Predictors of mathematics in primary school: Magnitude comparison, verbal and spatial working memory measures Caviola, S., Colling, L. J., Mammarella, I. C., Szűcs, D. Developmental Science
We determined the relative importance of the so‐called approximate number system (ANS), symbolic number comparison (SNC) and verbal and spatial short‐term and working memory (WM) capacity for mathematics achievement in 1,254 Grade 2, 4 and 6 children. The large sample size assured high power and low false report probability and allowed us to determine effect sizes precisely. We used reading decoding as a control outcome measure to test whether findings were specific to mathematics. Bayesian analysis allowed us to provide support for both null and alternative hypotheses. We found very weak zero‐order correlations between ANS measures and math achievement. These correlations were not specific to mathematics, became non‐significant once intelligence was considered and ANS measures were not selected as predictors of math by regression models. In contrast, overall SNC accuracy and spatial WM measures were reliable and mostly specific predictors of math achievement. Verbal short‐term and WM and SNC reaction time were predictors of both reading and math achievement. We conclude that ANS tasks are not suitable as measures of math development in school‐age populations. In contrast, all other cognitive functions we studied are promising markers of mathematics development.
Registered Replication Report on Fischer, Castel, Dodd, and Pratt (2003) Colling, L. J., Szűcs, D., Marco, D. De, Cipora, K., Ulrich, R., Nuerk, H., Soltanlou, M., Bryce, D., Chen, S., Schroeder, P. A., Henare, D. T., Chrystall, C. K., Corballis, P. M., Ansari, D., Goffin, C., Sokolowski, H. M., Hancock, P. J. B., Millen, A. E., Langton, S. R. H., Holmes, K. J., Saviano, M. S., Tummino, T. A., Lindemann, O., Zwaan, R. A., Lukavský, J., Becková, A., Vranka, M. A., Cutini, S., Mammarella, I. C., Mulatti, C., Bell, R., Buchner, A., Mieth, L., Röer, J. P., Klein, E., Huber, S., Moeller, K., Ocampo, B., Lupiáñez, J., Ortiz-Tudela, J., Fuente, J., Santiago, J., Ouellet, M., Hubbard, E. M., Toomarian, E. Y., Job, R., Treccani, B., McShane, B. B. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science
The attentional Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes (att-SNARC) effect (Fischer et al., 2003; Nature Neuroscience)—the finding that participants are quicker to detect left-side targets when the targets are preceded by small numbers and quicker to detect right-side targets when they are preceded by large numbers—has been used as evidence for *embodied* number representations and to allow for strong claims about the link between number and space (e.g., a mental number line). We attempted to replicate Study 2 of Fischer et al. (2003) by collecting data from 1105 participants across seventeen labs. Across all 1105 participants and four ISI conditions, the proportion of times the direction of the observed effect was consistent with the original effect was 0.50. Further, the effects we observed both within and across labs were minuscule and incompatible with those observed in Fischer et al. (2003). Given this, we conclude that we have *failed* to replicate the effect reported by Fischer et al. (2003). In addition, our analysis of several participant-level moderators (finger counting preferences, reading/writing direction experience, handedness, and mathematics fluency and mathematics anxiety) revealed no substantial moderating effects. Our results demonstrate that the att-SNARC effect cannot be used as evidence to support the strong claims about the link between number and space discussed above.
Statistical inference and the replication crisis Colling, L. J., Szűcs, D Review of Philosophy and Psychology
The replication crisis has prompted many to call for statistical reform within the psychological sciences. Here we examine issues within Frequentist statistics that may have led to the replication crisis, and we examine the alternative—Bayesian statistics—that many have suggested as a replacement. The Frequentist approach and the Bayesian approach offer radically different perspectives on evidence and inference with the Frequentist approach prioritising error control and the Bayesian approach offering a formal method for quantifying the relative strength of evidence for hypotheses. We suggest that rather than mere statistical reform, what is needed is a better understanding of the different modes of statistical inference and a better understanding of how statistical inference relates to scientific inference.
