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Concept: The Final Test


Our knowledge grows as we integrate events experienced at different points in time. We may or may not become aware of events, their integration, and their impact on our knowledge and decisions. But can we mentally integrate two events, if they are experienced at different time points and at different levels of consciousness? In this study, an event consisted of the presentation of two unrelated words. In the stream of events, half of events shared one component (“tree desk” … “desk fish”) to facilitate event integration. We manipulated the amount of time and trials that separated two corresponding events. The contents of one event were presented subliminally (invisible) and the contents of the corresponding overlapping event supraliminally (visible). Hence, event integration required the binding of contents between consciousness levels and between time points. At the final test of integration, participants judged whether two supraliminal test words (“tree fish”) fit together semantically or not. Unbeknown to participants, half of test words were episodically related through an overlap (“desk”; experimental condition) and half were not (control condition). Participants judged episodically related test words to be closer semantically than unrelated test words. This subjective decrease in the semantic distance between test words was both independent of whether the invisible event was encoded first or second in order and independent of the number of trials and the time that separated two corresponding events. Hence, conscious and unconscious memories were mentally integrated into a linked mnemonic representation.

Concepts: Memory, Integral, Consciousness, Semantics, Awareness, Unconscious mind, The Final Test, 8-Circuit Model of Consciousness


In contextual drug conditioning, the onset of the drug treatment is contiguous with the contextual cues. Evidence suggests that drug conditioning also can occur if there is a discontinuity between the onset of the drug effect and offset of the contextual cues. Here we examine whether post-trial contextual drug conditioning conforms to several Pavlovian conditioning tenets namely: acquisition, extinction and spontaneous recovery. Six groups of rats received apomorphine (0.05 or 2.0mg/kg) and vehicle immediately or after a 15min delay following a 5min non-drug exposure to an open-field during three successive days (conditioning phase). The extinction phase occurred on days 4-8, in which all post-trial treatments were vehicle injections. After 2days of non-testing, the final test was performed. The results showed that on the first test day, the activity levels of the 6 groups were statistically equivalent. On test day 2, there were marked differences in activity levels selectively between the two immediate post-trial apomorphine treatment groups. The immediate low dose apomorphine group displayed a reduction in activity and the immediate high dose group an increase in activity relative to their day 1 levels. The activity levels of both vehicle groups and both apomorphine delay groups remained equivalent to their day 1 activity levels. On test day 3, the differences in activity levels between the two immediate post-trial apomorphine groups increased but the activity levels of the vehicle groups and the 15min delay post-trial apomorphine groups remained unchanged. In the extinction phase, the conditioned activity differences between the two immediate post-trial apomorphine groups were gradually eliminated. During the final test, the activity differences between the immediate post-trial apomorphine groups were partially restored, indicative of spontaneous recovery. These findings are consistent with several basic elements of Pavlovian conditioning and are supportive of drug induced trace conditioning.

Concepts: Statistical significance, The Final, Classical conditioning, Operant conditioning, Ivan Pavlov, The Onset, Final examination, The Final Test


Evidence suggests reports describing the reliability of leg-spring (kleg) and joint stiffness (kjoint) measures are contaminated by artifact originating from digital filtering procedures. Additionally, the intra-day reliability of kleg and kjoint requires investigation. This study examined the effects of experimental procedures on the inter- and intra-day reliability of kleg and kjoint. Thirty-two participants completed two trials of single-legged hopping at 1.5, 2.2 and 3.0 Hz at the same time of day across three days. On the final test day a fourth experimental bout took place six hours before or after participants' typical testing time. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected throughout. Stiffness was calculated using models of kleg and kjoint. Classifications of measurement agreement were established using thresholds for absolute and relative reliability statistics. Results illustrated that kleg and kankle exhibited strong agreement. In contrast, kknee and khip demonstrated weak-to-moderate consistency. Results suggest limits in kjoint reliability persist despite employment of appropriate filtering procedures. Furthermore, diurnal fluctuations in lower-limb muscle-tendon stiffness exhibit little effect on intra-day reliability. The present findings support the existence of kleg as an attractor state during hopping, achieved through fluctuations in kjoint variables. Limits to kjoint reliability appear to represent biological function rather than measurement artifact.

Concepts: Present, Time, The Final, Classical mechanics, Limb, Final examination, The Final Test, 1994 albums


Despite the voluminous literatures on testing effects and lag effects, surprisingly few studies have examined whether testing and lag effects interact, and no prior research has directly investigated why this might be the case. To this end, in the present research we evaluated the elaborative retrieval hypothesis (ERH) as a possible explanation for why testing effects depend on lag. Elaborative retrieval involves the activation of cue-related information during the long-term memory search for the target. If the target is successfully retrieved, this additional information is encoded with the cue-target pair to yield a more elaborated memory trace that enhances target access on a later memory test. The ERH states that the degree of elaborative retrieval during practice is greater when testing takes place after a long rather than a short lag (whereas elaborative retrieval during restudy is minimal at either lag). Across two experiments, final-test performance was greater following practice testing than following restudy only, and this memorial advantage was greater with long-lag than with short-lag practice. The final test also included novel cue conditions used to diagnose the degree of elaborative retrieval during practice. The overall pattern of performance in these conditions provided consistent evidence for the ERH, with more extensive elaborative retrieval during long- than during short-lag practice testing.

