student profile: Ms Justine Greenaway


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Prediction error and the blocking effect in causal learning

Supervisors: Micah GOLDWATER , Evan LIVESEY

Thesis abstract:

Prediction error, the extent to which an outcome is unexpected, is thought to be an important determinant of the strength of learning. The blocking effect in human contingency learning is consistent with this notion as it suggests that people fail to encode an association between a cue and outcome if that outcome is already expected on the basis of other predictive cues. Yet, the role of associative processes in human causal learning remains contentious with some theorists claiming that human causal learning always and only involves higher-order reasoning processes. Nonetheless it remains plausible that associative memory processes and propositional knowledge might both contribute to the expression of causal judgements in humans. This thesis therefore aims to examine the relative contributions of associative memory and propositional knowledge to the control of prediction error in causal learning. 

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