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Abstract

Schizotypy is defined as a combination of traits qualitatively similar to those found in schizophrenia, though in a minor severity, that can be found in the nonclinical population. Some studies suggest that people with schizotypal traits have problems recognising emotional facial expressions. In this research, we further explore this issue and we investigate, for the first time, whether the differential outcomes procedure (DOP) may improve the recognition of emotional facial expressions. Participants in our study were students that completed the ESQUIZO-Q-A and were set in two groups, high schizotypy (HS) and low schizotypy (LS). Then, they performed a task in which they had to recognise the emotional facial expression of a set of faces. Participants of the HS group and the LS group did not differ in their performance. Importantly, all participants showed better recognition of emotional facial expressions when they were trained with differential outcomes. This novel finding might be relevant for clinical practice since the DOP is shown as a tool that may improve the recognition of emotional facial expressions.

Abstract

Mental fatigue has traditionally been defined as a condition of reduced cognitive efficiency and performance, accompanied by a subjective feeling of fatigue. Even though we could expect to find associations between the three defining characteristic of mental fatigue (performance impairment, physiological deactivation and subjective fatigue), research has shown that the emergence of inconsistencies between measures is more frequent than one might expect: people proved capable of maintaining adequate performance levels even after having declared themselves fatigued. This could be explained under the compensatory control mechanism models, which state that humans are able to provide additional resources under demanding conditions, but only at the expense of psychophysiological cost and subjective fatigue. We tested this explanation by manipulating task complexity and time performing a simulated air-traffic control task. We collected psychophysiological, performance and subjective data. A decrease in pupil size was seen in the low-aircraft-density condition, while pupil size remained constant in the high-aircraft-density condition. Participants’ task performance was optimal in both conditions, though they showed an increase in subjective feelings of fatigue, especially in the high-complexity task condition. Thus, complexity seemed to trigger compensatory mechanisms, which reallocated extra resources that physiologically activated participants in order to deal with a higher complexity task, whereas subjective fatigue could be acting as a signal to the organism of impending resource depletion. Our findings support compensatory control theories and offer an explanation of inconsistencies between fatigue measures. Further research on compensatory mechanisms is needed to enable better management of fatigue effects to prevent work-related accidents.

Abstract

The proliferation of fake news in internet requires understanding which factors modulate their credibility and take actions to limit their impact. A number of recent studies have shown an effect of the foreign language when making decisions: reading in a foreign language engages a more rational, analytic mode of thinking (Costa et al., 2014, Cognition). This analytic mode of processing may lead to a decrease in the credibility of fake news. Here we conducted two experiments to examine whether fake news stories presented to university students were more credible in the native language than in a foreign language. Bayesian analyses in both experiments offered support for the hypothesis that the credibility of fake news is not modulated by language. Critically, Experiment 2 also showed a strong direct relationship between credibility and negative emotionality regardless of language. This pattern suggests that the driving force behind the engagement in an automatic thinking mode when reading fake news is not language (native vs. foreign) but emotionality.

Abstract

The relation between the prediction and explanation of the false belief task (FBT) with counterfactual reasoning (CFR) was explored. Fifty eight 3-5 year-olds received a prediction or an explanation FBT, a belief attribution task and some counterfactual questions of increasing difficulty. Linguistic comprehension was also controlled. CFR highly predicted FBT in the explanation version but not in the prediction one. Additionally, results in the explanation version indicate that CFR underlies achievements prior to the understanding of the representational mind and stimulates the explicitness of the mental domain. This study identifies the conditions under which CFR becomes a fundamental cognitive tool for social cognition. The results obtained contribute to the dialog between the two major theoretical approaches: theory-theory and simulation theory.

Abstract

The effective detection of those facial expressions that alert us to a possible threat is adaptive. Hence the reason that studies on face sampling have involved analysing how this process occurs, with evidence to show that the eyes focus mainly on the upper side of the face; nevertheless, no clear determination has been made of the relationship between the efficacy in detection (speed and accuracy) and the way in which emotions are visually tracked on the face. A sequential priming task was therefore held in which the four quadrants of the face were displayed consecutively, for 50 ms each one, and in a different order (24 sequences). The results reveal a quicker response when the priming sequence begins in the upper part, continues downward to the right-hand side of the face, and then follows an anti-clockwise direction. The results are discussed in the light of studies using the Eye-Tracking technique.

Abstract

The author argues for a conception of the oedipal complex that excludes the idea of a pre-oedipal phase which, according to him, comes from a confusion with the pre-genital. The author seeks to identify the existence of a “couple object” present early on in the young child whose pre-history he returns to in the first lineaments of a form of “being with”, as in the first form of recording relational models concerning the meeting with the first objects. This matrix will then be made more complex over time and brought into crisis in the “oedipal crisis”, and the way in which the child will be able to meet and go through this crisis, to organize himself and to organize the solutions to the crisis, will configure its model of “oedipal organization”.

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Abstract

The article focuses on psychic mechanisms at work in a life experience of maximum intensity: imprisonment awaiting the death penalty. “Dialogue with death”, the memories of Arthur Koestler on the most traumatic period of his life – his stay in the prison of Seville during the Spanish Civil War – was initially published in 1937, as an important part of the “Spanish Testament”, and was in itself one of the most significant testimonial works of the 20th century on the subject of death. The perspective to which we have subjected it draws on psychoanalysis and is based, more precisely, on the Freudian theory on defenses against traumatic affects.

Abstract

Initiated as a search for the truth hidden by the symptoms of hysteria, psychoanalysis, but in fact psychoanalysts, had a particular relationship with the secret over time. Beyond the historical truth of using the word „secret” to name meetings back in the time when the first group of psychoanalysts was being formed, beyond the stigma of secret society or even occult society with which the psychoanalyst society was then labelled, or, more precisely, the community of psychoanalysts was labelled (some still believe this is the case), the question of secrecy has been present since the beginning of psychoanalysis, not only in the minds of those who, in one form or another, were approaching psychoanalysis, but right in the center of the experiences of psychoanalysts’ practices.

Between confidentiality and urging the patient to say “whatever goes through their mind”, between the phantasm of the primitive scene and the construction of intimacy, the meaning of the secret carries the psychoanalyst forward towards revealing the pathogenic truth and the construction of the sanogenoic mystery. From free association to evenly suspended attention, we have a sinuous trajectory of certain affects that, freeing the sensorial that carried them, inscribe the papyrus of the Ego’s history, detached from the Id.