Metacognition Neil H. Schwartz Psych 605 Three Terms: Organizing the Concept Piaget Spence Flavell Bandura Endogenous Constructivism Exogenous Constructivism Metacognition Self-Regulation Self-regulated Learning Dialectical Constructivism Conceptual Anchoring • Endogenous Constructivism o Reflective abstraction of new or existing cognitive structures. o Inside the head o Emphasizes learner development instead of learner-environment interactions • Exogenous Constructivism o Interaction of the person with their environment. o Outside the head o Emphasizes reciprocal determinism of the environment on the person– mediated through behavior. o Involves evaluations of performance, personal standards, valuations of activities, and attributions. • Dialectical Constructivsm o Combines Endogenous and Exogenous constructivism o Inside and outside the head. o Both Endo and Exo features exist in a relation of reciprocal constraint and facilitation. o Endo and Exo are NOT mutually exclusive. Metacognition Inside the Head Flavell Monitoring Control Knowledge of Cognition Self-regulatory Mechanisms or Metacognitive Control Processes Metacognition Others Cognitive monitoring Awareness of Comprehension Monitoring of task performance during the process of performing Checking the Outcome Planning Monitoring Effectiveness Testing Revising Evaluating Strategies Self Regulated Learning: Winne & Hadwin • Learning occurs in 4 phases o o o o Defining tasks Setting goals and making plans Using tactics to study Making adaptations to metacognition • Each phase is completed in terms of: o o o o o Conditions Operations Products Evaluations Standards Conditions: Of the Learner • • • • • Beliefs and dispositions Factors of motivation Knowledge of the domain Knowledge of the task Knowledge of tactics and strategies Conditions: Of the Task Resources • Instructional cues • Time • Social Context • Standards • Criteria that a student believes is the end state of a learning phase. • Allows the student to know when a learning phase is over or complete. Operations The actual processes used to manipulate information. They include searching, monitoring, assembling, rehearsing, translating, etc. They are not metacognitive, but rather cognitive. They result in cognitive products; that is, information for a particular stage. Evaluations • These are cognitive evaluations of the fit between the standards and the products. • Evaluations are metacognitive and iterative • They manifest differently in each phase. Products What a student produces from the recursive interaction of Standards, Operations, & Evaluations Different products are produced in each of the four phases. Products are the things that a student takes with him from the task– e. g. understanding Winne’s model.. • Metacognition is a higher order agent overlooking and governing cognition • Metacognition draws on cognition • Metacognitive knowledge is based on domain-specific knowledge. • Metacognition is typically private and unavailable to an observer. Conscious vs. Automatic Processes Most metacognitive processes are automatic. They become conscious when an error occurs. When they are first learned or deployed, they are intentional and typically conscious. • The jury is still out on whether metacognitive skills are domain general or specific. Developmental Processes Metacognition is related to theory of mind and intelligence. But, intelligence and metacognition are not the same thing. Metacognition develops first in separate domains and later becomes generalized across domains. Metacognition: A Simple View Metacognitive regulation is a coordinating activity of bottom-up and top-down processes Control is seen in conflict resolution, error correction, inhibitory control, planning, and resource allocation Top down Regulation of information processing where attention is allocated and cognitive strategies are deployed to manage learning performance. Bottom up Judgments of learning and feelings of knowing are evaluated by the learner. Monitoring is responsible for processes of: error detection, attention, and source monitoring in memory retrieval. Nelson & Narens, 1990 Metacognition: A Neuroscience View Interdependent top-down function of cognitive control Why a Neuroscience Point of View? • There is now “incontrovertible evidence suggesting a trend toward a cognitive neuroscience perspective for many if not all aspects of human cognition” (Shimamura, 2000, p. 320). o • • Spatial resolution of event-related fMRI has become extremely precise. It is now possible to observe metacognitive functions as in-vivo brain tissue activation during behavioral activity. Theoretical conceptions of metacognition can be validated at a gross neuroanatomical level to give meaning to the role of metacognitive monitoring and control during learning and instruction. Major Neuroscience Position on Metacogntion • Separate but interactive frontal areas of the brain are critically involved in higher order processes of metacognitive monitoring and control. (McGlynn & Schacter, 1989; Kaszniak and Zak, 1996; Mega & Cummings, 1994; Pannu and Kaszniak, 2005; Shallice, 1988; Stuss & Bensen, 1986, Stuss, Shallice, Alexander & Picton, 1995; Umilta & Stablum, 1998). Fernandez-Duque, Baird and Posner (2000) summed up the neurological evidence this way: “Neuroimaging studies have shown activation of a network of frontal areas in tasks of executive control. The activated areas usually include the anterior cingulated and supplementary motor area, the orbitofrontal cortex, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and portions of the basal ganglia and the thalamus. The tasks that activate these areas typically require subjects to deal with conflict, error, or emotion, therefore demanding effortful cognitive processing (Bush et al., 1998; Bush, Luu, & Posner, 2000). These mental abilities may be the building blocks that metacognitively-sophisticated thinkers use in their achievement of