Poster F79, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Relative order judgements of the past and the future
Inder Singh1, Marc Howard1; 1Boston University
Several authors have suggested a deep symmetry in neural and psychological processes that underlie our ability to remember the past and make predictions about the future. However this connection has not resulted in a unified model for events in the past and predictions of the future. Further, there is thus far little quantitative data to suggest that this symmetry holds. Methodological differences between the behavioral paradigms used to test memory and those that test prediction are an obstacle to this integration. Thus, there is a need for novel behavioral paradigms to evaluate the ability to predict the future under carefully controlled experimental conditions that ideally mirror memory tasks. In this study we use temporal order judgment tasks for the past and for the future. The relatively well-studied Judgment of Recency (JOR) task measures order judgments for the past. We introduce a novel Judgment of Imminence (JOI) task to study temporal order judgments for the future. Our JOR study replicates very closely classic findings from Hacker (1980), but in a single session. The response time varies as a function of the distance to the more recent item and does not depend on the distance to the less recent item, thus suggesting a serial self-terminating process operating on a temporally ordered representation. As our JOI task closely parallels the design of the JOR task, we can directly compare judgments of the past and the future. Results suggest minimally a qualitative similarity between judgments of the past and the future.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic