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ISSN - 2074-6857

Volume #10, 3, 2017


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 authorsOboznov Aleksandr A.; Chernetskaya Elena D.; Bessonova Yulia V.
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 authorsVelichkovsky, Boris M. ; Zhao Darisii G.; 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

Lebed A. A., Korovkin S. Y.(2017). The unconscious nature of insight: A dual-task paradigm investigation. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 107-119.

Background. Insight is a specific part of the thinking process during creative problem solving. The experience of a sudden unexpected solution of the problem makes it distinct from other problem solving. Though the insight problem solving process is hidden from the observer and the solver himself, it is possible to study working memory changes during the problem-solving process in order to observe the tracks of insight.

Objective. A critical experiment was carried out to determine whether it is legitimate to measure insight-problem-solving dynamics within a dual-task paradigm and working memory model. Also a verification was conducted of the hypothesis of whether insight problem solving competes for cognitive resources with unconscious processes.

Design. We designed a special procedure based on Kahneman’s (1973) modified dual-task paradigm, allowing simultaneous performance of the problem-solving process and probe tasks of different types. The reaction time was measured for the probe task. ere were two problems conditions (insight and regular), and two probe tasks conditions (implicit and explicit). Participants: 32 participants, aged from 18 to 32 years (M = 19.81; σ = 2.51).

Results. Significant differences in implicit probe reaction time were found between the dual-task condition (implicit categorization and insight problem solving) and solo implicit probe condition (t(15) = –3.21, p = .006, d = –.76). A joint effect of problem type and probe type was found (F(1, 60)= 4.85, p = .035, ηp2 = .07).

Conclusion. The results support the idea that information processing of conscious and of unconscious processes are separate. Unconscious processing capacity is limited. Implicit skill seems to be operated by the same mechanisms as insight problem solving, therefore competing for a common resource. It was also shown that such hidden creative unconscious processes as insight can be tracked via working memory load. 

About the authorsLebed Anton A.; Korovkin Sergei Y.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  107-119
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0307
Keywords:  insight, thinking, dual-task, implicit learning, working memory, problem solving

Voronin A. N., Kochkina O. M. (2017). Discourse abilities in the structure of intelligence. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 93-106.

Background. This article is devoted to empirical research on discourse abilities within the structure of cognitive abilities. Discourse abilities, as well as linguistic abilities, are part of language abilities, but they are directly linked with discourse practices and a certain communicative situation. Discourse abilities allow a person to effectively initiate, keep, expand, and complete the process of communication, using language appropriate to any given situation. These abilities contribute to making communication more effective and achieving mutual understanding between partners, while at the same time they speed up the process of forming an interaction strategy. the empirical verification of the construct “discourse abilities,” and the design of original diagnostic tests on them, led us to differentiate linguistic and discourse abilities.

Objective. However, it is not yet clear what place discourse abilities occupy in the structure of cognitive abilities. This is the primary goal of our research.

Method. The design of the study involved group testing (in groups of 15-35 people) using the following methods: a discourse abilities test; a short selection test; a social intelligence test, and short variations of Torrance’s and Mednick’s tests. In total, 208 people (133 women and 75 men, ages 17 to 21 years) participated in the study, all of them either first year humanities students or high school students from Moscow.

Results and Discussion. The research results revealed that discourse abilities relevantly correlate with the majority of indicators of general and social intelligence and creativity (except non-verbal intelligence). Discourse abilities as part of the structure of cognitive capabilities form a discrete factor, and include relevant components such as verbal and general intelligence and indicators of social intelligence, such as the ability to group expressions. Structures indicative of cognitive abilities varied within the study group, which included people with different levels of discourse abilities. A data structure which conformed to an a priori structure of cognitive abilities was observed only in the group with the medium level of discourse abilities. The group with a low level of discourse abilities mostly showed the aggregation of various indicators of intelligence and creativity, while the group with a high level of discourse abilities showed further differentiation of intelligence types, and the evolution of discourse abilities into a separate factor. 

About the authorsVoronin Anatoly N.; Kochkina Olga M.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  93-106
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0306
Keywords:  human cognition, structure of intelligence, psychometrics, creativity, dis- course, discourse abilities, communication, complex span task, updating task

Velichkovsky B. B.(2017). The concentric model of human working memory: A validation study using complex span and updating tasks. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 74-92.

Background. Working memory (WM) seems to be central to most forms of high-level cognition. This fact is fueling the growing interest in studying its structure and functional organization. The influential “concentric model” (Oberauer, 2002) suggests that WM contains a processing component and two storage components with different capacity limitations and sensitivity to interference. There is, to date, only limited support for the concentric model in the research literature, and it is limited to a number of specially designed tasks.

Objective. In the present paper, we attempted to validate the concentric model by testing its major predictions using complex span and updating tasks in a number of experimental paradigms.

