Cognition Laboratory Experiments

John H. Krantz, Hanover College,

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Mental Imagery



Statistical Concepts

Hanover College
Psychology Department

Instructions for the
Working Memory Experiment

In this experiment, you can experience one type of task that is thought to require the use of working memory.  At this point, the experiment is in a draft form.  Basically, you will be ask to both determine if arithmetical problems are correct or not and at the same time learn a short list of terms.  At the end of a block of trials, you will then be asked to recognize the words in the midst of a list of distracters. 

When you click on the link below, you will be presented with the experiment setup screen.  On this screen will be the variables you can set to define your condition.  Here is a list of the variables and their settings

Variable Settings
Number of Trials The number of trials in each block.  Represents the number of words to be recalled at any one time.  From 2 to 9.
Number of Blocks The number of times to do the memory task. (1 to 30)
  Generally, a word will be presented only one time.  However, if the number of blocks times the number of trials exceeds the number of words, then words can be repeated on different blocks.
Duration of Trial The time duration which a word/math problem set are presented (1 to 30 seconds)
Time for Recognition Time for the recognition task (5 to 120 seconds)
Font Size The size of the letters that are presented (from 12 to 64 point)
Duration of Fixation Target before Block The time there is a fixation marker over the location of the mathematical problem at the beginning of each block (0 to 20 sec)
Use Math Clear this checkbox if you do not want the math problems shown.
Delay between Responses During recognition, you can add a delay between being able to make one choice and the next. 

After you have finished making your settings, press the Done button at the bottom of the screen.  The Working Memory experiment screen will then be presented.  A start bar will be at the top of the screen at every trial and instructions will be in the center of the screen. 

Press the space bar to begin the experiment.  Mathematical problems will be presented on the screen with the word to recall above them.  While the problem is visible you are to indicate if the problem is correct or incorrect by pressing the corresponding buttons at the bottom of the screen.  Only the first button press will be accepted.  At the end of the block, the words presented with an equal number of distracters will be presented at the top of the screen in buttons.  Click on the buttons of the words you recognize.  When you click the word it will fade.  You will only be allowed to click on the number of buttons equaling the number of words in the list.

At the end of the experiment your results will be presented.  This is a draft experiment so expect modifications, but they will be coming slowly.

Click here to start the experiment.