Matching Items (24)

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The Impact of Blocked vs. Distributed Category Learning on Subsequent Generalization

Description

It is a well-established finding in memory research that spacing or distributing information, as opposed to blocking all the information together, results in an enhanced memory of the learned material. Recently, researchers have decided to investigate if this spacing effect

It is a well-established finding in memory research that spacing or distributing information, as opposed to blocking all the information together, results in an enhanced memory of the learned material. Recently, researchers have decided to investigate if this spacing effect is also beneficial in category learning. In a set of experiments, Carvalho & Goldstone (2013), demonstrated that a blocked presentation showed an advantage during learning, but that ultimately, the distributed presentation yielded better performance during a post-learning transfer test. However, we have identified a major methodological issue in this study that we believe contaminates the results in a way that leads to an inflation and misrepresentation of learning levels. The present study aimed to correct this issue and re-examine whether a blocked or distributed presentation enhances the learning and subsequent generalization of categories. We also introduced two shaping variables, category size and distortion level at transfer, in addition to the mode of presentation (blocked versus distributed). Results showed no significant differences of mode of presentation at either the learning or transfer phases, thus supporting our concern about the previous study. Additional findings showed benefits in learning categories with a greater category size, as well as higher classification accuracy of novel stimuli at lower-distortion levels.

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2017-12

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An empirical assessment of the magician's "off-beat

Description

Magicians are informal cognitive scientists who regularly test their hypotheses in the real world. As such, they can provide scientists with novel hypotheses for formal psychological research as well as a real-world context in which to study them. One domain

Magicians are informal cognitive scientists who regularly test their hypotheses in the real world. As such, they can provide scientists with novel hypotheses for formal psychological research as well as a real-world context in which to study them. One domain where magic can directly inform science is the deployment of attention in time and across modalities. Both magicians and scientists have an incomplete understanding of how attention operates in time, rather than in space. However, magicians have highlighted a set of variables that can create moments of visual attentional suppression, which they call "off-beats," and these variables can speak to modern models of temporal attention. The current research examines two of these variables under conditions ranging from artificial laboratory tasks to the (almost) natural viewing of magic tricks. Across three experiments, I show that the detection of subtle dot probes in a noisy visual display and pieces of sleight of hand in magic tricks can be influenced by the seemingly irrelevant rhythmic qualities of auditory stimuli (cross-modal attentional entrainment) and processes of working memory updating (akin to the attentional blink).

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Date Created
2013

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Does array training that highlights common vs. distinctive components facilitate the learning of concepts?

Description

Understanding categories and the way in which individuals classify and distinguish between these categories is vital to a number of cognitive functions. The present study introduced a new approach to dimensional identification by using identifiable properties rather than of ill-defined

Understanding categories and the way in which individuals classify and distinguish between these categories is vital to a number of cognitive functions. The present study introduced a new approach to dimensional identification by using identifiable properties rather than of ill-defined patterns. Although replication of studies that utilize well-defined features is necessary, the results of the study could potentially indicate some interesting findings regarding learning.

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Date Created
2013-05

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The Effects of Depletion on Prospective Memory Retrieval Processes

Description

Prospective memory is defined as remembering to carry out specified actions in the future. Research has suggested that prospective memory retrieval is reliant on multiple cognitive processes to function, and the ways in which these different processes are used is

Prospective memory is defined as remembering to carry out specified actions in the future. Research has suggested that prospective memory retrieval is reliant on multiple cognitive processes to function, and the ways in which these different processes are used is dependent on a variety of variables relating to the prospective memory task at hand. The current study focuses on the strength of the association between the prospective
memory cue and the prospective memory intention. Based on literature suggesting that aspects of prospective memory are reliant on executive control functioning, the current study examined the possibility that executive control depletion would affect prospective memory ability on subsequent tasks. Results showed that depletion of executive control resources, measured objectively, did not impair prospective memory in either a low or
high cue-association condition. However, participants‟ subjective assessment of their own fatigue correlated significantly with their subsequent prospective memory performance, regardless of association condition. The results of the study indicate that depletion studies that fail to account for both objective and subjective measures suffer from an unclear interpretation of effects, and that recognition of perceived expectancies
of cognitive resource limitation can assist in improving prospective memory ability.

