Candice Frances

Publications

Displaying 1 - 16 of 16
  • He, J., Frances, C., Creemers, A., & Brehm, L. (2024). Effects of irrelevant unintelligible and intelligible background speech on spoken language production. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/17470218231219971.

    Abstract

    Earlier work has explored spoken word production during irrelevant background speech such as intelligible and unintelligible word lists. The present study compared how different types of irrelevant background speech (word lists vs. sentences) influenced spoken word production relative to a quiet control condition, and whether the influence depended on the intelligibility of the background speech. Experiment 1 presented native Dutch speakers with Chinese word lists and sentences. Experiment 2 presented a similar group with Dutch word lists and sentences. In both experiments, the lexical selection demands in speech production were manipulated by varying name agreement (high vs. low) of the to-be-named pictures. Results showed that background speech, regardless of its intelligibility, disrupted spoken word production relative to a quiet condition, but no effects of word lists versus sentences in either language were found. Moreover, the disruption by intelligible background speech compared with the quiet condition was eliminated when planning low name agreement pictures. These findings suggest that any speech, even unintelligible speech, interferes with production, which implies that the disruption of spoken word production is mainly phonological in nature. The disruption by intelligible background speech can be reduced or eliminated via top–down attentional engagement.
  • Frances, C. (2024). Good enough processing: What have we learned in the 20 years since Ferreira et al. (2002)? Frontiers in Psychology, 15: 1323700. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1323700.

    Abstract

    Traditionally, language processing has been thought of in terms of complete processing of the input. In contrast to this, Ferreira and colleagues put forth the idea of good enough processing. The proposal was that during everyday processing, ambiguities remain unresolved, we rely on heuristics instead of full analyses, and we carry out deep processing only if we need to for the task at hand. This idea has gathered substantial traction since its conception. In the current work, I review the papers that have tested the three key claims of good enough processing: ambiguities remain unresolved and underspecified, we use heuristics to parse sentences, and deep processing is only carried out if required by the task. I find mixed evidence for these claims and conclude with an appeal to further refinement of the claims and predictions of the theory.
  • Frances, C., Navarra-Barindelli, E., & Martin, C. D. (2022). Speaker accent modulates the effects of orthographic and phonological similarity on auditory processing by learners of English. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.892822.

    Abstract

    The cognate effect refers to translation equivalents with similar form between languages—i.e., cognates, such as “band” (English) and “banda” (Spanish)—being processed faster than words with dissimilar forms—such as, “cloud” and “nube.” Substantive literature supports this claim, but is mostly based on orthographic similarity and tested in the visual modality. In a previous study, we found an inhibitory orthographic similarity effect in the auditory modality—i.e., greater orthographic similarity led to slower response times and reduced accuracy. The aim of the present study is to explain this effect. In doing so, we explore the role of the speaker's accent in auditory word recognition and whether native accents lead to a mismatch between the participants' phonological representation and the stimulus. Participants carried out a lexical decision task and a typing task in which they spelled out the word they heard. Words were produced by two speakers: one with a native English accent (Standard American) and the other with a non-native accent matching that of the participants (native Spanish speaker from Spain). We manipulated orthographic and phonological similarity orthogonally and found that accent did have some effect on both response time and accuracy as well as modulating the effects of similarity. Overall, the non-native accent improved performance, but it did not fully explain why high orthographic similarity items show an inhibitory effect in the auditory modality. Theoretical implications and future directions are discussed.
  • Frances, C., Navarra-Barindelli, E., & Martin, C. D. (2021). Inhibitory and facilitatory effects of phonological and orthographic similarity on L2 word recognition across modalities in bilinguals. Scientific Reports, 11: 12812. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-92259-z.

