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Professor Jamie Campbell 

Cognitive Arithmetic: News from Transfer of Learning

Over the last few years, work in my lab has studied memory for everyday arithmetic facts (e.g., 2 + 4 = 6) through the phenomena of retrieval-induced interference as well as facilitative transfer of learning through generalization of practice. I will review some of this recent transfer work and also talk about new, as yet published findings. The retrieval-induced interference phenomena are challenging because they appear to imply a type of inhibitory mechanism (competitor inhibition below baseline) that no theory of cognitive arithmetic currently explains. The generalization data potentially have important implications for recent claims that adult’s skilled performance of simple addition may be based on fast counting procedures rather than based on fact retrieval from semantic memory. In another application, retrieval-induced interference and generalization phenomena also suggest that strong bilinguals may possess language-specific arithmetic memory networks.


Professor Valerie Thompson

Intuition, Analytic Thinking, and the Feeling of Rightness: A Metacognitive Reasoning Theory

Amongst educators and psychologists, questions of metacognition have garnered much attention, especially as they pertain to the domains of learning and memory.  In this context, it is therefore somewhat surprising that relatively little is known about the cognitive processes involved in the monitoring and control of reasoning and problem-solving. That is, we know little about how reasoners assess their confidence in their conclusions, how this confidence influences subsequent behaviour, nor how reasoning performance is assessed on an ongoing basis.  In this talk, I will outline a theory of metareasoning that draws on insights from the learning and memory literature, extending them to a variety of common reasoning tasks. Data will be presented to suggest that monitoring is inferential and based on cues such as the fluency with which answers are brought to mind.  Monitoring is proposed to be a continuous processes, and the relationship between monitoring and control processes will be explicated. In addition to corroborating links between the metatmemory and the nascent field of metareasoning, I will also provide evidence that study of metareasoning provides novel insights about both metacognition and reasoning.