Rizzuto and Kahana (2001) applied an autoassociative Hopfield network to a paired-associate word learning experiment in which (1) participants studied word pairs (e.g., ABSENCE-HOLLOW), (2) were tested in one direction (ABSENCE-?) on a first test, and (3) were tested in the same direction again or in the reverse direction (?-HOLLOW) on a second test. The model contained a correlation parameter to capture the dependence between forward versus backward learning between the two words of a word pair, revealing correlation values close to 1.0 for all participants, consistent with neural network models that use the same weight for communication in both directions between nodes. We addressed several limitations of the model simulations and proposed two new models incorporating retrieval practice learning (e.g., the effect of the first test on the second) that fit the accuracy data more effectively, revealing substantially lower correlation values (average of .45 across participants, with zero correlation for some participants). In addition, we analyzed recall latencies, finding that second test recall was faster in the same direction after a correct first test. Only a model with stochastic retrieval practice learning predicted this effect. In conclusion, recall accuracy and recall latency suggest asymmetric learning, particularly in light of retrieval practice effects.

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