Robert G Morrison

Robert G Morrison
Loyola University Chicago | LUC · Department of Psychology

PhD UCLA

About

73
Publications
45,362
Reads
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2,628
Citations
Introduction
Robert G. Morrison, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Loyola University Chicago, uses behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging methods to investigate memory and reasoning throughout the lifespan. ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5521-491X
Additional affiliations
March 2016 - present
Loyola University Chicago
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • We study the cognitive and affective processes underlying human thought and behavior throughout the lifespan using behavioral, neuroimaging and computational methods.
August 2009 - present
Loyola University Chicago
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience (undergraduate) Seminar in Cognitive Neuroscience (graduate) Psychology of Creativity (undergraduate-honors) Seminar in Neuroscience (undergraduate) Laboratory in Experimental Psychology - Cognition (undergraduate)
June 2009 - March 2016
Loyola University Chicago
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • We study the cognitive and affective processes underlying human thought and behavior throughout the lifespan using behavioral, neuroimaging and computational methods.
Education
September 1998 - March 2004
University of California, Los Angeles
Field of study
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
January 1997 - June 1998
Cleveland State University
Field of study
  • Experimental Psychology
August 1984 - May 1988
Wheaton College (MA)
Field of study
  • Chemistry

Publications

Publications (73)
Article
Full-text available
Research on the effects of media violence exposure has shown robust associations among violent media exposure, increased aggressive behavior, and decreased empathy. Preliminary research indicates that frequent players of violent video games may have differences in emotional and cognitive processes compared to infrequent or non-players, yet research...
Article
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Children’s cognitive control and knowledge at school entry predict growth rates in analogical reasoning skill over time; however, the mechanisms by which these factors interact and impact learning are unclear. We propose that inhibitory control is critical for developing both the relational representations necessary to reason and the ability to use...
Article
Prior studies of A:B::C:D verbal analogies have identified several factors that affect performance, including the semantic similarity between source and target domains (semantic distance), the semantic association between the C-term and incorrect answers (distracter salience), and the type of relations between word pairs. However, it is unclear how...
Article
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Given the importance of analogical reasoning to bootstrapping children's understanding of the world, why is this ability so challenging for children? Two common sources of error have been implicated: 1) children's inability to prioritize relational information during initial problem solving; 2) children's inability to disengage from salient distrac...
Article
Unhealthy food marketing, a ubiquitous food stimulus, may impact response inhibition, making it more difficult to maintain healthy eating behaviors. Individuals with disordered eating may be particularly susceptible to altered inhibition responses to food stimuli making them more vulnerable to unhealthy food marketing, which could perpetuate their...
Article
Analogical reasoning is an important, but difficult skill to develop. Here, we consider (1) whether children’s difficulty with analogical reasoning can be understood by measuring visual attention during analogy problem solving and a measure of inhibitory control, which researchers have suggested plays an integral role in analogical reasoning, and (...
Article
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This study explored differences in sustained top‐down attentional control (i.e., proactive control) and spontaneous types of control (i.e., reactive control) in bilingual and monolingual speakers. We modified a Color‐Word Stroop task to varying levels of conflict and included switching trials in addition to more “traditional” inhibition Stroop cond...
Article
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This review paper provides an integrative account regarding neurophysiological correlates of positive emotions and affect that cumulatively contribute to the scaffolding for positive emotions and wellbeing in humans and other animals. This paper reviews the associations among neurotransmitters, hormones, brain networks, and cognitive functions in t...
Article
The constant interplay between affective processing and cognitive control supports emotion regulation and appropriate social functioning. Even when affective stimuli are processed implicitly, threat-related stimuli are prioritized in the earliest stages of processing; yet, it remains unclear how implicit attention to affect influences subsequent co...
Article
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Given the importance of developing analogical reasoning to bootstrapping children's understanding of the world, why is this ability so challenging for children? Two common mechanisms have been implicated: 1) children's inability to prioritize relational information during initial problem solving; 2) children's inability to disengage from salient di...
Poster
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The Default Mode Network (DMN) describes a network of highly connected brain regions that are more active in the absence of task engagement. These regions, including medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and areas in lateral parietal and temporal cortices show a high degree of functional connectivity when active. Activation and connectivit...
Poster
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Executive functions include a cluster of abilities important for cognitive control. While they commonly decline with age, their preservation is believed to provide cognitive resilience in the face of neurodegenerative disease. The neurocognitive mechanism responsible for decline in cognitive control has not been conclusively identified. Recently, V...
Article
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Healthy older adults typically perform worse than younger adults at rule-based category learning, but better than patients with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. To further investigate aging’s effect on rule-based category learning, we monitorfed event-related potentials (ERPs) while younger and neuropsychologically typical older adults performed...
Article
