HPSlecture13+2010

HPSlecture13+2010 - LECTURE #16 Human Problem Solving...

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1 LECTURE #16 Human Problem Solving AGENDA I. History of Response Time A. Hermann von Helmholtz B. Franciscus Cornelius Donders II. Sternberg Scanning Model III. Shepard’s Mental Rotation Task IV. The Word Superiority Effect A. The Rumelhart-McClelland Model
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2 I. History of Response Time The idea that the time to make a response in a particular situation could suggest information about cognition didn’t occur until 1800. The received view even in the early 1800s was that ‘neuronal’ transmission was too fast to measure. In 1794 Maskelyne was the Astronomer Royal at the Greenwich observatory. His assistant, Kinnebrook, was fired. Kinnebrook’s job was to look when the star passed a cross-hair. The clock beat every tenth sec. Kinnebrook’s average was .8 sec. slower than Maskelyne.
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3 A. Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) Hermann von Helmholtz was perhaps greatest scientist of the 19 th century. He contributed to physics, physiology, and psychology. He measured neural speed. Helmholtz took a frog nerve-muscle preparation and stimulated nerve at different distances from muscle. ‘Kick’ of the muscle broke a circuit, and times at different distances were collected. velocity=distance/time. For frog approximately 26.4 meters/sec. Later work for humans 50-100 meters/sec. Well, we don’t experience reality when it happens, only later! Decortate frog preparation
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4 Why Time to Respond in a Task is Theoretically Useful Even simple reactions to stimuli take measurable amounts of time. Cognitive acts may take much longer times, e.g. go through the alphabet in your mind, or rotate your image of the letter ‘R’– there is an upper limit on the speed you can get. The key to using response time theoretically is to select a series of related tasks and study response times in each. Differences in response times between tasks can point to the
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HPSlecture13+2010 - LECTURE #16 Human Problem Solving...

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