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  • 101. Sternang, Ola
    et al.
    Palmer, Katie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Kabir, Zarina N.
    Hasan, Mohammed I.
    Wahlin, Åke
    Associations Between Functional Biological Age and Cognition Among Older Adults in Rural Bangladesh: Comparisons With Chronological Age2019In: Journal of Aging and Health, ISSN 0898-2643, E-ISSN 1552-6887, Vol. 31, no 5, p. 814-836Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: We constructed a functional biological age (fBioAge) indicator by using four functional variables: grip strength, forced expiratory lung volume, visual acuity, and hearing. Our aim was to compare how chronological age (ChronAge) and fBioAge are related to cognitive abilities in older adults. Method: We used data from the Poverty and Health in Aging project, Bangladesh. Participants (N = 400) were 60+ years of age and diagnosed as nondemented. Examined cognitive abilities were four episodic memory measures (including recall and recognition), two verbal fluency indicators, two semantic knowledge, and two processing speed tasks. Results: fBioAge accounted for cognitive variance beyond that explained by ChronAge also after controlling for medical diagnoses and blood markers. Discussion: Compared with ChronAge, fBioAge was a stronger predictor of cognition during a broad part of the old adult span. fBioAge seems, in that respect, to have the potential to become a useful age indicator in future aging studies.

  • 102. Stomby, Andreas
    et al.
    Boraxbekk, Carl-Johan
    Lundquist, Anders
    Nordin, Annelie
    Nilsson, Lars-Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Umeå University, Sweden.
    Adolfsson, Rolf
    Nyberg, Lars
    Olsson, Tommy
    Higher diurnal salivary cortisol levels are related to smaller prefrontal cortex surface area in elderly men and women2016In: European Journal of Endocrinology, ISSN 0804-4643, E-ISSN 1479-683X, Vol. 175, no 2, p. 117-126Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Elevated cortisol levels with aging have been associated with atrophy of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC), as well as with impaired cognitive functions in men. However, coexisting diseases have confounded many studies examining these relationships. Studies in women are lacking. Our objective was to test whether salivary cortisol levels were related to morphology of the hippocampus and the PFC, and to cognitive performance.

    Design: A cross-sectional study including 200 elderly (55-80 years old) men and women.

    Method: We used magnetic resonance imaging, tests of episodic-, semantic-, and working memory, visuospatial ability, and cortisol levels in four saliva samples collected during 1 day.

    Results: Area under the curve (AUC) for cortisol levels was negatively related to cortical surface area of the left anterior cingulate gyrus (caudal P < 0.001; rostral P = 0.006), right lateral orbitofrontal cortex (P = 0.004), and right rostral middle frontal gyrus (P = 0.003). In women, there was also a negative relationship with cortical surface area in the left rostral middle frontal gyrus (P = 0.006). No relationship was found between cortisol levels and hippocampal volume.

    Conclusion: This study suggests that the structure of the medial PFC is related to cortisol levels in both elderly women and men.

  • 103.
    Svenson, Ola
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Preface2017In: Large risks with low probabilities: Perceptions and willingness to take preventive measures against flooding / [ed] Tadeusz Tyzska, Piotr Zielonka, London: IWA Publishing, 2017, p. xi-xiiiChapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This volume describes the interactions between humans and their natural environment. Specifically it concerns low probability risks with major negative consequences and focuses on environmental risks that people can control, manage or eliminate. The scientific perspective is fundamental and an applied perspective is added with analyses of data from field investigations. The contribution summarizes the material in the book from a psychological perspective.