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2012-12

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Differential Effects of Causality and Correlation on Inference

Description

A category is a set of entities associated by specific characteristics (features). These features can have different relations between one another, including correlations and causal connections. The purpose of this study was to examine how the relations between features would

A category is a set of entities associated by specific characteristics (features). These features can have different relations between one another, including correlations and causal connections. The purpose of this study was to examine how the relations between features would affect the inference of unknown features of new entities from a given set of features. Categories and their relations were learned in a Learning Phase, whereas features were inferred in Transfer and Selection Phases. Correct inference of feature was enhanced by correlation between the features given and the features inferred. It is less clear whether causal connections further enhanced correct inference of features over and above the effect of the correlation. Future research of this topic may benefit from utilizing more difficult tasks, repeating instructions, or manipulating the participants' understanding of the relation in ways other than administration of instructions.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Distinguishing emergent and sequential processes by learning emergent second-order features

Description

Emergent processes can roughly be defined as processes that self-arise from interactions without a centralized control. People have many robust misconceptions in explaining emergent process concepts such as natural selection and diffusion. This is because they lack a proper categorical

Emergent processes can roughly be defined as processes that self-arise from interactions without a centralized control. People have many robust misconceptions in explaining emergent process concepts such as natural selection and diffusion. This is because they lack a proper categorical representation of emergent processes and often misclassify these processes into the sequential processes category that they are more familiar with. The two kinds of processes can be distinguished by their second-order features that describe how one interaction relates to another interaction. This study investigated if teaching emergent second-order features can help people more correctly categorize new processes, it also compared different instructional methods in teaching emergent second-order features. The prediction was that learning emergent features should help more than learning sequential features because what most people lack is the representation of emergent processes. Results confirmed this by showing participants who generated emergent features and got correct features as feedback were better at distinguishing two kinds of processes compared to participants who rewrote second-order sequential features. Another finding was that participants who generated emergent features followed by reading correct features as feedback did better in distinguishing the processes than participants who only attempted to generate the emergent features without feedback. Finally, switching the order of instruction by teaching emergent features and then asking participants to explain the difference between emergent and sequential features resulted in equivalent learning gain as the experimental group that received feedback. These results proved teaching emergent second-order features helps people categorize processes and demonstrated the most efficient way to teach them.

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Date Created
2015

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Delineating the "task-irrelevant" perceptual learning paradigm in the context of temporal pairing, auditory pitch, and the reading disabled

Description

Watanabe, Náñez, and Sasaki (2001) introduced a phenomenon they named “task-irrelevant perceptual learning” in which near-threshold stimuli that are not essential to a given task can be associatively learned when consistently and concurrently paired with the focal task. The

Watanabe, Náñez, and Sasaki (2001) introduced a phenomenon they named “task-irrelevant perceptual learning” in which near-threshold stimuli that are not essential to a given task can be associatively learned when consistently and concurrently paired with the focal task. The present study employs a visual paired-shapes recognition task, using colored polygon targets as salient attended focal stimuli, with the goal of comparing the increases in perceptual sensitivity observed when near-threshold stimuli are temporally paired in varying manners with focal targets. Experiment 1 separated and compared the target-acquisition and target-recognition phases and revealed that sensitivity improved most when the near-threshold motion stimuli were paired with the focal target-acquisition phase. The parameters of sensitivity improvement were motion detection, critical flicker fusion threshold (CFFT), and letter-orientation decoding. Experiment 2 tested perceptual learning of near-threshold stimuli when they were offset from the focal stimuli presentation by ±350 ms. Performance improvements in motion detection, CFFT, and decoding were significantly greater for the group in which near-threshold motion was presented after the focal target. Experiment 3 showed that participants with reading difficulties who were exposed to focal target-acquisition training improved in sensitivity in all visual measures. Experiment 4 tested whether near-threshold stimulus learning occurred cross-modally with auditory stimuli and served as an active control for the first, second, and third experiments. Here, a tone was paired with all focal stimuli, but the tone was 1 Hz higher or lower when paired with the targeted focal stimuli associated with recognition. In Experiment 4, there was no improvement in visual sensitivity, but there was significant improvement in tone discrimination. Thus, this study, as a whole, confirms that pairing near-threshold stimuli with focal stimuli can improve performance in just tone discrimination, or in motion detection, CFFT, and letter decoding. Findings further support the thesis that the act of trying to remember a focal target also elicited greater associative learning of correlated near-threshold stimulus than the act of recognizing a target. Finally, these findings support that we have developed a visual learning paradigm that may potentially mitigate some of the visual deficits that are often experienced by the reading disabled.

