Yakovlev V, Hochstein S, 2011, "Memory reset mechanism in multiple-item repetition task" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 82
Memory reset mechanism in multiple-item repetition task
V Yakovlev, S Hochstein
We previously found that macaque monkeys easily perform a multiple-item delayed-match-to-sample task with a fixed-set of 16 images or an unlimited-set of novel images. A common fixed-set error was false positive (FP) responses for images presented in preceding trials. We now ask how monkeys overcome this type of error. We find that there is an inter-trial reset mechanism which purposely "forgets" (most) seen images. We trained monkeys to report repetition of any stimulus within a sequence of (7) stimuli. Group TB (n=2) trained with a fixed-set and had 9% FP errors for 1-trial-back images and 3% for 2-trials-back. They were then trained and tested with novel images, with catch trials containing an image from earlier trials, showing 15% FP rates. Group DL (n=2) trained immediately with novel images. Catch-trial FP rates were much higher, 80% for 1-trial-back and 66% for 2-trials-back images. We suggest that fixed-set training produces a reset mechanism that is used also during subsequent performance with novel images, avoiding the catch trial false alarms. Without prior fixed-set training, group DL was unable to acquire this reset mechanism.
[Israel Science Foundation (SH) and the National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel (VY)]
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