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Video Games: A form of interactive entertainment in which the player controls electronically generated images that appear on a video display screen. This includes video games played in the home on special machines or home computers, and those played in arcades. (McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 7th ed, v19, p223)

fMRI Validation of fNIRS Measurements During a Naturalistic Task

1Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, 2Department of Electronics and Bioinformatics, Meiji University, 3Department of Histology and Neurobiology, Dokkyo Medical University School of Medicine, 4ADAM Center, Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, Northeastern University, 5Department of Neurobiology, Yale School of Medicine

JoVE 52116


Ostracism: Effects of Being Ignored Over the Internet

JoVE 10336

Source: Peter Mende-Siedlecki & Jay Van Bavel—New York University

Social ostracism is defined as being ignored and excluded in the presence of others. This experience is a pervasive and powerful social phenomenon, observed in both animals and humans, throughout all stages of human development, and across all manner of dyadic relationships, cultures, and social groups and institutions. Some have argued that ostracism serves a social regulatory function, which can enhance group cohesion and fitness by removing unwanted elements.1 As such, the feeling of ostracism can serve as a warning to alter one’s behavior, in order to rejoin with the group.2 Research in social psychology has focused extensively on the affective and behavioral consequences of social ostracism. For example, individuals who have been ostracized report feeling depressed, lonely, anxious, frustrated, and helpless,3 and while they may now evaluate the source of their ostracism more negatively, they will also often try to ingratiate themselves to them.2 Furthermore, it has been speculated that the fear of ostracism is ultimately driven by a strong need to belong and to feel included, and serves as a social pressure leading to conformity, compliance, and impression ma

 Social Psychology

Executive Function and the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task

JoVE 10085

Source: Laboratories of Nicholaus Noles and Judith Danovitch—University of Louisville

Infants are born with amazing cognitive resources at their disposal, but they don’t know how to use them effectively. In order to harness the power of their brains, humans must develop high-level cognitive processes that manage basic brain functions. These processes make up what psychologists refer to as executive function. Executive function is a key factor in many self-regulatory behaviors, including forming plans to solve problems, negotiating between desires and actions, and directing attention. For example, a child must use several executive processes to stop playing with toys and start cleaning their room. These processes include inhibition (to stop what they’re doing), planning (to determine what actions need to be performed to clean the room), and attentional control (to stay on task until the cleaning is done). A breakdown of executive function during any of these steps would lead to the room remaining dirty. Developing executive function is one of the key challenges faced by children as they mature. Some elements of executive function can only be mastered with practice, and brain areas linked to executive function, specifically the prefrontal cortex, develop slowly throughout

 Developmental Psychology

The Other End of the Leash: An Experimental Test to Analyze How Owners Interact with Their Pet Dogs

1Comparative Cognition, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Vienna, 2Wolf Science Center, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Vienna, 3Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, 4Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Video Coming Soon

JoVE 56233

 JoVE In-Press

Persuasion: Motivational Factors Influencing Attitude Change

JoVE 10330

Source: William Brady & Jay Van Bavel—New York University

Decades of social psychological research sought to understand a fundamental question that pervades our social life including politics, marketing and public health; namely, how are people persuaded to change their attitudes towards an idea, person, or object? Traditional work found that there are key factors that influence whether persuasion is successful or not including the source of the persuasive message ("source"), and the argument content of the message ("content"). For example, expert sources and messages with sound arguments are typically more persuasive. However, as more studies were conducted, conflicting findings began to arise in the field: some studies found that expert sources and good arguments were not always required for successful persuasion.In the 1980's, psychologists Richard Petty, John Cacioppo and their colleagues proposed a model to account for the mixed findings in studies on persuasion.1,2 They proposed the Elaboration Likelihood Model of persuasion, which stated that persuasion occurs via two routes: a central route or a peripheral route. When persuasive messages are processed via the central route, people engage in careful thinking about the messages,

 Social Psychology

Piaget's Conservation Task and the Influence of Task Demands

JoVE 10131

Source: Laboratories of Judith Danovitch and Nicholaus Noles—University of Louisville

Jean Piaget was a pioneer in the field of developmental psychology, and his theory of cognitive development is one of the most well-known psychological theories. At the heart of Piaget’s theory is the idea that children’s ways of thinking change over the course of childhood. Piaget provided evidence for these changes by comparing how children of different ages responded to questions and problems that he designed. Piaget believed that at age 5, children lack mental operators or logical rules, which underlie the ability to reason about relationships between sets of properties. This characteristic defined what he called the preoperational stage of cognitive development. One of Piaget’s classic measures of children’s ability to use mental operations is his conservation task. In this task, children are shown two identical objects or sets of objects. Children are first shown that the objects are the same on one key property (number, size, volume, etc.). Then, one of the objects is modified so it appears different than the other one (e.g., it is now longer, wider, or taller), but the key property remains the same. Following this transformation, children are asked to judge

