Behavioural Evidence and Computational Evaluation
Speaker: Dr. Nick Ichien (UCLA)
In this talk, I will discuss a project in which my collaborators and I examined the role of different types of similarity in both analogical reasoning and recognition memory.
On recognition tasks, people more often falsely report having seen a word pair (e.g., flower : garden) if it instantiates the same semantic relation (e.g., is a part of) as a studied word pair (e.g., house : town).
Such relation-based false alarms have been interpreted as evidence that explicit relation representations (in addition to playing a central role in analogical reasoning) impact episodic memory.
We replicate and extend previous studies, showing that relation-based false alarms in recognition memory occur after participants encode word pairs either by making relatedness judgments about individual words presented sequentially, or by evaluating analogies between pairs of word pairs.
To test the hypothesis that the pattern of false alarms implies explicit relation representations in episodic memory, we implemented an established model of recognition memory, the Generalized Context Model (GCM).
Within this basic framework, we compared representations of word pairs based on similarities derived from explicit relations, lexical semantics (i.e., individual word meanings), and a combination of the two.
For recognition memory, best-fitting values of GCM parameters enabled all three similarity models to predict relation-based false alarms with similar degree of goodness-of-fit.
However, the model based on explicit relations proved more robust to parameter variations than those based on either lexical similarity or the combined measure.
We found this same pattern of modeling results when applying GCM to an independent set of data reported by Popov, Hristova, and Anders (2017). In accord with previous work, we also found that explicit relation representations are necessary for modeling analogical reasoning.
Our findings support the possibility that explicit relations, which are central to analogical reasoning, also play an important role in episodic memory.
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