Javier Rodríguez-Ferreiro

Javier Rodríguez-Ferreiro
University of Barcelona | UB · Department of Basic Psychology

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51
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Publications

Publications (51)
Article
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The prevalence of pseudoscientific beliefs in our societies negatively influences relevant areas such as health or education. Causal illusions have been proposed as a possible cognitive basis for the development of such beliefs. The aim of our study was to further investigate the specific nature of the association between causal illusion and endors...
Article
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According to the “reduced emotionality hypothesis”, we are less emotionally driven when reasoning in a foreign language (FL) than in a native language (NL). We examined whether this foreign language effect (FLe) extends to the way we perceive motivational quotes (i.e., encouraging slogans conveying a profound and inspirational message): we expected...
Article
The comprehension of Spanish verbal future and past tense of children with developmental language disorder (DLD) was evaluated in an eye-tracking experiment with 96 Spanish-and Catalan-speaking participants distributed in 4 groups: 24 children with DLD (M age 7.8 years), 24 children with the same chronological age (M age 7.8), 24 children with the...
Article
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Previous studies have proposed that low evidential criteria or proneness to jump to conclusions influences the formation of paranormal beliefs. We investigated whether the low evidential criteria hypothesis for paranormal beliefs extends to a conceptually distinct type of unwarranted beliefs: those related to pseudoscience. We presented individuals...
Article
Background We have previously presented two educational interventions aimed to diminish causal illusions and promote critical thinking. In both cases, these interventions reduced causal illusions developed in response to active contingency learning tasks, in which participants were able to decide whether to introduce the potential cause in each of...
Article
Positive implications of schizotypal personality have been discussed in the literature in the last few years, higher creativity being one of them. Specifically, positive and negative schizotypy dimensions have been respectively related to higher and lower creativity levels. However, a considerable amount of null associations between these two const...
Article
Causal illusions have been postulated as cognitive mediators of pseudoscientific beliefs, which, in turn, might lead to the use of pseudomedicines. However, while the laboratory tasks aimed to explore causal illusions typically present participants with information regarding the consequences of administering a fictitious treatment versus not admini...
Article
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The term schizotypy refers to a group of stable personality traits with attributes similar to symptoms of schizophrenia, usually classified in terms of positive, negative or cognitive disorganization symptoms. The observation of increased spreading of semantic activation in individuals with schizotypal traits has led to the hypothesis that thought...
Article
Function words and, more specifically, articles have been widely indicated as one of the main sources of difficulty for children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). The present study is the first to assess the online comprehension of Spanish articles in bilingual children with DLD. In an eye tracking experiment, we monitored participants’ e...
Article
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Enhanced spreading of semantic activation has been hypothesized to underlie some of the most significant symptoms of schizotypal personality, like thought disorder, odd speech, delusion, or magical thinking. We applied the Deese/Roediger-McDermott false memory task to the study of semantic activation in a group of 123 non-clinical individuals varyi...
Article
Causal illusion has been proposed as a cognitive mediator of pseudoscientific beliefs. However, previous studies have only tested the association between this cognitive bias and a closely related but different type of unwarranted beliefs, those related to superstition and paranormal phenomena. Participants (n = 225) responded to a novel questionnai...
Article
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According to the mortality salience hypothesis of terror management theory, reminders of our future death increase the necessity to validate our cultural worldview and to enhance our self-esteem. In Experiment 2 of the study 'I am not an animal: Mortality salience, disgust, and the denial of human creatureliness', Goldenberg et al. (Goldenberg et a...
Preprint
According to the mortality salience hypothesis of terror management theory, reminders of our future death increase the necessity to validate our cultural worldview and to enhance our self-esteem. In Experiment 2 of the study “I am not an animal: Mortality salience, disgust, and the denial of human creatureliness”, Goldenberg et al. (2001) observed...
