Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 83, Issue 6, pp L011–L016 | Cite as

Stochastic resonance in the speed of memory retrieval

  • Marius Usher
  • Mario Feingold
Letter to the Editors


The stochastic resonance (SR) phenomenon in human cognition (memory retrieval speed for arithmetical multiplication rules) is addressed in a behavioral and neurocomputational study. The results of an experiment in which performance was monitored for various magnitudes of acoustic noise are presented. The average response time was found to be minimal for some optimal noise level. Moreover, it was shown that the optimal noise level and the magnitude of the SR effect depend on the difficulty of the task. A computational framework based on leaky accumulators that integrate noisy information and provide the output upon reaching a threshold criterion is used to illustrate the observed phenomena.


Response Time Noise Level Multiplication Rule Average Response Threshold Criterion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marius Usher
    • 1
  • Mario Feingold
    • 2
  1. 1. Department of Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, WC1E 7HXGB
  2. 2. Department of Physics, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, 84105, IsraelIL

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