Rational models of memory
How to best encode and represent information and later efficiently retrieve them is a challenging computational problem.
I analyze these aspects of human memory system by comparing human behavior to optimal or rational solutions to such computational problems.
- Zhang, Q., Griffiths, T.L., & Norman, K. (submitted). Optimal policies for free recall. [preprint]
- Devraj A., Zhang, Q., & Griffiths, T.L. (2021). The dynamics of exemplar and prototype representations depend on environmental statistics. Proceedings of the 43th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
- Wilson S., Arora S., Zhang, Q., & Griffiths, T.L. (2021). A rational account of anchor effects in hindsight bias. Proceedings of the 43th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
- Zhang, Q. (2019). The When Where and Why of Human Memory Retrieval. [thesis dissertation]
- Ongoing project*: Do people rationally select between alternative memory cues to maximize their memory recall?
Once we understand what gives optimal or rational solutions, we can design methods to further improve memory recalls.
- Ongoing project*: Why are mnenomic techniques such as the method of loci effective in faciliating memory recall?
- Ongoing project*: When do people terminate their search in memory, and what are the factors to enable them continue recalling?
The influence of prior knowledge on learning and memory
How we learn new information is constantly shaped by our prior knowledge. I study how our prior knowledge serves as a scaffold where new memories bind to,
and how this scaffold can faciliate more efficient search over memories.
- Zhang, Q.*, Popov, V.* (co-first-authors), Koch, G.E., Calloway, R.C., & Coutanche, M.N. (2018). Fast Memory Integration Facilitated by Schema Consistency.
Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
- Popov, V., Zhang, Q., Koch, G.E., Calloway, R.C., & Coutanche, M.N. (2019). Semantic knowledge influences whether novel episodic associations are represented symmetrically or asymmetrically.
Memory & Cognition. [pdf]
- Ongoing project*: How does prior knowledge influence the temporal dynamics and recall performance during memory search?
Information processing in the brain
Visual processing, memory retrieval, decision making are hidden cognitive processes that are not directly observable from behavioral responses.
I develop machine learning methods that allow us to track when and where these hidden cognitive process occurs in the brain, using a combination of
neural imaging techniques (EEG, MEG, ECoG).
- Zhang, Q., Walsh, M.M., & Anderson, J.R. (2018). The Impact of Inserting an Additional Mental Process. Computational Brain & Behavior. [link] [pdf]
- Zhang, Q., van Vugt, M., Borst, J.P., & Anderson, J.R. (2018). Mapping Working Memory Retrieval in Space and in Time: A Combined Electroencephalography and Electrocorticography Approach. NeuroImage. [pdf]
- Anderson, J.R., Zhang, Q., Borst, J.P.,& Walsh, M.M. (2016). The Discovery of Processing Stages: Extension of Sternberg's Method. Psychological Review, 123(5), 481. [pdf]
- Zhang, Q., Borst, J.P., Kass, R.E.,& Anderson, J.R. (2017). Inter-Subject
Alignment of MEG Datasets in a Common Representational Space. Human Brain
Mapping. [link] [pdf]
- Zhang, Q., Walsh, M.M.,& Anderson, J.R. (2017). The Effects of Probe Similarity on Retrieval and Comparison Processes in Associative Recognition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29(2), 352-367.
Neural markers of task performance
I develop methods to identify brain patterns in participants that are predictive of their later performance in the task,
and brain patterns that can be used to further improve task performance in Brain-Computer Interface.
- Mousavi, M., Koerner, A.S., Zhang, Q., Noh, E.,& de Sa, V.R.
(2017). Improving Motor Imagery BCI with User Response to Feedback.
Brain-Computer Interfaces, 4(1-2), 74-86.[link] [pdf]
- Zhang, Q., Anderson, J.R., & Kass, R.E. (2015). Consistency in Brain
Activation Predicts Success in Transfer. Proceedings of the 37th Annual
Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]
- Zhang, Q., Anderson, J.R., & Kass, R.E. (2014). Consistency in
Extending Problem-solving Procedures Indicates Expertise. Master's thesis
- Koerner, A.S., Zhang, Q., & de Sa, V.R. (2013). The effect of
real-time positive and negative feedback on motor imagery performance.
Proceedings of the Fifth International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting:
Defining the Future. [pdf]