Article
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Promoting a better understanding of statistical data is becoming increasingly important for improving risk comprehension and decision-making. In this regard, previous studies on Bayesian problem solving have shown that iconic representations help infer frequencies in sets and subsets. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which icons enhance performance...
Article
Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients are known to present semantic memory impairments, and semantic processing plays a crucial role in the formation of false memories. We assessed 40 early stage AD patients and 35 matched healthy volunteers with an emotional version of the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm, which allows the study of false memory forma...
Article
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We carried out an experiment using a conventional causal learning task but extending the number of learning trials participants were exposed to. Participants in the standard training group were exposed to 48 learning trials before being asked about the potential causal relationship under examination, whereas for participants in the long training gr...
Article
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Ideally, decisions regarding one’s health should be made after assessing the objective probabilities of relevant outcomes. Nevertheless, previous beliefs and emotional reactions also have a role in decision-making. Furthermore, the comprehension of probabilities is commonly affected by the presentation format, and by numeracy. This study aimed to a...
Article
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Cognitive biases such as causal illusions have been related to paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs and, thus, pose a real threat to the development of adequate critical thinking abilities. We aimed to reduce causal illusions in undergraduates by means of an educational intervention combining training-in-bias and training-in-rules techniques. Fi...
Article
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Previous research has studied the relationship between political ideology and cognitive biases, such as the tendency of conservatives to form stronger illusory correlations between negative infrequent behaviors and minority groups. We further explored these findings by studying the relation between illusory correlation and moral values. According t...
Data
Political identity questionnaire items. (DOCX)
Article
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Background: Children with a diagnosis of specific language impairment (SLI) present impaired oral comprehension. According to the simple view of reading, general amodal linguistic capacity accounts for both oral and reading comprehension. Considering this, we should expect SLI children to display a reading comprehension deficit. However, previous...
Article
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Different psycholinguistic theories have suggested the importance of verb semantics in rapidly anticipating upcoming information during real-time sentence comprehension. To date, no study has examined if children use verbs to predict arguments and adjuncts in sentence comprehension using children with specific language impairment (SLI). Twenty-five...
Article
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with a general cognitive decline that affects the memory and language domains. Thus, an oral production deficit with a lexical-semantic origin has been widely observed in these patients. Their written production capacities, however, have been much less studied. We assessed the spelling abilities of 22 AD patie...
Article
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According to the dual coding theory, differences in the ease of retrieval between concrete and abstract words are related to the exclusive dependence of abstract semantics on linguistic information. Argument structure can be considered a measure of the complexity of the linguistic contexts that accompany a verb. If the retrieval of abstract verbs r...
Article
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Grammatical effects in picture-word interference experiments have been argued to reflect grammatical constraints during lexicalisation. Alternative views hold that those effects derive from the coincidence of semantic and grammatical differences between candidates. We present three experiments conducted in Spanish. Semantic relatedness between targ...
Article
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In order to explore the role of the main psycholinguistic variables on visual word recognition, several mega-studies have been conducted in English in recent years. Nevertheless, because the effects of these variables depend on the regularity of the orthographic system, studies must also be done in other languages with different characteristics. Th...
Article
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Strategies used by reading learners depend largely on the consistency of orthographic systems. Thus, whereas learners of languages with transparent orthographies rely mainly on sublexical strategies, learners of deep orthographic systems have to resort to the use of flexible lexical and sublexical strategies in order to achieve a good command of wo...
Article
Las estrategias que emplean los aprendices lectores dependen en buena medida de la consistencia de los sistemas ortográficos pues, mientras en las ortografías transparentes los aprendices se basan más en estrategias subléxicas, en las opacas tienen que recurrir a un uso flexible de estrategias de tipo subléxico y léxico. No obstante, algunas invest...
Article
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The aim of this study was to determine the brain areas responsible for the semantic impairment observed in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) patients. Thirteen AD, 14 MCI patients, and 13 matched healthy older adults were assessed with a test battery aimed to study their semantic competence. Different subtasks were design...
