his/her sense of self as independent or interdependent. Moreover, studies support the conclusion that the salience of both tendencies may vary not only within a single national culture (depending on the place of residence, language environment, etc.), but also on the level of the individual self (depending on the current situation). In our research we have assumed that the language environment (receiving education in one’s native or a foreign language) acts as a socio-cultural factor affecting the self-concept of students of the same nationality–more specifically, the intensity of their individualistic and collectivistic characteristics.
<b>Objective</b>: Finding socio-cultural differences in self-image between two groups of Azerbaijanian students (learning in Russian and Azerbaijanian, respectively).
<b>Design</b>: The sample included one hundred students from Baku colleges and universities equally divided into two groups. Participants in the first group were studying in Azerbaijani while those in the second group were learning in Russian. We collected data in the form of open-ended self-descriptions. We examined these texts using contentanalysis procedures. Then we calculated correlations between certain defined characteristics for each group.
<b>Results</b>: The self-descriptions produced by students learning in Azerbaijanian contained the following features: norm compliance as a significant factor in emotional wellbeing; self-criticism related to negative feelings and expectation of outside criticism; the prevalence of self-justification and bravado as basic forms of psychological defense, combined with the lack of self-enhancement; and focus on society and interpersonal relations affecting the respondents’ inner feelings. The second group’s (those learning in Russian) self-descriptions featured positive self-esteem as an important component of emotional well-being. Self-criticism was not associated with negative feelings and others’ judgments. In the texts of Russian-speaking students there was a tendency to use self-embellishment as a way of self-enhancement. This group was less inclined to focus on society.
<b>Conclusions</b>: The characteristics of these two groups’ self-depictions gravitated toward two different self-constructs: independent (for those learning in Russian) and interdependent (for the participants learning in Azerbaijanian), the division being in line with the individualistic and collectivistic culture, respectively.

About the authorsDzherelievskaya, Maria A.; Vizgina, Anna V.
ThemesSocial psychology
Pages:  107-123
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0410
Keywords:  Self-attitude, self-consciousness, open-ended self-descriptions, psychological defense strategies, socio-cultural differences in self-descriptions

Novikova I.A., Vorobyeva A.A. (2017). Big Five Factors and academic achievement in Russian students. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 93-106

Background: The Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality traits is one of the most comprehensive personality models in modern psychology. The traits, or domains, of the model, provide an extensive framework, which allows researchers to analyse the correlation between the aspects of personality and various aspects of social behaviour. Academic achievement is a key factor in a subject’s success, and a more comprehensive understanding of its potential factors could improve educational programs and teaching strategies. Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to consider the correlations between the FFM (Big Five) personality traits and the academic achievement of university students in various fields of study.

Design: This study has adopted a descriptive analytic approach by exploring previous research data. In the present empirical research, the Big Five factors were measured with the Russian NEO Five-Factor Inventory adaptation by S. Biryukov and M. Bodunov. Academic achievement was defined as the average value of the semester final grades. The Spearman correlation analysis was used for statistical analysis. The sample includes 207 first- and second-year university students in the Linguistics Department.

Results: The analysis of the published data revealed that Western psychological studies show that consciousness and openness, two values in the model, are more closely connected with the peculiarities of the students’ academic achievement in different fields of study, but similar studies conducted in Russian universities do not fully confirm this data. Findings of our research proved that consciousness is more associated with greater academic achievement of Russian linguistics students in most fields of study compared to the other FFM traits, while other traits showed more specific correlations with particular fields of study.

Conclusions: The data suggests that both environmental and internal psychological factors, such as motivation, intelligence, inclinations, abilities, etc. affect academic achievement. However, further research suggests that volitional and cognitive personality traits considered in the framework of various models of personality may have a great influence on academic achievement and should also be taken into consideration. Personality traits, especially consciousness and openness of the FFM, are significant factors of academic achievement. The associations between academic achievement and FFM traits are more prominent in those fields of study that include such features as their relative novelty, difficulty or interest for students (Second Foreign Language, Special Disciplines, and Psychology & Pedagogics).

