Need some info on Dick Robertson's Phantom Plateau paper

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1110)]

I want to include a discussion of the Robertson/Glines "Phantom Plateau" study in a lecture but I don't remember exactly how the game worked. If someone (Dick himself would be best) could describe the reaction time game to me again -- particularly the three different types of perceptions that could be controlled -- I would appreciate it.

I need this before tomorrow morning, if possible. Otherwise I'll just wing it.

Thanks

Rick

···

---
Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Bjorn Simonsen (2006.03.28,23:05 EUST)]

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1110)]

I want to include a discussion of the
Robertson/Glines "Phantom

Plateau" study in a lecture but I don’t
remember exactly how the game

worked.

If you go to http://livingcontrolsystems.com/csgnet/1996/03/
and search for “From Richard Thurman (960319.1450)”

Etc.

Bjorn

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1315)]

Bjorn Simonsen (2006.03.28,23:05 EUST)

Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1110)

I want to include a discussion of the Robertson/Glines "Phantom
Plateau" study in a lecture but I don't remember exactly how the game
worked.

If you go to http://livingcontrolsystems.com/csgnet/1996/03/ and search for
?From Richard Thurman (960319.1450)?

Thanks, Bjorn, but it is Richard ROBERTSON's , not Richard Thurman's, study for which I seek information, though I love Richard Thurman and his work! Hi, Richard, if you're out there!!

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken, PhD
Psychology
Loyola Marymount University
Office: 310 338-1768
Cell: 310 729 - 1400

[From Dag Forssell (2006.03.28.1400)]

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1315)]

Thanks, Bjorn, but it is Richard ROBERTSON's , not Richard Thurman's, study for which I seek information, though I love Richard Thurman and his work! Hi, Richard, if you're out there!!

Look further. You will find the reference provided by yourself:

···

Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 08:20:41 -0800
From: Richard Marken <marken@AEROSPACE.AERO.ORG>
Subject: Re: PCT and Learning

[From Rick Marken (960319.0830)]

Richard Thurman (960319.0825) --

A nice list of references on PCT and Learning/Education, Rich. Here's one
more (a personal favorite):

Robertson, R. J. and Glines, L.A. (1985) The phantom plateau returns.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 61, 55- 64

Best

Rick

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1420)]

Dag Forssell (2006.03.28.1400)

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1315)]

Thanks, Bjorn, but it is Richard ROBERTSON's , not Richard
Thurman's, study for which I seek information, though I love Richard
Thurman and his work! Hi, Richard, if you're out there!!

Look further. You will find the reference provided by yourself:

Thanks Dag. But I need more than the reference. Since I don't have the article itself at the momebnt (and it would take time to get it) what I would like someone to describe for me the nature of the "game" that was used in that study. I know it involved pushing a sequence of buttons but I forgot how the different perceptual solutions were defined.

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken, PhD
Psychology
Loyola Marymount University
Office: 310 338-1768
Cell: 310 729 - 1400

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1450)]

Dag Forssell (2006.03.28.1400)

Look further. You will find the reference provided by yourself:

By the way, I see that you have ALL of the posts from the very beginning of CSGNet in 1990 at

http://livingcontrolsystems.com/csgnet/

This is an incredibly wonderful thing you have done, Dag!! I disagree with you about many things (most of all about what a jerk I am;-) but you deserve the highest kudos for the work you have done in maintaining an archive of PCT materials.

Wonderful job!!

Best regards

Rick

Richard S. Marken, PhD
Psychology
Loyola Marymount University
Office: 310 338-1768
Cell: 310 729 - 1400

[From Erling Jorgensen (2006.03.29.1120 EST)]

Regarding Rick’s comment to Dag —

Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1450)]

Dag Forssell (2006.03.28.1400)

By the way, I see that you have ALL of the posts from the very beginning of CSGNet in 1990 at

http://livingcontrolsystems.com/csgnet/

This is an incredibly wonderful thing you have done, Dag!! I disagree with you about many things (most of all >about what a jerk I am;-) but you deserve the highest kudos for the work you have done in maintaining an >archive of PCT materials.

I second this. Thank you, Dag, for all the labor you have put into this. It is an important record that you have made available!

All the best,

Erling

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<<<>>>

[From Rich Thurman (2006.03.29.1215)]

Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1315)
Thanks, Bjorn, but it is Richard ROBERTSON's , not Richard Thurman's, study for which I seek information, though I love Richard Thurman and his work! Hi, Richard, if you're out there!!

Hi Rick! Its probably too late to do any good for your class, but I started working on a version of the Robertson-Glines study a couple of weeks ago. You can find it at the following URL:
http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfrat/PCT/RobertsonGlines.html

It requires the shockwave plugin. Be sure to click the mouse in the browser window or it won't record key presses correctly.