 Developmental Psychology

A Familiarization Protocol Facilitates the Participation of Children with ASD in Electrophysiological Research

1Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Southern Connecticut State University, 2Haskins Laboratories, 3Department of Psychology, Southern Connecticut State University, 4Department of Social Work, Southern Connecticut State University, 5Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut

JoVE 55941


Ethics in Psychology Research

JoVE 10045

Source: Laboratories of Gary Lewandowski, Dave Strohmetz, and Natalie Ciarocco—Monmouth University

When a researcher finds an interesting topic to study such as aggression, the goal is often to study it in a way that is as true to life as possible. However, researchers must act in an ethical manner.  To do this, they must balance their research goals with the best interests of the participants. Ethics often enter into the planning process when researchers identify all of the ways they can manipulate or measure a variable, but then make their final decision based on how they should manipulate or measure a variable. After receiving a poor grade on a test or paper, a college student may appear to take it out on (i.e., act in an aggressive manner toward) their roommates by being mean or nasty, screaming, throwing things, or even becoming physically violent. Aggression is an important human behavior to study and understand due to the implications it has for interpersonal violence. However, for safety reasons, a study cannot expose participants to the risk that serious types of violence presents. As a result, researchers must identify similar but benign behaviors that can help us understand more aggressive behaviors without harming participants.

 Experimental Psychology

From Theory to Design: The Role of Creativity in Designing Experiments

JoVE 10047

Source: Laboratories of Gary Lewandowski, Dave Strohmetz, and Natalie Ciarocco—Monmouth University

Research studies come into being when a researcher speculates about human thought, emotions, or behavior, and has a theory that offers a potential explanation. Often the researcher’s theory is firmly situated in everyday common experiences that may not naturally lend themselves to direct empirical study. For example, researchers speculated that perception of a person on Facebook is influenced by the appearances and comments of the person’s Facebook friends.1 It is difficult to test this theory using real-life Facebook profiles. Instead, researchers must use their creativity to design a study—in this case, using fake profiles that look highly realistic—to test their theory.  This video demonstrates how researchers test a central tenet of a popular social psychology theory. Specifically, this video shows a test of whether engaging in a self-expanding activity leads a person to feel a greater sense of self-efficacy.2 Psychological studies often use higher sample sizes than studies in other sciences. A large number

 Experimental Psychology

An Investigation of the Effects of Sports-related Concussion in Youth Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System

1Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto, 2Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, 3Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 4Bloorview Kids Rehab, 5Toronto Rehab, 6Cognitive Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 7Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

JoVE 2226


Decision-making and the Iowa Gambling Task

JoVE 10208

Source: Laboratories of Jonas T. Kaplan and Sarah I. Gimbel—University of Southern California

Decision-making is an important component of human executive function, in which a choice about a course of action or cognition is made from many possibilities. Damage to the inferior parts of the frontal lobes can affect a person's ability to make good decisions. However, while decision-making deficits can have a large impact on one's life, these deficits can be difficult to quantify in the laboratory. In the mid-1990s, a task was designed to mimic real life decision-making in the laboratory. This task, known as the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), is a cognitively complex task used widely in research and clinical studies as a highly sensitive measure of decision-making ability.1-3 In the IGT, a participant is shown four decks of cards and chooses to reveal a card from one deck on each turn. When a card is turned over, the participant will receive some money, but sometimes will also be required to pay a penalty. Two of the decks have higher payoffs, but also have high penalties such that choosing from these decks leads to a net loss in the long term. The other two decks have lower payoffs, but also present smaller penalties, so that choosing from these decks leads to a net gain. Thus, to make an a


Metacognitive Development: How Children Estimate Their Memory

JoVE 10084

Source: Laboratories of Judith Danovitch and Nicholaus Noles—University of Louisville

Human memory is fallible, and people often cannot accurately recall what they have seen or heard. Adults are aware of their limited memory capacity, so they use strategies, such as rehearsal and mnemonic devices, to improve their recall of important information. Because adults understand the limits of memory, they know it makes more sense to write down the items on their shopping list rather than to try to remember the items when they get to the store. This ability to think about one’s own memory is called metamemory. Metamemory is one component of a broader set of cognitive processes that allow humans to think about their own knowledge and thinking, which is called metacognition. Although young children understand that people have thoughts and a limited amount of knowledge, they often have trouble acknowledging the limits of their own knowledge and cognitive skills. Children’s ability to accurately estimate their own memory capacity and abilities improves over the elementary school years. One common way of measuring metamemory and its development is by giving children an opportunity to predict how well they can remember something, and then observing how well their prediction matches their