About the authorsNovikova Irina A.; Vorobyeva Alexandra A.
ThemesEducational psychology
Pages:  93-106
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0409
Keywords:  Five-Factor Model (FFM), academic achievement, personality traits, linguistics students; Russian NEO Five-Factor Inventory

Liutsko L., Veraksa A.N., Yakupova V.A. (2017). Embodied finger counting in children with different cultural backgrounds and hand dominance. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 86-92

Background. Embodied finger counting has been shown to have cross-cultural differences in previous studies (Lindemann, Alipour, & Fisher, 2011; Soto & Lalain, 2008). However, their results were contradictory in reference to Western populations with regard to the hand preferred: The first study showed that in Western countries — Europe and the United States — participants preferred to start with the left hand (whereas in the Middle East — Iran — they used the right hand); the second study showed that participants in France preferred the right hand.

Objective. Our study aimed to observe these differences in two countries, Spain (Western Europe) and Russia (Eastern Europe part), although taking into account the variety of cultural or ethnic groups who live there.

Design. The observational/descriptive study, together with correlational analysis of the finger-counting pattern (from 1 to 10) used by children aged 10 to 12 who had not been taught to use their fingers for counting, considered factors of cultural origin and hand dominance. The possible effects of this action on cognition — in our case, math achievement — were considered also.

Results and conclusion. The differences in the frequency of the finger-counting patterns might suggest cultural-individual differences in performance; however, the correlational analysis did not reveal that these differences were statistically significant, either for gender or for mark in math. However, hand dominance was a significant predictor of the preferred hand with which to start counting.

About the authorsLiutsko, Liudmila N.; Veraksa, Aleksandr N. ; Yakupova, Vera A.
ThemesEducational psychology
Pages:  86-92
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0408
Keywords:  embodied numerosity, finger counting, cross-cultural research, individual differences, hand dominance

Kyuchukov H., Samko M., Kopcanova D. (2017). Knowledge of Romani language grammar. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 76-85

Objective. The paper examines knowledge of Romani grammatical categories among Roma children from Bulgaria and Slovakia between the ages of 3 and 6 years.

Design. Roma children from Bulgaria and from Slovakia completed a psycholinguistic test in the Romani language. The test was developed for the first time in Europe to measure an individual’s knowledge of the Romani language (comprehension and production). The newly developed test measured comprehension of categories such as wh questions, wh complements, passive verbs and possessiveness.

Results and discussion. The children’s knowledge is associated with two theories: the ecological theory of Ogbu (1978) and the integrative theory of child development (García Coll et al. 1996). Ogbu’s theory stresses the importance of children’s home culture in their development. According to the theory of García Coll and her collaborators, the family’s home environment and SES are important predictors of language development.

About the authorsKyuchukov Hristo; Samko Milan; Kopcanova Dagmar
ThemesEducational psychology
Pages:  76-85
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0407
Keywords:  Roma children, language assessment test, integrative theory

Kostromina S.N., Mkrtychian N.A., Kurmakaeva D.M., Gnedykh D.S. (2017). The interrelationship between cognitive control and academic success of first-year students: An interdisciplinary study. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 60-75

Background. Though many Russian and foreign studies have been devoted to the study of self-control in educational activity, most of the research has been limited to the use of questionnaires or psychodiagnostic methods. The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the process of cognitive control in the context of learning have still not been sufficiently understood, despite the obvious significance of controlling action for academic success.

Objective. The purpose of this study is to identify the psychological and neurophysiological features of cognitive control in the process of learning activity, for students with different levels of academic success.

Design. This study investigates the control function in first-year students who have varying degrees of academic success. The research design is interdisciplinary and integrates three different approaches: the neurophysiological, psychological, and pedagogical. In the empirical part, 31 first-year students at Saint Petersburg State University (SPbSU) participated in the research. We measured the personal characteristics of the subjects (using the five-factor personality questionnaire as modified by A.B. Khromov), their self-management ability (Peysakhov’s SMA test), characteristics of the event-related potentials of the brain in response to presentation of stimuli in the solving of problems that require searching for an error in a word (electroencephalographic method), response time, and number of errors and corrections. Four types of stimuli were used: the correct spelling of a word, the replacement of a letter with one that is written similarly or sounds similar, or by one that is not similar. The indicators used to measure academic success were the results of the Unified State Examination (USE) and the first (winter) term of the 2016–17 academic year. The data were analyzed by correlation analysis and analysis of variance.

