Recent Research


Healthy Hearing Attitudes and Behaviors among College Students

posted Nov 9, 2017, 1:13 AM by Chris Koch   [ updated Nov 9, 2017, 1:19 AM ]

Christopher Koch and Julia Ristau

Abstract: Approximately 15% of adults aged 18 or older experience some trouble hearing (Blackwell, Lucas, and Clarke, 2014). Unfortunately knowledge about hearing loss does not necessarily lead to behavior change (Marron et al., 2015). This study explored attitudes and behaviors toward hearing health among college students. 110 General Psychology students participated. Approximately 20 percent of students reporting a hearing loss. Most respondents (76.36%) indicated that they have not tried to reduce their exposure to noise. Although they believed that hearing loss would limit their daily activities (t(109) = 8.68, p < .001), this did not impact their behaviors toward hearing protection.

Poster presented at APCAM 2017 in Vancouver, BC

Reducing Auditory and Visual Distractions in Neurocognitive Concussion Testing

posted Nov 9, 2017, 12:39 AM by Chris Koch

Christopher Koch and Kennedy Hobert

Abstract: ImPACT is a commonly used neurocognitive test for concussion assessment. The four domains measured in the test include memory, visual-motor, impulse control, and reaction time. One benefit of the test is that it can be administered in a group setting. However, group settings can lead to greater distraction and poorer performance. This problem may be particularly evident among younger examinees. In this study, four testing conditions were compared using middle school athletes. There was a total of 193 participants (116 males) with a mean age of 12.13 (SD = 2.73). The ImPACT test was administered under normal testing conditions (n=50), while wearing noise cancelling headphones (n=47),.with dividers creating cubicles (n=62), and with both headphones and cubicles (n=34). There were significant testing effects for verbal memory (F(3, 189)=3.41, p<.05), visual memory (F(3, 189)=14.52, p<.001), visual-motor (F(3, 189)=14.52, p<.001), and reaction time (F(3, 189)=7.16, p<.001). Memory and visual-motor scores were lower and reaction times were longer in the headphone condition. These results suggest that the testing environment may have little influence on ImPACT scores, except when attempting to minimize auditory distractions alone.

Poster at the 58th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Vancouver, 2017) 

Evaluating Equating Methods for a Manual and Computerized Card Sorting Task

posted Nov 17, 2016, 6:52 AM by Chris Koch

Abstract: Different versions of the same test are typically equated so that scores can be similarly interpreted over time. Likewise, different versions of the same test may need to be equated. For instance, the Nonverbal Stroop Card Sorting Task (NSCST; Koch and Roid, 2012) is a manual card sorting task. Although computerized version of the task simulate the NSCST, the response time results are different (Koch and Hotovec, 2012). Two of the most frequently accepted methods for equating are linear and equipercentile equating. These two methods of equating are compared for the NSCST using a sample (n = 30) of middle schoolers. Administration order of the NSCST and the computer tablet version of the test was randomized across participants. The two tests were equated based on raw scores and verified using standardized scores. Overall, the equipercentile method produced the best fit. Implications for equating performance measures are discussed.

Poster presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Computers in Psychology

The Testing Effect and Potential Moderating Variables

posted Nov 17, 2016, 6:49 AM by Chris Koch

Christopher Koch & Emma Dennie
George Fox University

Abstract: The testing effect was examined throughout a semester. Daily quizzes were given in a Sensation and Perception course. For the first exam, covering the chemical senses, both quiz scores (r = .39) and number of quizzes taken (r = .40) significantly correlated with exam scores. However, quizzes were not correlated with scores on the second exam covering low-level vision. Only the number of quizzes taken (r = .33) was correlated with scores on the third exam covering high-level vision. Potential mediating factors were also examined. Methodicalness was significantly related to exam 2 scores (r = .43). A potential explanation for these findings is that repeated testing is beneficial in the beginning of a course. Once students develop an understanding of the types of questions asked on exams, they are able to develop a strategy for studying. That strategy may be most important when the content area changes but repeated testing continues to be useful when the content area remains consistent.

Poster presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society

Developing an Auditory and Visual Cross-Modal Continuous Performance Task for Evaluating Concussion

posted Nov 17, 2016, 6:45 AM by Chris Koch

Christopher Koch, Taylor Charbonnier, Kristin Dissinger, Steven Egeberg, Matthew Johnson, Lindsey Levanen, & Matthew Scott
George Fox University