    Abstract

    Language perception studies on bilinguals often show that words that share form and meaning across languages (cognates) are easier to process than words that share only meaning. This facilitatory phenomenon is known as the cognate effect. Most previous studies have shown this effect visually, whereas the auditory modality as well as the interplay between type of similarity and modality remain largely unexplored. In this study, highly proficient late Spanish–English bilinguals carried out a lexical decision task in their second language, both visually and auditorily. Words had high or low phonological and orthographic similarity, fully crossed. We also included orthographically identical words (perfect cognates). Our results suggest that similarity in the same modality (i.e., orthographic similarity in the visual modality and phonological similarity in the auditory modality) leads to improved signal detection, whereas similarity across modalities hinders it. We provide support for the idea that perfect cognates are a special category within cognates. Results suggest a need for a conceptual and practical separation between types of similarity in cognate studies. The theoretical implication is that the representations of items are active in both modalities of the non-target language during language processing, which needs to be incorporated to our current processing models.

    Additional information

    supplementary information
  • Frances, C., Navarra-Barindelli, E., & Martin, C. D. (2021). Inhibitory and facilitatory effects of phonological and orthographic similarity on L2 word recognition across modalities in bilinguals. Scientific Reports, 11: 12812. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-92259-z.

    Abstract

    Language perception studies on bilinguals often show that words that share form and meaning across
    languages (cognates) are easier to process than words that share only meaning. This facilitatory
    phenomenon is known as the cognate effect. Most previous studies have shown this effect visually,
    whereas the auditory modality as well as the interplay between type of similarity and modality
    remain largely unexplored. In this study, highly proficient late Spanish–English bilinguals carried out
    a lexical decision task in their second language, both visually and auditorily. Words had high or low
    phonological and orthographic similarity, fully crossed. We also included orthographically identical
    words (perfect cognates). Our results suggest that similarity in the same modality (i.e., orthographic
    similarity in the visual modality and phonological similarity in the auditory modality) leads to
    improved signal detection, whereas similarity across modalities hinders it. We provide support for
    the idea that perfect cognates are a special category within cognates. Results suggest a need for a
    conceptual and practical separation between types of similarity in cognate studies. The theoretical
    implication is that the representations of items are active in both modalities of the non‑target
    language during language processing, which needs to be incorporated to our current processing
    models.
  • Frances, C. (2021). Semantic richness, semantic context, and language learning. PhD Thesis, Universidad del País Vasco-Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Donostia.

