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Please note: To accommodate reviewer and recommender holiday schedules, we will be closed to submissions from 1st July — 1st September. During this time, reviewers will be able to submit reviews and recommenders will issue decisions, but no new or revised submissions will be made by authors. The one exception to this rule is that authors using the scheduled track who submit their initial Stage 1 snapshot prior to 1st July can choose a date within the shutdown period to submit their full Stage 1 manuscript.

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IdTitleAuthorsAbstractPictureThematic fields▲RecommenderReviewersSubmission date
25 Mar 2024
STAGE 1
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Assessing compliance with UK loot box industry self-regulation on the Apple App Store: a 6-month longitudinal study on the implementation process

Does self regulation by gaming companies for the use of loot boxes work?

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Chris Chambers, Lukas J. Gunschera and Andy Przybylski
Video games may provide the option of spending real money in exchange for probabilistically receiving game-relevant rewards; in effect, encouraging potentially young teenagers to gamble. The industry has subscribed to a set of regulatory principles to cover the use of such "loot boxes", including 1) that they will prevent loot box purchasing by under 18s unless parental consent is given; 2) that they will make it initially clear that the game contains loot boxes; and 3) that they will clearly disclose the probabilities of receiving different rewards.
 
Can the industry effectively self regulate? Xiao (2024) will evaluate this important question by investigating the 100 top selling games on the Apple App Store and estimating the percentage compliance to these three regulatory principles at two time points 6 months apart.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over one round of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/3knyb
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 2. At least some data/evidence that will be used to answer the research question has been accessed and partially observed by the authors, but the authors certify that they have not yet observed the key variables within the data that will be used to answer the research question.
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
 
References
 
1. Xiao, L. (2024). Assessing compliance with UK loot box industry self-regulation on the Apple App Store: a 6-month longitudinal study on the implementation process. In principle acceptance of Version 3 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/3knyb
Assessing compliance with UK loot box industry self-regulation on the Apple App Store: a 6-month longitudinal study on the implementation processLeon Y. Xiao<p>Loot boxes in video games can be purchased with real-world money in exchange for random rewards. Stakeholders are concerned about loot boxes’ similarities with gambling and their potential harms (e.g., overspending). The UK Government has decid...Humanities, Social sciencesZoltan Dienes2023-08-27 22:47:03 View
04 Dec 2023
STAGE 2
(Go to stage 1)
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The Effect of Brooding about Societal Problems on Conspiracy Beliefs: A Registered Report

Brooding increases conspiracy beliefs but with practical significance to be determined

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Matt Williams and Daniel Toribio-Flórez
The world is seemingly awash with conspiracy theories – from well-trodden examples such as fake Moon landings, the 9/11 truth movement, and Holocaust denial, to relative newcomers including COVID as a bioweapon, QAnon, and the belief that the science of climate change has been invented or falsified. While there is a public perception that conspiracy theories are becoming more prevalent, recent evidence suggests that the rate of conspiracism is relatively stable over time (Uscinski et al., 2022). At any point in history, it seems that a certain proportion of people find themselves vulnerable to conspiracy beliefs, but what distinguishes those who do from those who don’t, and what are the causal factors?
 
In the current study, Liekefett et al. (2023) investigated the critical role of rumination – a perseverative and repetitive focus on negative content leading to emotional distress. In particular, the authors asked whether one component of rumination referred to as brooding (dwelling on one’s worries and distressing emotions) has a specific causal role in the formation of conspiracy beliefs. In a series of preliminary experiments, the authors first established a procedure for successfully inducing rumination, identifying various boundary conditions and requirements for a successful design. In the main study (N=1,638 to 2,007 depending on the analysis), they asked whether the induction of brooding causes a significant increase in conspiracy beliefs. Manipulation checks were also included to confirm intervention fidelity (independently of this hypothesis), and exploratory analyses tested the effect of various moderators, as well as the causal role of a complementary manipulation of reflection – a component of rumination in which attention is focused on the issue at hand rather than one’s emotions.
 
