Tracking Second Thoughts: Continuous and Discrete Revision Processes during Visual Lexical Decision

We studied the dynamics of lexical decisions by asking participants to categorize lexical and nonlexical stimuli and recording their mouse movements toward response buttons during the choice. In a previous report we revealed greater trajectory curvature and attraction to competitors for Low Frequency words and Pseudowords. This analysis did not clarify whether the trajectory curvature in the two conditions was due to a continuous dynamic competition between the response alternatives or if a discrete revision process (a "change of mind") took place during the choice from an initially selected response to the opposite one. To disentangle these two possibilities, here we analyse the velocity and acceleration profiles of mouse movements during the choice. Pseudowords' peak movement velocity occurred with 100ms delay with respect to words and Letters Strings. Acceleration profile for High and Low Frequency words and Letters Strings exhibited a butterfly plot with one acceleration peak at 400ms and one deceleration peak at 650ms. Differently, Pseudowords' acceleration profile had double positive peaks (at 400 and 600ms) followed by movement deceleration, in correspondence with changes in the decision from lexical to nonlexical response buttons. These results speak to different online processes during the categorization of Low Frequency words and Pseudowords, with a continuous competition process for the former and a discrete revision process for the latter.

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Laura Barca
Giovanni Pezzulo
PLoS One (2015). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116193
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Laura Barca, Giovanni Pezzulo/titolo:Tracking Second Thoughts: Continuous and Discrete Revision Processes during Visual Lexical Decision/doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116193/rivista:PLoS One/anno:2015/pagina_da:/pagina_a:/intervallo
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