It does not record subject data yet, I was just interested in knowing if the interface was correct. (I was building it based on the original 1985 journal article and didn't know if I was interpreting the description and methods correctly.)

Dick Robertson, if you read this I would be very appreciative if you can tell me if I have the essentials correct.

Best wishes,
Rich Thurman

···

----------------------
P.S.
Rick, in looking at my email archives I've found that the last time we conversed about this study was March 28, 1996. Ten years ago yesterday! Time flies!

Here is what you wrote:

Rick Marken (960328.2130)

I think a HyperCard replication of the R/G study would
be a great idea. I'd put four solid squares (1,2,3,4)
in a row on the screen. The subject's goal is to
press keys to keep the squares filled. When a square
is emptied, it can be filled again if the subject
presses the correct key (from among four possibilities
- say H,J,K and L). The mapping of keys to squares
might be 1-K, 2-H, 3-L, 4-J. If square 1 is emptied,
then the subject can fill it by pressing key K. Of
course, the subject must learn the mapping of keys to
squares in order to be able to do this quickly each
time a square becomes empty.

The time that a square remains empty affects the "score"
displayed on the screen. At the start of the experiment
the score starts as some big value, say 5000. Each
"tick" of time that a square remains empty subtracts
from the score. The subject's job in the experiment is
to stop the downward movement of the score.

A fixed time after subject has pressed the key that
fills the empty square, another square becomes empty.
The squares are emptied in some sequence, say 1,3,4,2,1,
3,4,2, . . . So once the subject has learned the
mapping of keys to squares she might learn that the
squares are emptied in a sequence. Once the subject
learns the sequence, it should be possible to respond to
the next emptying more quickly than before. So we
should see the subject achieve better control of the
decrease in the score once she has learned the sequence.

Finally, R/G gave the subject a way to stop the decline
in score completely. This was done by making it
possible for the subject to prevent a square from
emptying by pressing a key _before_ the next square in
the sequence emptied; so the subject had to anticipate
the sequence in which the squares _would_ empty and
produce the anticipated sequence in the correct rhythm.
So, ordinarily, the next square in the sequence would be
emptied 2 seconds after pressing a key to fill the
previous key, a press of the correct key within this 2
second period would prevent the next square from being
emptied.

This last perception (of an anticipated rhythmic sequence)
is very hard to learn, I think. It might make things a
little easier if the computer made a beep about a second
before the next square in a sequence is emptied (if the
subject doesn't press the correct key in anticipation).

The computer should keep track of the time between key

presses (inter - keypress intervals; IKIs). When these
IKIs are plotted as a function of time you should see
plateaus when the subject masters the 1) key/square
mapping (longest IKIs) 2) the square emptying sequence
(shorter ITIs) and 3) anticipation of the sequence
(shortest IKIs). These plateaus should be separated by
periods of random duration IKIs.

Ok, gentlemen, start your programming engines :wink:

Best

Rick

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.29.1100)]

Rich Thurman (2006.03.29.1215)

Hi Rick! Its probably too late to do any good for your class, but I
started working on a version of the Robertson-Glines study a couple
of weeks ago. You can find it at the following URL:
http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfrat/PCT/RobertsonGlines.html

Wow, this is great! Which are the four keys to use to control the stars?

I called Bill P. and was reminded about the study so that I could use it in my lecture this morning. The lecture went GREAT; it's one of the best I've done. I talked about reorganization in the context of developmental stages and used the Robertson/Glines study as experimental evidence for reorganization occurring before being able to control at a new level.

I might show them this demo in class. Does it produce a graph f the data? That would be cool.

Nice work!!

It requires the shockwave plugin. Be sure to click the mouse in the
browser window or it won't record key presses correctly.

But it's looking for key presses, right? What are the keys?

It does not record subject data yet, I was just interested in knowing
if the interface was correct. (I was building it based on the
original 1985 journal article and didn't know if I was interpreting
the description and methods correctly.)

Oh, OK. Well, it's really nifty. When you get the data recording finished I will definitely use it in subsequent classes.

P.S.
Rick, in looking at my email archives I've found that the last time
we conversed about this study was March 28, 1996. Ten years ago
yesterday! Time flies!

Here is what you wrote:

Rick Marken (960328.2130)

Wow, those were the good old days!

Best regards

Rick

Richard S. Marken, PhD
Psychology
Loyola Marymount University
Office: 310 338-1768
Cell: 310 729 - 1400

[From Rich Thurman (2006.03.29.1600)]

From Rick Marken (2006.03.29.1100)

Rich Thurman (2006.03.29.1215)

Hi Rick! Its probably too late to do any good for your class, but I
started working on a version of the Robertson-Glines study a couple
of weeks ago. You can find it at the following URL:
http://www.wiu.edu/users/mfrat/PCT/RobertsonGlines.html

Wow, this is great! Which are the four keys to use to control the stars?