As expected by the authors' preliminary work, manipulation checks independently confirmed the effectiveness of the brooding intervention. In answer to the main research question, participants who brooded over the worries and negative emotions associated with an issue were more susceptible to conspiracy beliefs compared to a control group. However, while this effect of brooding was statistically significant, the confidence interval of the effect size estimate overlapped with the authors' proposed smallest effect size of interest (d = 0.20), suggesting that the practical value of the effect remains to be determined.
 
Overall the findings are consistent with a range of psychological theories suggesting that rumination induces negative affect and/or narrows attention to negative information, which in turn may make conspiracy theories seem more probable and render individuals more vulnerable to cognitive bias. The authors note the importance of future work to define the smallest effect of practical significance, analagous to the criteria used to determine the 'minimal clinically important difference’ in medical research.
 
The Stage 2 manuscript was evaluated over one round of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 2 criteria and awarded a positive recommendation.
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/y82bs
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that was used to answer the research question was generated until after IPA.
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
 
References
 
1. Uscinski, J., Enders, A., Klofstad, C., Seelig, M., Drochon, H., Premaratne, K. & Murthi, M. (2022) Have beliefs in conspiracy theories increased over time? PLOS ONE 17: e0270429. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0270429

2. Liekefett, L. Sebben, S. & Becker, J. C. (2023). The Effect of Brooding about Societal Problems on Conspiracy Beliefs: A Registered Report. Acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/3e8wc
The Effect of Brooding about Societal Problems on Conspiracy Beliefs: A Registered ReportLuisa Liekefett, Simone Sebben, Julia C. Becker<p>This Stage 2 Registered Report concerns the relationship between rumination, a repetitive style of negative thinking, and conspiracy beliefs (Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/y82bs, date of in-principle-acceptance: 23/05/2023). Based on four pi...Humanities, Social sciencesChris Chambers2023-10-19 17:46:59 View
08 Feb 2022
STAGE 1
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Arithmetic deficits in Parkinson's Disease? A registered report

Getting the numbers right in Parkinson's disease?

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Pia Rotshtein, Ann Dowker, Stephanie Rossit and 1 anonymous reviewer

Everyday life, including for patients taking different types of medicine, involves dealing with numbers. Even though Parkinson's disease may ordinarily be thought of as primarily being a motor disorder, there is evidence that numerical abilities decline as Parkinson's disease progresses. Further, the brain areas involved in arithmetic operations overlap with the areas that degenerate in Parkinson's disease.

In this Stage 1 Registered Report, Loenneker et al. (2022) will test healthy  controls, Parkinson disease patients with normal  cognition, and Parkinson disease patients with mild cognitive impairment on general working memory tasks as well as arithmetic performance on the four basic  operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division). The study aims to test whether or not there is a deficit in each operation, and the relation of any deficits to general working memory capacity.

The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over four rounds of review (including two rounds of in-depth specialist review). Based on comprehensive responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).

URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/nb5fj

Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA.

List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:

References

Loenneker, H. D., Liepelt-Scarfone, I., Willmes, K., Nuerk, H.-C., & Artemenko, C. (2022). Arithmetic deficits in Parkinson’s Disease? A Registered Report. Stage 1 preregistration, in principle acceptance of version 4 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/nb5fj

Arithmetic deficits in Parkinson's Disease? A registered reportHannah D. Loenneker, Inga Liepelt-Scarfone, Klaus Willmes, Hans-Christoph Nuerk, & Christina Artemenko<p>Elderly people and patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD) immensely rely on arithmetic skills to lead an independent life. Activities such as medication management, financial transactions or using public trans...Life SciencesZoltan Dienes2021-06-29 19:23:53 View
21 Feb 2022
STAGE 1
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Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Jean-François Gerard, Rachel Harrison and 1 anonymous reviewer

This submission has been withdrawn (see notice below)

Sex-biased dispersal is widely acknowledged to influence range expansion and the geographic limits of species (Trochet et al. 2016). Evidence is accruing that suggests an impact of the learning ability of species on their capacity to colonise new habitats because the ability to learn provides an advantage when confronted to novel challenges (Lee and Thornton 2021). Whether these two mechanisms interact to shape range expansion remains however unknown. One could expect this interaction because both dispersal and the ability to learn are linked to related behaviours (e.g., exploration, Lee and Thornton 2021). 