complex tasks, such as problem solving, strategy selection, and decision making.” Prefrontal Cortex: Cortical Monitoring & Control • Cognitive control is a topdown function for each of the integral working memory functions, monitored and controlled by the prefrontal cortex. • The prefrontal cortex implements three interdependent functions of cognitive control— o Maintenance o Attentional Control o Integration Prefrontal Cortex: Cortical Monitoring & Control o o o Maintenance: • Is the process of holding, in an active form, a limited amount of task-relevant information supplied by a preceding event. • Appears to be the result of neurological patterns of activation borne from specific external inputs oscillating in a recurrent loop between multiple networks of prefrontal and other cortical cells in regions of the brain that are specialized for the nature of the input (Ranganath, 2006). Attentional Control: • Is the top-down selective activation of the representations of task-relevant stimuli and their corresponding responses;. • Appears to operate in a biasing and competitive fashion where neuronal responses of the prefrontal cortex bias neuronal responses in posterior parts of the brain, creating a competition of activation and suppression for the task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli, respectively, required for task performance (Miller & Cohen, 2001). Integration: • Is the combination and reorganization of information from different sources in the service of controlling the execution of a task. • Appears to be a hierarchically arranged deployment of control, cascading down from super-ordinate prefrontal cortical modules specialized for large-scale integration, to subordinate modules that are relatively specialized for processing simple tasks. (Koechlin, Ody & Kouneiher, 2003). Prefrontal Cortex & Cortical Control o There appear to be a least two types of these top-down signals—one that serves to enhance, and another that serves to suppress, task-relevant information (D’Esposito,2007). o These types of signals are important because enhancement and suppression mechanisms may actually exist to control both cognitive and metacognitive functions (Knight et al. 199; Shimamura, 2000). • It is well documented that excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms are pervasively interleaved throughout the nervous system, in spinal reflexes, cerebellar outputs, and basal ganglia movement control networks, etc.—indeed, at multiple levels throughout the entire neuroaxis. • That means “by generating contrast via both enhancements and suppressions… top-down signals bias the likelihood of successful representation of relevant information in a competitive system” (D’Esposito, 2006, p.768). o In short, the top-down function and the biasing effect, within the context of a competitive system, could be a compelling way to think about a neurological explanation of metacognitive monitoring and control. Metacognition and the Embedded Processing Model • Metacognition is manifest within the function of cognitive—and hence, neuroanatomic—activity of the brain best represented by the model of embedded processes. (Cowan, 1999) o The embedded processing model postulates the operation of a central controller that supervises the preservation of information by iteratively subjecting it to a recursion of attentional focus. (Cowan 1992, 1999). • Recursion of attention focus is a reactivation strategy that is referred to as “attentional refreshing”. (Lewandowsy &Oberauer, 2008) • Based on a biased competition model of attention—recursion of attention focus is volitional and selectively deployed (Desimone & Duncan, 1995) relative to a prioritization of the relevant goals of a task. That is, stimuli compete for selection at multiple levels of representation, with the winner gaining control of both perceptual and response systems. o Neuroimaging and corroborating behavioral evidence support the existence of the central controller. (Chein & Fiez, 2010) Metacognition: A Closed Loop Model Metacognitive monitoring and control: A closed neurocognitive loop Metacognition: A Closed Loop Model • • Metacognitive monitoring and control is probably a reciprocal function of the same neurologic processes that excite and inhibit, in a recursive fashion, the regions of the brain responsible for two types of activities involved in learning— the activities involved in processing the information itself relative to the goals of a task—and, the activities involved in processing (evaluating and correcting) the original activities deployed to seek goal attainment—activities that are metacognitive. The monitoring function is probably principally attentional, and the control function is principally strategic. Metacognition: A Closed Loop Model • • Attention is probably allocated to evaluate the degree to which an individual is closer to the goal—a matching-to-sample function; the strategies are activated to change the person’s processing approach (and hence the corresponding brain activation) in meeting the goal. This alternating procedure is probably an interleaved activation of excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms based on two sources of information and two sources of goals, exchanged in a recursive fashion depending upon the degree to which the goal is being met. o • One source of information is composed of the stimuli that comprise the task in the context of the original task demands; the other is the information composed of the internal representation of the assessment of the correspondence between task demand and task success and the information about effective strategies for obtaining the success. We suggest that there may be no difference in the mechanisms operating between cognitive and metacognitive processing when one considers activation of regions of the brain. Instead, it is the nature of the information being processed in the system that differentiates the two.