Episode 19: Decrypto and Codenames CG Cognalysis

I take a dive into Decrypto, comparing how clues are given in it versus in Codenames. Both the similarities and differences shed light into our cognitive processes and how items are stored in our memories. Spoiler alert: Bayes’ Theorem is discussed!

Game References

Codenames, Decrypto, Downforce, Monikers, Outburst, Secret Hitler, Taboo

Research References

Gallistel, C. R. (1992). Animal Cognition. MIT Press: Boston, MA.

Anderson, J. R. (1996). ACT: A simple theory of complex cognition. American Psychologist51(4), 355-365.

Episode 11: O Memory, Memory, Wherefore Art Thou Memory?

Cognitive psychologists make a lot of distinctions with different types of memory. In this episode I provide an overview of the various ways that scientists have divvied up memory, and how each relates to how we play games.

Game References

Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Call of Duty, Clank!, Dominion, Kingdomino, Scrabble, Uno

Research References

Anderson, J. R. (2014). Rules of the mind. Psychology Press.

Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. (1974). Working memory. Psychology of learning and motivation, 8, 47-89.

Corkin, S. (1968). Acquisition of motor skill after bilateral medial temporal-lobe excision. Neuropsychologia, 6(3), 255-265.

Sperling, G. (1960). The information available in brief visual presentations. Psychological monographs: General and applied, 74(11), 1.

Tulving, E. (1986). Episodic and semantic memory: Where should we go from here?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 9(3), 573-577.

Episode 02: Now You See It, Now You Still Do: The Use of Visual Imagery in Memory

Visual memory has a different character than verbal memory. This episode examines the nature of our visual memory, and how it is used in such games as Tetris, Carcassonne, and any game that has a map that your character must navigate.

Game References

Assassins Creed, Asteroids, Breakout, Carcassonne, DixIt, Horizon Zero Dawn, Pandemic, Patchwork, Risk, Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, Tsuro, Watch Dogs 2

Research References

Shepard, R.N., & Metzler, J. (1971) Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects. Science, 171, 701-703.

Kosslyn, S. M., Ball, T. M., & Reiser, B. J. (1978). Visual images preserve metric spatial information: Evidence from studies of image scanning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 4, 47-60.

Pylyshyn, Z.W. (2002). Mental Imagery: In search of a theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25, 157–182.

Clive Wearing video

Episode 01: You Must Remember This: The Use of Activation in Game Playing

How verbal items are stored in long term affect how they are retrieved. This in turn affects how we play a fair number of games, as they require retrieval of items from long term memory. In particular, I consider such games as Codenames, Scattergories, and Taboo.

Game References

Codenames, Monikers, Scattergories, Taboo, Trivial Pursuit, Wits and Wagers

Research References

Loftus, E. F. (1973). Activation of semantic memory. American Journal of Psychology, 86, 331-337.

For those who want to know more about the mathematics and computation behind memory retrieval:

Raaijmakers, J.G.W. (2008). Mathematical models of human memory. In H. L. Roediger, III (Ed.), Cognitive Psychology of Memory. Vol. 2 of Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference, 445-466. Oxford: Elsevier.

Short update

Hi All! I have been working bit by bit on this, but after the flurry of activity that surrounded Spring Break, haven’t posted here in a while. My intent is to do a podcast, and I’m laying the groundwork for that. I’m a bit nervous about talking steady for 20+ min, so I’m going to mostly script the first show and see how that goes. It’s a lot more work, of course, but I won’t have to be as mindful about the “umms” and “uhhhhs” and awkward pauses! I have much of a first show in draft form.

The first episode is going to be about activation in long-term memory and how that plays out in games like Codenames, Taboo, and Scattergories. Not sure what the second episode may be, but will probably switch to a video game topic, like maybe attention and first person shooters. Also in the first handful of shows will be expertise and game-playing (lots of chess stuff there, of course), AI and game-playing, talking about Deep Blue and AlphaGo, something about proactive and retroactive interference while playing games (that happened to me recently when playing this deductive game called Antidote), and then there’s at least 2-3 episodes one could do on the Khaneman and Tverksy stuff. That’s 5 right there, and I can rattle off some more as well (what about the use of narrative in games and the power of story?)

I hope to get a a small number of episodes (well, at least 2; maybe 3) in the can before putting them up on a RSS feed so that iTunes can pick them up. That should happen mid-summer-ish?