Results. Comparison of groups of students with lower and higher levels of academic success showed significant differences in all the measured groups of variables — personality traits (Emotionality–Restraint factor), components of the system of self-management (Goal-Setting and Forecasting scales), behavioral data from the experiment (number of corrections), and neurophysiological indicators of cognitive control (the components P200, N200, P300, and N400). The results of the study revealed that students with greater academic success are characterized by less emotionality, a higher capability for goal-setting, and a lower capability for forecasting, as well as greater attention and greater engagement in solving the task of finding mistakes. Such students flexibly distribute their efforts depending on the difficulty of the task and are less likely than the less successful students to change their initial answer to the experimental task.

Conclusion. A high level of development of the self-regulation and self-management system potentially improves the process of finding an error which is necessary for better academic success.

About the authorsKostromina, Svetlana N.; Mkrtychian Nadezhda A.; Kurmakaeva Diana M.; Gnedykh Daria S.
ThemesEducational psychology
Pages:  60-75
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0406
Keywords:  cognitive control, self-control, event-related potentials, academic success

Gladkova A.A. (2017). Psychological and socio-cultural adaptation of international journalism students in Russia: The role of communication skills in the adaptation process. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 45-59

Background. The study of both Russian and international publications issued in the last twenty years revealed a significant gap in the number of studies examining adaptation (general living, psychological, socio-cultural, etc.) in general, i.e., without regard to specific characteristics of the audience, and those describing adaptation of a particular group of people (specific age, ethnic, professional groups, etc.).

Objective. The current paper aims to overcome this gap by offering a closer look at the adaptation processes of international journalism students at Russian universities, in particular, their psychological and socio-cultural types of adaptation. The question that interests us the most is how psychological and socio-cultural adaptation of international journalists to-be can be made easier and whether communication-oriented techniques can somehow facilitate this process.

Design. In this paper, we provide an overview of current research analyzing adaptation from different angles, which is essential for creating a context for further narrower studies.

Results. We discuss adaptation of journalism students in Russia, suggesting ways to make their adaptation in a host country easier and arguing that the development of communication skills can be important for successful adaptation to new living and learning conditions.

Conclusion. We argue that there is a need for more detailed, narrow-focused research discussing the specifics of adaptation of different groups of people to a new environment (since we believe different people tend to adapt to new conditions in different ways) as well as research outlining the role of communication competences in their adaptation processes.

About the authorsGladkova, Anna A.
ThemesEducational psychology
Pages:  45-59
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0405
Keywords:  psychological and socio-cultural adaptation, international students, journalism, communication skills, communication competence

Gjems L. (2017). Learning about concepts through everyday language interactions in preschools. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 33-44.

Background. In several Nordic countries, the pedagogy in preschools has a social pedagogical ideal. The focus is on development of social competence, aiming to empower children. There is only minimal focus on teaching and academic learning. The aim of this study is to investigate what kind of support children’s concept formation can receive when children are engaged in everyday language interactions with preschool teachers in Norway. Theoretically, the article is based on theories developed from Vygotsky’s (1987) perspectives on language as a mediating tool.

Design. Two classrooms with two preschool teachers and 18 children in each class participated in the study. The preschool was chosen because it especially focused on children’s language learning.

Method. This study is a qualitative study based on video-taped observations in one preschool, and the data are video-taped observations of language interactions between two preschool teachers and children in two preschool classrooms. Most language interactions in Norway occur in everyday conversations such as play, art activities and meals.

Results. The teachers interacted with the children around topics that engage the children and topics they took initiative to talk about. The teachers invited the children in warm ways to use language to make meaning of the shared topic. However, they seldom presented supplementary concepts or expanded the children’s concept understanding with their own knowledge.

Conclusion. The social pedagogical ideal may have made them associate such sharing of knowledge with teaching.

About the authorsGjems, Liv
ThemesEducational psychology
Pages:  33-44
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0404
Keywords:  everyday language interactions, learning words and concepts, cognition, preschool

Eliseeva N.N., Guts E.N., Marini A. (2017). Comprehension of idiomatic expressions by Russian speaking typically developing children. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 22-32.

Background. The ability to understand idiomatic expressions begins to develop at an early age. However, such skill is not achieved within the same age and at the same pace in children speaking di erent languages.

Objective. This study assesses comprehension of idiomatic expressions by Russian-speaking monolingual children aged 4 to 12 and monitoring the age dynamics of gurative language understanding.

