Events

Michael J. Frank

Thu, Mar 30, 2017, 12:00 pm

Cognitive Science Colloquium

Chunking as a rational strategy for lossy data compression in visual working memory 

The amount of visual information that can be stored in working memory is inherently limited, and the nature of this limitation has been a subject of intense debate. The debate has relied on tasks and models that assume visual items are independently encoded in working memory. Here we propose an alternative to this assumption: similar features are jointly encoded through a 'chunking' process to optimize performance on visual working memory tasks. We show that such chunking can: 1) facilitate performance improvements for abstract capacity-limited systems, 2) be optimized through reinforcement learning, 3) be implemented by neural network center-surround dynamics, and 4) increase effective storage capacity at the expense of recall precision. Human subjects performing a delayed report working memory task show evidence of the performance advantages, trial-to-trial behavioral adjustments, precision detriments, and inter-item dependencies predicted by optimization of task performance though chunking. Furthermore, by applying similar analyses to previously published datasets, we show that markers of chunking behavior are robust and increase with memory load. Taken together, our results support a more nuanced view of visual working memory capacity limitations: tradeoff between memory precision and memory quantity through chunking leads to capacity limitations that include both discrete (item limit) and continuous (precision limit) aspects.

Location: 
Peretsman-Scully Hall, Room 101
Speaker(s): 

Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk - Hanna Pickard

Thu, Sep 28, 2017,
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk - Angela Radulescu

Thu, Oct 12, 2017,
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk - Dylan Murray

Thu, Oct 26, 2017, 12:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Cognitive Science Colloquium - Brian Scholl

Thu, Nov 9, 2017,
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Cognitive Science Colloquium- Morten Christiansen

Thu, Nov 30, 2017,
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk - Ian Phillips

Thu, Dec 14, 2017, 12:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Cognitive Science Colloquium - Laura Schulz

Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 12:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk - Anne Mennen

Thu, Mar 1, 2018, 12:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Cognitive Science Colloquium - Charles A. Nelson III

Thu, Mar 15, 2018,
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101

Cognitive Science Lunchtime Talk - Taylor Webb

Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 12:00 pm
Peretsman Scully Hall - Room 101