Learning Models 070416

Learning Models 070416 - All-or-None Learning Models for...

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All-or-None Learning Models for Shape and Consonant Trigrams and for CVC Words Arnold L. Glass, Rutgers University Learning cannot be studied without considering retention and retrieval. When the result of a study task is tested, failure can occur for at least three reasons. First, a representation of the study item was not encoded during study. Second, the representation of the study item was degraded during the retention interval between study and test. Third, the representation of the study item, though intact, was not found during a search of the contents of memory during the retrieval test. If the primary interest is on learning then the effects of retention and retrieval should be minimized. The effect of the retention interval can be minimized by keeping it short. The effect of the retrieval task can be minimized by keeping it simple. One task that can be adapted to accomplish both these purposes is the continuous recognition or repetition detection task. An observer sees a sequence of items and must respond any time an item that has appeared anywhere earlier in the sequence is repeated. The retrieval task is as simple as it can be: the observer merely notices that something has been shown before. Also, the retention interval may be as few two, one or even zero items separating the repeated presentations of a target. Furthermore, the repetition detection task makes it possible to separate the effects of the study interval and the retention interval on retrieval by controlling what occurs during both intervals. This is not possible with other experimental paradigms. Consider a task in which first a study sequence and then a test is presented. Participants who must learn a sequence of study items behave strategically. For example, even if though the items are presented one at a time, during the presentation of the second item the learner may divide attention between studying it and rehearsing the first item. In the end, it is the number of rehearsals that determines the probability of retention and this effect completely overwhelms and obscures the effect of a single study interval. Furthermore, when a learner behaves strategically the relations among items in the sequence become important. Items that are similar to items that appear later in the list may receive more rehearsals because the later item may function as a retrieval. Furthermore, the learner may decide to rehearse a non-list items that may function as cues for multiple related list items. For example, animal might be rehearsed during the presentation of a study sequence that contained animals. Again, such strategic actions obscure the effect of a single study interval. In a repetition task there is no benefit to any strategic activity. Given that there is no benefit, there is no reason to think that a task participant would engage in such an activity. As long as each study item is equally likely to be repeated, there is no reason to rehearse any item at the expense of any other. Therefore, if a sufficiently brisk presentation rate is maintained then a
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Learning Models 070416 - All-or-None Learning Models for...

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