Design. 80 children were split in 4 age groups balanced for gender and level of formal education. e participants were asked to identify the correct non-literal meaning of 10 idioms. For each idiomatic expression, children heard three potential interpretations (one correct, and two incorrect ones of which one was literal while the other was overtly wrong).

Results. Age-related di erences were analysed by performing a series of univariate ANOVAs. ese analyses showed that already at preschool age children begin to understand some kinds of idiomatic expressions and that such ability slowly develops throughout childhood. Interestingly, until the age of 6 children predominantly interpreted idioms literally. By the age of 7 their ability to correctly understand the non-literal meanings of idiomatic expressions enhanced signi cantly until it reached a plateau around the age of 12.

Conclusion. The results of the study are in line with those found for children speaking other languages. The findings are interpreted in light of recent theories of language and cognitive development. Potential limitations of the study are also discussed.

About the authorsEliseeva Nadezda N.; Guts Elena N.; Marini Andrea
ThemesEducational psychology
Pages:  22-32
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0403
Keywords:  Russian language, children, language acquisition, idioms

Bicherova E.N. (2017). Dependence of success in foreign language acquisition at primary school age on reaction type and cognitive control. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 10-21.

Background. This article reveals the importance of studying the problem of success in foreign language acquisition during the rst stage of study in the modern educational environment. Particular attention is paid to factors of successful foreign language acquisition during the primary-school ages, which depends on cognitive style features, such as reaction type and cognitive control. e content and characteristics of cognitive styles as individual styles of foreign language acquisition are analyzed in the context of a leading activity of primary school students.

Objective. A hypothesis of this research was that success in foreign language acquisition depends on reaction type and cognitive control, particularly the extent of the cognitive styles of impulsivity, re exivity, rigidity and exibility in primary-school students.

Design. To implement the proposed empirical tasks, the author organized and conducted research using a combination of methods intended to study the correlation between success in foreign language acquisition by primary-school students and reaction type as well as the features of cognitive control. A total of 74 elementary-school pupils aged 8-11 years were studied. A direct connection between success in foreign language acquisition and the indicators of the cognitive style “impulsivity — re exivity” was iden- ti ed using mathematical statistics methods.

Results. This study found no statistically signi cant correlation between success in foreign language acquisition and the indicators of the cognitive style “rigidity — exibility”. erefore, the results con rm that success in foreign language acquisition at prima- ry-school ages is determined more by reaction type (impulsive or re exive) than by the features of cognitive control (rigidity or exibility).

Conclusion: The practical significance of the study is that the obtained results can be used in the work of teachers and psychologists to improve the educational process in primary school and to promote the e ective study of foreign language by students.

About the authorsBicherova Elena N.
ThemesEducational psychology
Pages:  10-21
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0402
Keywords:  cognitive style, reaction type, cognitive control, impulsivity, re exivity, rigid- ity, exibility, success in foreign language acquisition, primary-school age

Koller S.H. (2017). Making human beings human: A tribute to Bronfenbrenner’s centennial. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 4-9.

I was given the honor of making a tribute to Bronfenbrenner during the VI Inter- national Conference “Early Childhood Care and Education” (ECCE 2017) held on May 10-13th, 2017, in Moscow, Russia. I opened countless les on my computer, started texts, and wrote a paragraph or two, but no more. It was a very challenging invitation for many reasons. Bronfenbrenner was a pioneer of translational and positive Psychology and inspired many environmental intervention programs around the world related to family support services, home visits, and education for parent- hood, especially for low-income families and communities.

About the authorsKoller, Silvia H.
Pages:  4-9
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0401
Keywords:  Early Childhood Care and Education, ECCE 2017, Bronfenbrenner

Zinchenko Yu. P. (2017). Editorial. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 2-4.

This special issue of “Psychology in Russia: State of the Art” — “Contemporary childhood research” — is devoted to the VI International Conference “Early Child- hood Care and Education” (ECCE 2017) that was held on May, 10–13 2017, in Moscow, Russia. It includes conference participants’ articles as well as regular sub- missions.

