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Kinesiology 3480A/B Lecture Notes - Interference Theory, Cognitive Psychology

Course Code
Kinesiology 3480A/B
Matthew Heath

of 3
Brown-Peterson Task
- classic study
- as long as it is rehearsed, it will persist in STSS; but other stimuli distract
- how long can unrehearsed info persist in STM? AND are there interference effects in the
STM? (their research objectives)
- participants given a trigram, then asked to count backwards from some random number
(prevents rehearsal; distractor task); then asked to recall the trigram
- seems simple but it is not
- speaks to how fleeting (short-term) it is and how susceptible it is to interference effects
Typical Results of the Brown-Peterson Task
- graph: recall accuracy
- x-axis - how long before you were asked to recall (backward counting task length)
- monotonic/decreasing ability to recall the trigram as a function of the increasing delay
- provided them with a basis of the interval for how long info can last in STM
- 50% (reliable recall) - around 3 sec
- found: info that is unrehearsed can persist in STM for around 3 seconds
- not as fleeting as STSS (300ms)
Brown-Peterson Task
- another thing they found as a consequence of their results
- found: linear reduction in recall accuracy as a function of number of recall trials (more trials
= worse recall)
- why did this performance decrement occur?
- anecdotal finding from original study - created a second study for why this occurred
- participants only did 4 trials
- control = same 4 trials as first study (always presented and asked to recall a trigram)
- experimental = same thing, but on 4th trial they were asked to recall 3 numbers instead of
a trigram
- switched the semantic category associated with the to be recalled stimuli on the 4th
- graph: actual data
- control - same result as in first experiment
- experimental - mirrors performance of control, 4th trial goes back up to almost
100% recall accuracy
- speaks to the semantic/categorical nature associated with short term/working memory
- categorical information is susceptible to interference effects
- found: STM susceptible to proactive interference (what you are currently trying to learn is
impaired by stuff that you previously learned)
Proactive and Retroactive Interference
- proactive interference: the forgetting of currently learned material produced by interference
from previously learned material
- the 3 previous trigrams impaired the person’s ability to recall the 4th trigram
(Brown-Peterson task)
- retroactive interference: process in which an event learned during a retention interval
leads to forgetting of a previously learned event
- not demonstrated in Brown-Peterson task
- stuff that you are currently learning leads to the forgetting of stuff that you
previously learned
- both have an impact on how well someone can retain information; want to minimize both
of these (important for coaches, educators, etc.)
- chunking - taken from cognitive psychology, used for learning a complex movement skill
- learn only couple basic elements of the movement skill to the point of expertise
before you introduce other elements of the movement skill
Eric Roy: (side note)
- neuropsych tests are no good to determine safe return to play after concussion
- neurophysiological tests are better
- ERPs
- athletes should have neurophys measurements before season (baseline) and then after
concussion to determine if safe for them to return
- no relationship between concussion symptoms and participant scores on most of these
neuropsych batteries
- one neuropsych test that does reasonable job serial recall word task (presented a list of
words and asked to recall)
Typical Memory Recall Curve
- for a serial recall task
- get a primacy and recency effects
- primacy - better able to recall first few words in the list than words in the middle of the list
- ability to appropriately rehearse the first couple words in the serial word list
- recency - just got the words, asked to recall immediately after, can recall them well b/c no
time to decay from STM
Eric Roy:
- concussed athletes generally do not show a primacy effect (do not appropriately rehearse
stimuli) and only a recency effect is seen
- one of the only neuropsych tests that has validity for return to play in concussed athletes
- important for young athletes: won't do a good job rehearsing info in classroom; ability to
learn is significantly diminished
- strong impact on how one should manage concussion in very young athletes - do not send
them to school after concussion (bombarded with lots of stimuli that they will be asked to
rehearse to learn)
- should have all symptoms resolved before returning to school or else could be
compounding effects and lengthening the time for return and recovery
- most susceptible to Secondary Impact Syndrome - will significantly impede their education