Planning together and playing together Colling, L. J. In Handbook of embodied cognition and sport psychology
Justify Your Alpha Lakens, D., Adolfi, F., Albers, C., Anvari, F., Apps, M., Argamon, S., Assen, M., Baguley, T., Becker, R., Benning, S., Bradford, D., Buchanan, E., Caldwell, A., Calster, B., Carlsson, R., Chen, S., Chung, B., Colling, L. J., Collins, G., Crook, Z., Cross, E., Daniels, S., Danielsson, H., DeBruine, L., Dunleavy, D., Earp, B., Feist, M., Ferrell, J., Field, J., Fox, N., Friesen, A., Gomes, C., Grange, J., Grieve, A., Guggenberger, R., Van Harmelen, A., Hasselman, F., Hochard, K., Hoffarth, M., Holmes, N., Ingre, M., Isager, P., Isotalus, H., Johansson, C., Juszczyk, K., Kenny, D., Khalil, A., Konat, B., Lao, J., Larsen, E., Lodder, G., Lukavsky, J., Madan, C., Manheim, D., Gonzalez-Marquez, M., Martin, S., Martin, A., Mayo, D., McCarthy, R., McConway, K., McFarland, C., Nilsonne, G., Nio, A., Oliveira, C., Parsons, S., Pfuhl, G., Quinn, K., Sakon, J., Saribay, S., Schneider, I., Selvaraju, M., Sjoerds, Z., Smith, S., Smits, T., Spies, J., Sreekumar, V., Steltenpohl, C., Stenhouse, N., Świątkowski, W., Vadillo, M., Williams, M., Williams, S., Williams, D., Xivry, J., Yarkoni, T., Ziano, I., Zwaan, R. Nature Human Behaviour
In response to recommendations to redefine statistical significance to P ≤ 0.005, we propose that researchers should transparently report and justify all choices they make when designing a study, including the alpha level.
From symbols to icons: the return of resemblance in the cognitive neuroscience revolution Williams, D., Colling, L. J. Synthese
We argue that one important aspect of the “cognitive neuroscience revolution” identified by Boone and Piccinini (Synthese 193(5):1509–1534. doi:10.1007/ s11229-015-0783-4, 2015) is a dramatic shift away from thinking of cognitive representations as arbitrary symbols towards thinking of them as icons that replicate structural characteristics of their targets. We argue that this shift has been driven both “from below” and “from above”—that is, from a greater appreciation of what mechanistic explanation of information-processing systems involves (“from below”), and from a greater appreciation of the problems solved by bio-cognitive systems, chiefly regulation and prediction (“from above”). We illustrate these arguments by reference to examples from cognitive neuroscience, principally representational similarity analysis and the emergence of (predictive) dynamical models as a central postulate in neurocognitive research.
Neural Entrainment and Sensorimotor Synchronization to the Beat in Children with Developmental Dyslexia: An EEG Study Colling, L. J., Noble, H. L., Goswami, U. Frontiers in Neuroscience
Tapping in time to a metronome beat (hereafter beat synchronization) shows considerable variability in child populations, and individual differences in beat synchronization are reliably related to reading development. Children with developmental dyslexia show impairments in beat synchronization. These impairments may reflect deficiencies in auditory perception of the beat which in turn affect auditory-motor mapping, or may reflect an independent motor deficit. Here, we used a new methodology in EEG based on measuring beat-related steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EPs, Nozaradan et al., 2015) in an attempt to disentangle neural sensory and motor contributions to behavioral beat synchronization in children with dyslexia. Children tapped with both their left and right hands to every second beat of a metronome pulse delivered at 2.4 Hz, or listened passively to the beat. Analyses of preferred phase in EEG showed that the children with dyslexia had a significantly different preferred phase compared to control children in all conditions. Regarding SS-EPs, the groups differed significantly for the passive Auditory listening condition at 2.4 Hz, and showed a trend toward a difference in the Right hand tapping condition at 3.6 Hz (sensorimotor integration measure). The data suggest that neural rhythmic entrainment is atypical in children with dyslexia for both an auditory beat and during sensorimotor coupling (tapping). The data are relevant to a growing literature suggesting that rhythm-based interventions may help language processing in children with developmental disorders of language learning.