  • 104.
    Svenson, Ola
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Decision Research, USA.
    Towards a framework for human judgements of quantitative information: the numerical judgement process, NJP model2016In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 28, no 7, p. 884-898Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This contribution presents a review and a theoretical process framework for human intuitive numerical judgments based on numerical information, The NJP model. The model is descriptive and includes one or several of the following stages, each consisting of information processing and solution strategies (1) problem readings (2) recognitions, (3) associations, (4) similarity assessments, (5) problem interpretations, (6) computations, (7) marker nominations, (8) start value selections and (9) adjustments. three main types of strategies are used separately, in sequence or simultaneously with others in and across stages: (i) Associative strategies, e.g., an answer is retrieved immediately, (ii) Computational strategies, different algorithms are applied to the information and (iii) Analogue strategies, visual analogue representations, e.g., anchoring and adjustment. The paper concludes that a generic model of intuitive judgments will inspire further studies of the psychological processes activated when a judge makes an intuitive numerical judgment.

  • 105.
    Svenson, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Decision Research, USA.
    Eriksson, Gabriella
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Swedish National Road and Transport Institute, Sweden.
    Mental models of driving and speed: biases, choices and reality2017In: Transport reviews, ISSN 0144-1647, E-ISSN 1464-5327, Vol. 37, no 5, p. 653-666Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides a review of research performed by Svenson with colleagues and others work on mental models and their practical implications. Mental models describe how people perceive and think about the world including covariances and relationships between different variables, such as driving speed and time. Research on mental models has detected the time-saving bias [Svenson, O. (1970). A functional measurement approach to intuitive estimation as exemplified by estimated time savings. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 86, 204-210]. It means that drivers relatively overestimate the time that can be saved by increasing speed from an already high speed, for example, 90-130km/h, and underestimate the time that can be saved by increasing speed from a low speed, for example, 30-45km/h. In congruence with this finding, mean speed judgments and perceptions of mean speeds are also biased and higher speeds given too much weight and low speeds too little weight in comparison with objective reality. Replacing or adding a new speedometer in the car showing min per km eliminated or weakened the time-saving bias. Information about braking distances at different speeds did not improve overoptimistic judgments of braking capacity, but information about collision speed with an object suddenly appearing on the road did improve judgments of braking capacity. This is relevant to drivers, politicians and traffic regulators.

  • 106.
    Svenson, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Decision Research, USA.
    Gonzalez, Nichel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Eriksson, Gabriella
    Different heuristics and same bias: A spectral analysis of biased judgments and individual decision rules2018In: Judgment and decision making, ISSN 1930-2975, E-ISSN 1930-2975, Vol. 13, no 5, p. 401-412Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We used correlation and spectral analyses to investigate the cognitive structures and processes producing biased judgments. We used 5 different sets of driving problems to exemplify problems that trigger biases, specifically: (1) underestimation of the impact of occasional slow speeds on mean speed judgments, (2) overestimation of braking capacity after a speed increase, (3) the time saving bias (overestimation of the time saved by increasing a high speed further, and underestimation of time saved when increasing a low speed), (4) underestimation of increase of fatal accident risk when speed is increased, and (5) underestimation of the increase of stopping distance when speed is increased. The results verified the predicted biases. A correlation analysis found no strong links between biases; only accident risk and stopping distance biases were correlated significantly. Spectral analysis of judgments was used to identify different decision rules. Most participants were consistent in their use of a single rule within a problem set with the same bias. The participants used difference, average, weighed average and ratio rules, all producing biased judgments. Among the rules, difference rules were used most frequently across the different biases. We found no personal consistency in the rules used across problem sets. The complexity of rules varied across problem sets for most participants.

  • 107.
    Svenson, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Decision Research, Eugene, OR, USA.
    Gonzalez, Nichel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Memon, Amina
    Lindholm, Torun
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Information about expert decision and post-decision distortion of facts of own decision2018In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 59, no 2, p. 127-134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cognitive representations of decision problems are dynamic. During and after a decision, evaluations and representations of facts change to support the decision made by a decision maker her- or himself (Svenson, 2003). We investigated post-decision distortion of facts (consolidation). Participants were given vignettes with facts about two terminally ill patients, only one of whom could be given lifesaving surgery. In Study 1, contrary to the prediction, the results showed that facts were distorted after a decision both by participants who were responsible for the decisions themselves and when doctors had made the decision. In Study 2 we investigated the influence of knowledge about expert decisions on a participant's own decision and post-decisional distortion of facts. Facts were significantly more distorted when the participant's decision agreed with an expert's decision than when the participant and expert decisions disagreed. The findings imply that knowledge about experts' decisions can distort memories of facts and therefore may obstruct rational analyses of earlier decisions. This is particularly important when a decision made by a person, who is assumed to be an expert, makes a decision that is biased or wrong.

