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The Nature of Mental Representations How is knowledge represented in the Mind?. Think carefully about the people depicted. What do they look like? Now compare each of their voices How do these representations exist in your mind?. The Nature of Mental Representation.
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What do they look like?
Now compare each of their voices
How do these representations exist in your mind?
What does your representation of a penny look like?
One of the greatest problems remaining is understanding the nature of mental representation
Declarative Memory: facts that can be stated (Knowing that)
Procedural knowledge: procedures that can be implemented(Knowing how)
How to study mental representation…
*Experiments manipulating represented knowledge
Edward C. Tolman (1886-1959)
Latent learning goes against standard behavioristic principles, which claim that learning comes only from outcomes
An orderly mapping between the Represented and Representing worlds
A mental representation is a system of symbols, conscious or unconscious, that are isomorphic to some aspect of the environment, used to make behavior-generating decisions that anticipate events and relations in that environment
C.R. GallistelRutgers University
The Greek poet Simonides, c. 500 B.C.
How about Book?
Analogical, Modal, & Embodied Meaning:
Meaning is grounded in the sensorimotor processes that result from interactions with the world. Semantic representations retain properties of the sensorimotor states that gave rise to them.
Propositional & Amodal
Meaning is represented by arbitrary codes that do not retain any of the properties of sensorimotor states that gave rise to them.
We don’t store images. Representations resemble abstract form of a preposition. Stored in terms of their deep meanings
Relationship between elements/ Element/ Object
“A series of points all of which are equidistant from a central point” (Arbitrary code = English, Geometry)
“101101101101101010” (Arbitrary code = Binary Digit)
“x2 + y2 = r2”(Arbitrary code = Analytical Geometry)
Hypothesis:When people rotate a mental image, the farther they have to rotate it, the longer they will take.Method: Subjects were shown pairs of two-dimensional drawings of three-dimensional objects and were asked whether the drawings in each pair represented the same object in a different orientation or whether they represented different objects.Results: 97% Accuracy.The time it took the subjects to provide the answer was proportional to the angular difference between the two drawings.For example, if the second image was rotated 60 degrees, the subject would take twice as long than if it was just rotated 30 degrees.
Using positron emission tomography (PET), an axial brain slice taken 56 mm above the anterior commissure–posterior commissure (AC–PC) line shows activation in the primary motor cortex (M1) when data from the external-action condition were subtracted from those of the internal-action condition. Depending on the strategy used, motor regions of the brain are recruited during mental rotation. The result also shows that the strategy used to accomplish a given task can vary according to previous training, and can be adopted voluntarily.
Other evidence suggesting that representations are analogical:1) Mental images of large objects (e.g., an elephant) take longer to scan from left to right than smaller objects2) Details are more difficult to work out in mental images of small things (fruit fly) than in large objects (airplane). For example, Elephant head to tail last longer than Pig head to Pig tail.Similar with map experiments.
Stephen Kosslyn (right) and one of his collaborators
What is farther west, Reno or San Diego?
TACO OR COAT
TACO OR COAT
skill tasks: mirror drawing
Musicians play at a rate so fast that feedback cannot serve as a stimulus for the next note. Pigeons were taught to learn an arbitrary sequence of colors:redgreenyellowblueSuccessive Chaining paradigm:S(A):R(A) S(B):R(B)S(C):R(C)S(D):R(D)In successive chaining, each cue is responded to individually
Simultaneous Chaining Paradigm:S(A):S(B):S(C):S(D) R(A) R(B)R(C)R(D)All items are presented simultaneously, and there is no differential feedback during the execution.
Results:It takes longer for Rhesus monkeys to learn a new list if items are repeated in a different ordinal position.This provides evidence that Rhesus monkeys internally represent ordinal position