In their study entitled “Investigating sex differences in learning in a range-expanding bird”, Alexis J. Breen and Dominik Deffner (Breen and Deffner 2022) propose to test this hypothesis in range-expanding great-tailed grackles (Quiscalus mexicanus) by exploring the individual variation of several behavioural traits (e.g., exploration, neophobia, problem solving, Logan 2016) linked to their learning ability. They will use a colour-reward reinforcement experimental approach to compare the learning performance between male and female great-tailed grackles in three study sites and evaluate whether sex-biased learning ability interacts with sex-biased dispersal. Data will be analysed by a Bayesian reinforcement learning model (Deffner et al. 2020), which was validated. 

This Stage 1 registered report was evaluated over one round of in-depth review by Jean-François Gerard, Rachel Harrison and one anonymous reviewer, and another round of review by Jean-François Gerard and Rachel Harrison. 

Based on detailed responses to the comments and the modifications brought to the manuscript by the authors, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).

Withdrawal notice: The Stage 2 manuscript associated with this accepted Stage 1 protocol was submitted to PCI RR on 22 July 2022. On 25 July 2022, the Managing Board offered the opportunity for the authors to revise the manuscript prior to in-depth review. On 7 Sep 2022, the authors withdrew the Stage 2 manuscript from consideration due to time constraints.

 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/v3wxb
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 2. At least some data/evidence that will be used to answer the research question has been accessed and partially observed by the authors, but the authors certify that they have not yet observed the key variables within the data that will be used to answer the research question AND they have taken additional steps to maximise bias control and rigour.
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:

References

Trochet, A., Courtois, E. A., Stevens, V. M., Baguette, M., Chaine, A., Schmeller, D. S., Clobert, J., & Wiens, J. J. (2016). Evolution of sex-biased dispersal. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 91(3), 297–320. https://doi.org/10.1086/688097

Lee, V. E., & Thornton, A. (2021). Animal cognition in an urbanised world. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9, 120. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.633947

Logan, C. J. (2016b). Behavioral flexibility in an invasive bird is independent of other behaviors. PeerJ, 4, e2215. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2215

Deffner, D., Kleinow, V., & McElreath, R. (2020). Dynamic social learning in temporally and spatially variable environments. Royal Society Open Science, 7(12), 200734. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200734

Breen, A. J. & Deffner D. (2022). Investigating sex differences in learning in a range-expanding bird., https://github.com/alexisbreen/Sex-differences-in-grackles-learning, in principle acceptance of version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/v3wxb

[WITHDRAWN]: Investigating sex differences in learning in a range-expanding birdAlexis J. Breen & Dominik Deffner<p style="text-align: justify;">How might differences in dispersal and learning interact in range expansion dynamics? To begin to answer this question, in this preregistration we detail the background, hypothesis plus associated predictions, and m...Life SciencesBenoit Pujol Rachel Harrison, Kate Cross, Jean-François Gerard2021-11-10 13:12:04 View
08 Sep 2022
STAGE 1
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How to succeed in human modified environments

The role of behavioural flexibility in promoting resilience to human environmental impacts

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Gloriana Chaverri, Vedrana Šlipogor and Alizée Vernouillet
Understanding and mitigating the environmental effects of human expansion is crucial for ensuring long-term biosustainability. Recent research indicates a steep increase in urbanisation – including the expansion of cities – with global urban extent expanding by nearly 10,000 km^2 per year between 1985 and 2015 (Liu et al, 2020). The consequences of these human modified environments on animal life are significant: in order to succeed, species must adapt quickly to environmental changes, and those populations that demonstrate greater behavioural flexibility are likely to cope more effectively. These observations have, in turn, prompted the question of whether enhancing behavioural flexibility in animal species might increase their resilience to human impacts.
 