  • 108.
    Svenson, Ola
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Decision Research, USA.
    Treurniet, Daniëlle
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Decision Research, USA; Leiden University, The Netherlands.
    Speed reductions and judgments of travel time loss: Biases and debiasing2017In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, ISSN 1369-8478, E-ISSN 1873-5517, Vol. 51, p. 145-153Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Priority decisions concerning maintenance or reconstruction of roads are made with the aim of road improvements with as little traffic disturbance and time loss as possible. However, it cannot be avoided that speed will be reduced and travel time increased during the time of construction. The present study shows how intuitive judgments of travel time losses are biased in a way similar to the times saving bias (Svenson, 2008), but not perfectly corresponding to that bias. This means that when speed is decreased from a slow speed <50 km/h, the time loss is underestimated and when speed is decreased from a high speed >80 km/h it is overestimated. Also, drivers, politicians and policy makers who do not make exact calculations are likely victims of the time loss bias. The time loss bias was weakened but not eliminated by a debiasing instruction including mathematical computations of travel times. When driving speed restrictions are implemented, in particular on fast motorways, it is necessary to consider and counteract the time loss bias and inform the public. This can be done, for example, in communications about travel time facts, by information in driver training and by mounting temporary road signs informing about the average travel time prolongation due to a road work.

  • 109. Tempel, Tobias
    et al.
    Kubik, Veit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Test-potentiated learning of motor sequences2017In: Memory, ISSN 0965-8211, E-ISSN 1464-0686, Vol. 25, no 3, p. 326-334Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated effects of retrieving body movements from memory on subsequent re-encoding of these movements (i.e., test-potentiated learning). In Experiment 1, participants first learned to perform 12 sequential finger movements as responses to letter stimuli. Eight of these movements then had to be recalled in response to their stimuli (initial test). Subsequently, learning trials were repeated for four of the previously to-be-retrieved movements as well as the previously not-to-be-retrieved movements. Restudy benefited from prior retrieval. In a final test, again requiring motoric recall in response to letter stimuli, performance was better for restudied items that were previously cued for retrieval as compared to items that had been restudied without prior retrieval. However, no such indirect testing benefit occurred when initial and final testing formats were incongruent, that is, when participants had to recall the stimuli in response to movements as cues at the final test. In Experiment 2, we replicated the finding of test-potentiated learning with a different design, manipulating initial-testing status between participants.

  • 110.
    Todorov, Ivo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Kubik, Veit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Humboldt University, Germany.
    Carelli, Maria Grazia
    Del Missier, Fabio
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. University of Trieste, Italy.
    Mäntylä, Timo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Spatial offloading in multiple task monitoring2018In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 230-241Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coordinating multiple tasks requires a high degree of cognitive control, and individuals with limited executive functions often show difficulties in everyday multitasking. We tested the hypothesis that demands on executive control can be alleviated by internally representing the temporal pattern of goals and deadlines as spatial relations. In two experiments, participants completed a multitasking session by monitoring deadlines of four clocks running at different rates, along with separate tasks of executive functioning and spatial ability. In Experiment 1, individual and gender-related differences in spatial ability (mental rotation) predicted multitasking performance, beyond the contributions of both the updating and inhibition components of executive functioning, and even when spatial cues were eliminated from the layout of the monitoring task. Experiment 2 extended these findings by showing that concurrent spatial load impaired task monitoring accuracy, and that these detrimental effects were accentuated when spatial abilities were compromized due to fluctuation in female sex hormones. These findings suggest that multiple task monitoring involves working memory-related functions, but that these cognitive control demands can be offloaded by relying on spatial relation processes.

