Neural correlates of deductive reasoning: An ERP study with the Wason Selection Task

Cutmore, Tim R.H., Halford, Graeme S., Wang, Ya, Ramm, Brentyn J., Spokes, Tara and Shum, David H.K. (2015) Neural correlates of deductive reasoning: An ERP study with the Wason Selection Task. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 98 3: 381-388. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.07.004

Author Cutmore, Tim R.H.
Halford, Graeme S.
Wang, Ya
Ramm, Brentyn J.
Spokes, Tara
Shum, David H.K.
Title Neural correlates of deductive reasoning: An ERP study with the Wason Selection Task
Journal name International Journal of Psychophysiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1872-7697
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.07.004
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 98
Issue 3
Start page 381
End page 388
Total pages 8
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract The Wason Selection Task (WST) is a well-known test of reasoning in which one turns over cards to test a rule about the two faces. Modifications were made to the WST to enable more direct and analytical investigation of reasoning processes. The modifications included extensive training to reduce variations in task interpretation, isolation of working memory in the decision phase, a separate rule for each card and variations in the form of the rule (number-letter as well as letter-number), separate scoring for each card, and inclusion of control cards that could be recognized by features without relational processing. The cognitive complexity of each card was also analyzed to enable investigation of this factor. Behavioral and event-related potential data were recorded. Negative cards differed from positive cards and control cards were differentiated from cards involved in inferences. The N2 component differentiated the negative conditions (not-P, not-Q cards) from the positive conditions (P, Q cards). The P3 component was largest for control and P cards (the simpler conditions). The late slow wave tended to show more sustained processing of not-P, not-Q and Q cards and was little influenced by the simpler control and P cards. Effects were interpreted in terms of cognitive complexity. In particular, the negative conditions had a larger N2 response than the positive conditions, reflecting greater cognitive complexity of the former and their sustained processing.
Keyword Deductive reasoning
Cognitive conflict
Conditional reasoning
Event-related potentials
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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