    Abstract

    As knowing a foreign language becomes a necessity in the modern world, a large portion of
    the population is faced with the challenge of learning a language in a classroom. This, in turn,
    presents a unique set of difficulties. Acquiring a language with limited and artificial exposure makes
    learning new information and vocabulary particularly difficult. The purpose of this thesis is to help us
    understand how we can compensate—at least partially—for these difficulties by presenting
    information in a way that aids learning. In particular, I focused on variables that affect semantic
    richness—meaning the amount and variability of information associated with a word. Some factors
    that affect semantic richness are intrinsic to the word and others pertain to that word’s relationship
    with other items and information. This latter group depends on the context around the to-be-
    learned items rather than the words themselves. These variables are easier to manipulate than
    intrinsic qualities, making them more accessible tools for teaching and understanding learning. I
    focused on two factors: emotionality of the surrounding semantic context and contextual diversity.
    Publication 1 (Frances, de Bruin, et al., 2020b) focused on content learning in a foreign
    language and whether the emotionality—positive or neutral—of the semantic context surrounding
    key information aided its learning. This built on prior research that showed a reduction in
    emotionality in a foreign language. Participants were taught information embedded in either
    positive or neutral semantic contexts in either their native or foreign language. When they were
    then tested on these embedded facts, participants’ performance decreased in the foreign language.
    But, more importantly, they remembered better the information from the positive than the neutral
    semantic contexts.
    In Publication 2 (Frances, de Bruin, et al., 2020a), I focused on how emotionality affected
    vocabulary learning. I taught participants the names of novel items described either in positive or
    neutral terms in either their native or foreign language. Participants were then asked to recall and
    recognize the object's name—when cued with its image. The effects of language varied with the
    difficulty of the task—appearing in recall but not recognition tasks. Most importantly, learning the
    words in a positive context improved learning, particularly of the association between the image of
    the object and its name.
    In Publication 3 (Frances, Martin, et al., 2020), I explored the effects of contextual
    diversity—namely, the number of texts a word appears in—on native and foreign language word
    learning. Participants read several texts that had novel pseudowords. The total number of
    encounters with the novel words was held constant, but they appeared in 1, 2, 4, or 8 texts in either
    their native or foreign language. Increasing contextual diversity—i.e., the number of texts a word
    appeared in—improved recall and recognition, as well as the ability to match the word with its
    meaning. Using a foreign language only affected performance when participants had to quickly
    identify the meaning of the word.
    Overall, I found that the tested contextual factors related to semantic richness—i.e.,
    emotionality of the semantic context and contextual diversity—can be manipulated to improve
    learning in a foreign language. Using positive emotionality not only improved learning in the foreign
    language, but it did so to the same extent as in the native language. On a theoretical level, this
    suggests that the reduction in emotionality in a foreign language is not ubiquitous and might relate
    to the way in which that language as learned.
    The third article shows an experimental manipulation of contextual diversity and how this
    can affect learning of a lexical item, even if the amount of information known about the item is kept
    constant. As in the case of emotionality, the effects of contextual diversity were also the same
    between languages. Although deducing words from context is dependent on vocabulary size, this
    does not seem to hinder the benefits of contextual diversity in the foreign language.
    Finally, as a whole, the articles contained in this compendium provide evidence that some
    aspects of semantic richness can be manipulated contextually to improve learning and memory. In
    addition, the effects of these factors seem to be independent of language status—meaning, native
    or foreign—when learning new content. This suggests that learning in a foreign and a native
    language is not as different as I initially hypothesized, allowing us to take advantage of native
    language learning tools in the foreign language, as well.
  • Frances, C., De Bruin, A., & Duñabeitia, J. A. (2020). The influence of emotional and foreign language context in content learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 42(4), 891-903.
  • Frances, C., Martin, C. D., & Andoni, D. J. (2020). The effects of contextual diversity on incidental vocabulary learning in the native and a foreign language. Scientific Reports, 10: 13967. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-70922-1.

    Abstract

    Vocabulary learning occurs throughout the lifespan, often implicitly. For foreign language learners,
    this is particularly challenging as they must acquire a large number of new words with little exposure.
    In the present study, we explore the effects of contextual diversity—namely, the number of texts a
    word appears in—on native and foreign language word learning. Participants read several texts that
    had novel pseudowords replacing high-frequency words. The total number of encounters with the
    novel words was held constant, but they appeared in 1, 2, 4, or 8 texts. In addition, some participants
    read the texts in Spanish (their native language) and others in English (their foreign language). We
    found that increasing contextual diversity improved recall and recognition of the word, as well as the
    ability to match the word with its meaning while keeping comprehension unimpaired. Using a foreign
    language only affected performance in the matching task, where participants had to quickly identify
    the meaning of the word. Results are discussed in the greater context of the word learning and foreign
    language literature as well as their importance as a teaching tool.
  • Frances, C., Pueyo, S., Anaya, V., & Dunabeitia Landaburu, J. A. (2020). Interpreting foreign smiles: language context and type of scale in the assessment of perceived happiness and sadness. Psicológica, 41, 21-38. doi:10.2478/psicolj-2020-0002.

    Abstract

    The current study focuses on how different scales with varying demands can
    affect our subjective assessments. We carried out 2 experiments in which we
    asked participants to rate how happy or sad morphed images of faces looked.
    The two extremes were the original happy and original sad faces with 4
    morphs in between. We manipulated language of the task—namely, half of
    the participants carried it out in their native language, Spanish, and the other
    half in their foreign language, English—and type of scale. Within type of
    scale, we compared verbal and brightness scales. We found that, while
    language did not have an effect on the assessment, type of scale did. The
    brightness scale led to overall higher ratings, i.e., assessing all faces as
    somewhat happier. This provides a limitation on the foreign language effect,
    as well as evidence for the influence of the cognitive demands of a scale on
    emotionality assessments.
  • Frances, C., De Bruin, A., & Duñabeitia, J. A. (2020). The effects of language and emotionality of stimuli on vocabulary learning. PLoS One, 15(10): e0240252. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0240252.