It uses v,b,n,m (in that order, as I recall). I was going off the description in the original article. That seemed to be the keys they used. By the way, the instructions found on the screen are lifted straight out of the 1985 article as well.

I might show them this demo in class. Does it produce a graph f the data? That would be cool.

No graph yet. At this point I was just trying to get the interface close to the original study. (For example, the journal article described the score being kept on a "dial". I couldn't quite visualize what that meant, so I guessed about making a gauge instead.)

When you get the data recording finished I will definitely use it in subsequent classes.

I will work on that soon. First I want to be sure that I've got the user interactions set up correctly (for a replication study). Part of the problem is the photocopy I have of the original article is not very clear. The article included a printout/graph, but I can't tell what is on it. (But I'll figure it out eventually.)

Best wishes,
Rich Thurman

[From Dick Robertson, 2006/03.30.14115CST]

Sorry you had to wing it, Rick. I could have scanned the paper and (I think) sent it to you, but I've been away from email for a couple days. Woudn't you know, that's when something important came up. Anyway, the three CVs were : Relationship--what key shuts off the current display.
                                                     Sequence--what order do the displays appear in
                                                      Program--How can sequence be varied to stop the clock?
                                                            (answer: at Princ level, try anticipating)

Hope that helps a little, even if late.

Best,

Dick R.
Rick Marken wrote:

···

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.28.1110)]

I want to include a discussion of the Robertson/Glines "Phantom Plateau" study in a lecture but I don't remember exactly how the game worked. If someone (Dick himself would be best) could describe the reaction time game to me again -- particularly the three different types of perceptions that could be controlled -- I would appreciate it.

I need this before tomorrow morning, if possible. Otherwise I'll just wing it.

Thanks

Rick
---
Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Rick Marken (2006.03.30.1445)]

Dick Robertson (2006/03.30.14115CST)

Sorry you had to wing it, Rick. I could have scanned the paper and (I
think) sent it to you, but I've been away from email for a couple days.
Woudn't you know, that's when something important came up. Anyway, the
three CVs were : Relationship--what key shuts off the current display.
                Sequence--what order do the displays appear in
                Program--How can sequence be varied to stop the clock?
                   (answer: at Princ level, try anticipating)

Hope that helps a little, even if late.

Thanks, Dick. That helps. I would appreciate it if you would send me (at my
marken@mindreadings.com address)a scanned copy of the paper. The lecture on
your research went _very_ well -- I think the kids really liked it -- so I'd
like to have it available so I can do the lecture again, this time using the
actual data plots, not just my memory of them;-)

This has always been one of my favorite PCT studies. Richard Thurman is
making a web version of it which will be great for demonstration purposes.

Best

Rick

Richard S. Marken Consulting
marken@mindreadings.com
Home 310 474-0313
Cell 310 729-1400

[From Dick Robertson, 2006.03.31.0910CST]

Hi Rick and Richard,

I will try to scan and send a copy of the paper. I don’t know how well
the plots will come through, as they seem somewhat faint in the
article. You mentioned individual plots I believe. If I can find them I
will send them to you, but don’t hold your breath. I did try to save
all my raw data in all of my studies, so there is a small chance.

Richard,

If you’re reading this too, as I hope, I’m delighted that you are
re-running the study. I can perhaps flesh out a few details here. As
you pointed out we used four keys and made a mask for the keyboard so
that the subject could only use those four. Also, in Bill’s original
machine there were 4 lights on the box, which turned on in a fixed
sequence. We tried to duplicate that feature with a bright spot, or
maybe it was a star or something, that moved through four positions on
the screen in that same fixed sequence. Where Bill’s scoring procedure
was a numbered dial that turned one way when the machine was winning
and the opposite way when the subject was winning, we used a counter,
centered above the line of the display “lights”, that incremented for
the machine and decremented when the subject correctly anticipated. The
decrementing didn’t start until the subject had anticipated the whole
sequence once and then continued with each correct following
anticipation.

We programmed all this on the Commodore, which had some limitations
that you ought to be able to correct on a modern machine. Chief among
these would be to eliminate the possibility of false wins, which was a
problem with our study. False wins occurred with Ss who just punched
all the keys as fast as they could without looking for any insights.
Random anticipations would in some cases be enough to decrement the
score, eventually, so as to get the “You win” display.

I think that if you included a line in the program that re-incremented
the score whenever an incorrect keystroke followed a (accidental)
anticipation, that should eliminate the problem of false wins.

A second problem was that some subjects did not focus on the counter,
and thust continued indefinitely just punching keys randomly. I think
this might be solved by making the counter, itself, the display–moving
through the four positions. Thus, you could direct the subject’s
attention to a single display instead of the two different ones that we
were plagued with. Finally, decrementing should only follow when the
correct sequence is being aniticipated with no intervening incorrect
keystrokes.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Dick R

···

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