Use of a Cognitive Simulator to Enhance Students’ Mental Simulation Activities

Kazuhisa Miwa, Jyunya Morita, Hitoshi Terai, Nana Kanzaki, Kazuaki Kojima, Ryuichi Nakaike et al.

We developed a cognitive simulator of the dual storage model of the human memory system that simulates the serial position effect of a traditional memory recall experiment. In a cognitive science class, participants learned cognitive information processing while observing the memory processes visualized by the simulator. Through the practice, we confirmed that participants learned to predict experimental results in assumed situations implying that participants successfully constructed a mental model and performed mental simulations while running the mental model in various settings. We discuss the possibility that a cognitive model can be used as a learning tool and, more specifically, as a mediator tool connecting theory and empirical data.

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