Research objectives: to investigate psychological structure, functioning and development of human cognitive representations; to develop and to test original research methods allowing for such investigation.
Empirical base of the research: heterogeneous samples of participants recruited in accordance with the aims of the research. The experimental and quasi-experimental methods together with inventories have been used.
Research results. Related to the research objectives, the following results have been obtained. A new factor of perceptual organization of elements in the visual field (segmentability) influencing visual search efficiency has been revealed. Differences in eye movements observed in visual search of word and letters in large letter arrays allowed suggesting that word extraction is not a specific attentional operation, but rather a result of a certain search strategy. Preliminary data allowed taking a closer look at a mechanism of the size congruency effect in the number comparison task. Experimental evidence for the representation of the morphemic level (i.e. not only words and word forms, bur also word parts such as roots and affixes) in the mental lexicon of Russian language native speakers has been obtained. However, the whole-word analysis appears to be the «default option» allowing for the fast access to the mental lexicon. The study of trilingual subjects showed that all languages in their language representation system interact at both semantic and syntactic levels, though semantic interaction is more pronounced. The investigation of categorical memory in preschoolers demonstrated that naming of artificial objects allows to memorize additional information about those objects, whereas in the absence of category names such memorization fails. According with the categorical nature of this influence, children selectively use repeated category features and igtore individual features of objects in the memory task. The study into creative thinking showed the influence of instruction violation examples and of a previous monotonous task performance on the creativity level. Subjective representation of one's mood was shown to be influenced by his/her personality traits and emotional intelligence, which means that when studying influence of the mood on cognitive processes, the researchers should take participants' personality traits and emotional intelligence into account. The correlation between emotional information processing and emotional intelligence has been demonstrated using various attentional tasks.
Implementation of the research results.The current study aimed at the investigation into fundamental issues of human cognition and did not imply direct implementation of its results into practice. However, the results can be used in a number of applied areas, starting from the usability of a vast variety of visual displays and finishing with teaching of formal subjects and stimulation of creative thinking in various professionals. The obtained results are also important in the understanding of intellectual development in both children and adults. The results of the subset of studies in problem solving and concept formation might be used to improve current teaching methods.