Lectures and seminars Cognitive Neuroscience Club with William Penny, School of Psychology, University of East Anglia, UK

30-04-2024 4:00 pm Add to iCal

"Stochastic attractor models of visual working memory"

The Cognitive Neuroscience Club is hosting monthly seminars on the topic Cognitive Neuroscience. On Tuesday 30 April 2024, we welcome William Penny from the School of Psychology, University of East Anglia, UK.


This talk investigates models of working memory in which memory traces evolve according to stochastic attractor dynamics. These models have previously been shown to account for response-biases that are manifest across multiple trials of a visual working memory task. Here we adapt this approach by making the stable fixed points correspond to the multiple items to be remembered within a single-trial, in accordance with standard dynamical perspectives of memory, and find evidence that this multi-item model can provide a better account of behavioural data from continuous-report tasks. Additionally, the multi-item model proposes a simple mechanism by which swap-errors arise: memory traces diffuse away from their initial state and are captured by the attractors of other items. Swap-error curves reveal the evolution of this process as a continuous function of time throughout the maintenance interval and can be inferred from experimental data. Consistent with previous findings, we find that empirical memory performance is not well characterised by a purely-diffusive process but rather by a stochastic process that also embodies error-correcting dynamics.


Julia Ericson Phd Student