    Abstract

    Learning new content and vocabulary in a foreign language can be particularly difficult. Yet,
    there are educational programs that require people to study in a language they are not
    native speakers of. For this reason, it is important to understand how these learning processes work and possibly differ from native language learning, as well as to develop strategies to ease this process. The current study takes advantage of emotionality—operationally
    defined as positive valence and high arousal—to improve memory. In two experiments, the
    present paper addresses whether participants have more difficulty learning the names of
    objects they have never seen before in their foreign language and whether embedding them
    in a positive semantic context can help make learning easier. With this in mind, we had participants (with a minimum of a B2 level of English) in two experiments (43 participants in
    Experiment 1 and 54 in Experiment 2) read descriptions of made-up objects—either positive
    or neutral and either in their native or a foreign language. The effects of language varied
    with the difficulty of the task and measure used. In both cases, learning the words in a positive context improved learning. Importantly, the effect of emotionality was not modulated by
    language, suggesting that the effects of emotionality are independent of language and could
    potentially be a useful tool for improving foreign language vocabulary learning.

    Additional information

    Supporting information
  • Frances, C., Costa, A., & Baus, C. (2018). On the effects of regional accents on memory and credibility. Acta Psychologica, 186, 63-70. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.04.003.

    Abstract

    The information we obtain from how speakers sound—for example their accent—affects how we interpret the messages they convey. A clear example is foreign accented speech, where reduced intelligibility and speaker's social categorization (out-group member) affect memory and the credibility of the message (e.g., less trustworthiness). In the present study, we go one step further and ask whether evaluations of messages are also affected by regional accents—accents from a different region than the listener. In the current study, we report results from three experiments on immediate memory recognition and immediate credibility assessments as well as the illusory truth effect. These revealed no differences between messages conveyed in local—from the same region as the participant—and regional accents—from native speakers of a different country than the participants. Our results suggest that when the accent of a speaker has high intelligibility, social categorization by accent does not seem to negatively affect how we treat the speakers' messages.
  • Frances, C., Costa, A., & Baus, C. (2018). On the effects of regional accents on memory and credibility. Acta Psychologica, 186, 63-70. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.04.003.

    Abstract

    The information we obtain from how speakers sound—for example their accent—affects how we interpret the
    messages they convey. A clear example is foreign accented speech, where reduced intelligibility and speaker's
    social categorization (out-group member) affect memory and the credibility of the message (e.g., less trust-
    worthiness). In the present study, we go one step further and ask whether evaluations of messages are also
    affected by regional accents—accents from a different region than the listener. In the current study, we report
    results from three experiments on immediate memory recognition and immediate credibility assessments as well
    as the illusory truth effect. These revealed no differences between messages conveyed in local—from the same
    region as the participant—and regional accents—from native speakers of a different country than the partici-
    pants. Our results suggest that when the accent of a speaker has high intelligibility, social categorization by
    accent does not seem to negatively affect how we treat the speakers' messages.
  • Gaspard III, J. C., Bauer, G. B., Mann, D. A., Boerner, K., Denum, L., Frances, C., & Reep, R. L. (2017). Detection of hydrodynamic stimuli by the postcranial body of Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) A Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology. Journal of Comparative Physiology, 203, 111-120. doi:10.1007/s00359-016-1142-8.

