Trace Model Of Distributed Memory And Speech Perception

The American cognitive psychologist James Lloyd McClelland (1948- ) and his colleagues describe the TRACE model of distributed memory and speech perception that is based on the principles of interactive/reciprocal activation within the domain of distributed models of information processing. The model consists of a large number of simple processing elements that transmit excitatory and inhibitory signals to each other via modifiable connections. The memory trace of a processing event is the incremental change in the strengths of the interconnections that results from the processing event. The traces of separate events are superimposed on each other via the values of the connection strengths that result from the entire set of traces in the memory store. Thus, the TRACE model consists of a network of units formed by dynamic processing. A modified version - that is called TRACE II - simulates a large number of empirical findings on the perception of phonemes and words, and on their interactions. Also, TRACE II employs lexical information to segment a stream of speech into a sequence of words, and to discover word beginnings and endings. The TRACE model demonstrates how the functional equivalent of abstract representations (prototypes, logogens, rules) may emerge - under the appropriate conditions -from the superimposition of traces from specific experiences. See also ENGRAM THEORY; FORGETTING/MEMORY, THEORIES OF; INFORMATION/INFORMATION-PROCESSING THEORY; INTERACTIVE ACTIVATION MODEL OF LETTER PERCEPTION; PARALLEL DISTRIBUTED PROCESSING MODEL; PROTOTYPE THEORY; TRACE THEORY/DOCTRINE; von RESTORFF EFFECT.

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