About the authorsZinchenko, Yury P.
Pages:  2-4
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0400
Keywords:  Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, Volume 10, Issue 4, 2017, Psychology in Russia: State of the Art

Dolina I.A., Efimova O.I..., Velichkovsky B.M. (2017). Exploring terra incognita of cognitive science: Lateralization of gene expression at the frontal pole of the human brain. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 231-247

Background. Rostral prefrontal cortex, or frontopolar cortex (FPC), also known as Brodmann area 10 (BA10), is the most anterior part of the human brain. It is one of the largest cytoarchitectonic areas of the human brain that has significantly increased its volume during evolution. Anatomically the le (BA10L) and right (BA10R) parts of FPC show slight asymmetries and they may have distinctive cognitive functions. Objective. In the present study, we investigated differential expression of the transcriptome in the le and right parts of BA10.

Design. Postmortem samples of human brain tissue from fourteen donors (male/ female without history of psychiatric and neurological diseases, mean age 39.79±3.23 years old, mean postmortem interval 12.10±1.76 h) were obtained using the resources of three institutions: the Partner Institute of Computational Biology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and NIH Neuro-BioBank.

Results. By using a standard RNA-sequencing followed by bioinformatic analysis, we identified 61 genes with differential expression in the le and right FPC. In general, gene expression was increased in BA10R relative to BA10L: 40 vs. 21 genes, respectively. According to gene ontology analysis, the majority of up-regulated genes in BA10R be- longed to the protein-coding category, whereas protein-coding and non-coding genes were equally up-expressed in BA10L. Most of the up-regulated genes in BA10R were involved in brain plasticity and activity-dependent mechanisms also known for their role in the hippocampus. 24 out of 30 mental disorder-related genes in the dataset were disrupted in schizophrenia. No such a wide association with other mental disorders was found.

Conclusion. Discovered differences point at possible causes of hemispheric asymmetries in the human frontal lobes and at the molecular base of higher-order cognitive processes in health and disease.

About the authorsVelichkovsky, Boris M. ; Dolina Irina A.; Efimova Olga I.; Kildyushov Evgeniy M.; Sokolov Aleksey S.; Khaitovich Philipp E.; Nedoluzhko Artem V.; Sharko Fyodor S.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  231-247
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0316
Keywords:  neuropsychology, frontopolar cortex, human cerebral asymmetry, yakovlevian torque, RNA transcriptome, sequencing, schizophrenia, attention

Kozlovskiy S. A., Shirenova S. D., Neklyudova A. K., Vartanov A. V.(2017). Brain mechanisms of the Tip-of-the-Tongue state:An electroencephalography-based source localization study. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 218-230

Background. The Tip-Of-the-Tongue (TOT) state occurs when a person fails to retrieve a familiar word, e.g., a name, from long-term memory, while knowing perfectly well that the forgotten word exists in memory and being able to report some information about it (semantic associations, the first letter, the number of syllables, etc.).

Objective and method. In the present work, we studied the activation of brain structures during the TOT state. The participants (N = 20; age 21.5 ± 4.1) viewed portraits of movie stars whose names they were asked to remember. Event related potentials (ERP) were registered in three conditions: 1) the participant remembered the name; 2) the participant did not know the name; 3) the participant knew the name but could not remember it (TOT-state). The sources of cortical activation were computed (DSPM algorithm).

Results. Time intervals demonstrating significant differences (t-test) in activation among the three conditions were calculated for each activated area, so that up to four different stages of processing could be delineated. According to our analysis, face perception involves activation of the visual cortex (left cuneus and right precuneus cortices), banks of the superior temporal sulci, poles of frontal and temporal lobes, and fusiform gyrus. The early activation does not depend on the successful retrieval of the name. A second increase in activation of the visual cortex is present at a later stage of processing, when name retrieval fails or if it is impeded.

Conclusion. We have shown that successful face recognition involves activation of the posterior cingulate cortex and the isthmus of the cingulate cortex in both hemi- spheres. Additionally, the parahippocampal gyrus is less active at the early stages and more active at the later stages of processing in the TOT-state, when name retrieval from the long-term memory fails.

About the authorsKozlovskiy, Stanislav A. ; Vartanov, Alexsander V. ; Shirenova Sophie D.; Neklyudova Anastasia K.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  218-230
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0315
Keywords:  tip-of-the-tongue (TOT), memory retrieval, verbatim recollection, electro- encephalography (EEG), source localization, event related potentials (ERP), posterior cingulate cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, isthmus of cingulate gyrus

Sedov A. S., Popov V.A., Filyushkina V.I., Semenova U.N., Orlov V.A., Velichkovsky B. M...(2017). Cognitive aspects of human motor activity: Contribution of right hemisphere and cerebellum. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 206-217

Background. Concepts of movement and action are not completely synonymous, but what distinguishes one from the other? Movement may be defined as stimulus- driven motor acts, while action implies realization of a specific motor goal, essential for cognitively driven behavior. Although recent clinical and neuroimaging studies have revealed some areas of the brain that mediate cognitive aspects of human motor behavior, the identification of the basic neural circuit underlying the interaction between cognitive and motor functions remains a challenge for neurophysiology and psychology.