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Behavioral, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging evidence has suggested that categories can often be learned via either an explicit rule-based mechanism critically dependent on medial temporal and prefrontal brain regions, or via an implicit information-integration mechanism relying on the basal ganglia. In this study, participants viewed sine-wave...
Article
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The phenomenon of insight is frequently characterized by the experience of a sudden and certain solution. Anecdotal accounts suggest insight frequently occurs after the problem solver has taken some time away from the problem (i.e., incubation). However, the mechanism by which incubation may facilitate insight problem solving is unclear. Here we us...
Conference Paper
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Cognitive neuroscience methods have contributed greatly to our understanding of distinct fast and slow processing systems useful for higher-level cognition. We believe these dual-processes can help explain why political beliefs can make it difficult for politicians to agree on significant policy decisions. While recent research suggests that people...
Article
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Media violence exposure causes increased aggression and decreased prosocial behavior, suggesting that media violence desensitizes people to the emotional experience of others. Alterations in emotional face processing following exposure to media violence may result in desensitization to others' emotional states. This study used scalp electroencephal...
Article
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Serving as a language translator (broker) for family members during childhood can affect cognitive and emotional function in both beneficial and detrimental ways. Child language brokers translate in a variety of contexts including conversations between their parents and financial, legal, and medical professionals. Pressure to be involved in these a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Developmental, neuropsychological, and computational studies have suggested the importance of both relational knowledge and working memory in analogical reasoning. In this study, we investigated the extent to which individual differences in working memory (WM) and crystallized knowledge (Gc) predicted accuracies on a visual analogy verification tas...
Chapter
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A problem arises when an organism has a goal and it is not immediately apparent how the goal can be attained. Most real-world problems cannot be solved via an exhaustive search of all possibilities, but rather must be solved by breaking the problem down into smaller parts, or through reasoning by analogy to similar problems solved in the past. Both...
Conference Paper
New research in political psychology increasingly suggests that political orientation may have a psychological and biological component. We seek to contribute to this research by exploring the role of inhibition in political orientation. Our project has two stages. First, we look for correlation between self-reported measures of political orientati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Computational accounts have traditionally focused on mapping between structured representations as fundamental to analogical processing. However, a recent connectionist model has been used to argue that structured representations may not be necessary to solve verbal analogies. Green and colleagues (2010) have shown that brain areas associated with...
Poster
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Better executive functioning has long been associated with improved human memory during both normal and pathologic aging. We propose that better executive functions may contribute to more effective memory monitoring (i.e., metamemory), which in turn allows the individual to effectively allocate attention during memory encoding. This may particularl...
Poster
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The Northwestern SuperAging Project recruits individuals over the age of 80 with exceptional memory function to explore potential causes for their cognitive resilience. An initial cohort of SuperAgers, have significantly thicker cortices than their healthy age- matched peers and thicker left anterior cingulate cortices (ACC) than much younger indiv...
Chapter
Full-text available
Analogical reasoning involves a structured comparison, or mapping, between one situation (source) and another (target). Analogy is a powerful means for people to learn about new situations based on their prior understanding of the world. Central in adult cognition, analogy is also important for children's capacity to transfer learning across domain...
Conference Paper
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The ability to perceive, comprehend and reason about relations (i.e., relational thinking) is central in human cognition. Relational thinking is powerful because it is structured. Specifically, relational thought allows inferences and generalizations that are constrained by the roles that elements play, rather than strictly the properties of the el...
Article
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The representation and manipulation of structured relations is central to human reasoning. Recent work in computational modeling and neuroscience has set the stage for developing more detailed neurocomputational models of these abilities. Several key neural findings appear to dovetail with computational constraints derived from a model of analogica...
Chapter
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The methods of cognitive neuroscience, notably functional neuroimaging and cognitive neuropsychology, are becoming increasingly important in efforts to understand the processes responsible for human higher cognition. Given the complexity of human thinking and reasoning, it is frequently the case that multiple theories can explain behavioral results...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Inhibitory control is an important aspect of analogical reasoning critically dependent on prefrontal cortex. We used a novel visual analogy paradigm with scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to explore several ways the brain uses inhibitory control to perform analogy. Previous studies have suggested that inhibitory control helps to manage working mem...
Chapter
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This introductory article begins by asking: What is thinking? It looks at the various meanings of the concept in linguistic and philosophical terms. It summarizes the history of the academic study of thinking and reasoning. Finally it gives an outline of the six parts of the book which look in turn at general approaches to thinking and reasoning; i...
Article
