Working Memory: Week 5

I got a head start on this week by finishing up a draft of the code for a model with a higher capacity working memory as well as the ability to forget.

Paul and I met for a brainstorming session on Monday, and determined that our primary goal is to create models which replicate human behaviors on serial recall tasks. In a serial recall task, the subject is read a list of words and asked to recall them in the correct order. The test reveals many interesting phenomena, including the primacy and recency effects, wherein subjects tend to remember the beginning and end of a list, but not the middle.

Additionally of interest is the Hebb effect, which appears during a task wherein the subject is read aloud lists of numbers and asked to recall each list after it is read. If every third list is the same, the subject’s performance on this list will gradually improve, even if he/she is unaware that this list is being repeated.

We decided on the initial goal of replicating primacy and recency effects in serial recall tasks.

Before I could get to work on debugging my recently drafted code, and adjusting it to model serial recall tasks, I had to look to something more pressing-- a presentation! I prepared a presentation for the summer research talks and practiced at our weekly lab meeting.

Later in the week, I worked on debugging the transition probabilities for forgetting. Next week, I plan using my model with a higher capacity working memory and probabilities of forgetting to generate graphs of how recently the stimulus was presented versus the probability of getting the answer correct.