Mechanisms for action prediction operate differently in observers with motor experience Colling, L. J., Thompson, W. F, Sutton, J. bioRxiv
Recent theoretical and empirical work has suggested an important role for the motor system in generating predictions about the timing of external events. We tested the hypothesis that motor experience with an observed action changes how observers generated predictions about these actions by comparing the performance of naive and experienced observers on a task that required participants to predict the timing of particular critical points in an ongoing observed action. Crucially, we employed action and non-action stimuli with identical temporal dynamics, and we predicted that motor experience would enhance prediction accuracy specifically for actions and would have a reduced or negligible effect on enhancing prediction accuracy for non-action stimuli. Our results showed that motor experience did modulate prediction accuracy for action stimuli relative to non-action stimuli. No difference between conditions was observed for the naive observers
Neural encoding of the speech envelope by children with developmental dyslexia Power, A. J., Colling, L. J., Mead, N., Barnes, L., Goswami, U. Brain and Language
Developmental dyslexia is consistently associated with difficulties in processing phonology (linguistic sound structure) across languages. One view is that dyslexia is characterised by a cognitive impairment in the ‘‘phonological representation” of word forms, which arises long before the child presents with a reading problem. Here we investigate a possible neural basis for developmental phonological impairments. We assess the neural quality of speech encoding in children with dyslexia by measuring the accuracy of low-frequency speech envelope encoding using EEG. We tested children with dyslexia and chronological age-matched (CA) and reading-level matched (RL) younger children. Participants listened to semantically-unpredictable sentences in a word report task. The sentences were noise-vocoded to increase reliance on envelope cues. Envelope reconstruction for envelopes between 0 and 10 Hz showed that the children with dyslexia had significantly poorer speech encoding in the 0–2 Hz band compared to both CA and RL controls. These data suggest that impaired neural encoding of low frequency speech envelopes, related to speech prosody, may underpin the phonological deficit that causes dyslexia across languages.
Awareness of Rhythm Patterns in Speech and Music in Children with Specific Language Impairments Cumming, R., Wilson, A., Leong, V., Colling, L. J., Goswami, U. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Children with specific language impairments (SLIs) show impaired perception and production of language, and also show impairments in perceiving auditory cues to rhythm [amplitude rise time (ART) and sound duration] and in tapping to a rhythmic beat. Here we explore potential links between language development and rhythm perception in 45 children with SLI and 50 age-matched controls. We administered three rhythmic tasks, a musical beat detection task, a tapping-to-music task, and a novel music/speech task, which varied rhythm and pitch cues independently or together in both speech and music. Via low-pass filtering, the music sounded as though it was played from a low-quality radio and the speech sounded as though it was muffled (heard “behind the door”). We report data for all of the SLI children (N = 45, IQ varying), as well as for two independent subgroupings with intact IQ. One subgroup, “Pure SLI,” had intact phonology and reading (N = 16), the other, “SLI PPR” (N = 15), had impaired phonology and reading. When IQ varied (all SLI children), we found significant group differences in all the rhythmic tasks. For the Pure SLI group, there were rhythmic impairments in the tapping task only. For children with SLI and poor phonology (SLI PPR), group differences were found in all of the filtered speech/music AXB tasks. We conclude that difficulties with rhythmic cues in both speech and music are present in children with SLIs, but that some rhythmic measures are more sensitive than others. The data are interpreted within a “prosodic phrasing” hypothesis, and we discuss the potential utility of rhythmic and musical interventions in remediating speech and language difficulties in children.
