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J. Anderson, A Spreading Activation Theory of Memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 22, 1983.

Author of the summary: J. William Murdock, 1997, murdock@cc.gatech.edu

Cite this paper for:

Keywords: Spreading Activation, Production System

System: ACT

Summary: Introduces cognitive units as a node as a unit plus a set of
elements (at most 5 in this incarnation of ACT).  Makes arguments for
the cognitive plausibility of the claims throughout the document.
Describes the transition from working memory (WM) to long-term memory
(LTM) as the generation of traces.  Further presents the relationship
as one of degree; to the extent that a chunk is activated, it is in
working memory.  Discusses spreading and decaying of activation.
Discusses the strength of individual nodes (rather than connections) as
being determined by its frequency of use.  Discusses in great depth the
interference problem (including the fan effect) and how it can be
addressed in ACT.  Further discusses related problems in associative
relatedness: rejection of foil sentences that are true in the real
world, rejection of foil sentences consistent with ones presented,
etc. as evidence of spreading activation.  Discusses how strength of
activation is learned with practice.  Discusses the relationship
between recognition and recall.  Discusses the use of elaboration of
concepts to strengthen learning.

Summary author's notes:

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