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Spatial Module for ACT-R

Preuss, Kai

FG Kognitive Modellierung in dynamischen Mensch-Maschine Systemen

The spatial module extends ACT-R's modular structure by a dedicated processing unit for mental spatial transformations. Based on work by Gunzelmann & Lyon (2007), the idea is to offer functionality for processing three-dimensional data in ACT-R in a cognitively plausible fashion. In contrast to their work, the module presented herein avoids episodic and allocentric buffers, as I perceive the mechanisms underlying these additional buffers to be already supplied by ACT-R's default modules, namely the declarative and visual/imaginal modules. The spatial module aims to offer better explainability, applicability and validity for cognitive models of spatial cognition by offering explanations for commonly shown effects such as differences in spatial strategies or increased solving time for higher task difficulties, supporting multiple paradigms of mental spatial cognition research such as mental rotation or mental folding and offering a common framework for these mechanisms, thus bypassing the need for overly specific modeling approaches.