A Model of Distraction using new Architectural Mechanisms to Manage Multiple Goals

Taatgen, N., Katidioti, I., Borst, J. & van Vugt, M., 2015, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling. Taatgen, N., van Vugt, M., Borst, J. & Mehlhorn, K. (eds.). Groningen, The Netherlands: University of Groningen, p. 264-269

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Cognitive models assume a one-to-one correspondence
between task and goals. We argue that modeling a task by
combining multiple goals has several advantages: a task can
be constructed from components that are reused from other
tasks, and it enables modeling thought processes that compete
with or support regular task performance. To achieve this, we
updated the PRIMs architecture (a derivative of ACT-R) with
the capacity for parallel goals that have different activation
levels. We use this extension to model visual distraction in
two experiments. The model provides explanations for the
finding that distraction increases with task difficulty in a
memory task, but decreases with task difficulty in a visual
search task.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling
EditorsNiels Taatgen, Marieke van Vugt, Jelmer Borst, Katja Mehlhorn
Place of PublicationGroningen, The Netherlands
PublisherUniversity of Groningen
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-367-7763-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • cogntive control, task representation, PRIMs, distraction, multitasking

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