Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #288
Models of Remembering
Sunday, May 30, 2010
4:30 PM–5:50 PM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon E (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: K. Geoffrey White (University of Otago)
Discussant: John A. Nevin (University of New Hampshire)
Abstract: Recent accounts of remembering over the short term have appealed to well-established principles from the matching law, behavioral momentum, and signal detection. The three papers in this symposium reflect and extend these theoretical advances, and the symposium discussant, Dr Nevin, has been a major contributor to these areas for nearly 50 years. The first paper examines the fundamental notion that remembering is governed by the same reinforcement principles as other operant behavior, including resistance to change. The second paper considers species differences in memory for lists of items and suggests that interference effects can be accounted for in terms of familiarity and recollection, processes which have been the subject of considerable recent interest in signal detection theory. The third paper offers a blend of matching-law and signal-detection theory approaches to account for asymmetry in matching-law functions and receiver-operating characteristics in the yes/no version of a delayed matching task. Together, the papers point to models for remembering in which both stimulus and reinforcement effects are significant factors.
Persistence of Remembering in Symbolic Matching-to-Sample
AMY ODUM (Utah State University), Daniel Hutchison (Utah State University), Ryan D. Ward (Utah State University)
Abstract: The persistence of the accuracy of behavior has been shown to be a function of the same variables that govern the rate of emission of operant behavior. In studies of delayed matching to sample, matching accuracy is more resistant to change in a context that produces food more frequently than in a context that produces food less frequently. Prior work has examined the persistence of matching to sample performance with identity matching, in which the sample and correct comparison are physically the same. We have been extending this work to symbolic matching to sample, in which the sample and correct comparison are not identical. Two lines of work will be described: one in which the symbolic relation is between time and color, and one in which it is between different symbols or colors. The persistence of symbolic matching to sample with time does not appear to be governed by reinforcer rates, but the persistence of other forms of symbolic matching to sample may be.
Testing Animal Memory Using Change Detection
ANTHONY A WRIGHT (University of Texas Medical School at Houston)
Abstract: Change detection has become the most popular procedure for testing human short-term memory and modeling visual working memory capacity. Unlike a sequential presentation of a list of items to remember, in change detection, multiple items are presented simultaneously in an array. After a short delay, the item array is tested and the subject is required to identify the changed item. I and my collaborators have trained and tested pigeons and monkeys on change detection. Acquisition and testing results will be presented and comparisons to human memory will be discussed.
Asymmetry in Remembering Without Bias
JOHN T. WIXTED (University of California, San Diego), K. Geoffrey White (University of Otago)
Abstract: Delayed matching-to-sample is a two-alternative forced-choice task in which two samples are presented on different trials. In this task, the effects of varying the probability of reinforcers for correct choices and the resulting receiver operating characteristic are symmetrical. A version of the task where a sample is present on some trials and absent on others is analogous to a yes/no recognition task. An asymmetry in performance in the yes/no task can be attributed to a change in response bias with increasing retention-interval duration. Matching-law and signal-detection accounts of the asymmetry make different assumptions about response bias. The apparent inconsistency between the two approaches to the treatment of response bias is resolved in terms of a model proposed by K. G. White and J. T. Wixted (1999) which predicts asymmetrical matching-law functions and receiver operating characteristics without making any assumptions about response bias.



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