Entrainment and motor emulation approaches to joint action: Alternatives or complementary approaches? Colling, L. J., Williamson, K. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Joint actions, such as music and dance, rely crucially on the ability of two, or more, agents to align their actions with great temporal precision. Within the literature that seeks to explain how this action alignment is possible, two broad approaches have appeared. The first, what we term the entrainment approach, has sought to explain these alignment phenomena in terms of the behavioral dynamics of the system of two agents. The second, what we term the emulator approach, has sought to explain these alignment phenomena in terms of mechanisms, such as forward and inverse models, that are implemented in the brain. They have often been pitched as alternative explanations of the same phenomena; however, we argue that this view is mistaken, because, as we show, these two approaches are engaged in distinct, and not mutually exclusive, explanatory tasks. While the entrainment approach seeks to uncover the general laws that govern behavior the emulator approach seeks to uncover mechanisms. We argue that is possible to do both and that the entrainment approach must pay greater attention to the mechanisms that support the behavioral dynamics of interest. In short, the entrainment approach must be transformed into a neuroentrainment approach by adopting a mechanistic view of explanation and by seeking mechanisms that are implemented in the brain.
The effect of movement kinematics on predicting the timing of observed actions Colling, L. J., Thompson, W. F., Sutton, J. Experimental Brain Research
The ability to predict the actions of other agents is vital for joint action tasks. Recent theory suggests that action prediction relies on an emulator system that permits observers to use a model of their own movement kinematics to predict the actions of other agents. If this is the case, then people should be more accurate at generating predictions about actions that are similar to their own. We tested this hypothesis in two experiments in which participants were required to predict the occurrence and timing of particular critical points in an observed action. In Experiment 1, we employed a self/other prediction paradigm in which prediction accuracy for recordings of self-generated movements was compared with prediction accuracy for recordings of other-generated movements. as expected, pre- diction was more accurate for recordings of self-generated actions because in this case the movement kinematics of the observer and observed stimuli are maximally similar. In Experiment 1, people were able to produce actions at their own tempo and, therefore, the results might be explained in terms of self-similarity in action production tempo rather than in terms of movement kinematics. to control for this possibility in Experiment 2, we compared prediction accuracy for stimuli that were matched in tempo but differed only in terms of kinematics. the results showed that participants were more accurate when predicting actions with a human kinematic profile than tempo-matched stimuli that moved with non-human kinematics. Finally, in Experiment 3, we confirmed that the results of Experiment 2 cannot be explained by human-like stimuli containing a slowing down phase before the critical points. taken together, these findings provide further support for the role of motor emulation in action prediction, and they suggest that the action prediction mechanism produces output that is available rapidly and available to drive action control suggesting that it can plausibly support joint action coordination.
How does “mirroring” support joint action? Colling, L. J., Knoblich, G., Sebanz, N. Cortex
The discovery of mirror neurons (e.g., Gallese et al., 1996) has reignited interest in theories that postulate a tight functional link between perception and action. According to these theories, perception and action share a common representational code, with actions coded in terms of the distal perceptual effects that they produce (Prinz, 1997). Accordingly, action representations should be activated when perceiving actions or perceiving the perceptual effects generated by actions. Mirror neurons have been regarded as a neural substrate implementing this functional principle. Perhaps the most important implication of common coding is that it establishes a social link between actor and observer that supports action under- standing (Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, 2010) and/or prediction (Wilson and Knoblich, 2005). How might close perception-action links help people to perform actions together? In the sections that follow, we discuss three possible functions of mirroring for joint action: 1) supporting temporal coordination in real time, 2) enabling seamless integration of one’s own and others’ actions in joint action planning, and 3) enabling groups to imitate the coordinated actions of other groups.