  • 111.
    Todorov, Ivo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Kubik, Veit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Del Missier, Fabio
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. University of Trieste, Italy.
    Mäntylä, Timo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Disrupting the pattern: Further testing of the spatiotemporal hypothesis of multitasking2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    We tested the spatiotemporal hypothesis of multitasking, which posits that under high temporal load, individuals with better spatial abilities are better at multitasking. A computerized multitasking simulation was administered under three different conditions, one ordinary and two conditions with additional concurrent spatial load. Participants were assigned to one of three groups, luteal females, menstrual females and males. Based on the literature, these groups differ in spatial abilities because of hormonal fluctuations linked to the menstrual cycle. Across all three versions of the multitasking simulation, the performance of the luteal group was lowest, while the menstrual and the male group did not differ significantly from each other. The results support the notion that participants with better spatial ability are better multitaskers.

  • 112. Wester Oxelgren, Ulrika
    et al.
    Myrelid, Åsa
    Annerén, Göran
    Westerlund, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Jan
    Fernell, Elisabeth
    More severe intellectual disability found in teenagers compared to younger children with Down syndrome2019In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 108, no 5, p. 961-966Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: We investigated the severities and profiles of intellectual disability (ID) in a population-based group of children with Down syndrome and related the findings to coexisting autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Methods: There were about 100 children with Down syndrome living in Uppsala County, Sweden, at the time of the study who all received medical services from the same specialist outpatient clinic. The 60 children (68% male) were aged 5-17 years at inclusion: 41 were assessed within the study and 19 had test results from previous assessments, performed within three years before inclusion. We compared two age groups: 5-12 and 13-18 years old.

    Results: Of the 60 children, 49 were assessed with a cognitive test and the 11 children who could not participate in formal tests had clinical assessments. Mild ID was found in 9% of the older children and in 35% of the younger children. Severe ID was found in 91% of the older children and 65% of the younger children. Verbal and nonverbal domains did not differ.

    Conclusion: Intellectual level was lower in the older children and patients with Down syndrome need to be followed during childhood with regard to their ID levels.

  • 113. Wester Oxelgren, Ulrika
    et al.
    Westerlund, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    Myrelid, Åsa
    Annerén, Göran
    Johansson, Lotta
    Åberg, Marie
    Gustafsson, Jan
    Fernell, Elisabeth
    An intervention targeting social, communication and daily activity skills in children and adolescents with Down syndrome and autism: a pilot study2019In: Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, ISSN 1176-6328, E-ISSN 1178-2021, Vol. 15, p. 2049-2056Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To evaluate whether an intervention, targeting deficits in social communication, interaction and restricted activities in children and adolescents with Down syndrome and autism could lead to enhanced participation in family and school activities.

    Methods: The intervention included education for parents and school staff about autism, and workshops to identify social-communication and daily living activities that would be meaningful for the child to practice at home and at school. Thereafter, a three-month period of training for the child followed. Outcome measures comprised evaluation of goal achievement for each child, the Family Strain Index questionnaire and a visual scale pertaining to the parents' general opinion about the intervention.

    Results: On average, more than 90% of the goals were (to some extent or completely) achieved at home and at school. The mean scores of the Family Strain Index were almost identical at the follow-up to those before intervention. The evaluation supported that the use of strategies, intended to facilitate activities and communication, remained largely 18 months after start of the intervention.

    Conclusion: Despite the group involved in this study being composed of older children and adolescents, most of whom had severe and profound intellectual disability, the goal achievements and parents' views on the intervention were encouraging.

