Computational protocol: Auditory Multi-Stability: Idiosyncratic Perceptual Switching Patterns, Executive Functions and Personality Traits

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Protocol publication

[…] Inhibition, updating, and shifting [] were assessed as follows. Inhibition was measured using a computerized version of the Stroop task [,] using E-Prime 2.0 []. The colours red, green, and blue were used, and participants were instructed to press the arrow key assigned to the colour appearing on a 15.6” screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels as quickly as possible. Participants were approximately 60cm away from the screen and stimuli had a width of 12cm and height of 3cm, giving them a vertical visual angle of 2.9° and horizontal visual angle of 11.4°. The arrow keys were used as response keys: “up” was paired with red, “left” was paired with blue, and “right” was paired with green. The task consisted of four conditions, each measured by 60 trials and delivered in three stimulus blocks. The first block was the neutral-word condition. In this condition, the names of the three colours appeared on the screen written in black. In the neutral-colour condition (2nd block) four “X” letters appeared in one of the three colours. The number of the “X” letters was decided by the average number of letters (4) in the Hungarian names of the colours used in the experiment. The third and final block mixed together the congruent and the incongruent condition in equal proportion. In congruent trials, the colour names appeared in their respective colours, whereas in the incongruent trials, the colour names appeared in one of the other two colours. The participants’ task was to press the correct response key as quickly and accurately as they could. The stimuli were shown on the screen until one of the response keys was depressed. This was followed by a blank screen for 250 ms. The Stroop interference effect was measured in the following way: first, the median reaction times of the correct responses measured in the colour-neutral and word-neutral conditions were averaged to get a neutral reaction time; second, the neutral reaction time was subtracted from the median reaction time of the correct responses in the incongruent conditions. Thus, a smaller reaction time difference indicates stronger inhibitory control of a prepotent response. The task was run using E-prime 2.0.The executive function of updating was measured using a computerized version of the N-back task [] using PsychoPy2 []. The same screen and viewing distance was used as in the Stroop task (see above). Stimuli had a width and height of 5cm each, giving visual angles of 4.8°. The task consisted of three blocks, each with 50 trials, of which 20 trials contained targets. 14 different capital letters were used as stimuli. Each letter was presented for 500 ms followed by a blank screen for 250 ms. In the first stimulus block, the participant’s task was to press a key when the current stimulus matched the preceding one (1-back condition). In the second and the third stimulus block, the letters to be matched were separated by one (2-back condition) and two letters (3-back condition), respectively. Responses were recorded during the 500 ms intervals of letter presentation but not during the 250-ms blank intervals. A response that was made within 500 ms from the onset of a target letter was scored as a hit, whereas a response within that time frame for a non-target was coded as a false alarm. Corrected Recognition Rate (CRR) was calculated for each condition using the following formula: (Hits / Targets)–(False alarms / Non-targets). The 1-back condition showed a ceiling effect, thus only the CRRs from the 2- and 3- back conditions were taken into account for further analysis.Shifting was measured by semantic fluency [], where participants were asked to name as many animals as they could. Unknown to them, they had one minute to complete the task. Responses were written down by the experimenter. During the spontaneous production of words, participants often name animals from various subcategories, such as African animals or pets. Shifts between these subcategories or semantic clusters can be used to assess the shifting executive function. Identification and analysis of the clusters was based on the protocol of Troyer and colleagues [,], adapted to Hungarian by Mészáros, Kónya, and Csépe [] and was scored by an independent rater. Cluster-size was given as the length of the cluster minus one, such that a single word from a category was regarded as a cluster of the size zero, while for example, a cluster with five consecutive words belonging to the same category had the size four. The average cluster size and the number of subcategory changes (number of clusters minus one) were used as the output measures. All participants had at least 18 correct responses. […]

Pipeline specifications

Software tools E-Prime, PsychoPy
Application Neuropsychology analysis