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    Using the memory activation capture (MAC) procedure to investigate the temporal dynamics of hypothesis generation

    Lange, Nicholas D. and Buttaccio, D.R. and Davelaar, Eddy J. and Thomas, R.P. (2014) Using the memory activation capture (MAC) procedure to investigate the temporal dynamics of hypothesis generation. Memory & Cognition 42 (2), pp. 264-274. ISSN 0090-502X.

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    Research investigating top-down capture has demonstrated a coupling of working memory content with attention and eye movements. By capitalizing on this relationship, we have developed a novel methodology, called the memory activation capture (MAC) procedure, for measuring the dynamics of working memory content supporting complex cognitive tasks (e.g., decision making, problem solving). The MAC procedure employs briefly presented visual arrays containing task-relevant information at critical points in a task. By observing which items are preferentially fixated, we gain a measure of working memory content as the task evolves through time. The efficacy of the MAC procedure was demonstrated in a dynamic hypothesis generation task in which some of its advantages over existing methods for measuring changes in the contents of working memory over time are highlighted. In two experiments, the MAC procedure was able to detect the hypothesis that was retrieved and placed into working memory. Moreover, the results from Experiment 2 suggest a two-stage process following hypothesis retrieval, whereby the hypothesis undergoes a brief period of heightened activation before entering a lower activation state in which it is maintained for output. The results of both experiments are of additional general interest, as they represent the first demonstrations of top-down capture driven by participant-established WM content retrieved from long-term memory.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Attention, Working memory, Recall
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2013 14:47
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:07


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