Discrete choice experiments—selecting the best and/or worst from a set of options—are increasingly used to provide more efficient and valid measurement of attitudes or preferences than conventional methods such as Likert scales. Discrete choice data have traditionally been analyzed with random utility models that have good measurement properties but provide limited insight into cognitive processes. We extend a well-established cognitive model, which has successfully explained both choices and response times for simple decision tasks, to complex, multi-attribute discrete choice data. The (...) fits, and parameters, of the extended model for two sets of choice data (involving patient preferences for dermatology appointments, and consumer attitudes toward mobile phones) agree with those of standard choice models. The extended model also accounts for choice and response time data in a perceptual judgment task designed in a manner analogous to best–worst discrete choice experiments. We conclude that several research fields might benefit from discrete choice experiments, and that the particular accumulator-based models of decision making used in response time research can also provide process-level instantiations for random utility models. (shrink)
The ability to imagine objects undergoing rotation (mental rotation) improves markedly with practice, but an explanation of this plasticity remains controversial. Some researchers propose that practice speeds up the rate of a general-purpose rotation algorithm. Others maintain that performance improvements arise through the adoption of a new cognitive strategy—repeated exposure leads to rapid retrieval from memory of the required response to familiar mental rotation stimuli. In two experiments we provide support for an integrated explanation of practice effects in mental rotation (...) by combining behavioral and EEG measures in a way that provides more rigorous inference than is available from either measure alone. Before practice, participants displayed two well-established signatures of mental rotation: Both response time and EEG negativity increased linearly with rotation angle. After extensive practice with a small set of stimuli, both signatures of mental rotation had all but disappeared. In contrast, after the same amount of practice with a much larger set both signatures remained, even though performance improved markedly. Taken together, these results constitute a reversed association, which cannot arise from variation in a single cause, and so they provide compelling evidence for the existence of two routes to expertise in mental rotation. We also found novel evidence that practice with the large but not the small stimulus set increased the magnitude of an early visual evoked potential, suggesting increased rotation speed is enabled by improved efficiency in extracting three-dimensional information from two-dimensional stimuli. (shrink)
The core dimensions of cognitive fitness, such as attention and cognitive control, are emerging through a transdisciplinary expert consensus on what has been termed the Cognitive Fitness Framework. These dimensions represent key drivers of cognitive performance under pressure across many occupations, from first responders to sport, performing arts and the military. The constructs forming the building blocks of CF2 come from the RDoC framework, an initiative of the US National Institute of Mental Health aimed at identifying the cognitive processes underlying (...) normal and abnormal behavior. Similar to physical conditioning, cognitive fitness can be improved with deliberate practice. This paper reports the development of a prototype cognitive fitness training program for competitive athletes and the protocol for its evaluation. The program is focused on primary cognitive capacities and subtending skills for adjusting training rhythms and enhancing readiness for competition. The project is driven by the Australian Psychological Society’s College of Sport & Exercise Psychology and includes the development of a Cognitive Gym program for a smartphone app-enhanced implementation. Its key building blocks are training protocols connected by a periodized training plan. A website with background supporting resources has also been developed as part of the project. National-level training squads will participate in a three-week pilot evaluation protocol, assessing the program’s efficacy and usability through gamified cognitive assessment of participants’ training gains and coaching staff evaluations, respectively. Both near and far transfer of training effects will be examined. (shrink)
An extensive survey by Heathcote et al. (in press) found that the Law of Practice is closer to an exponential than a power form. We show that this result is hard to obtain for models using leaky competitive units when practice affects only the input, but that it can be accommodated when practice affects shunting self-excitation.
Parametric cognitive models are increasingly popular tools for analyzing data obtained from psychological experiments. One of the main goals of such models is to formalize psychological theories using parameters that represent distinct psychological processes. We argue that systematic quantitative reviews of parameter estimates can make an important contribution to robust and cumulative cognitive modeling. Parameter reviews can benefit model development and model assessment by providing valuable information about the expected parameter space, and can facilitate the more efficient design of experiments. (...) Importantly, parameter reviews provide crucial—if not indispensable—information for the specification of informative prior distributions in Bayesian cognitive modeling. From the Bayesian perspective, prior distributions are an integral part of a model, reflecting cumulative theoretical knowledge about plausible values of the model's parameters. In this paper we illustrate how systematic parameter reviews can be implemented to generate informed prior distributions for the Diffusion Decision Model, the most widely used model of speeded decision making. We surveyed the published literature on empirical applications of the DDM, extracted the reported parameter estimates, and synthesized this information in the form of prior distributions. Our parameter review establishes a comprehensive reference resource for plausible DDM parameter values in various experimental paradigms that can guide future applications of the model. Based on the challenges we faced during the parameter review, we formulate a set of general and DDM-specific suggestions aiming to increase reproducibility and the information gained from the review process. (shrink)
Bastin et al. propose a dual-process model to understand memory deficits. However, results from state-trace analysis have suggested a single underlying variable in behavioral and neural data. We advocate the usage of unidimensional models that are supported by data and have been successful in understanding memory deficits and in linking to neural data.