A connectionist model of maintenance/elaborative rehearsal

Davelaar, E.

Birkbeck, University of London

At the beginning of the cognitive revolution, researchers have proposed various mechanisms by which the human mind is able to remember information over the long term and prevent forgetting of over the short term. One crucial mechanism that has been mentioned in the early days of cognitive research on memory is rehearsal. Rehearsal has been appealed to in many occasions and thus has amassed substantial explanatory power. The explanandum of particular interest here is the primacy effect in free recall (without overt rehearsal). Experiments that focused on acoustic effects in serial recall have led to the view that the human short-term memory operates on acoustic information and that non-acoustic information is converted into the acoustic code. This information is then maintained through replaying the serially ordered information. Although the field has accumulated detailed knowledge on human memory using this rehearsal framework of short-term memory, no concerted efforts have been made to understand the process of rehearsal itself at the mechanistic level. Here, I will present a connectionist model of rehearsal that takes into account three critical data patterns from the literature: elaborative rehearsal is better than maintenance rehearsal, false memories during overt rehearsal, and residual performance under articulatory suppression.