Memory and Perception Group Meeting Schedule
Meetings are held at the CBSU in the WWSR at 11am on fortnightly Fridays during term time, unless otherwise noted.
If you would like to speak at a Memory and Perception group meeting please contact Andrea Greve.
Michaelmas Term 2018
16th November – Garvin Brod
(Center for Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk (IDeA), DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education & Goethe University)
When generating a prediction boosts learning
Using both behavioral and eye-tracking methodology, we tested whether and how asking students to generate predictions is an efficient technique to improve learning. In particular, we designed two tasks to test whether the surprise induced by outcomes that violate expectations enhances learning. Data from the first task revealed that asking participants to generate predictions, as compared to making post hoc evaluations, facilitated acquisition of geography knowledge. Pupillometry measurements revealed that expectancy-violating outcomes led to a surprise response only when a prediction was made beforehand, and that the strength of this response was positively related to the amount of learning. Data from the second task demonstrated that making predictions about the outcomes of soccer matches specifically improved memory for expectancy-violating events. These results suggest that a specific benefit of making predictions in learning contexts is that it creates the opportunity for the learner to be surprised.
7th December – EPS practice talks
We’ll have a series of practice talks for the upcoming EPS meeting in London, January 3-4th:
Shraddha Kaur: Working memory updating as dynamic changes in cognitive demand during running span
Running span is a task that requires the recall of the last n items from a list of unknown length. Participants use either active updating or passive listening to perform the task, but underlying mechanisms remain unspecified. Here, we examined the time course of resource demands during task performance, hypothesising that a high executive demand would be associated with running span but only during a-priori identified updating events. Experiment 1 employed a divided attention paradigm, tracking cognitive demand on a millisecond basis during three memory tasks. Running span exhibited the highest demand across tasks, with localised bursts in executive activity time-locked to a time-window ~1000ms following item onset, from n+1th position. Experiment 2 replicated this demand profile, and showed that it was sensitive to input rate. The brief surges in demand characteristic of updating were found when items were presented at slow, but not fast, rate. In Experiment 3, we administered self-paced running span instructing participants to employ different strategies. Active updating was associated with longer inter-item delays, particularly position n+1 onward, compared with passive listening. Together, the experiments illustrated updating as a demanding, executive process with a specific temporal profile that facilitates a continuous change in the recall set.
Elisa Cooper: Little evidence for successful Fast Mapping (FM) in adults
A leading memory theory proposes that new information is quickly acquired by the hippocampus and gradually consolidated, with the neocortex then responsible for longer-term storage. Therefore, a report by Sharon et al. (2011) of successful learning with a “Fast Mapping” (FM) paradigm in adults with amnesia and hippocampal damage was notable. FM is an incidental learning paradigm, inspired by infants’ vocabulary acquisition, which is hypothesised to allow rapid, cortical-based memory formation. However, we have repeatedly fail to find evidence of a learning advantage under FM: in individuals with amnesia, and in healthy younger and older adults, using explicit measures. More recently, Coutanche and Thompson-Schill (2014) reported evidence in healthy young adults of greater same-day learning under FM than EE using an implicit measure of lexical integration. Again however, we failed to replicate this result. In fact, we found the opposite pattern, namely lexical facilitation of reaction times, which we are currently re-testing. Thus while there has been a growing theoretical and practical interest in FM, we conclude that the evidence for FM in adults is weak, and restraint is needed before assuming the phenomenon exists.
Andrea Greve: Knowledge enhances memory for congruent and incongruent events, but in different ways
Events that conform to our expectations, i.e, are congruent with our world knowledge or schemas, are better remembered than unrelated events. Yet events that conflict with schemas can also be remembered better. Here I present four behavioural experiments to examine this apparent paradox (Greve et al., in press). Schemas were established by training ordinal relationships between randomly-paired objects, while event memory was tested for the number of objects on each trial. Our data reveal better memory for both congruent and incongruent trials, relative to unrelated trials, producing memory performance that was a “U-shaped” function of congruency, in line with predictions of the SLIMM (‘Schema-Linked Interactions between Medial prefrontal and Medial temporal region’) framework (van Kesteren et al, 2012). The congruency advantage but not incongruency advantage was mediated by post-encoding processes, while the incongruency advantage, but not congruency advantage, emerged even if the information probed by the memory test was irrelevant to the schema. Overall, our data provide evidence that schemas augment event memory in multiple ways, depending on the match between novel and existing information.
Alexander Quent: U-shaped relationship between object-location expectancy and memory performance in an immersive reality environment
The literature on schema and memory suggests that schema-congruency and schema-incongruency can benefit memory performance. A recent study (Greve et al, in press) confirmed this, by finding that memory was as a U-shaped function of congruency, with best memory for highly congruent (expected) or highly incongruent (unexpected) events. However this paradigm used simple, experimentally-acquired rules, which may not generalise to the richer and well-established schemas, such as what objects to expect in a kitchen. To test for this generalisation, we ran a series of immersive virtual reality experiments, in which participants explored a virtual kitchen containing various objects at different locations with respect to the kitchen furniture. The expectancy of finding each object at that location varied parametrically based collected ratings. As predicted (see https://osf.io/4sw2t/), we replicated the U-shaped function of object-location memory (recognition and recall) as a function of the expectancy each object’s location. Furthermore, there was preliminary evidence that the two extremes of this continuum were supported by different types of memory (Remember responses for unexpected and Know responses for expected locations). The results are interpreted in terms of a neuroscientific model called SLIMM (schema-linked inter-actions between medial prefrontal and medial temporal regions; van Kesteren et al, 2012).