Set as an Instance of a Real-World Visual-Cognitive Task

Cognitive Science 37 (1):146-175 (2013)
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Abstract

Complex problem solving is often an integration of perceptual processing and deliberate planning. But what balances these two processes, and how do novices differ from experts? We investigate the interplay between these two in the game of SET. This article investigates how people combine bottom-up visual processes and top-down planning to succeed in this game. Using combinatorial and mixed-effect regression analysis of eye-movement protocols and a cognitive model of a human player, we show that SET players deploy both bottom-up and top-down processes in parallel to accomplish the same task. The combination of competition and cooperation of both types of processes is a major factor of success in the game. Finally, we explore strategies players use during the game. Our findings suggest that within-trial strategy shifts can occur without the need of explicit meta-cognitive control, but rather implicitly as a result of evolving memory activations

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