Behavioral studies of memory: conditional discrimination techniques

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Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus

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Master i læring i komplekse systemer


A presentation of various conceptual problems and challenges in the field of memory research is presented in Article 1. After giving examples of approaches to the phenomenon by the disciplines of behavior analysis and cognitive psychology, more fundamental differences between the disciplines are discussed. It is promoted that behavior analysis has much to contribute with in the study of memory, both in the experimental field, and in applied settings in which treatment of different forms of memory-deficits is relevant. A special focus is pointed to treatment of patients with dementia, of which an important feature is decline in behavioral functions related to memory. Different matching-to-sample procedures have been promoted as promising in this treatment. In Article 2, a matching-to-sample procedure is conducted to establish name-face relations of three caregiver staff in a woman with unspecified dementia. Effects of a morphing procedure on the efficacy of the establishments were studied. This involves that two of the stimuli used in the experiment were put together as one stimulus, wherein one of the elements in the morphed stimulus functioned as a fading prompt. The stimuli used consisted of a picture of the caregiver’s face, the caregiver’s written name, and the caregiver’s spoken name. The results indicate that morphing can be a quite beneficial technique in conditional discrimination, and that matching-to-sample procedures can function as appropriate and effective tools to train skills in patients with dementia. The findings are discussed, and guidelines for future research are suggested


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