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Integrated Models of Cognitive Systems$
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Wayne D. Gray

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195189193

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195189193.001.0001

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Sequential Dependencies in Human Behavior Offer Insights into Cognitive Control

Sequential Dependencies in Human Behavior Offer Insights into Cognitive Control

(p.180) 13 Sequential Dependencies in Human Behavior Offer Insights into Cognitive Control
Integrated Models of Cognitive Systems

Michael C. Mozer

Sachiko Kinoshita

Michael Shettel

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a perspective on cognitive control that is motivated by an examination of sequential dependencies in human behavior. A sequential dependency is an influence of one incidental experience on subsequent experience. Sequential dependencies arise in psychological experiments when individuals perform a task repeatedly or perform a series of tasks, and one task trial influences behavior on subsequent trials. Sequential dependencies are viewed as reflecting the fine tuning of cognitive control to the structure of the environment. Sequential dependencies reflect cortical adaptation operating on the timescale of seconds, not — as one usually imagines when discussing learning — days or weeks. Sequential dependencies are robust and nearly ubiquitous across a wide range of experimental tasks. This chapter presents a catalog of sequential dependency effects, spanning a variety of components of the cognitive architecture, including perception, attention, language, stimulus-response mapping, and response initiation. It also introduces a model that accounts for sequential effects of response repetition in a simple choice task.

Keywords:   cognitive control, sequential dependencies, human behavior, experience, adaptation, cognitive architecture, perception, attention, response repetition, choice task

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