Alcalá Quintana, Rocío

Profile Picture
First Name
Last Name
Alcalá Quintana
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Psicobiología y Metodología en Ciencias del Comportamiento
Metodología de las Ciencias del Comportamiento
UCM identifierORCIDScopus Author IDWeb of Science ResearcherIDDialnet IDGoogle Scholar ID

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 28
  • Publication
    Accuracy and precision of responses to visual analog scales: Inter- and intra-individual variability
    (Springer, 2022-11-04) García Pérez, Miguel A.; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Visual analog scales (VASs) are gaining popularity for collecting responses in computer administration of psychometric tests and surveys. The VAS format consists of a line marked at its endpoints with the minimum and maximum positions that it covers for respondents to place a mark at their selected location. Creating the line with intermediate marks along its length was discouraged, but no empirical evidence has ever been produced to show that their absence does any good. We report a study that asked respondents to place marks at pre-selected locations on a 100-unit VAS line, first when it only had numerical labels (0 and 100) at its endpoints and then when intermediate locations (from 0 to 100 in steps of 20) were also labeled. The results show that settings are more accurate and more precise when the VAS line has intermediate tick marks: The average absolute error decreased from 3.02 units without intermediate marks to 0.82 units with them. Provision of intermediate tick marks also reduced substantially inter- and intra-individual variability in accuracy and precision: The standard deviation of absolute error decreased from 0.87 units without tick marks to 0.25 units with them and the standard deviation of signed distance to target decreased from 1.16 units without tick marks to 0.24 units with them. These results prompt the recommendation that the design of VASs includes intermediate tick marks along the length of the line.
  • Publication
    The left visual field attentional advantage: No evidence of different speeds of processing across visual hemifields.
    (Elsevier, 2015-12) García Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Temporal-order judgment (TOJ) and simultaneity judgment (SJ) tasks are used to study differences in speed of processing across sensory modalities, stimulus types, or experimental conditions. Matthews and Welch (2015) reported that observed performance in SJ and TOJ tasks is superior when visual stimuli are presented in the left visual field (LVF) compared to the right visual field (RVF), revealing an LVF advantage presumably reflecting attentional influences. Because observed performance reflects the interplay of perceptual and decisional processes involved in carrying out the tasks, analyses that separate out these influences are needed to determine the origin of the LVF advantage. We re-analyzed the data of Matthews and Welch (2015) using a model of performance in SJ and TOJ tasks that separates out these influences. Parameter estimates capturing the operation of perceptual processes did not differ between hemifields by these analyses, whereas parameter estimates capturing the operation of decisional processes differed. In line with other evidence, perceptual processing also did not differ between SJ and TOJ tasks. Thus, the LVF advantage occurs with identical speeds of processing in both visual hemifields. If attention is responsible for the LVF advantage, it does not exert its influence via prior entry.
  • Publication
    On the discrepant results in synchrony judgment and temporal-order judgment tasks: a quantitative model.
    (Springer, 2012-10) García Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Research on the perception of temporal order uses either temporal-order judgment (TOJ) tasks or synchrony judgment (SJ) tasks, in both of which two stimuli are presented with some temporal delay and observers must judge the order of presentation. Results generally differ across tasks, raising concerns about whether they measure the same processes. We present a model including sensory and decisional parameters that places these tasks in a common framework that allows studying their implications on observed performance. TOJ tasks imply specific decisional components that explain the discrepancy of results obtained with TOJ and SJ tasks. The model is also tested against published data on audiovisual temporal-order judgments, and the fit is satisfactory, although model parameters are more accurately estimated with SJ tasks. Measures of latent point of subjective simultaneity and latent sensitivity are defined that are invariant across tasks by isolating the sensory parameters governing observed performance, whereas decisional parameters vary across tasks and account for observed differences across them. Our analyses concur with other evidence advising against the use of TOJ tasks in research on perception of temporal order.
  • Publication
    Bayesian adaptive estimation of arbitrary points on a psychometric function
    (The British Psychological Society, 2007-05) García Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Bayesian adaptive methods have been extensively used in psychophysics to estimate the point at which performance on a task attains arbitrary percentage levels, although the statistical properties of these estimators have never been assessed. We used simulation techniques to determine the small-sample properties of Bayesian estimators of arbitrary performance points, specifically addressing the issues of bias and precision as a function of the target percentage level. The study covered three major types of psychophysical task (yes-no detection, 2AFC discrimination and 2AFC detection) and explored the entire range of target performance levels allowed for by each task. Other factors included in the study were the form and parameters of the actual psychometric function Psi, the form and parameters of the model function M assumed in the Bayesian method, and the location of Psi within the parameter space. Our results indicate that Bayesian adaptive methods render unbiased estimators of any arbitrary point on psi only when M=Psi, and otherwise they yield bias whose magnitude can be considerable as the target level moves away from the midpoint of the range of Psi. The standard error of the estimator also increases as the target level approaches extreme values whether or not M=Psi. Contrary to widespread belief, neither the performance level at which bias is null nor that at which standard error is minimal can be predicted by the sweat factor. A closed-form expression nevertheless gives a reasonable fit to data describing the dependence of standard error on number of trials and target level, which allows determination of the number of trials that must be administered to obtain estimates with prescribed precision.
  • Publication
    Visual and Auditory Components in the Perception of Asynchronous Audiovisual Speech
    (SAGE, 2015-12) García Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Research on asynchronous audiovisual speech perception manipulates experimental conditions to observe their effects on synchrony judgments. Probabilistic models establish a link between the sensory and decisional processes underlying such judgments and the observed data, via interpretable parameters that allow testing hypotheses and making inferences about how experimental manipulations affect such processes. Two models of this type have recently been proposed, one based on independent channels and the other using a Bayesian approach. Both models are fitted here to a common data set, with a subsequent analysis of the interpretation they provide about how experimental manipulations affected the processes underlying perceived synchrony. The data consist of synchrony judgments as a function of audiovisual offset in a speech stimulus, under four within-subjects manipulations of the quality of the visual component. The Bayesian model could not accommodate asymmetric data, was rejected by goodness-of-fit statistics for 8/16 observers, and was found to be nonidentifiable, which renders uninterpretable parameter estimates. The independent-channels model captured asymmetric data, was rejected for only 1/16 observers, and identified how sensory and decisional processes mediating asynchronous audiovisual speech perception are affected by manipulations that only alter the quality of the visual component of the speech signal.
  • Publication
    A comparison of fixed-step-size and Bayesian staircases for sensory threshold estimation
    (Brill, 2007) Alcalá Quintana, Rocío; García Pérez, Miguel Ángel
    Fixed-step-size (FSS) and Bayesian staircases are widely used methods to estimate sensory thresholds in 2AFC tasks, although a direct comparison of both types of procedure under identical conditions has not previously been reported. A simulation study and an empirical test were conducted to compare the performance of optimized Bayesian staircases with that of four optimized variants of FSS staircase differing as to up-down rule. The ultimate goal was to determine whether FSS or Bayesian staircases are the best choice in experimental psychophysics. The comparison considered the properties of the estimates (i.e. bias and standard errors) in relation to their cost (i.e. the number of trials to completion). The simulation study showed that mean estimates of Bayesian and FSS staircases are dependable when sufficient trials are given and that, in both cases, the standard deviation (SD) of the estimates decreases with number of trials, although the SD of Bayesian estimates is always lower than that of FSS estimates (and thus, Bayesian staircases are more efficient). The empirical test did not support these conclusions, as (1) neither procedure rendered estimates converging on some value, (2) standard deviations did not follow the expected pattern of decrease with number of trials, and (3) both procedures appeared to be equally efficient. Potential factors explaining the discrepancies between simulation and empirical results are commented upon and, all things considered, a sensible recommendation is for psychophysicists to run no fewer than 18 and no more than 30 reversals of an FSS staircase implementing the 1-up/3-down rule.
  • Publication
    Empirical performance of optimal Bayesian adaptive estimation
    (2009-05) García Pérez, Miguel Angel; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Simulation studies have shown how Bayesian adaptive estimation methods should be set up for optimal performance. We assessed the extent to which these results hold up for human observers, who are more subject to failure than simulation subjects. Discrimination and detection experiments with two-alternative forced-choice (2AFC) tasks were used for that purpose. Forty estimates of the point of subjective equality (PSE, or the 50% correct point on the psychometric function for discrimination) and 32 estimates of detection threshold (the 80% correct point on the psychometric function for detection) were taken for each of four observers with the optimal Bayesian method, while data for fitting the psychometric function psi were gathered concurrently with an adaptive method of constant stimuli governed by fixed-step-size staircases. The estimated parameters of the psychometric function served as a criterion for comparison. In the discrimination task, PSEs for each observer were distributed around the independently estimated 50% correct point on psi and their variability was occasionally minimally larger than simulation results indicated it should be. In the detection task, the distribution of threshold estimates was consistently above the independently estimated 80% correct point on psi and their variability was as expected from simulations. A close analysis of these results suggests that the optimal Bayesian method is affected by growing inattention or fatigue in detection tasks (factors that are not considered in simulations), and limits the practical applicability of Bayesian estimation of detection thresholds.
