Genetic Programming for Developing Simple Cognitive Models
Frequently in psychology, simple tasks that are designed to tap a particular feature of cognition are used without considering the other mechanisms that might be at play. For example, the delayed-match-to-sample (DMTS) task is often used to examine short-term memory; however, a number of cognitive mechanisms interact to produce the observed behaviour, such as decision-making and attention processes. As these simple tasks form the basis of more complex psychological experiments and theories, it is critical to understand what strategies might be producing the recorded behaviour. The current paper uses the GEMS methodology, a system that generates models of cognition using genetic programming, and applies it to differing DMTS experimental conditions. We investigate the strategies that participants might be using, while looking at similarities and differences in strategy depending on task variations; in this case, changes to the interval between study and recall affected the strategies used by the generated models.