Method. The model predictions were tested with the help of review of data obtained primarily in our own experiments in several research domains, including Sternberg’s additive factors method; factor structure of WM; serial position effects in WM; and WM performance in a sample with episodic long-term memory deficits.

Results. Predictions generated by the concentric model were shown to hold in all these domains. In addition, several new properties of WM were identified. In particular, we recently found that WM indeed contains a processing component which functions independent of storage components. In turn, the latter were found to form a storage hierarchy which balances fast access to selected items, with the storing of large amounts of potentially relevant information. Processing and storage in WM were found to be dependent on shared cognitive resources which are dynamically allocated between WM components according to actual task requirements. e implications of these findings for the theory of WM are discussed.

Conclusion. The concentric model was shown to be valid with respect to standard WM tasks. The concentric model others promising research perspectives for the study of higher- order cognition, including underlying neurobiological mechanisms. 

About the authorsVelichkovsky, Boris B.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  74-92
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0305
Keywords:  working memory, concentric model, focus of attention (FA), storage, processing, interference, long-term memory (LTM), serial position e ects, complex span task, updating task

Kotov A. A. (2017). A computational model of consciousness for artificial emotional agents. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 57-73.

Background. The structure of consciousness has long been a cornerstone problem in the cognitive sciences. Recently it took on applied significance in the design of computer agents and mobile robots. This problem can thus be examined from perspectives of phi­losophy, neuropsychology, and computer modeling.

Objective. In the present paper, we address the problem of the computational model of consciousness by designing computer agents aimed at simulating “speech understand­ing” and irony. Further, we look for a “minimal architecture” that is able to mimic the effects of consciousness in computing systems.

Method. For the base architecture, we used a software agent, which was programmed to operate with scripts (productions or inferences), to process incoming texts (or events) by extracting their semantic representations, and to select relevant reactions.

Results. It is shown that the agent can simulate speech irony by replacing a direct aggressive behavior with a positive sarcastic utterance. This is achieved by balancing be­tween several scripts available to the agent. We suggest that the extension of this scheme may serve as a minimal architecture of consciousness, wherein the agent distinguishes own representations and potential cognitive representations of other agents. Within this architecture, there are two stages of processing. First, the agent activates several scripts by placing their if-statements or actions (inferences) within a processing scope. Second, the agent differentiates the scripts depending on their activation by another script. This multilevel scheme allows the agent to simulate imaginary situations, one’s own imagi­nary actions, and imaginary actions of other agents, i.e. the agent demonstrates features considered essential for conscious agents in the philosophy of mind and cognitive psy­chology.

Conclusion. Our computer systems for understanding speech and simulation of irony can serve as a basis for further modeling of the effects of consciousness.

About the authorsKotov Artemy A.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  57-73
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0304
Keywords:  cognitive architectures, psychophysiological problem, theory of consciousness, emotional computer agents, machine humor, simulation of irony, text comprehension

Dubynin I. A., Shishkin S. L. (2017). Feeling of agency versus judgment of agency in passive movements with various delays from the stimulus. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 40-56.

Background. The sense of agency (SoA) provides us with the experience of be­ing a physical agent with free will. On a phenomenological basis, SoA can be di­vided into sensory components (feeling of agency, FoA) and more cognitive com­ponents (judgment of agency, JoA). Both these components can be independently measured.

Objective and Method. A new method was developed to test the possibility of preserving SoA and its components in the atypical conditions of passive movements. Parameters of the participant’s movement in response to a visual stimulus (reaction time, speed, and amplitude) were measured and used to control a servo that simu­lated the movement (executed passive movements). The scores on the psychometric scale of the agency and the event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded for variable movement delays relative to the stimulus onset.

Results. It was found that the FoA was not present under passive movement con­ditions. At the same time, participants associated these movements with their own activity (JoA), even when their delay after the stimulus onset was too short to be ac­tively reproduced. The somatosensory ERPs’ amplitude decreased for the expected movements, demonstrating an inverse relationship with the agency scores. The lowest amplitude was observed when movements were actuated by another hand. The results can be explained using a predictive forward model, since the FoA was not observed in the absence of active movements. On the other hand, the ERPs’ data and the presence of JoA with various delays between the stimulus and movement support the postdic­tive model of agency, where the leading role is assigned to prejudice and contextual knowledge related to the action.

Conclusion. It seems that the “context pressure” of the situation, demanding a mandatory response to the stimulus, forms a cognitive prediction of movements without firm sensory representation.

About the authorsDubynin, Ignat A. ; Shishkin Sergei L.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  40-56
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0303
Keywords:  action, free will, mental chronometry, passive movement, feeling of agency, judgment of agency, sense of agency, somatosensory event-related potentials (ERPs)

Zabotkina V. I., Boyarskaya E. L.(2017). On the challenge of polysemy in contemporary cognitive research: What is conscious and what is unconscious. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 28-39.