  • Publication
    Response errors explain the failure of independent-channels models of perception of temporal order
    (2012) García Pérez, Miguel A.; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Independent-channels models of perception of temporal order (also referred to as threshold models or perceptual latency models) have been ruled out because two formal properties of these models (monotonicity and parallelism) are not borne out by data from ternary tasks in which observers must judge whether stimulus A was presented before, after, or simultaneously with stimulus B. These models generally assume that observed responses are authentic indicators of unobservable judgments, but blinks, lapses of attention, or errors in pressing the response keys (maybe, but not only, motivated by time pressure when reaction times are being recorded) may make observers misreport their judgments or simply guess a response. We present an extension of independent-channels models that considers response errors and we show that the model produces psychometric functions that do not satisfy monotonicity and parallelism. The model is illustrated by fitting it to data from a published study in which the ternary task was used. The fitted functions describe very accurately the absence of monotonicity and parallelism shown by the data. These characteristics of empirical data are thus consistent with independent-channels models when response errors are taken into consideration. The implications of these results for the analysis and interpretation of temporal order judgment data are discussed.
  • Publication
    The interpretation of scholars' interpretations of confidence intervals: criticism, replication, and extension of Hoekstra et al. (2014)
    (Frontiers Media, 2016-07-08) García Pérez, Miguel Angel; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Hoekstra et al. (Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2014, 21:1157–1164) surveyed the interpretation of confidence intervals (CIs) by first-year students, master students, and researchers with six items expressing misinterpretations of CIs. They asked respondents to answer all items, computed the number of items endorsed, and concluded that misinterpretation of CIs is robust across groups. Their design may have produced this outcome artifactually for reasons that we describe. This paper discusses first the two interpretations of CIs and, hence, why misinterpretation cannot be inferred from endorsement of some of the items. Next, a re-analysis of Hoekstra et al.’s data reveals some puzzling differences between first-year and master students that demand further investigation. For that purpose, we designed a replication study with an extended questionnaire including two additional items that express correct interpretations of CIs (to compare endorsement of correct vs. nominally incorrect interpretations) and we asked master students to indicate which items they would have omitted had they had the option (to distinguish deliberate from uninformed endorsement caused by the forced-response format). Results showed that incognizant first-year students endorsed correct and nominally incorrect items identically, revealing that the two item types are not differentially attractive superficially; in contrast, master students were distinctively more prone to endorsing correct items when their uninformed responses were removed, although they admitted to nescience more often that might have been expected. Implications for teaching practices are discussed.
  • Publication
    Reminder and 2AFC tasks provide similar estimates of the difference limen: a reanalysis of data from Lapid, Ulrich, and Rammsayer (2008) and a discussion of Ulrich and Vorberg (2009)
    (Springer, 2010-05) García Pérez, Miguel Ángel; Alcalá Quintana, Rocío
    Lapid, Ulrich, and Rammsayer (2008) reported that estimates of the difference limen (DL) from a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) task are higher than those obtained from a reminder task. This article reanalyzes their data in order to correct an error in their estimates of the DL from 2AFC data. We also extend the psychometric functions fitted to data from both tasks to incorporate an extra parameter that has been shown to allow obtaining accurate estimates of the DL that are unaffected by lapses. Contrary to Lapid et al.'s conclusion, our reanalysis shows that DLs estimated with the 2AFC task are only minimally (and not always significantly) larger than those estimated with the reminder task. We also show that their data are contaminated by response bias, and that the small remaining difference between DLs estimated with 2AFC and reminder tasks can be reasonably attributed to the differential effects that response bias has in either task as they were defined in Lapid et al.'s experiments. Finally, we discuss a novel approach presented by Ulrich and Vorberg (2009) for fitting psychometric functions to 2AFC discrimination data.