Biased feedback in spatial recall yields a violation of delta rule learning

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This study investigates whether inductive processes influencing spatial memory performance generalize to supervised learning scenarios with differential feedback. After providing a location memory response in a spatial recall task, participants received visual feedback showing the target location. In critical blocks, feedback was systematically biased either 4 degrees toward the vertical axis (toward condition) or 4 degrees farther away from the vertical axis (away condition). Results showed that the weaker teaching signal (i.e., a smaller difference between the remembered location and the feedback location) produced a stronger experience-dependent change over blocks in the away condition than in the toward condition. This violates delta rule learning. Subsequent simulations of the dynamic field theory of spatial cognition provide a theoretically unified account of these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-588
Number of pages8
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Association Learning
  • Attention
  • Color Perception
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Feedback (Psychological)
  • Female
  • Generalization (Psychology)
  • Humans
  • Inhibition (Psychology)
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition (Visual)
  • Psychological Theory
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Psychophysics
  • Retention (Psychology)
  • Space Perception

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