Capturing Dynamic Performance in a Cognitive Model: Estimating ACT-R Memory Parameters With the Linear Ballistic Accumulator

Maarten van der Velde*, Florian Sense, Jelmer P. Borst, Leendert van Maanen, Hedderik van Rijn

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

2 Citaten (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


The parameters governing our behavior are in constant flux. Accurately capturing these dynamics in cognitive models poses a challenge to modelers. Here, we demonstrate a mapping of ACT-R's declarative memory onto the linear ballistic accumulator (LBA), a mathematical model describing a competition between evidence accumulation processes. We show that this mapping provides a method for inferring individual ACT-R parameters without requiring the modeler to build and fit an entire ACT-R model. Existing parameter estimation methods for the LBA can be used, instead of the computationally expensive parameter sweeps that are traditionally done. We conduct a parameter recovery study to confirm that the LBA can recover ACT-R parameters from simulated data. Then, as a proof of concept, we use the LBA to estimate ACT-R parameters from an empirical dataset. The resulting parameter estimates provide a cognitively meaningful explanation for observed differences in behavior over time and between individuals. In addition, we find that the mapping between ACT-R and LBA lends a more concrete interpretation to ACT-R's latency factor parameter, namely as a measure of response caution. This work contributes to a growing movement towards integrating formal modeling approaches in cognitive science.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)889-903
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftTopics in Cognitive Science
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
Vroegere onlinedatum9-mei-2022
StatusPublished - okt.-2022

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