Objective. In the current study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate elementary cognitive aspects of human motor behavior.

Design. Twenty healthy right-handed volunteers were asked to perform stimulus-driven and goal-directed movements by clenching the right hand into a fist (7 times). The cognitive component lay in anticipation of simple stimuli signals. In order to disentangle the purely motor component of stimulus-driven movements, we used the event-related (ER) paradigm. FMRI was performed on a 3 Tesla Siemens Magnetom Verio MR-scanner with 32-channel head coil.

Results. We have shown differences in the localization of brain activity depending on the involvement of cognitive functions. These differences testify to the role of the cerebellum and the right hemisphere in motor cognition. In particular, our results suggest that right associative cortical areas, together with the right posterolateral cerebellum (Crus I and lobule VI) and basal ganglia, de ne cognitive control of motor activity, promoting a shift from a stimulus-driven to a goal-directed mode.

Conclusion. These results, along with recent data from research on cerebro-cerebellar circuitry, redefine the scope of tasks for exploring the contribution of the cerebellum to diverse aspects of human motor behavior and cognition.

About the authorsVelichkovsky, Boris M. ; Ushakov, Vadim L.; Sedov Aleksei S.; Popov Valentin A.; Filyushkina Veronika I.; Semenova Ulia N.; Orlov Viacheslav A.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  206-217
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0314
Keywords:  action, movement, fMRI, lateralization, motor behavior, voluntary movement, cognition, cortex, cerebellum, basal ganglia

Pavlova A. A., Butorina A. V., Nikolaeva A. Y., Prokofyev A. O., Ulanov M. A., Stroganova T. A.(2017). Not all reading is alike: Task modulation of magnetic evoked response to visual word. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 190-205

Background. Previous studies have shown that brain response to a written word depends on the task: whether the word is a target in a version of lexical decision task or should be read silently. Although this effect has been interpreted as an evidence for an interaction between word recognition processes and task demands, it also may be caused by greater attention allocation to the target word.

Objective. We aimed to examine the task effect on brain response evoked by non- target written words.

Design. Using MEG and magnetic source imaging, we compared spatial-temporal pattern of brain response elicited by a noun cue when it was read silently either without additional task (SR) or with a requirement to produce an associated verb (VG).

Results.The task demands penetrated into early (200-300 ms) and late (500-800 ms) stages of a word processing by enhancing brain response under VG versus SR condition. The cortical sources of the early response were localized to bilateral inferior occipitotemporal and anterior temporal cortex suggesting that more demanding VG task required elaborated lexical-semantic analysis. The late effect was observed in the associative auditory areas in middle and superior temporal gyri and in motor representation of articulators. Our results suggest that a remote goal plays a pivotal role in enhanced recruitment of cortical structures underlying orthographic, semantic and sensorimotor dimensions of written word perception from the early processing stages. Surprisingly, we found that to fulfil a more challenging goal the brain progressively engaged resources of the right hemisphere throughout all stages of silent reading.

Conclusion. Our study demonstrates that a deeper processing of linguistic input amplifies activation of brain areas involved in integration of speech perception and production. This is consistent with theories that emphasize the role of sensorimotor integration in speech understanding. 

About the authorsPavlova Anna A.; Butorina Anna V.; Nikolaeva Anastasia Y.; Prokofyev Andrey O.; Ulanov Maxim A.; Stroganova Tatiana A.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  190-205
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0313
Keywords:  visual word recognition, top-down modulations, sensorimotor transformation, speech lateralization, magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Emelin V. A., Rasskazova E.I., Tkhostov A.Sh.(2017). Technology-related transformations of imaginary body boundaries: Psychopathology of the everyday excessive Internet and mobile phone use. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 177-189

Background. In line with the approach of Larkin et al. (2006), we consider technological dependence in the context of the interaction between personality, environment, and culture.