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Date Created
2016

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The limitations and extent of category generalization within a partially learned hierarchical structure

Description

Most people are experts in some area of information; however, they may not be knowledgeable about other closely related areas. How knowledge is generalized to hierarchically related categories was explored. Past work has found little to no generalization to categories

Most people are experts in some area of information; however, they may not be knowledgeable about other closely related areas. How knowledge is generalized to hierarchically related categories was explored. Past work has found little to no generalization to categories closely related to learned categories. These results do not fit well with other work focusing on attention during and after category learning. The current work attempted to merge these two areas of by creating a category structure with the best chance to detect generalization. Participants learned order level bird categories and family level wading bird categories. Then participants completed multiple measures to test generalization to old wading bird categories, new wading bird categories, owl and raptor categories, and lizard categories. As expected, the generalization measures converged on a single overall pattern of generalization. No generalization was found, except for already learned categories. This pattern fits well with past work on generalization within a hierarchy, but do not fit well with theories of dimensional attention. Reasons why these findings do not match are discussed, as well as directions for future research.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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Target "templates: how the precision of mental representations affects attentional guidance and decision-making in visual search

Description

When people look for things in their environment they use a target template - a mental representation of the object they are attempting to locate - to guide their attention around a scene and to assess incoming visual input to

When people look for things in their environment they use a target template - a mental representation of the object they are attempting to locate - to guide their attention around a scene and to assess incoming visual input to determine if they have found that for which they are searching. However, unlike laboratory experiments, searchers in the real-world rarely have perfect knowledge regarding the appearance of their target. In five experiments (with nearly 1,000 participants), we examined how the precision of the observer's template affects their ability to conduct visual search. Specifically, we simulated template imprecision in two ways: First, by contaminating our searchers' templates with inaccurate features, and second, by introducing extraneous features to the template that were unhelpful. In those experiments we recorded the eye movements of our searchers in order to make inferences regarding the extent to which attentional guidance and decision-making are hindered by template imprecision. We also examined a third way in which templates may become imprecise; namely, that they may deteriorate over time. Overall, our findings support a dual-function theory of the target template, and highlight the importance of examining template precision in future research.

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Date Created
2013

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Isomorphic categories

Description

Learning and transfer were investigated for a categorical structure in which relevant stimulus information could be mapped without loss from one modality to another. The category space was composed of three non-overlapping, linearly-separable categories. Each stimulus was composed of a

Learning and transfer were investigated for a categorical structure in which relevant stimulus information could be mapped without loss from one modality to another. The category space was composed of three non-overlapping, linearly-separable categories. Each stimulus was composed of a sequence of on-off events that varied in duration and number of sub-events (complexity). Categories were learned visually, haptically, or auditorily, and transferred to the same or an alternate modality. The transfer set contained old, new, and prototype stimuli, and subjects made both classification and recognition judgments. The results showed an early learning advantage in the visual modality, with transfer performance varying among the conditions in both classification and recognition. In general, classification accuracy was highest for the category prototype, with false recognition of the category prototype higher in the cross-modality conditions. The results are discussed in terms of current theories in modality transfer, and shed preliminary light on categorical transfer of temporal stimuli.

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Date Created
2011