 Developmental Psychology

Approximate Number Sense Test

JoVE 10121

Source: Laboratory of Jonathan Flombaum—Johns Hopkins University

A common carnival game is to ask people to guess the number of jellybeans packed into a jar. The chances that anyone will get the exact number right are low. But what about the chances that someone will guess 17 or 147,000? Probably even less than the chances of guessing the correct answer; 17 and 147,000 just seem irrational. Why? After all, if the beans cannot be taken out and counted one-at-a-time, how can someone tell that an estimate is too high or too low? It turns out that in addition to verbal counting (something clearly learned), people appear to possess hardwired mental and neural mechanisms for estimating numbers. To put it colloquially, it is what might be called an ability to guesstimate, or “ballpark.” Experimental psychologists call it the “Approximate Number Sense,” and recent research with an experimental paradigm of the same name has begun to uncover the underlying computations and neural mechanisms that support the ability to guesstimate. This video demonstrates standard procedures for investigating nonverbal numerical estimation with the Approximate Number Sense Test.

 Cognitive Psychology

Inattentional Blindness

JoVE 10319

Source: Laboratory of Jonathan Flombaum—Johns Hopkins University

We generally think that we see things pretty well if they are close by and right in front of us. But do we? We know that visual attention is a property of the human brain that controls what parts of the visual world we process, and how effectively. Limited attention means that we can't process everything at once, it turns out, even things that might be right in front of us. In the 1960s, the renowned cognitive psychologist Ulrich Neisser began to demonstrate experimentally that people can be blind to objects that are right in front of them, literally, if attention is otherwise distracted. In the 1980s and 1990s, Arien Mack and Irvin Rock followed up on Neisser's work, developing a simple paradigm for examining how, when, and why distracted attention can make people fail to see the whole object. Their experiments, and Neisser's, did not involve people with brain damage, disease, or anything of the sort, just regular people who failed to see objects that were right in front of them. This phenomenon has been called inattentional blindness. This video will demonstrate basic procedures for investigating inattentional blindness using the methods of Mack and Rock.1

 Sensation and Perception

An Introduction to Learning and Memory

JoVE 5416

Learning is the process of acquiring new information and memory is the retention or storage of that information. Different types of learning, such as non-associative and associative learning, and different types of memory, such as long-term and short-term memory, have been associated with human behaviors. Studying these components in detail helps behavioral scientists understand the neural mechanisms behind these two complex phenomena. JoVE's overview on learning and memory introduces common terminologies and a brief outline of concepts in this field. Then, key questions asked by behavioral scientists and prominent tools such as fear conditioning and fMRI are discussed. Finally, actual experiments dealing with aging, eradication of traumatic memories, and improvising learning are reviewed.

 Behavioral Science

Evaluating the Accuracy of Snap Judgments

JoVE 10309

Source: Diego Reinero & Jay Van Bavel—New York University

Social psychologists have long been interested in the way people form impressions of others. Much of this work has focused on the errors people make in judging others, such as the exaggerated influence of central traits (such as "warm" and "cold"), the insufficient weight given to the context in which others' behavior takes place, and the tendency for people to make judgments that conform to their initial expectations about another. However, this focus on errors masks the fact that people are quite good at making fairly accurate judgments about other people's characteristics, an ability that was no doubt important over the course of human evolution. Indeed, the human ability to make quick sense of social situations and people ranks among our most valuable skills. What is particularly impressive about our ability to make sense of others is not just how little information we need to make inferences, but how well calibrated we can be with so little information. This video shows some experimental techniques used by psychology researchers, including Ambady and Rosenthal in their seminal work,1 and explores the process of making inferences in the context of students' evaluati

 Social Psychology

The Attentional Blink

JoVE 10211

Source: Laboratory of Jonathan Flombaum—Johns Hopkins University

In order for recognition of a certain stimulus to take place, visual attention needs to be directed towards said stimulus. To the earliest parts of the visual system, objects are not objects, they are collections of visual features-lines, corners, changes in texture, color, and light. Attention is the resource that is necessary for later processing in order to recognize what a given bundle of features adds up to. This makes attention a central focus of research. One especially important set of questions concerns how people sustain attention, that is, the extent to which they can continuously maintain a focus of attention from moment-to-moment. It is now known that sustained attention takes great effort. When attention needs to be focused very rapidly on something that is moving or changing very quickly, the effort involved causes a momentary lapse in attention once it is disengaged. This kind of lapse in attention is called an attentional blink. It is like the brain blinks for a moment, shutting down attention for a rest. Stimuli that appear during an attentional blink will not be perceived. In 1992, a group of researchers devised a paradigm to study the attentional blink, and the paradigm has come to be known by the same nam

