Author Archives: John Paul Minda

About John Paul Minda

Professor of Psychology at Western University. I mostly write about cognitive psychology, science, & higher ed. Sometimes running, food, & cats.

Cog Sci 2009

Sarah Miles will be presenting our work on how adults and children differ in their tendency to learn rules (for classification) at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society next week (July 29-August 1) in Amsterdam. You can read the paper here, and if you happen to be at the Conference, please stop by to see the poster.

Lab Meeting – July 16th

Rachel Rabi will discuss the preliminary analyses of her summer NSERC project. She is examining the effects of mood on classification learning. We predicted that positive mood should enhance learning of rules and hypothesis testing. We also predicted negative mood would reduce performance for the same kinds of categories, relative to a baseline condition. We do not expect an effect of mood for non rule-described categories. So far, our predictions have held up (you can see a graph of the data here)

Expertise Effects in Patient Classification

Sarah Devantier’s study of  of thinking by medical experts and novices was recently published in PLosONE. We designed a forced-choice triad task in which we asked our subjects to choose which one of two hypothetical patients best matched a target patient. Targets and potential matches were related in terms of deep features (related to a concurrent diagnosis or related to how the patients should be managed) or in terms of surface features (aspects of the patient that were evident from the description). We found that experts were more likely than novices to match patients on deep features, and that this pattern held for diagnostic triads and management triads.

SOBDR conference at Brock University

Members of the Categorization Lab will be presenting three posters at the Southern Ontario Behavioral Decision Research Conference (SOBDR) at Brock University this Thursday (May 7th). Sarah Devantier will be presenting her research on goal-oriented categories in clinical thinking, Ruby Nadler will be presenting her research on Mood and category learning and Sarah Miles will be presenting her research on the visual-spatial aspects of category learning. If you happen to be at the conference, please stop by to see our posters.

Meeting on March 5th

For our march 5th meeting we will read and discuss the paper by Poldrack and Foerde (2008),

Poldrack, R., &  Foerde, K.  (2008). Category learning and the memory systems debate. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 32, 197-205.

This paper is available on line, but email me if you need a copy. Although this paper is clearly in favour of Multiple memory systems, I’m hoping we get some idea of what the counter arguments might be, and how the memory systems literature informs category learning in general.