Article
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In an opaque orthography like English, phonological coding errors are a prominent feature of dyslexia. In a transparent orthography like Spanish, reading difficulties are characterized by slower reading speed rather than reduced accuracy. In previous research, the reading speed deficit was revealed by asking children to read lists of words. However...
Article
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In recent years, a considerable number of studies have tried to establish which characteristics of objects and their names predict the responses of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the picture-naming task. The frequency of use of words and their age of acquisition (AoA) have been implicated as two of the most influential variables, with na...
Article
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Previous research has shown dementia and mild cognitive impairment to be present in some Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Nevertheless, it is still not clear whether PD patients are also impaired on facial emotion recognition, nor it is whether this possible deficit is independent other cognitive impairment. The aim of this study is to assess the...
Article
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The present study investigated the neural correlates of the processing of abstract (low imageability) verbs. An extensive body of literature has investigated concrete versus abstract nouns but little is known about how abstract verbs are processed. Spanish abstract verbs including emotion verbs (e.g., amar, "to love"; molestar, "to annoy") were com...
Article
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The verb-specific impairment present in patients with motion-related neurological diseases has been argued to support the hypothesis that the processing of words referring to motion depends on neural activity in regions involved in motor planning and execution. We presented a group of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with an action-naming task in...
Article
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Some degree of cognitive impairment appears frequently in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, even at the onset of the disease. However, due to the heterogeneity of the patients and the lack of standardized assessment batteries, it remains unclear which capacities are primarily affected by this disease. Fifty PD patients were assessed with 15 tests...
Article
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Three series of priming experiments were conducted to probe the morphological and phonological contributions to visual word recognition in Spanish. Prefixed, e.g., INCAPAZ (incapable), and pseudoprefixed, e.g., INDUSTRIA (industry) target words were presented for recognition following a prefixed, e.g., infeliz (unhappy), or pseudoprefixed, e.g., in...
Article
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Background: Adult oral reading in consistent orthographies, like Spanish, is argued to proceed through sublexical spelling-to-sound conversion. Hence, it was surprising that Davies and Cuetos (200514. Davies , R. and Cuetos , F. 2005. Acquired dyslexia in Spanish: A review and some observations on a new case of deep dyslexia. Behavioural Neurolog...
Article
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La estimulación magnética transcraneal (EMT) se ha utilizado para demostrar el papel crucial de la corteza motora en la comprensión del significado de verbos de movimiento. Otras regiones como la parte posterior de la circunvolución temporal media, o la circunvolución frontal inferior izquierda, se han asociado también al procesamiento de este tipo...
Article
The search for early cognitive markers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has focused on episodic memory and spatiotemporal orientation. However, recent research suggests that semantic memory is also impaired in the preclinical stages of AD. Age- and education-matched groups of participants with AD, mild cognitive impairment, and subjective memory complai...
Article
In order to explore the possible contribution of the motor system to the representation of verbs, we studied the relative preservation of the capacity of Parkinson disease patients to name matched sets of object and action pictures. The performance of this group of participants was compared with that of a group of healthy seniors, and a group of Al...
Article
We investigated picture naming in Spanish-speaking patients with probable Alzheimer's disease using coloured line drawings of actions and objects matched on several key psycholinguistic variables. The patients were less accurate than healthy controls but we found no significant evidence for an effect of grammatical class. Generalized linear mixed-e...
Article
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One of the most common types of errors produced by aphasic patients during oral word production is semantic errors. However, although aphasia semantic errors are often treated as a single homogenous group, there are, in fact, several subtypes defined by the nature of the error-target relationship: paradigmatic, if the two words are category coordin...
Article
Studies conducted in recent years on oral andwritten language production show that the ageat which words are learned is the main variablethat influences lexical access in both hearingpeople and people who have suffered brainlesions. No studies have been done with deafpeople and, since they use sign language inaddition to oral language, differencesr...

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