Objective. The aim of this study is to discover technology-related changes in psycho- logical needs and boundaries that could mediate the relationship between psychopathological symptoms and indicators of excessive use of info-communication technologies (ICT). The application of the Body Function Regulation Model to the use of ICT suggests that technology-related changes in the system of an individual’s needs and psychological boundaries mediate the relationship between a sense of poor psychological well-being and the risk of technology dependence.

Design. The study of a normative sample (N = 275) using two technologies–mobile phones and the Internet–was performed.

Results and Discussion. We demonstrated that the relationship between the general level of psychopathological symptoms and excessive use of technology (subjective dependence and inability to refrain from use of mobile phones and the Internet) is indeed mediated by the perception of their indispensability for extension of psychological boundaries, and (for the Internet) its use in image-making.

About the authorsEmelin, Vadim A.; Rasskazova, Elena I.; Tkhostov, Alexander Sh.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  177-189
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0312
Keywords:  Body function regulation model, psychological consequences of technologies, psychopathological complaints, the revised version of the Technology-Related Psychological Consequences Questionnaire, excessive use of technologies

Velichkovsky B. B.(2017). The relationship between interference control and sense of presence in virtual environments. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 165-176.

Background. The sense of presence is an important aspect of interaction with virtual reality applications. Earlier we suggested that presence can depend on cognitive control. The latter is a set of meta-cognitive processes which are responsible for configuring the cognitive system for the accomplishment of specific tasks with respect to a given context. In particular, cognitive control helps in preventing interference from the task-irrelevant variables.

Objective. is study aimed at investigation of the possible relationship between interference control and aspects of presence.

Design. Thirty-nine subjects (32 female and 7 male, aged 18 to 27 years) participated in the study. The subjects were assessed via a battery of interference control tasks (Flanker Task, Go/No Go task, antisaccade task) and performed a virtual scenario (navigating within an array of randomly placed virtual digits in correct numerical order) in high-immersion (CAVE) and low-immersion (standard computer display) virtual environments. Afterwards, the subjects completed a Russian version of the ITC-Sense of Presence inventory.

Results. We found that interference control is generally related to the sense of presence, especially in the CAVE (high-immersion) environment. Sensory interference control was most strongly associated with various aspects of presence (overall presence score, spatial presence, and emotional involvement). Motor interference control was associated with spatial presence and emotional involvement, but this relationship was weaker than was the case with sensory interference control. Low-immersion virtual environments attenuate some of these links between interference control and presence so that only sensory interference control remains a notable predictor of presence.

Conclusion. Interference control is positively associated with presence in virtual environments with varying immersion levels. is may reflect a more general cause-and-effect relationship between cognitive control and the feeling of presence in virtual reality.

About the authorsVelichkovsky, Boris B.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  165-176
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0311
Keywords:  virtual reality, presence, interference, cognitive control, attention, anker task, antisaccade task, Go/No Go task

Menshikova G. Ya., Kovalev A. I., Klimova O. A., Barabanschikova V. V.(2017). The application of virtual reality technology to testing resistance to motion sickness. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 151-164.

Background. Prolonged exposure to moving images in virtual reality systems can cause virtual reality induced motion sickness (VIMS). The ability to resist motion sickness may be associated with the level of vestibular function development. objective. The aim of the present research is to study the oculomotor characteristics of individuals whose observation of moving virtual environments causes the VIMS effect. We hypothesized that people who have a robust vestibular function as a result of their professional activity, are less susceptible to VIMS than people who have no such professional abilities. The differences in people’s abilities to resist the effects of the virtual environment may be revealed in the oculomotor characteristics registered during their interaction with a virtual environment.

Design. Figure skaters, football players, wushu fighters, and non-trained people were tested. e CAVE virtual reality system was used to initiate the VIMS effect. three virtual scenes were constructed consisting of many bright balls moving as a whole around the observer. e scenes differed in the width of the visual field; all balls subtended either 45°, 90° or 180°.

Results. The results showed more active eye movements for athletes compared to non-trained people, i.e. an increase in blink, fixation, and saccade counts. A decrease in saccadic amplitudes was revealed for figure skaters. These characteristics were considered specific indicators of the athletes’ ability to resist motion sickness.

Conclusions. It was found that the strength of the VIMS effect increased with the increasing width of the visual field. The effectiveness of virtual reality and eye-tracking technologies to test the VIMS effect was demonstrated.

