Testing the skill-based approach: Consolidation strategy impacts attentional blink performance

Corné Hoekstra*, Sander Martens, Niels A Taatgen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Humans can learn simple new tasks very quickly. This ability suggests that people can reuse previously learned procedural knowledge when it applies to a new context. We have proposed a modeling approach based on this idea and used it to create a model of the attentional blink (AB). The main idea of the skill-based approach is that models are not created from scratch but, instead, built up from reusable pieces of procedural knowledge (skills). This approach not only provides an explanation for the fast learning of simple tasks but also shows much promise to improve certain aspects of cognitive modeling (e.g., robustness and generalizability). We performed two experiments, in order to collect empirical support for the model's prediction that the AB will disappear when the two targets are consolidated as a single chunk. Firstly, we performed an unsuccessful replication of a study reporting that the AB disappears when participants are instructed to remember the targets as a syllable. However, a subsequent experiment using easily combinable stimuli supported the model's prediction and showed a strongly reduced AB in a large group of participants. This result suggests that it is possible to avoid the AB with the right consolidation strategy. The skill-based approach allowed relating this finding to a general cognitive process, thereby demonstrating that incorporating this approach can be very helpful to generalize the findings of cognitive models, which otherwise tends to be rather difficult.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's27
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - jan-2022

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