April 10, 2020, UGOE published the work “Hey, look over there: Distraction effects on rapid sequence recall”
In the course of everyday life, the brain must store and recall a huge variety of representations of stimuli which are presented in an ordered or sequential way. The processes by which the ordering of these various things is stored and recalled are moderately well understood. We use here a computational model of a cortex-like recurrent neural network adapted by a multitude of plasticity mechanisms. We first demonstrate the learning of a sequence. Then, we examine the influence of different types of distractors on the network dynamics during the recall of the encoded ordered information being ordered in a sequence. We are able to broadly arrive at two distinct effect-categories for distractors, arrive at a basic understanding of why this is so, and predict what distractors will fall into each category.