In the current research, Logan et al. (2022) will use a serial reversal learning paradigm to firstly understand how behavioural flexibility relates to success in avian species that are already successful in human modified environments. The authors will then deploy these flexibility interventions in more vulnerable species to establish whether behavioural training can improve success, as measured by outcomes such as foraging breadth, dispersal dynamics, and survival rate.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was submitted via the programmatic track and will eventually produce three Stage 2 outputs focusing on different species (toutouwai, grackles, and jays). Following two rounds of in-depth review, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/346af
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
 
References
 
1. Liu, X., Huang, Y., Xu, X., Li, X., Li, X., Ciais, P., Lin, P., Gong, K., Ziegler, A. D., Chen, A., et al. (2020). High-spatiotemporal-resolution mapping of global urban change from 1985 to 2015. Nature Sustainability, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-020-0521-x
 
2. Logan, C.J., Shaw, R., Lukas, D. & McCune, K.B. (2022). How to succeed in human modified environments, in principle acceptance of Version 3 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/346af
How to succeed in human modified environmentsLogan CJ, Shaw R, Lukas D, McCune KB<p>Human modifications of environments are increasing, causing global changes that other species must adjust to or suffer from. Behavioral flexibility (hereafter ‘flexibility’) could be key to coping with rapid change. Behavioral research can cont...Life SciencesChris Chambers2022-05-06 12:12:05 View
21 Oct 2022
STAGE 1
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Replicating the facilitatory effects of transcranial random noise stimulation on motion processing: A registered report

Testing the facilitatory effect of high-frequency transcranial random noise stimulation through enhancement of global motion processing

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Sam Westwood and Filippo Ghin
High frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (hf-tRNS) is a relatively novel form of non-invasive brain stimulation, thought to enhance neural excitability and facilitate processing in targeted brain areas. The evidence for the efficacy of hf-tRNS is mixed, so a high-powered test of the proposed facilitatory effects would be of value to the field. This Registered Report will target the human middle temporal complex (hMT+), an area with a well-established critical role in global motion processing. The protocol is adapted from a study by Ghin and colleagues (2018) but focusing on a sub-set of the original experimental conditions and using a fully within-subjects design (n=42). Global motion processing will be operationalised in terms of the coherence threshold for identification of the dominant direction of random-dot motion. The experiment will test the predicted facilitation of contralateral motion processing (reduced coherence threshold) during hf-tRNS to the left hMT+. The specificity of this effect will be tested by comparison to a sham stimulation control condition and an active stimulation control condition (left forehead). By targeting a brain area with a well-established critical role in behaviour, this study will provide important information about the replicability and specificity of the facilitatory effects of hf-tRNS.
 
Following two rounds of in-depth review, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).  
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/bce7u
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
References
 
1. Ghin, F., Pavan, A., Contillo, A., & Mather, G. (2018). The effects of high-frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (hf-tRNS) on global motion processing: an equivalent noise approach. Brain Stimulation, 11, 1263–75.
 