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Theories accounting for the development of analogical reasoning tend to emphasize either the centrality of relational knowledge accretion or changes in information processing capability. Simulations in LISA (Hummel & Holyoak, 1997, 2003), a neurally inspired computer model of analogical reasoning, allow us to explore how these factors may collabora...
Poster
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A central challenge for translational cognitive neuroscience is to develop neurocognitive markers for normal and pathological aging. To this end we tested healthy younger (m=21 years) and older (m=71 years) adults using a rule-based category-learning task where participants learn to categorize visual gratings using trial-by-trial feedback while bra...
Conference Paper
We previously reported that when American children can identify the critical structural relations in a scene analogy problem, development of their ability to reason analogically interacts with both relational complexity and featural distraction (Richland, Morrison & Holyoak, 2006). Recently we discovered that unlike 3-4 year old American children,...
Article
Full-text available
A cross-cultural comparison between U.S. and Hong Kong preschoolers examined factors responsible for young children's analogical reasoning errors. On a scene analogy task, both groups had adequate prerequisite knowledge of the key relations, were the same age, and showed similar baseline performance, yet Chinese children outperformed U.S. children...
Conference Paper
Analogical reasoning is one of the most complex forms of human thought, allowing us to adaptively navigate the complex environments of everyday life and to meet the demands of challenging situations we may never have encountered before. The ability to relate novel situations to previous, well- understood experiences in terms of common relational st...
Conference Paper
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Individual differences in analogical reasoning, long of interest to intelligence researchers, provide a unique window to view how changes in working memory and relational learning may jointly contribute to development. Hosenfeld, van der Maas, and van den Boom (1997) collected geometric analogy data from 6-7 year children during repetitive testing...
Conference Paper
Behavioral, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging evidence indicate categories can be learned either via an explicit rule-based mechanism dependent on medial temporal and prefrontal brain regions, or via an implicit information integration mechanism relying on the basal ganglia and occipital cortex. In this study, participants viewed Gabor patches t...
Article
Full-text available
Analogy employs a neurocognitive working-memory (WM) system to activate and bind relational representations, integrate multiple relations, and suppress distracting information. Analogy experiments exploring these processes have used a variety of methodologies including dual tasks, neuropsychology, and functional neuroimaging, as well as experiments...
Article
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We compared the reasoning performance of patients with frontal-variant frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with that of patients with temporal-variant FTLD and healthy controls. In a picture analogy task with a multiple-choice answer format, frontal-variant FTLD patients performed less accurately than temporal-variant FTLD patients, who in tur...
Article
Full-text available
We explored how relational complexity and featural distraction, as varied in scene analogy problems, affect children's analogical reasoning performance. Results with 3- and 4-year-olds, 6- and 7-year-olds, 9- to 11-year-olds, and 13- and 14-year-olds indicate that when children can identify the critical structural relations in a scene analogy probl...
Article
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Previous research has shown that synchronized flicker can facilitate detection of a single Kanizsa square. The present study investigated the role of temporally structured priming in discrimination tasks involving perceptual relations between multiple Kanizsa-type figures. Results indicate that visual information presented as temporally structured...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We have previously reported results showing that when children can identify the critical structural relations in a scene analogy problem, development of their ability to reason analogically interacts with both relational complexity and featural distraction (Richland, Morrison & Holyoak, 2004, in press). In this paper we present computer simulations...
Article
Full-text available
The difficulty of reasoning tasks depends on their relational complexity, which increases with the number of relations that must be considered simultaneously to make an inference, and on the number of irrelevant items that must be inhibited. The authors examined the ability of younger and older adults to integrate multiple relations and inhibit irr...
Article
Full-text available
Analogy is important for learning and discovery and is considered a core component of intelligence. We present a computational account of analogical reasoning that is compatible with data we have collected from patients with cortical degeneration of either their frontal or anterior temporal cortices due to frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We developed a picture-mapping task (Richland Picture Analogies, RPA) to examine the roles of inhibition and working-memory load on children's development of analogical reasoning. Children of ages 3-4, 6-8, and 13-14 were instructed to use relational correspondences between source and target pictures to select the target object corresponding most d...
Chapter
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A PROBLEM ARISES when an organism has a goal (a desired state of affairs) and it is not immediately apparent how the goal can be attained. The range of problems people encounter is enormous: planning a dinner party, tracking deer, diagnosing a disease, winning a game of chess, solving mathematical equations, managing a business, or battling the lat...
Article
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Reasoning relies on the ability to detect and manipulate relations among objects or events, while inhibiting semantically related, but irrelevant information. It has been suggested that the prefrontal cortex plays a central role in these abilities. We present preliminary findings from two experiments comparing the reasoning performance of patients...
Article
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Research on semantic memory has often tacitly treated semantic relations as simple conduits for spreading activation between associated object concepts, rather than as integral components of semantic organization. Yet conceptual relations, and the role bindings they impose on the objects they relate, are central to such cognitive tasks as discourse...