Concepts: Experiment, The Target, The Final, Theory, Long-term memory, Degree of a polynomial, Final examination, The Final Test


Though retrieving information typically results in improved memory on a subsequent test (the testing effect), Peterson and Mulligan (2013) outlined the conditions under which retrieval practice results in poorer recall relative to restudy, a phenomenon dubbed the negative testing effect. The item-specific-relational account proposes that this occurs when retrieval disrupts interitem relational encoding despite enhancing item-specific information. Four experiments examined the negative testing effect, showing the following: (a) The basic phenomenon is replicable in free recall; (b) it extends to category-cued recall; © it converts to a positive testing effect when the final test is recognition, a test heavily reliant on item-specific information; (d) the negative testing effect in recall, robust in a pure list design, reverses to a positive testing effect in a mixed-list design; and (e) more generally, the present testing manipulation interacts with experimental design, such that an initially negative effect becomes positive or an initially positive effect becomes larger as the design changes from pure-list to mixed-list. The breadth of results fits well within the item-specific-relational framework and provides evidence against 2 alternative accounts. Finally, this research indicates that the testing effect shares important similarities with the generation effect and other similar memory phenomena. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Educational psychology, Experiment, Negative feedback, All rights reserved, Tuple, Phenomenon, Information retrieval, The Final Test


Testing is a powerful means to boost the retention of information. The extent to which the benefits of testing generalize to nontested information, however, is not clear. In three experiments, we found that completing cued-recall tests for a subset of studied materials enhanced retention for the specific information tested, as well as for associated, nontested information during later free-recall testing. In Experiment 1, this generalized benefit was revealed for lists of category-exemplar pairs. Experiment 2 extended the effect to unrelated words, suggesting that retrieval can enhance later free recall of nontested information that is bound solely through episodic context. In Experiment 3, we manipulated the format of the final test and found facilitation in free-recall, but not in cued-recall, testing. The results suggest that testing may facilitate later free recall in part by enhancing access to information that is present during a prior temporal or list context. More generally, these findings suggest that retrieval-induced facilitation extends to a broader range of conditions than has previously been suggested, and they further motivate the adoption of testing as a practical and effective learning tool.

Concepts: Effectiveness, Experiment, Test method, The Final, Logic, Suggestion, Generalization, The Final Test


Study design:Interventional training sessions.Objectives:To examine the effectiveness of training medical students in the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI).Setting:A Peking University teaching hospital.Methods:A total of 46 medical students were involved in the study. First, they had a 2-h self-study session with the ISNCSCI booklet, followed by a 10-item questionnaire. The booklet was allowed for use as a reference during this assessment. Two days later, the questionnaire was repeated without the use of reference. Students then had a session with case discussion, followed by a final questionnaire.Results:After the initial self-study session, the mean score (max. 10) on the questionnaire was 7.67±1.49. Two days later, the mean score of the second test was 7.96±1.15. All key points of the ISNCSCI were supplemented during the second session with case presentations. The mean score of the final test increased significantly to 9.61±0.88 (P<0.01) in comparison with the previous tests. The overall correct response rates by students in determining sensory level, motor level and American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale of the training case were 89.1%, 84.8% and 91.3%, respectively.Conclusion:The training effectiveness of ISNCSCI through self-study is reliable. The correct answers to key points could remain for at least 2 days without the need to use a reference. However, some specialized knowledge could not be transmitted without more detailed discussions and case presentations. Utilization of cases is a valuable method in training ISNCSCI and can improve the overall training effectiveness.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 30 July 2013; doi:10.1038/sc.2013.75.

Concepts: Spinal cord, Education, Arithmetic mean, The Final, Spinal cord injury, Final examination, Sensory neuron, The Final Test


Despite the clear long-term benefits of spaced practice, students and teachers often choose massed practice. Whether learners actually fail to appreciate the benefits of spacing is, however, open to question. Early studies (e.g., Zechmeister & Shaughnessy, 1980) found that participants' judgments of learning were higher after massed than after spaced repetitions, but more recent studies have found that participants, when allowed to choose between restudying right away and restudying later, tend to choose later, apparently reflecting an appreciation for the benefits of spacing. In these recent studies, however, choosing to restudy later also meant restudying closer to the final test, leaving open the question of what was driving participants' choices. In addition, the choice confronting participants has typically been between getting a spaced and truly massed repetition, whereas in real-world learning contexts the choice is often between a short, but not immediate, spacing interval and a longer one. In our research, we controlled final retention interval and asked participants to choose between restudying word pairs after either a relatively short (but not truly massed) interval or a longer interval. We found that participants had a clear preference for restudying higher priority (more difficult or more valuable) items sooner rather than later, even when doing so was not the most effective option. Thus, previous findings showing a preference for spaced repetition do not extend to a context in which the shorter spacing interval is substantially longer than true massing, and they may merely reflect a preference to restudy closer to the test. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: The Final, Reflection, Choice, Preference, All rights reserved, Repetition, Judgment, The Final Test