2. Caroll, M. B., Edwards, G. & Baker, C. I. (2022). Replicating the facilitatory effects of transcranial random noise stimulation on motion processing: A registered report, in principle acceptance of Version 7 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/bce7u
Replicating the facilitatory effects of transcranial random noise stimulation on motion processing: A registered reportMica B. Carroll*, Grace Edwards*, Chris I. Baker<p>Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques have the potential to demonstrate the causal impact of targeted brain regions on specific behaviors, and to regulate or facilitate behavior in clinical applications. Transcranial random noise sti...Life SciencesRobert McIntosh2022-06-02 21:25:02 View
23 Jan 2023
STAGE 1
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Genetically-modified animals as models of neurodevelopmental conditions: an umbrella review

Evaluating the quality of systematic reviews in preclinical animal studies of neurodevelopmental conditions

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Marietta Papadatou-Pastou and Richel Bilderbeek
Single gene alterations have been estimated to account for nearly half of neurodevelopmental conditions (NDCs), providing a crucial opportunity for animal models to understand the underlying mechanisms, causes and potential treatments. The use of systematic reviews (SRs) can, in principle, provide a powerful means to synthesise this evidence-base; however, the reporting quality of previous SRs in preclinical animal research has been found lacking (Hunniford et al., 2021). In the current study, Wilson et al. (2023) will undertake an umbrella review – a systematic review of systematic reviews – to assess the characteristics and reporting quality of SRs that, in turn, synthesise research in genetically-modified animals to model NDCs. In particular, the authors will extract key features of reviews (including, among others, the aim and primary research questions, relevant animal model, and number of studies in the SR), in addition to quality indicators such as risk of bias and completeness of reporting. In doing so, the authors aim to enhance guidance on the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews in this area.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/952qk
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 4. At least some of the data/evidence that will be used to answer the research question already exists AND is accessible in principle to the authors BUT the authors certify that they have not yet accessed any part of that data/evidence.
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
References
 
1. Hunniford V. T., Montroy J., Fergusson D. A., Avey M. T., Wever K. E., McCann S. K., Foster M., Fox G., Lafreniere M., Ghaly M., Mannell S., Godwinska K., Gentles A., Selim S., MacNeil J., Sikora L., Sena E. S., Page M. J., Macleod M., Moher D., & Lalu M. M. (2021). Epidemiology and reporting characteristics of preclinical systematic reviews. PLOS Biology, 19:e3001177. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001177
 
2. Wilson, E., Currie, G., Macleod, M., Kind, P. & Sena, E. S. (2023). Genetically-modified animals as models of neurodevelopmental conditions: an umbrella review, in principle acceptance of Version 3 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/952qk
Genetically-modified animals as models of neurodevelopmental conditions: an umbrella reviewEmma Wilson; Gillian Currie; Malcolm Macleod; Peter Kind; Emily S Sena<p><strong>Objective</strong><br>Using genetically-modified animals to model neurodevelopmental conditions (NDCs) helps better our understanding of their underlying biology. In vivo research has unique characteristics not shared with clinical rese...Life SciencesChris Chambers2022-08-29 12:08:51 View
21 May 2024
STAGE 1
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The importance of consolidating perceptual experience and contextual knowledge in face recognition

How does perceptual and contextual information influence the recognition of faces?

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Lisa DeBruine and Haiyang Jin
When we familiarise with new faces over repeated exposures, it is in situations that have meaning for us. Here, Noad and Andrews (2023) ask whether meaningful context during exposure matters for the consolidation of faces into long-term memory. Participants will be shown video clips from TV shows that are ordered either in their original chronological sequence, preserving meaningful context, or in a scrambled sequence. It is expected that the original sequence will provide a better understanding of the narrative. The critical question is whether this will also be associated with differences in memory for the faces. Memory will be tested with images of the actor from the original clips (‘in show’) or images of the same actor from another show (‘out-of-show’), both immediately after exposure and following a four-week delay. It is predicted that memory for faces will be better retained across the delay when the original exposure was in a meaningful context, and that this benefit will be enhanced for ‘in-show’ images, where the person’s appearance matches with the original context. The pre-registered predictions and the targeted effect sizes for this study are informed by pilot data reported within the manuscript.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated through an initial round of editorial review, followed by a further round of external review, after which the recommender judged that it met the Stage 1 criteria for in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/8wp6f
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 6. No part of the data or evidence that will be used to answer the research question yet exists and no part will be generated until after IPA. 
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
 