Background. The problem of polysemy has attracted scholars’ attention since antiq­uity and interest in the phenomenon never lessens. A substantial number of works have been published on the cognitive nature of meaning ambiguity. Despite a new emphasis on the cognitive aspects of polysemy, little has been done towards an inte­grated approach to the study of this linguistic phenomenon.

Objective and Method. This work’s objective was to contribute to an integrated interdisciplinary theory of polysemy. To this end, we explored the cognitive founda­tion of meaning using empirical and theoretical research methods, but mostly relying on semiotic analysis of texts central to the humanities. In particular, we analyzed the dichotomy of conscious vs. unconscious processing in the acquisition and use of polysemy. For the identification of cognitive patterns of polysemy development in ontogenesis, we used probabilistic conceptual modeling.

Results. The acquisition of meaning is a conscious process: it is a conscious interaction of the speaker with an interlocutor and their common social environ­ment. On the other hand, meanings are unconscious unless a connection between the phonological, acoustic form and the concept is established. Correspondingly, polysemy is conscious when a new meaning is formed in the course of social inter­action. However, polysemy, as an inherent language phenomenon, remains uncon­scious for native speakers, who are unaware of its presence provided they are not involved in some form of intentional language games (pun, zeugma or intended ambiguity).

Conclusion. The present approach to the analysis of meaning ambiguity seems to be a productive endeavor. Further research into polysemy has to be based on a range of additional types of evidence, including those obtained by methods of cogni­tive neuroscience.

About the authorsZabotkina, Vera I.; Boyarskaya, Elena L.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  28-39
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0302
Keywords:  cognition, polysemy, meaning acquisition, development, language games, concept, consciousness, unconscious processes

Velichkovsky B. M., Krotkova O. A., Sharaev M. G., Ushakov V. L. (2017). In search of the “I”: Neuropsychology of lateralized thinking meets Dynamic Causal Modeling. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 7-27.

Background. Ideas about relationships between “I”, egocentric spatial orientation and the sense of bodily “Self ” date back to work by classics of philosophy and psychology. Cognitive neuroscience has provided knowledge about brain areas involved in self-ref­erential processing, such as the rostral prefrontal, temporal and parietal cortices, often active as part of the default mode network (DMN).

Objective and Method. Little is known about the contribution of inferior parietal areas to self-referential processing. Therefore, we collected observations of everyday be­havior, social communication and problem solving in patients with brain lesions local­ized either in the left inferior parietal cortex (LIPC group, n = 45) or the right inferior parietal cortex (RIPC group, n = 58).

Results. A key characteristic of the LIPC group was an overestimation of task com­plexity. This led to a prolonged phase of redundant and disruptive contemplations pre­ceding task solution. In the RIPC group, we observed disorders in reflective control and voluntary regulation of behavior. Abilities for experiencing emotions, understanding mental states, and social communication were to a great extent lost. Results are inter­preted within a multilevel framework of cognitive-affective organization (velichkovsky, 2002). In particular, we highlight the role of right-hemisphere mechanisms in self-refer­ential cognition, emotional and corporeal awareness. This is consistent with recent data on a profound asymmetry in connectivity of left and right hippocampi within the DMN (Ushakov et al., 2016)

Conclusion. It seems that the center of egocentric spatial representation plays a spe­cial role in accessing self-related data. Normally, the right hippocampus provides a holis­tic representation of surrounding and, thus, an easy-to-find gateway into much of what we used to call “subjective experience”. This heuristics becomes misleading in the case of right-sided brain lesions.

About the authorsUshakov, Vadim L.; Velichkovsky, Boris M. ; Krotkova Olga A.; Sharaev Maksim G.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  7-27
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0301
Keywords:  thinking, emotions, lateralization, hippocampal formation, neuropsychology, dynamic causal modeling (DCM), egocentric spatial orientation, Self-referential cognition, levels of cognitive organization

Velichkovsky B. M. (2017). Cognitive science: The art and its implications. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (3), 2-7.

Contemporary cognitive science is the latest version of the century-long quest for a better understanding of the human mind and brain. Various disciplines have brought together empirical methods and theoretical models from their fields of study to further this effort. Many of the authors of this special issue are not psychologists by training, and they do their professional work in fields as varied as mathematical physics, neuroimaging, molecular biology, and the pragmatics of communication. Nevertheless, their contributions to the journal’s topic, and, ito the future of psychology as a science, are preeminent.

About the authorsVelichkovsky, Boris M.
ThemesCognitive psychology
Pages:  2-6
DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0300
Keywords:  cognitive science, cognitive psychology