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October 2021

Episodic indexing: A model of memory for attention events

Author(s): John, B. E.

Journal/Book: Cognitive Sci. 1999; 23: 100 Prospect St, PO Box 811, Stamford, CT 06904-0811, USA. Ablex Publ Corp. 117-156.

Abstract: People often remember what they attend to in the world. Such memory con be cost as a kind of mental catalog or index of attended objects. To investigate how such an index is acquired and used, protocol data were collected from a programmer who scrolled to off-screen objects from time to time as she worked. These protocol data were modeled using Soar, which constrains how the index is constructed. In the model, an index entry is an episodic trace encoded during attention. The trace associates the attention event with a time symbol denoting the event's occurrence. Later, the model con ask itself whether it saw that object by coiling to mind an image of the attention event. If this image retrieves a time symbol, then the model infers that the object exists and can reason about bringing the object back into view. Episodic indexing is a theory of these encoding and retrieval processes. It posits that information about attention events is encoded automatically, but that retrieval requires effort and knowledge. Episodic indexing is congruent with a range of results on episodic and temporal codes and recognition and recoil processes. It incorporates source monitoring (Johnson, Hashtroudi, & Lindsay, 1993) and is a simple and pervasive form of long-term working memory (Ericsson & Kintsch, 1995).

Note: Article Altmann EM, George Mason Univ, Mailstop 2E5, Fairfax,VA 22030 USA


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