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Spaun - Working memory

Spaun performing a serial working memory task. The model has to repeat back the list of digits in order. The top video shows a correct performance. The bottom video shows an error halfway through the list. Spaun displays primacy and recency effects in serial working memory, similarly to people.


A3 indicates that Spaun must perform a serial working memory task. This task consists of memorizing a list of numbers, and then repeating the list back. The working memory encoding can be seen in the second thought bubble from the front. Spaun has no trouble with short lists, just like people.

However, the second time Spaun performs this task, it is confronted with a much longer list. Watch the working memory thought bubble to see that items in the middle of the list begin to fade as they become more difficult to decode from the neural spikes. As you watch Spaun write out its answer, keep in mind that it draws a horizontal line to indicate when it doesn't know the item. Notice that even though it forgot an item in the middle of the list, it can complete the list, again just like people. Running many instances of Spaun shows that it generates errors when recalling lists that match well to human subject data.