Document Type

Article

Department/Program

English

Pub Date

1-2-2017

Publisher

TOPICS IN COGNITIVE SCIENCE

Volume

9

Issue

1

Abstract

This paper presents a computational model that integrates a dynamically structured holographic memory system into the ACT-R cognitive architecture to explain how linguistic representations are encoded and accessed in memory. ACT-R currently serves as the most precise expression of the moment-by-moment working memory retrievals that support sentence comprehension. The ACT-R model of sentence comprehension is able to capture a range of linguistic phenomena, but there are cases where the model makes the wrong predictions, such as the over-prediction of retrieval interference effects during sentence comprehension. Here, we investigate one such case involving the processing of sentences with negative polarity items (NPIs) and consider how a dynamically structured holographic memory system might provide a cognitively plausible and principled explanation of some previously unexplained effects. Specifically, we show that by replacing ACT-R's declarative memory with a dynamically structured memory, we can explain a wider range of behavioral data involving reading times and judgments of grammaticality. We show that our integrated model provides a better fit to human error rates and response latencies than the original ACT-R model. These results provide proof-of-concept for the unification of two independent computational cognitive frameworks.

DOI

10.1111/tops.12246

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