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Psychology A number of researchers have tried to expound the idea behind the working of the memory. Uncovering the principles involved in the spatial information and the working memory has been the primary goal of most of the psychologist and neurologist (Hommel, Musseler, Aschersleben & Prinz, 2001)…
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Psychology A number of researchers have tried to expound the idea behind the working of the memory. Uncovering the principles involved in the spatial information and the working memory has been the primary goal of most of the psychologist and neurologist (Hommel, Musseler, Aschersleben & Prinz, 2001). Spatial information entails those form of information that human being encounters in his day-to-day activities. The research done by Humphreys & Riddoch (1992) reveals that the way the spatial information are perceived and perceptually organized may shape the emerging cognitive representation some time before processes of memory storage or retrieval come into play. Such information is acquired through senses. A number of theories and principles have been developed with the purpose of unveiling the truth behind the relationship between mind, brain and the memory. The principle of Gestalt psychology was developed to explain the functioning of the brain. The principle argues that brain is best described by considering its holistic nature rather than describing its parts independently (Coren & Girgus 1980). According to the Gestalt psychology, understanding the whole issue is best way through which one can understand the parts making the issue. Despite the fact that several theories and principles related to the Gestalt psychology have been developed, there is still insufficient information explaining the effects of gestalts on maintenance of spatial information in working memory. The aim of this paper is to report on the experiment that was carried out to determine the relationship between the spatial information and the functioning of the brain (Coren & Girgus 1980). Methods The study involved 34 participants from the upper-level psychology class. The participants were expected to participate voluntarily in the study. There were two main variables used in the experiment. The dependent variable was determined by the ability of the participants to detect a change in the stimuli. On the other hand, there were two independent variables were the gestalt presence and the stimulus change. There were two classes of gestalt. The first class was presented by the absence of the gestalt whereas the other class had gestalt (Coren & Girgus 1980). On the other hand, the stimulus change was categorized into five categories. These were: (no change, in-in, in-out, out-out, out-in). In this experiment, the participants were presented with the spatial information and were expected to encode. The information was in form of keys. “Z” key was used to indicate no change and the “/” key was used to indicate a change. The encoded information would definitely get stored in the working memory. This was followed by presentation of either a gestalt or a blank screen. However, care was taken to ensure that the information was maintained. The participants were then tested on how well they remember the information. However, some of them had gestalt whereas others could not access it (McNamara, 1991). The last action that was carried out was t compare the trials were gestalt was and was not presented. It should be noted that the whole process was computerized such that detection of any change could be tracked to detect the stimuli affected. The analysis of variance was then used to analyze the findings (Coren & Girgus 1980). Results The results were as shown below Based on the 2 X 5 Repeated measures ANOVA, it was found that the main effect of gestalt presence F (1, 32) = 15.637, p < .001. On the other hand, the main effect of stimuli change F (4,128) = 45.358, p < .001. By combining and correlating the two, it was found that the significant interaction between gestalt presence and stimuli change resulted in F (4,128) = 3.305 and p = .013. t- test was also used to identify which types of stimulus changes (in-in, in-out, etc.) show an effect of stimulus presence. The results from the t-test were as shown below. Post-hoc t-tests to investigate interaction (Bonferroni correction, alpha = .01) No change: t(1,32) = 0.81, p = .423 In-In: t(1,32) = 2.91, p = .006 In-Out change: t(1,32) = 1.89, p = .068 Out-In change: t(1,32) = 1.28, p = .208 Out-Out change: t(1,32) = 3.60, p = .001 Discussion Based on the results above, it is clear that there is a significant effect that the presence of Gestalt on the working memory (Hirtle & Mascolo, 1986). This is shown by the F (1, 32) = 15.637, p < .001. Moreover, the findings also show that stimuli change has a significant effect on the functioning of the memory. This is shown by the F (4,128) = 3.305 and p = .001. The three way ANOVA revealed that there was a significant relationship between the gestalt presence and stimuli change resulted in a F (4,128) = 3.305 and p = .013. The above results supports the findings that were found in a study carried out by Hommel and Knuf (2003) that states that participants are faster in verifying spatial information concerning objects that previously have been experienced. This is where the issue of stimulus comes in (Coren & Girgus 1980). References Coren, S., & Girgus, J. S. (1980). Principles of perceptual organization and spatial distortion: The Gestalt illusions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 6, 404-412. McNamara, T. P. (1991). Memory's view of space. The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 27, 147-186. Humphreys, G. W., & Riddoch, M. J. (1992). Interactions between object and space systems revealed through neuropsychology. In. D. E. Meyer & S. Kornblum (eds.), Attention and performance XIV: Synergies in experimental psychology, artificial intelligence, and cognitive neuroscience (pp. 143-162). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Hommel, B., Musseler, J., Aschersleben, G., & Prinz, W. (2001). The theory of event coding (TEC): A framework for perception and action planning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24, 849-878. Hirtle, S. C., & Mascolo, M. F. (1986). Effect of semantic clustering on the memory of spatial locations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 12, 182-189. Read More
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