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Method: Reaction Time (RT). Example: Simple detection ($, ruler, glasses) Liberal vs. conservative response criterion (speed/accuracy trade-off) Secondary task Additive method (e.g., visual degradation). Subtractive Method. Task 1: simple detection task

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method reaction time rt
Method: Reaction Time (RT)
  • Example:
    • Simple detection ($, ruler, glasses)
      • Liberal vs. conservative response criterion
      • (speed/accuracy trade-off)
      • Secondary task
      • Additive method (e.g., visual degradation)
subtractive method
Subtractive Method
  • Task 1: simple detection task
    • press key when light blue appears on the screen
  • Task 2: discrimination task
    • Respond to the blue light but not to the yellow light
  • The two tasks have:
    • Same stimulus (blue light)
    • Same response (key press)
    • Only one thing different (?): discrimination vs. detection
  • RT discrimination - RT detection = the mental operation of having to discriminate two stimuli
subtractive method1
Subtractive Method
  • Very simple and powerful method
  • Developed by Donders in the 1800’s
  • Used even today (e.g., fMRI studies)
  • But it has its problems
    • What constitute the elemental mental operation
    • It is not very flexible
additive factors method
Additive Factors Method
  • Developed by Sternberg (1969)
  • Example: memory task (as already described)
  • Numbers were displayed 3 9 5 4
  • Delay
  • A probe 4 ‘yes’
  • Number of items in each trial vary from 1 to 6 items
slide12

Plot:

- RT relative to number of items in the list

- plot separately ‘yes’ and ‘no’ trials

slide13

Stages: Encode target Search in WM Select response Start response

INPUT OUTPUT

Factors target visibility number of items target probability ease of response

additive factors
Additive factors
  • Assumes serial processing of stages
  • Often this is not the case
    • E.g., addition
    • RT to decide 4 + 3 = 12 ‘no’
    • RT to decide 4 + 3 = 11 ‘no’
    • Because addition and multiplication are run in parallel
    • But, does this mean a single system?
on method dual task
On Method: Dual task
  • Tasks that tap onto the same system interfere with each other
    • Having your room-mate talk to you when you are trying to remember a phone number (phonological code)
  • No interference = independent systems
slide16

STM

STM

STM

STM

One STM ….. Or many?

. . .

slide17

Short-Term Memory for Visual and

Verbal Materials: One or two stores?

Approach 1: Store maximum capacity

of one type -- then see if person can remember any of the other type.

Example:

+

3 9 8 2 1 7 4

slide30

Usual Finding:

ZERO interference between verbal

and visual STM loads

slide31

- different memory systems are involved in the short term retention of objects and verbal stimuli…

- This result is difficult to interpret without reference to mental representations.

- Thus, we infer the existence multiple memory buffers, (a type of mental representations)

question for thought
Question for thought
  • If your data shows interference, can you still rescue the idea of independence between visual and verbal short-term memory?
  • hint: itemize step-by-step what you did, making sure to not skip any steps (think of it as a writing computer code for a a machine to compute the task, do not make any pragmatic assumptions of knowledge).
slide33

Mental Representations: 3 Levels of Analysis

(1) Computational: What is the problem to be solved? (i.e. input/output mapping of the mental process)

(2) Algorithmic: How is this calculation carried out?

(3) Implementational: What is the hardware that makes these calculations possible?

question for debate
Question for debate
  • Does neuroscience (level 3) help for understanding psychology (i.e., how mental processes are carried out in level 2)?
    • Yes:
      • Reductionism; eliminativism
      • cognitive neuroscience,
    • No:
      • functionalism, Marr (think birds and planes)
      • dualism
slide35

Cognitive Psychology:

The study of the structures, and processes of

the mind and brain that take in, transform,

and use information.

But what do we mean by “information?”

slide36

Types of Information

  • (Mental Representations)

Sensory information:

- Images on our sensory organs,

coming from light of a particular frequency that

stimulates the rods and cones in our retinas

Conscious Perception:

that are stored in and manipulated by our minds (e.g., of color, sound, etc.)

slide38

Other types of mental representation (memories):

Procedural knowledge (“knowing how”): e.g. how to throw

a frisbee, swing a golf club, drive a car…In other words, skill

knowledge, or knowledge that doesn’t refer to the state of things

in the world.

Declarative knowledge (“knowing that”):

(1) Semantic knowledge (referred to as

generic knowledge in your textbook) refers to facts about the

world. E.g. what color is the sky?, what is 7x9?, who is the

quarterback for the Ducks?

(2) Episodic knowledge: knowledge about the world

that is specific to a particular time and place. E.g. What’s the

last song you heard on the radio? What time did you wake up

this morning? Where were you last New Year’s Eve?

slide39

Cognitive Psychology:

The study of the structures, and processes of

the mind and brain that take in, transform,

and use information.

But what do we mean by “processes?”