Baruch Eitam

Baruch Eitam
University of Haifa | haifa · Department of Psychology

PhD.

About

58
Publications
22,632
Reads
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927
Citations
Introduction
I am an Associate Professor at the University of Haifa - Department of Psychology. My research revolves around interactions between cognition and motivation. Currently, my two central research programs focus on investigating (a) the outcomes of our mind's decision that "it is in control" of, for example, the external environment and (b) whether categorization (as in knowing what something is) can be dissociated from phenomenally experiencing that "something".
Additional affiliations
February 2011 - November 2015
University of Haifa
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2009 - December 2011
Columbia University
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2009 - December 2011
Columbia University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Full-text available
To what degree does our representation of the immediate world depend solely on its relevance to what we are currently doing? We examined whether relevance per se can cause "blindness," even when there is no resource limitation. In a novel paradigm, people looked at a colored circle surrounded by a differently colored ring-the task relevance of whic...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that it is possible to go beyond the “selfish goal” metaphor and make an even stronger case for the role of unconscious motivation in cognition and action. Through the relevance of a representation (ROAR) framework, we describe how not only value motivation, which relates to “selfish goals,” but also truth motivation and control motivation...
Preprint
Full-text available
An important model for explaining humans' feeling of agency-the 'Comparator model'-draws on ideas used to explain effective motor control. The model describes how our brain estimates the degree of control over the environment offered by a specific motor program (in short, an action's effectiveness). However, given its current level of specification...
Article
Automatic imitation refers to the act of unintentionally mimicking observed actions. Inspired by a theoretical framework that allows for controlled yet unintentional processes, we tested whether automatic imitation depends on the task relevance of the to-be-imitated movements. Replicating previous results, we find that movements that are part of th...
Article
Full-text available
Humans and other animals live in dynamic environments. To reliably manipulate the environment and attain their goals they would benefit from a constant modification of motor-responding based on responses' current effect on the current environment. It is argued that this is exactly what is achieved by a mechanism that reinforces responses which have...
Preprint
Full-text available
Automatic imitation refers to the act of unintentionally mimicking observed actions. Inspired by a theoretical framework that allows for controlled yet unintentional processes, we tested whether automatic imitation depends on the task relevance of the to-be-imitated movements. Replicating previous results, we find that movements that are part of th...
Article
Full-text available
While known reinforcers of behavior are outcomes that are valuable to the organism, recent research has demonstrated that the mere occurrence of an own-response effect can also reinforce responding. In this paper we begin investigating whether these two types of reinforcement occur via the same mechanism. To this end, we modified two different task...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the role of advance expectations in generating relevance-based selection, using a version of cognitive ‘blindness’ that is driven solely by task relevance. With this irrelevance induced blindness, participants often fail to report a feature of an irrelevant stimulus, even though the levels of perceptual and cognitive load are mi...
Article
Full-text available
As our environment is frequently changing, it is common that our expectations are violated by unexpected stimuli or events, which leaves us uncertain about which pieces of information will be useful in the future. It is unclear how an expectation violation affects the subsequent control settings for processing of information. The current study dire...
Article
How is our strategy for forming memories shaped by experience with a task? Previous work using surprise questions (i.e., unexpected by the participant) has shown a remarkable inability to report attributes of an attended target in a search display. This representational poverty presumably reflects a form of information exploitation, in which contro...
Preprint
How is our strategy for forming memories shaped by experience with a task? Previous work using surprise questions (i.e. unexpected by the participant) has shown a remarkable inability to report attributes of an attended target in a search display. This representational poverty presumably reflects a form of information exploitation, in which control...
Article
Obsessions are commonly described as intrusive, ego-dystonic, and ‘coming out-of-nowhere’. This might reflect an experience of low sense of agency (SoA), with SoA referring to the experience of being the source of our thoughts. The current study investigates the relationship between obsessive compulsive (OC) symptoms and the SoA over thoughts. Part...
Article
We contrast two theoretical positions on the relation between phenomenal and access consciousness. First, we discuss previous data supporting a mild Overflow position, according to which transient visual awareness can overflow report. These data are open to two interpretations: (i) observers transiently experience specific visual elements outside a...
Article
Many models of emotion assume that the emotional response is preceded by an assessment of a stimulus' relevance to the perceiver's goals. Although widely assumed, experimentally controlling and hence empirically testing the effect of a stimulus' relevance on the emotional response has proven challenging. In this study we used stimuli with high ecol...
Article
Full-text available
Pain is an integral part of our lives. Although the effect of ‘control’ on sensed pain has been extensively studied and discussed, recent findings seem to be at odds with the substantial evidence for a robust motor-based sensory attenuation effect – an indirect marker for one’s sense of agency. The goal of the current study was to sensitively re-ex...
Article
Full-text available
Although most research in the field of emotion perception has focused on the isolated face, recent studies have highlighted the integration of emotional faces and bodies. Instructed to be ignored, incongruent emotional body context can automatically alter the categorization of distinct and prototypical facial expressions. Previous work suggested th...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined whether obsessive-compulsive (OC) tendencies are related to an impaired sense of agency (SoA). We examined agency using both indirect (“implicit”) and direct (“explicit”) measures, aiming to tap into different aspects of the sense of agency. We measured the SoA of participants with high vs. low scores on a measure of OC symptoms...
Article
Full-text available
The sense of agency (SoA) is defined as " the registration that I am the initiator of my actions. " Both " direct " and " indirect " measurement of SoA has focused on specific contextualized perceptual events, however it has also been demonstrated that " higher level " cognitions seemingly affect the SoA. We designed a measure of person's general,...
