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Poster D16

Confident but wrong: Improving metacognitive assessments of working memory representations

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Hana Yabuki1, Caitlin Tozios1, Susanne Ferber1, Keisuke Fukuda1,2; 1University of Toronto, 2University of Toronto Mississauga

Our ability to recall information from visual working memory (VWM) is not only constrained by overall capacity limits but also subject to our own assessment of our confidence: We may maintain inaccurate VWM representations we feel confident about. Such confident errors can cause severe costs (e.g., traffic accidents), and thus, it is imperative to reduce them. Here, we tested whether confident errors could be reduced through training, wherein participants received performance feedback on the accuracy of metacognitive assessments of their VWM representations. Furthermore, we examined if this training benefit generalized to new stimulus types. Participants (n = 78) remembered a briefly presented array of six colored squares or oriented bars, and then reported each item along with their confidence in the accuracy of their report. Critically, they received 10, 5, or 0 points for an accurate VWM report coupled with high, low, or no confidence, respectively. Conversely, they lost 10, 5, or 0 points for an inaccurate response coupled with high, low, or no confidence. After measuring baseline performance without feedback, participants repeated either the color or orientation VWM task with feedback. Participants then repeated the two VWM tasks without feedback to assess the training benefit and its generalizability. Overall, we found a reduction of confident errors during and after training relative to baseline. This benefit also generalized to the untrained stimulus. Taken together, our results demonstrate rapid and stimulus-general improvement of metacognitive assessment of VWM representations. Underlying neural components for recognition confidence (e.g., FN400, P3) will be discussed.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Working memory


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