References
 
1. Noad, K. & Andrews, T. J. (2023). The importance of consolidating perceptual experience and contextual knowledge in face recognition, in principle acceptance of Version 4 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/8wp6f
The importance of consolidating perceptual experience and contextual knowledge in face recognitionKira Noad and Timothy J. Andrews<p>Although the ability to recognise familiar faces is a critical part of everyday life, the process by which a face becomes familiar in the real world is not fully understood. Previous research has focussed on the importance of perceptual experie...Life SciencesRobert McIntosh2022-09-09 14:33:57 View
06 Feb 2023
STAGE 1
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Investigating the impact of vascular risk factors on the progression of white matter lesions

Understanding predictors of white matter lesions in the human brain

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Max Elliott, Isabel Garcia Garcia and 1 anonymous reviewer
Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) is a common and multi-faceted set of pathologies that affect the small arteries, arterioles, venules and capillaries of the brain. The disease manifests through a range of symptoms and conditions, including psychiatric disorders, abnormal gait, and urinary incontinence, while accounting for 25% of strokes and nearly 50% of dementia.
 
The presence of CSVD is associated with white matter lesions (WML) detected using neuroimaging, which have in turn been shown to predict future stroke, cognitive decline and dementia. While vascular risk factors of CSVD (such as hypertension and obesity) are also associated with CSVD, a complete picture of the predictive relationship between WML, cognitive decline, and blood pressure remains to be determined, as does the role of sex/gender. These inter-relationships are important to determine for improving the diagnosis and treatment of CSVD.
 
In the current study, Beyer et al. will analyse a large emerging dataset from the LIFE-Adult project – a longitudinal, two-wave, population-based study – to ask whether higher blood pressure predicts a greater increase in WML, and whether progression of WML is associated with measures of memory and executive function. In addition, the authors will explore the relationship between abdominal obesity and WML progression, and the extent to which WML progression, and its interaction with vascular risk factors, depends on sex/gender.
 
The Stage 1 manuscript was evaluated over two rounds of in-depth review. Based on detailed responses to the reviewers' comments, the recommender judged that the manuscript met the Stage 1 criteria and therefore awarded in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/qkbgj
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 2. At least some data/evidence that will be used to answer the research question has been accessed and partially observed by the authors, but the authors certify that they have not yet observed the key variables within the data that will be used to answer the research question.
 
List of eligible PCI RR-friendly journals:
 
 
References
 
1. Beyer, F., Lammer, L., Loeffler, M., Riedel-Heller, S., Villringer, A. & Witte, V. (2023). Investigating the impact of vascular risk factors on the progression of white matter lesions, in principle acceptance of Version 2 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/qkbgj
Investigating the impact of vascular risk factors on the progression of white matter lesionsFrauke Beyer,Laurenz Lammer, Markus Loeffler, Steffi Riedel-Heller, Arno Villringer, Veronica Witte<p>Cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD) is a major brain pathology contributing to cognitive decline and dementia. Vascular risk factors have been associated with imaging markers of cSVD such as white matter lesions, yet longitudinal studies have ...Life SciencesChris Chambers Max Elliott, Isabel Garcia Garcia2022-10-07 13:44:11 View
15 Oct 2023
STAGE 1
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Can one-shot learning be elicited from unconscious information?

Can unconscious experience drive perceptual learning?

Recommended by ORCID_LOGO based on reviews by Jeffrey Saunders and 1 anonymous reviewer
Unconscious priming effects have fascinated not just psychologists but also ad-makers and consumers alike. A related phenomenon in perception is illustrated by presenting participants with two-tone images, which are degraded versions of images of objects and scenes. These two-tone images look like and are indeed judged as meaningless dark and light patches. Upon presenting the actual template image, however, the two-tone image is accurately recognized. This perceptual learning is abrupt, robust, and long-lasting (Daoudi et al., 2017). Surprisingly, Chang et al. (2016) showed that such perceptual disambiguation of two-tone images can happen even in the absence of conscious awareness of having seen the template image. 
 
Halchin et al. (2023) in the current study propose to conduct a conceptual replication of Chang et al. (2016) with important modifications to the procedures to address limitations with the earlier work. Specifically, there was no explicit manipulation of levels of conscious awareness of the template images in the original study. Therefore, miscategorization of low-confidence awareness as unaware could have led to an erroneous conclusion about unconscious priors guiding perceptual learning. Such miscategorization errors and how to tackle them are of interest to the broader field of consciousness studies. Furthermore, a conceptual replication of Chang et al. (2016) is also timely given that prior related work suggests that masking impairs not only conscious awareness of visual features but also blocks processing of higher-level information about the images (e.g. object category). 
 
To address the issues identified above, Halchin et al. (2023) propose to experimentally manipulate conscious awareness by masking the template image very quickly (i.e., a short stimulus onset asynchrony; SOA) or by allowing some more time to induce weak and strong conscious awareness, respectively. The SOAs were validated through pilot studies. Furthermore, they include a four-point perceptual awareness scale instead of the original yes/no options to gauge participants’ subjective awareness of the template images. The authors also propose multiple experiments to include different ways of testing participants’ objective ability to identify the masked template images. Last but not least, the proposed design includes a stronger control condition than the original study by using masked images created from related images (e.g. belonging to the same semantic category). Depending on the results obtained in the main experiments, the inclusion of this control allows the authors to conduct a third experiment to investigate whether the results in the first two can be explained by semantic priming. The proposed study is sufficiently powered (as demonstrated through simulations), and Bayesian statistical procedures will be used to test the main hypotheses. In summary, the proposed work offers a significant improvement in terms of experimental procedures over the original study. If the Chang et al. (2016) results are replicated, the stronger design in the current study is likely to lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying unconscious priors guiding perceptual learning. On the other hand, a failure to replicate not just Chang et al. (2016)’s results but also effects across the three experiments in the current study would raise legitimate questions about the reality of unconscious information guiding perceptual learning. 
 
The study plan was refined across two rounds of review, with input from two external reviewers who both agreed that the proposed study is well designed, timely, and scientifically valid. The recommender then reviewed the revised manuscript and judged that the study met the Stage 1 criteria for in-principle acceptance (IPA).
 
URL to the preregistered Stage 1 protocol: https://osf.io/juckg
 
Level of bias control achieved: Level 3. At least some of the data/evidence that will be used to answer the research question already exists AND is accessible in principle to the authors BUT the authors certify that they have not yet accessed any part of that data/evidence.
 
List of eligible PCI-RR-friendly journals:
 
 
References
 
1. Daoudi, L. D., Doerig, A., Parkosadze, K., Kunchulia, M. & Herzog, M. H. (2017). The role of one-shot learning in #TheDress. Journal of Vision, 17, 15-15. https://doi.org/10.1167/17.3.15 
 
2. Chang, R., Baria, A. T., Flounders, M. W., & He, B. J. (2016). Unconsciously elicited perceptual prior. Neuroscience of Consciousness, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1093/nc/niw008 
 
3. Halchin, A.-M., Teuful, C. & Bompas, A. (2023). Can one-shot learning be elicited from unconscious information? In principle acceptance of Version 3 by Peer Community in Registered Reports. https://osf.io/juckg
Can one-shot learning be elicited from unconscious information? Adelina-Mihaela Halchin, Christoph Teufel, Aline Bompas<p>The human brain has the remarkable ability to make sense of highly impoverished images once relevant prior information is available. Fitting examples of this effect are two-tone images, which initially look like meaningless black-and-white patc...Life SciencesVishnu Sreekumar2022-11-30 00:34:07 View