    Abstract

    Manatees live in shallow, frequently turbid
    waters. The sensory means by which they navigate in these
    conditions are unknown. Poor visual acuity, lack of echo-
    location, and modest chemosensation suggest that other
    modalities play an important role. Rich innervation of sen-
    sory hairs that cover the entire body and enlarged soma-
    tosensory areas of the brain suggest that tactile senses are
    good candidates. Previous tests of detection of underwater
    vibratory stimuli indicated that they use passive movement
    of the hairs to detect particle displacements in the vicinity
    of a micron or less for frequencies from 10 to 150 Hz. In
    the current study, hydrodynamic stimuli were created by
    a sinusoidally oscillating sphere that generated a dipole
    field at frequencies from 5 to 150 Hz. Go/no-go tests of
    manatee postcranial mechanoreception of hydrodynamic
    stimuli indicated excellent sensitivity but about an order of
    magnitude less than the facial region. When the vibrissae
    were trimmed, detection thresholds were elevated, suggest-
    ing that the vibrissae were an important means by which
    detection occurred. Manatees were also highly accurate in two-choice directional discrimination: greater than 90%
    correct at all frequencies tested. We hypothesize that mana-
    tees utilize vibrissae as a three-dimensional array to detect
    and localize low-frequency hydrodynamic stimuli
  • Tyler-Julian, K., Chapman, K. M., Frances, C., & Bauer, G. B. (2016). Behavioral lateralization in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 29. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/1hg3g3vt.

    Abstract

    We examined side preferences in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) through observations of limb use (right and left flipper) in 123 wild and 16 captive individuals. We also analyzed archival data, the United States Geological Survey Sirenia ProjectManatee Individual Photo-identification Systemdataset, to determine lateralization of evasive action from boats. Wild and captive manatees displayed flipper lateralization at the individual, but not the population level for several behaviors including substrate touches, sculling, and feeding. In contrast, manatees were lateralized at the population level for boat-scar biases,with more manatees showing a left scar bias (45.3%) versus right (34.3%) or dorsal/ambipreferent (20.3%).
  • Tzekov, R., Quezada, A., Gautier, M., Biggins, D., Frances, C., Mouzon, B., Jamison, J., Mullan, M., & Crawford, F. (2014). Repetitive mild traumatic brain injury causes optic nerve and retinal damage in a mouse model. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 73(4), 345-361. doi:10.1097/NEN.0000000000000059.

    Abstract

    There is increasing evidence that long-lasting morphologic and
    functional consequences can be present in the human visual system
    after repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (r-mTBI). The exact lo-
    cation and extent of the damage in this condition are not well un-
    derstood. Using a recently developed mouse model of r-mTBI, we
    assessed the effects on the retina and optic nerve using histology and
    immunohistochemistry, electroretinography (ERG), and spectral-
    domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) at 10 and 13 weeks
    after injury. Control mice received repetitive anesthesia alone (r-sham).
    We observed decreased optic nerve diameters and increased cellularity
    and areas of demyelination in optic nerves in r-mTBI versus r-sham
    mice. There were concomitant areas of decreased cellularity in the
    retinal ganglion cell layer and approximately 67% decrease in brain-
    specific homeobox/POU domain protein 3AYpositive retinal ganglion
    cells in retinal flat mounts. Furthermore, SD-OCT demonstrated a de-
    tectable thinning of the inner retina; ERG demonstrated a decrease in
    the amplitude of the photopic negative response without any change in
    a- or b-wave amplitude or timing. Thus, the ERG and SD-OCT data
    correlated well with changes detected by morphometric, histologic,
    and immunohistochemical methods, thereby supporting the use of
    these noninvasive methods in the assessment of visual function and
    morphology in clinical cases of mTBI.
  • Nomi, J. S., Frances, C., Nguyen, M. T., Bastidas, S., & Troup, L. J. (2013). Interaction of threat expressions and eye gaze: an event-related potential study. NeuroReport, 24, 813-817. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283647682.

    Abstract

    he current study examined the interaction of fearful, angry,
    happy, and neutral expressions with left, straight, and
    right eye gaze directions. Human participants viewed
    faces consisting of various expression and eye gaze
    combinations while event-related potential (ERP) data
    were collected. The results showed that angry expressions
    modulated the mean amplitude of the P1, whereas fearful
    and happy expressions modulated the mean amplitude of
    the N170. No influence of eye gaze on mean amplitudes for
    the P1 and N170 emerged. Fearful, angry, and happy
    expressions began to interact with eye gaze to influence
    mean amplitudes in the time window of 200–400 ms.
    The results suggest early processing of expression
    influence ERPs independent of eye gaze, whereas
    expression and gaze interact to influence later
    ERPs.

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