Abstract: Neurocognitive tests like the SCAT3 and ImPACT have become standard concussion assessment tools. Although these tests have adequate sensitivity, specificity, and reliability, they are unimodal in nature. Consequently, the tests do not fully assess the range of processing that can be affected by concussion (Thompson, 2012). Therefore, we developed a cross-modal continuous performance task to examine cognitive processing post-concussion. Forty-three middle school school lacrosse players, college students, and physical therapy graduate students participated in the study. Twelve of these participants had been previously diagnosed with a concussion. Participants completed a symptom checklist from SCAT3 along with other demographic information (e.g., previously concussed, last concussion).  They then completed the continuous performance task starting with visual detection followed by visual inhibition, auditory detection, and auditory inhibition. Older subjects were more accurate than younger subjects on the detection task (F(1, 84) = 20.61, p < .001).  Subjects were also more accurate on the visual task than the auditory task (F(1, 84) = 21.47, p < .001).  Both age (F(1, 84) = 5.65, p < .02) and previous concussion (F(1, 84) = 4.49, p < .04) interacted with test modality.  College and graduate students who had previously been concussed performed the same as those who had not been concussed.  However, middle schoolers who had been concussed did significantly worse on the auditory task than those who had not been concussed.  Similarly, older subjects were more accurate than younger subjects on the inhibition task (F(1, 84) = 4.91, p < .03).  Older subjects were also significantly more accurate on the visual task than the middle schoolers (F(1, 84) = 5.33, p < .03; Figure 2).  However, no differences were found based on previous concussion.

Poster presented at APCAM 2016

The Influence of Figure-Ground and Depth on Attention in a Modified Stroop Task

posted Nov 17, 2016, 6:41 AM by Chris Koch

Abstract: Figure-ground and depth cues were examined. Shadows (Experiment 1) produced interference (F(1, 23) = 28.01, p < .001) and slower RTs for occluded targets (F(1, 23) = 9.01, p < .01). Figure-ground images produced interference (F(1, 10) = 7.26, p < .03) in Experiment 2. Linear perspective (Experiment 3) produced interference (F(1, 17) = 15.50, p < .001) and an effect of depth (F(1, 17) = 9.28, p < .01) with longer RTs to closer bars. This finding is not due to perceived size (Experiment 4). Therefore, the effects of occlusion may be mediated by additional depth cues.

Poster presented at the 24th Annual Workshop on Object Perception, Attention, and Memory

Psychonomic Society 2015

posted Nov 19, 2015, 10:24 AM by Chris Koch   [ updated Nov 20, 2015, 6:31 PM ]

Examining the Relationship Between Media Multitasking and Working Memory
Christopher Koch & Mary Kate Koch
Abstract: Ophir, Nass, and Wagner (2009) found that individuals who multitask more do not necessarily multitask well.  Minear et al. (2013) examined the relationships between media multitasking, attention, working memory, self-control and fluid intelligence.  They found that high multitaskers reported being more impulsive and did not perform as well on fluid intelligence tasks.  However, they did not find evidence to support the idea that high media multitaskers make more task switching errors than low media multitaskers.  The present study further examined the relationship between working memory and multitasking.  Participants completed the Media Multitasking Index (MMI), Working Memory Questionnaire (WMQ), short version of the IPIP big five personality traits, Beck's Depression Inventory, a perceived control measure, and a questionnaire about recreation.  The results show a number of interesting correlations.  For instance, working memory errors were negatively correlated with several personality factors but not with multitasking.  Although agreeableness was also correlated with media multitasking, WMQ scores were not related to media multitasking.  Recreation, however, was indirectly related to both multitasking and working memory.

OPAM 2015

posted Nov 19, 2015, 10:19 AM by Chris Koch   [ updated Nov 19, 2015, 10:21 AM ]

Figure-Ground or Depth Processing?
Christopher Koch & Elissa Shinseki
Abstract:  This study examined the role figure-ground and depth on the color block Stroop task.  In Experiment 1, one color block was presented vertically and one was presented horizontally.  The vertical and horizontal bars served as occluders an equal number of times.  Incongruent pairs produced longer RTs than control trials.  RTs were longer when the target was occluded.  A shadow was used to increase perceived distance between blocks in Experiment 2.  Results were similar to Experiment 1.  In Experiment 3, linear perspective was used to create depth.  Incongruent pairs had longer RTs but bars closest to the subjects produced longer RTs.

OPAM 2014

posted Nov 20, 2014, 12:15 AM by Chris Koch

Distractibility of Noise during Post Concussion Visual Search
Christopher Koch
Abstract. Noise can differentially influence cognitive performance among concussed individuals.  Eight concussed subjects were compared to seven matched controls.  Subjects completed a search task while listening to a recording.  Subjects had faster response times for feature searches and for target present searches.  No differences were found between groups.  Concussed individuals recalled more information about the lecture.  These findings suggest that visual search may not be cognitively demanding enough to produce decrements in performance in the presence of noise.

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies 2014

posted Nov 20, 2014, 12:09 AM by Chris Koch

Executive Function Training Increases Reading Rate, Accuracy, Fluency, and Comprehension
Joseph Sandford, Christopher Koch, & Lonnie Rae Smith
Abstract.  This study was conducted to determine if a computer-based training program focusing on a variety of cognitive skills (e.g., persistence, selective attention, response control, and processing speed), improves reading ability.  Thirty-five students (26 males) who had been referred for reading difficulties participated in the study.  Reading ability was assessed using the Gray Oral Reading Tests-Fourth Edition.  Participants were below grade level for reading rate, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.  After several weeks of training, participants’ reading ability was reassessed.  Each participants’ reading scores improved to at or above grade level.  As a group, the results show significant improvement in reading rate, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.  These findings indicate that attention and executive function training can have a meaningful impact on reading ability.

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