 Sensation and Perception

Mammalian Cell Division in 3D Matrices Via Quantitative Confocal Reflection Microscopy

1Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2Johns Hopkins Physical Sciences - Oncology Center, Johns Hopkins University, 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 4Departments of Oncology and Pathology and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Video Coming Soon

JoVE 56364

 JoVE In-Press

Executive Function in Autism Spectrum Disorder

JoVE 10268

Source: Laboratories of Jonas T. Kaplan and Sarah I. Gimbel—University of Southern California

Attention, working-memory, planning, impulse control, inhibition, and mental flexibility are important components of human cognition that are often referred to as executive functions. Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impairments in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. It is a disorder that lasts a lifetime, and is thought to affect 0.6% of the population. The symptoms of autism suggest a deficit in executive function, which may be assessed by specialized neuropsychological tests. By employing several tests that each emphasize different aspects of executive function, we can gain a more complete picture of the cognitive profile of the disorder. One such task, known as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), is a cognitively complex task used widely in research and clinical studies as a highly sensitive measure of deficits in executive function. It tests a person's ability to shift attention and tests their flexibility with changing rules and reinforcement.1 In the WCST, a participant is presented with four stimulus cards, incorporating three stimulus parameters: color, shape, and number. The participant is asked to sort


Memory Development: Demonstrating How Repeated Questioning Leads to False Memories

JoVE 10129

Source: Laboratories of Judith Danovitch and Nicholaus Noles—University of Louisville

A person is defined as a unique individual based on the people and events they encounter in their lives. Thus, creating, storing, and recalling memories are essential elements of the human experience. However, memory, as adults experience it, takes time to develop. Although young children can learn facts and remember details of their lives from moment-to-moment and day-to-day, they do not create autobiographical memories or detailed memories of events that happen in their lives until age 3 or older. Even after age 3, children’s memories differ from those of adults in important ways. Children are less effective at evaluating their own memories than adults, which makes it difficult for them to determine, for example, whether or not their memories are accurate. False memories are a problem for both children and adults, as it is quite easy to create a false memory with a poorly-worded question or a story repeated over and over. However, young children are more susceptible to creating false memories than either older children or adults. This video demonstrates children’s vulnerability to false memories using a method developed by Steven Ceci and his collaborators.1-2

 Developmental Psychology

Investigating the Function of Deep Cortical and Subcortical Structures Using Stereotactic Electroencephalography: Lessons from the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

1Department of Neurosurgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, 2Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, 3Columbia University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, 4School of Medicine, King's College London

JoVE 52773


Reliability in Psychology Experiments

JoVE 10046

Source: Laboratories of Gary Lewandowski, Dave Strohmetz, and Natalie Ciarocco—Monmouth University

In order to study something scientifically, a researcher needs to determine a way to quantify it. However, psychological constructs can be challenging to measure and quantify. This video examines reliability in the context of content analysis.  A recent study in the journal Pediatrics reported that 4-year-olds who watched a fast-paced cartoon had worse performance on cognitive tasks, such as following rules in a game, listening to direction from an adult, and delaying gratification, compared to other children who watched a slower paced cartoon.1 In addition to the pace of the cartoon, the content of the cartoon may also have deleterious effects on its young viewers. This video uses a simple two-group design, to exemplify the issue of reliability, in examining the question of whether the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants has more inappropriate content than does the cartoon Caillou.

 Experimental Psychology

Performing Behavioral Tasks in Subjects with Intracranial Electrodes

1Department of Neurosciences, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2Epilepsy Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 3Department of Neurosciences and Center for Neurological Restoration, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

JoVE 51947


An Introduction to Cognition

JoVE 5419

Cognition encompasses mental processes such as memory, perception, decision-making reasoning and language. Cognitive scientists are using a combination of behavioral and neuropsychological techniques to investigate the underlying neural substrates of cognition. They are interested in understanding how information is perceived, processed and how does it affect the final execution of behaviors. With this knowledge, researchers hope to develop new treatments for individuals with cognitive impairments. JoVE's introduction to cognition reviews several components of this phenomenon, such as perception, attention, language comprehension, etc. Key questions in the field of cognition will be discussed along with specific methods currently being used to answer these questions. Finally, specific studies that investigate different aspects of cognition using tools like functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) or Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) will be explained.

 Behavioral Science

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Assessing Working Memory in Children: The Comprehensive Assessment Battery for Children – Working Memory (CABC-WM)

1Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions, 2Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, 3Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, 4Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, 5Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University, 6School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University - West

JoVE 55121


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