Article
Full-text available
Successful self-regulation involves both assessment (e.g., making the right choices) and locomotion (e.g., managing change and movement). Regulatory mode theory is a motivational framework that highlights the ways in which these locomotion versus assessment concerns can receive differential emphasis across both individuals and situations. Although...
Article
Some philosophers believe this: We are every moment intimately conscious of what we call our self; we feel its existence and its continuing to exist, and are certainmore even than any demonstration could make us-both of its perfect identity and of its simplicity⋯Unfortunately all these forthright assertions are in conflict with the very experience...
Article
The past few years have brought to light the weaknesses of Social cognition in both paradigms and published results. Although for 'social priming' at least, the need for remedying these weaknesses has not diminished — the effort would benefit from a parallel increase in theoretical rigour. With this goal in mind the current paper charts the develop...
Chapter
Full-text available
Motivated behavior is considered to be a product of integration of a behavior's subjective benefits and costs. As such, it is unclear what motivates 'habitual behavior' which occurs, by definition, after the outcome's value has diminished. One possible answer is that habitual behavior continues to be selected due to its 'intrinsic' worth. Such an e...
Article
Full-text available
How does information about one’s control over the environment (e.g., having an own-action effect) influence motivation? The control-based response selection framework was proposed to predict and explain such findings. Its key tenant is that control relevant information modulates both the frequency and speed of responses by determining whether a per...
Book
This book focuses on the scientific study of the human sense of agency. It discusses the causes and consequences of the subjective experience of being in control of one's actions, and, through them, of events in the outside world. The book brings together some of the world's leading researchers on the topic. It aims to provide the first structured...
Book
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
We demonstrate that task relevance dissociates between visual awareness and knowledge activation to create a state of seeing without knowing-visual awareness of familiar stimuli without recognizing them. We rely on the fact that in order to experience a Kanizsa illusion, participants must be aware of its inducers. While people can indicate the orie...
Conference Paper
This study examined whether relevance per-se can cause blindness (i.e., failure to report clearly visible stimuli) even when there is no resources limitation. In a novel paradigm, employed in 2 similar experiments, a colored circle surrounded by a differently colored ring was presented for 500 ms, without masking. One of these stimuli was labelled...
Article
Full-text available
A funny thing happened along the way of researchers using priming techniques to study psychological questions. Rather than priming being just a tool to study mind-dealing with questions like the nature of and the mechanisms underlying mental representation, semantic organization and judgment-priming became the object of study. In other words, it mo...
Article
Full-text available
Faces are one of the most important signals for reading people’s mental states. In sync with their apparent ‘chronic’ (cross-situational) relevance, faces have been argued to be processed independently of the task one is currently performing. Many of these demonstrations have involved ‘capture of attention’ or increased interference by faces functi...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that it is possible to go beyond the "selfish goal" metaphor and make an even stronger case for the role of unconscious motivation in cognition and action. Through the relevance of a representation (ROAR) framework, we describe how not only value motivation, which relates to "selfish goals," but also truth motivation and control motivation...
Article
Full-text available
Learning the structure of the environment (e.g., what usually follows what) enables animals to behave in an effective manner and prepare for future events. Unintentional learning is capable of efficiently producing such knowledge as has been demonstrated with the Artificial Grammar Learning paradigm (AGL), among others. It has been argued that sele...
Article
Full-text available
Human motivation is sensitive to value-to the outcomes of actions. People invest mental and physical resources for obtaining desired results or for stopping and reversing undesired ones. Accordingly, people's motivation is sensitive to information about their standing in relation to outcome attainment ('outcome feedback'). In this paper, we argue a...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we present a novel framework that integrates motivational relevance and accessibility and outlines its implications for the study of memory. We first review a recent analysis of motivation (Higgins, 2011) and a recent framework linking motivational relevance and accessibility (Eitam & Higgins, 2010). We then propose and demonstrate...
Article
In their paper: "Learning of Predictive Relations Between Events Depends on Attention, Not on Awareness" Custers & Aarts demonstrate that when one is first exposed to a clear predictive relationship - a consequent predictive relationship will be represented as a unidirectional association ("predictor" to "predicted") in the percievers' minds regard...
Article
Full-text available
The notion of accessibility of mental representations has been invaluable in explaining and predicting human thought and action. Focusing on social cognition, we review the large corpus of data that has accumulated since the first models of mental activation dynamics were outlined. We then outline a framework that we call Relevance of a Representat...
Article
Full-text available
This investigation used a newly developed artificial grammar learning (AGL) paradigm in which participants were exposed to sequences of stimuli that varied in two dimensions (colours and letters) that were superimposed on each other. Variation within each dimension was determined by a different grammar. The results of two studies strongly suggest t...
Article
Is nonconscious goal pursuit useful in novel environments? The prevalent view of automaticity and control implies that an unconscious mode of goal pursuit can only reproduce formerly learned actions, and therefore that its usefulness in novel environments is very limited. Our results demonstrate that this conclusion is not always warranted, as nonc...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
 We brought a few good response boxes, happily began  running our experiments with them and yes they reduce RT's by an average of ~40ms but they also really f%$#ked up a few of our rt effects that we have replicated numerous times using keyboards as response media. for example, we have repeatedly shown that inserting a >300ms temporal lag between an action and its perceptual effect "kills" the speeding up of the response (vs. a no own-action effect condition). using the response box -- participants with the 450ms lag actually performed faster than the no effect group. any thoughts? similar experiences?

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