HUMAN USE OF SHORT TERM MEMORY IN PROCESSING INFORMATION ON A CONSOLE
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE ENGINEERING PROJECTS LAB
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The report assumes that an operators console constitutes a third form of memory in addition to that integral to the human and that integral to the machine which is not directly accessible to the human. Questions are raised concerning the characteristic modes of human storage and retrieval of information from internal memory when such external memory is accessible. The report also introduces the concept of associative memory nets formed by cuerelated images of external events. A list processing experiment is described. Storage structures characterizing internal human memory and external console memory in this task are postulated. A retrieval model implied by these sturctures is constructed to account for the effects of computation and learning upon the features of the experimentally obtained curves. Insufficient retrieval of required information from internal memory is assumed to necessitate external memory search. The effect of computation is to increase the probability of insufficient retrieval and hence the frequency of external search. Learning decreases this probability. The effects of inducing alternate forms of internal storage are studied and found generally to result in increased storage and retrieval times. Implications for console design are discussed.
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