About the authorsMenshikova, G.Ya.; Kovalev, Artem I.; Barabanshchikova, Valentina V. ; Klimova Oxana A.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  151-164
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0310
Keywords:  virtual reality technology, motion sickness, vestibular dysfunction, vection illusion, eye movement characteristics, professional abilities of athletes

Oboznov A. A., Chernetskaya E. D., Bessonova Yu. V.(2017). Structure of conceptual models in the senior operating staff of nuclear power plants. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 138-150.

Background. The relationships between conceptual model structures and an operator’s professional efficiency are of direct practical importance, particularly in the case of large-scale industrial complexes combining several human-machine systems. A typical example is the power unit of a nuclear power plant (NPP).

Objective and methods. The purpose of this study was to explore the conceptual models of senior reactor operators (SROs) of NPPs. The study involved 64 men working as SRO at five NPPs in Russia. The methods included: structured interviews, expert estimations, multidimensional scaling (ALSCAL), the K-means clustering algorithm, and frequency analysis. The procedure was as follows: 32 key characteristics of the power unit were defined, including shift operators’ jobs and duties, technical subsystems, types of equipment, and the crucial power unit parameters. The participants were offered a 32×32 matrix for pair-wise estimation of the strength of the links between these key characteristics on a seven-point scale (496 links in total).

Results. A general scheme of key characteristics in the conceptual models was defined. is scheme was displayed in the operators regardless of their employment history. Within the scheme, however, two types of conceptual models were identified, which could be distinguished by the relative number of strong links between the key characteristics. With respect to intersystem links including key characteristics of the reactor and turbine NPP departments, this number was significantly higher in models of Type 1 than in those of Type 2. A positive correlation between the number of these links and the professional efficiency indicators was also established. Operators with Type 1 models were able to more predictably represent the power unit operation.

Conclusion. The main role in creating predictable and efficient conceptual models was played by strong intersystem links in mental representations of workflow.

About the authorsOboznov Aleksandr A.; Chernetskaya Elena D.; Bessonova Yulia V.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  138-150
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0309
Keywords:  Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) senior reactor operator (SRO), conceptual model, mental image, multidimensional scaling, workflow, subjective strength of links, professional efficiency

Shishkin S. L., Zhao D. G., Isachenko A. V., Velichkovsky B. M.(2017). Gaze-and-brain-controlled interfaces for human-computer and human-robot interaction. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 120-137.

Background. Human-machine interaction technology has greatly evolved during the last decades, but manual and speech modalities remain single output channels with their typical constraints imposed by the motor system’s information transfer limits. Will brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and gaze-based control be able to convey human commands or even intentions to machines in the near future? We provide an overview of basic approaches in this new area of applied cognitive research.

Objective. We test the hypothesis that the use of communication paradigms and a combination of eye tracking with unobtrusive forms of registering brain activity can improve human-machine interaction.

Methods and Results. Three groups of ongoing experiments at the Kurchatov Institute are reported. First, we discuss the communicative nature of human-robot interaction, and approaches to building a more e cient technology. Specifically, “communicative” patterns of interaction can be based on joint attention paradigms from developmental psychology, including a mutual “eye-to-eye” exchange of looks between human and robot. Further, we provide an example of “eye mouse” superiority over the computer mouse, here in emulating the task of selecting a moving robot from a swarm. Finally, we demonstrate a passive, noninvasive BCI that uses EEG correlates of expectation. This may become an important lter to separate intentional gaze dwells from non-intentional ones.

Conclusion. The current noninvasive BCIs are not well suited for human-robot interaction, and their performance, when they are employed by healthy users, is critically dependent on the impact of the gaze on selection of spatial locations. The new approaches discussed show a high potential for creating alternative output pathways for the human brain. When support from passive BCIs becomes mature, the hybrid technology of the eye-brain-computer (EBCI) interface will have a chance to enable natural, fluent, and the effortless interaction with machines in various fields of application.

About the authorsShishkin Sergei L.; Zhao Darisii G.; Velichkovsky, Boris M. ; Isachenko Andrei V.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  120-137
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0308
Keywords:  attention, eye-to-eye contact, eye movements, brain-computer interface (BCI), eye-brain-computer interface (EBCI), electroencephalography (EEG), expectancy wave (E-wave), human-robot interaction, brain output pathways