Self-organization of cognitive performance.

  title={Self-organization of cognitive performance.},
  author={Guy C. van Orden and John G. Holden and Michael T. Turvey},
  journal={Journal of experimental psychology. General},
  volume={132 3},
Background noise is the irregular variation across repeated measurements of human performance. Background noise remains after task and treatment effects are minimized. Background noise refers to intrinsic sources of variability, the intrinsic dynamics of mind and body, and the internal workings of a living being. Two experiments demonstrate 1/f scaling (pink noise) in simple reaction times and speeded word naming times, which round out a catalog of laboratory task demonstrations that background… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Understanding the structure of cognitive noise

It is found that 1/f noise and heavy-tailed response distributions co-occur in both types of tasks and is shown that a statistical sampling algorithm, developed to deal with patchy environments, generates bothheavy-tailed distributions and 1/ f noise, suggesting that cognitive noise may be a functional adaptation to dealing with a complex world.

1/f noise in human cognition: Is it ubiquitous, and what does it mean?

It is argued that the development of well-specified models of the principles or mechanisms of human cognition giving rise to 1/f noise is long overdue and the theoretical developments in this area are assessed.

The emergent coordination of cognitive function.

Intrinsic fluctuations exhibited 1/f scaling in both reaction times and key-contact durations, yet the 2 measures were uncorrelated with each other and separately perturbable.

Endogenous neural noise and stochastic resonance

We discuss the relationship of endogenous neural noise (ENN) to performance of behavioral tasks and to information processing in the brain. Spontaneous neural activity is closely linked to

1/f noise and effort on implicit measures of bias.

  • Joshua Correll
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 2008
The author examines the relationship between an individual's attempts to avoid bias and 1/f noise in implicit measures of stereotyping and prejudice, leading to the prediction that increasing effort will reduce 1/ f noise.

Author ' s personal copy Interactions dominate the dynamics of visual cognition

Many cognitive theories have described behavior as the summation of independent contributions from separate components. Contrasting views have emphasized the importance of multiplicative interactions



Studies of Mental “Noise”

Successive tests of subjects' performance in reaction time tasks were treated as time series and submitted to spectrum analysis. Rather than revealing the “white” noise expected by the view that

Memory Across Eye-Movements: 1/f Dynamic in Visual Search

The ubiquity of apparently random behavior in visual search (e.g., Horowitz & Wolfe, 1998) has led to our proposal that the human oculomotor system has subtle deterministic properties that underlie

Cognitive emissions of 1/f noise.

This article shows that residual fluctuations that naturally arise in experimental inquiry may harbor a long-term memory process known as 1/f noise, which appears to be associated with the most elementary aspect of cognitive process, the formation of representations.

Estimation and interpretation of 1/fα noise in human cognition

Recent analyses of serial correlations in cognitive tasks have provided preliminary evidence of the presence of a particular form of long-range serial dependence known as 1/fnoise. It has been argued

Origins of Timing Errors in Human Sensorimotor Coordination

Evidence was found that α can be changed when participants use different coordination strategies, suggesting that 1/fα type of long-range correlated timing errors are of higher cortical origin and are likely the outcome of distributed neural processes acting on multiple time scales.

Dynamic Patterns: The Self-Organization of Brain and Behavior

Long Memory Processes ( 1 / f α Type) in Human Coordination

The motivation is to present a unifying mechanism for a diverse set of long memory processes, observed under a variety of sensorimotor conditions, by incorporating both the inevitable occurrence of noise in the nervous system and delay feedback networks involved in controlling the motor output.

Response-time dynamics: evidence for linear and low-dimensional nonlinear structure in human choice sequences.

It is argued that demanding task requirements cause a reduction in the dimensionality of the dynamics, producing RT fluctuations that may reflect a response strategy for controlling RT.

Response-Time Dynamics: Evidence for Linear and Low-Dimensional Nonlinear Structure in Human Choice Sequences

Response time (RT) is a commonly used measure of cognitive performance, which is usually characterized as stochastic. However, useful information may be hidden in the apparently random fluctuations

Unconsciously controlled processing: the stroop effect reconsidered

This view is challenged by a series of three experiments in which the presence/absence of a Stroop effect depends on whether all of the target elements are colored or not, in conjunction with whether the target and the spatially distinct color word distractor belong to the same domain or not.