  • 114.
    Zimmermann, Marius
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Kubik, Veit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.
    Persson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Örebro University, Sweden.
    Mäntylä, Timo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Monitoring Multiple Deadlines Relies on Spatial Processing in Posterior Parietal Cortex2019In: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 31, no 10, p. 1468-1483Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Proactively coordinating one's actions is an important aspect of multitasking performance due to overlapping task sequences. In this study, we used fMRI to investigate neural mechanisms underlying monitoring of multiple overlapping task sequences. We tested the hypothesis that temporal control demands in multiple-task monitoring are offloaded onto spatial processes by representing patterns of temporal deadlines in spatial terms. Results showed that increased demands on time monitoring (i.e., responding to concurrent deadlines of one to four component tasks) increasingly activated regions in the left inferior parietal lobe and the precuneus. Moreover, independent measures of spatial abilities correlated with multiple-task performance beyond the contribution of working memory. Together, these findings suggest that monitoring and coordination of temporally overlapping task timelines rely on cortical processes involved in spatial information processing. We suggest that the precuneus is involved in tracking of multiple task timelines, whereas the inferior parietal lobe constructs spatial representations of the temporal relations of these overlapping timelines. These findings are consistent with the spatial offloading hypothesis and add new insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the coordination of multiple tasks.

  • 115.
    Zimmermann, Marius
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Kubik, Veit
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.
    Persson, Jonas
    Mäntylä, Timo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Neural mechanisms underlying multiple task coordination2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A large body of research referred to as “multitasking” is based on dual-task paradigms, focusing on cognitive bottlenecks and crosstalk between perceptual encoding and response selection processes. However, everyday multitasking is different from the microstructure of rapid switching between laboratory tasks, and cognitive bottlenecks may be avoided by scheduling and interleaving deadlines and other task constraints in order to achieve multiple goals. 

    We suggest that executive control demands of coordinating multiple ongoing activities can be alleviated by representing patterns of temporal deadlines in spatial relations. This spatial offloading hypothesis is consistent with observations showing that temporal relations are often represented in spatial terms. Our own behavioural studies show that spatial ability (mental rotation) predicts multitasking, but not dual-task, performance beyond individual differences in executive functions. 

    Here, we test central predictions of the spatial offloading hypothesis using functional neuroimaging. We expect that cortical areas associated with spatial processing are selectively activated during multitasking. Moreover, these effects should reflect temporal task complexity, with accentuated patterns of activation in multiple tasks, but not in single- and dual-task performance, in which demands on cognitive control and temporal coordination are reduced. 

    Twenty-four healthy, young adults completed a time-based monitoring task with varying number of component tasks (single, dual and multiple series of letters, running at different rates), while neural activity was measured using fMRI.

    Results show increased activation with increasing number of component tasks in posterior parietal brain regions related to spatial processing. These findings suggest that multitasking involves spatial abilities and their underlying neural correlates.

  • 116.
    Zimmermann, Marius
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Mars, Rogier B.
    de Lange, Floris P.
    Toni, Ivan
    Verhagen, Lennart
    Is the extrastriate body area part of the dorsal visuomotor stream?2018In: Brain Structure and Function, ISSN 1863-2653, E-ISSN 1863-2661, Vol. 223, no 1, p. 31-46Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The extrastriate body area (EBA) processes visual information about body parts, and it is considered one among a series of category-specific perceptual modules distributed across the occipito-temporal cortex. However, recent evidence raises the possibility that EBA might also provide an interface between perception and action, linking the ventral and dorsal streams of visual information processing. Here, we assess anatomical evidence supporting this possibility. We localise EBA in individual subjects using a perceptual task and compare the characteristics of its functional and structural connectivity to those of two perceptual areas, the lateral occipital complex (LOC) and the fusiform body area (FBA), separately for each hemisphere. We apply complementary analyses of resting-state fMRI and diffusion-weighted MRI data in a group of healthy right-handed human subjects (N = 31). Functional and structural connectivity profiles indicate that EBA interacts more strongly with dorsal-stream regions compared to other portions of the occipito-temporal cortex involved in processing body parts (FBA) and object identification (LOC). These findings provide anatomical ground for a revision of the functional role of EBA. Building on a number of recent observations, we suggest that EBA contributes to planning goal-directed actions, possibly by specifying a desired postural configuration to parieto-frontal areas involved in computing movement parameters.

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