Music, action, and affect Colling, L. J., Thompson, W. F. In The Emotional Power of Music
In this chapter, we outline a model that aims to explain how music, as the paradigm example of an embodied signal, can be the direct object of powerful emotional experiences. We will argue that the direct, unmediated emotional responses to music can be explained by viewing music listening as an embodied experience that engages sensory-motor processes. First, we illustrate the multi-modal nature of music by reviewing evidence that merely observing the actions that accompany music performance greatly influences our perception and interpretation of the acoustic dimension of music. Second, we introduce a theoretical framework that views perception and action as inextricably linked, and that construes music as a unique type of multi-modal behavior specialized for engaging predictive, sensory-motor processes in listeners. Finally, we demonstrate that this framework allows for a unification of expectancy-based models of musical emotional and action-based models of emotional experience.
Motor experience interacts with effector information during action prediction Colling, L. J., Thompson, W. F., Sutton, J. In Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
Recent theory suggests that action prediction relies of a mo- tor emulation mechanism that works by mapping observed actions onto the observer action system so that predictions can be generated using that same predictive mechanisms that underlie action control. This suggests that action prediction may be more accurate when there is a more direct mapping between the stimulus and the observer. We tested this hypothesis by comparing prediction accuracy for two stimulus types. A mannequin stimulus which contained information about the effectors used to produce the action and a point stimulus, which contained identical dynamic information but no effector information. Prediction was more accurate for the mannequin stimulus. However, this effect was dependent on the observer having previous experience performing the observed action. This suggests that experienced and naive observers might generate predictions in qualitatively difference ways, which may relate to the presence of an internal representation of the action laid down through action performance.
Cognitive psychology does not reduce to neuroscience Colling, L. J., Roberts, R. P. In Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science
Contemporary scientific investigations of the mind have increasingly looked towards the brain in order to explain intelligent behavior. This is most evident with the rise of cognitive neuro-imaging. This approach has, however, been met with mixed reactions. On the one hand, classical cognitive scientists - in the computationalist-functionalist tradition - have argued that cognitive neuro-imaging does not, and cannot, answer questions about the cognitive mechanisms that are responsible for creating intelligent behavior; it is limited to questions about neural function or the neural basis of cognition. On the other hand, there are those who argue that an understanding of intelligent behavior can only be gained through study of the brain. We suggest that both views are misguided. We will present a third option: That neuroscience, properly used, can be employed in the development of cognitive theory, but that cognitive science does not reduce to neuroscience, because intelligent behavior can only be understood by studying how the brain interacts with the body and the brain-body with the environment.
Action synchronization with biological motion Colling, L. J., Thompson, W. F., Sutton, J. In Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science
The ability to predict the actions of other agents is vital for joint action tasks. Recent theory suggests that action prediction relies on an emulator system that permits observers to use information about their own motor dynamics to predict the actions of other agents. If this is the case, then predictions for self-generated actions should be more accurate than predictions for other-generated actions. We tested this hypothesis by employing a self/other synchronization paradigm where pre-diction accuracy for recording of self-generated movements was compared with prediction accuracy for other-generated movements. As expected, predictions were more accurate when the observer’s movement dynamics matched the movement dynamics of the recording. This is consistent with that idea that the observer’s movement dynamics influence the predictions they generate
Event-related potentials for interaural time differences and spectral cues Hautus, M. J., Johnson, B. W., Colling, L. J. NeuroReport
Dichotic pitches and mistuned harmonics can each lead to the perception of one or two auditory objects. Comparison of event-related potentials for the perception of one versus two objects reveals an early negative and a late positive component. The relationship of these components with auditory segregation was further investigated using stimuli containing monaural spectral cues to pitch, binaural timing cues to pitch, or a combination of both, interleaved with control stimuli (no pitch). Stimuli containing timing cues or a combination of timing and spectral cues reliably elicited both components, which were of larger amplitude when both cues were present. For stimuli containing only spectral cues, the early component was attenuated in amplitude and no measurable late component was detected.