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ERIC Number: EJ945327
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Curved Saccade Trajectories Reveal Conflicting Predictions in Associative Learning
Koenig, Stephan; Lachnit, Harald
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n5 p1164-1177 Sep 2011
We report how the trajectories of saccadic eye movements are affected by memory interference acquired during associative learning. Human participants learned to perform saccadic choice responses based on the presentation of arbitrary central cues A, B, AC, BC, AX, BY, X, and Y that were trained to predict the appearance of a peripheral target stimulus at 1 of 3 possible locations, right (R), mid (M), or left (L), in the upper hemifield. We analyzed as measures of associative learning the frequency, latency, and curvature of saccades elicited by the cues and directed at the trained locations in anticipation of the targets. Participants were trained on two concurrent discrimination problems A+R, AC+R, AX+M, X+M and B+L, BC+L, BY+M, Y+M. From a connectionist perspective, cues were predicted to acquire associative links connecting the cues to the trained outcomes in memory. Model simulations based on the learning rule of the Rescorla and Wagner (1972) model revealed that for some cues, the prediction of the correct target location was challenged by the interfering prediction of an incorrect location. We observed that saccades directed at the correct location in anticipation of the target curved away from the location that was predicted by the interfering association. Furthermore, changes in curvature during training corresponded to predicted changes in associative memory. We propose that this curvature was caused by the inhibition of the incorrect prediction, as previously has been suggested with the concept of distractor inhibition (Sheliga, Riggio, & Rizzolatti, 1994; Tipper, Howard, & Houghton, 2000). The paradigm provides a new method to examine memory interference during associative learning. (Contains 1 footnote, 2 tables, and 10 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany