Target learning in event-based prospective memory
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Event-based prospective memory (PM) tasks require individuals to remember to perform a previously planned action when they encounter a specific event. Often, the natural environments in which PM tasks occur are embedded are constantly changing, requiring humans to adapt by learning. We examine one such adaptation by integrating PM target learning with the Prospective Memory Decision Control (PMDC) cognitive model. We apply this augmented model to an experiment that manipulated exposure to PM targets, comparing a single-target PM condition where the target was well learned from the outset, to a multiple-target PM condition with less initial PM target exposure, allowing us to examine the effect of continued target learning opportunities. Single-target PM accuracy was near ceiling whereas multiple-target PM accuracy was initially poorer but improved throughout the course of the experiment. PM response times were longer for the multiplecompared to single-target PM task but this difference also decreased over time. The model indicated that PM trial evidence accumulation rates, and the inhibition of competing responses, were initially higher for single compared to multiple PM targets, but that this difference decreased over time due to the learning of multiple-targets over the target repetitions. These outcomes provide insight into how the processes underlying event-based PM can dynamically evolve over time, and a modelling framework to further investigate the effect of learning on event-based PM decision processes.
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