11 September 2013
In this thesis, we will explore direct and indirect measures of learning in a visual search task commonly called contextual cueing. In the first part, we present a review of the scientific literature on contextual cueing, in order to give the readers of this thesis a better general idea of existing evidence and open questions within this relatively new research field. The aims of our own experimental studies presented in the succeeding chapters are the following ones: (1) to replicate and extend the findings described in the various papers by Marvin Chun and various colleagues on contextual cueing of visual attention; (2) to explore the nature of memory representations underlying the observed learning effects, especially whether learning is actually implicit and whether memory representations are distinctive, episodic and instance-based or rather distributed, continuous and graded; (3) to extend the study of contextual cueing to more realistic visual stimuli, in order to test its robustness across various situations and validate its adaptive value in ecologically sound conditions;<p>and (4) to investigate whether such knowledge about the association between visual contexts and “meaningful” locations can be (automatically) transferred to other tasks, namely a change detection task.<p><p>In a first series of four experiments, we tried to replicate the documented contextual cueing effect using a wide range of various direct measures of learning (tasks that are supposed to be related to explicit knowledge) and we systematically varied the distinctiveness of context configurations to study its effect on both direct and indirect measures of learning. <p><p>We also ran a series of neural network simulations (briefly described in the general discussion of this thesis), based on a very simple association-learning mechanism, that not only account for the observed contextual cueing effect, but also yield rather specific predictions about future experimental data: contextual cueing effects should also be observed when repetitions of context configurations are not perfect, i.e. the networks were able to react to slightly distorted versions of repeating contexts in a similar way than they did to completely identical contexts. Human participants, we conjectured, should therefore (if the simple connectionist model captures some relevant aspects of the contextual cueing effect) become faster at detecting targets surrounded by context configurations that are only partially identical from trial to trial compared to those trials where the context configurations were randomly generated. These predictions were tested in a second series of experiments using pseudo-repeated context configurations, where some distractor items were either displaced from trial to trial or their orientation changed, while conserving their global layout. <p><p>In a third series of experiments, we used more realistic images of natural landscapes as background contexts to establish the robustness of the contextual cueing effect as well as its ecological relevance claimed by Chun and colleagues. We furthermore added a second task to these experiments to study whether the acquired knowledge about the background-target location associations would (automatically) transfer to another visual search task, namely a change detection task. If participants have learned that certain locations of the repeated images are “important”, since they contain the target item to look for, then changes occurring at those specific locations should lead to less “change blindness” than changes occurring at other irrelevant locations. We used two different types of instructions to introduce this second task after the visual search task, where we either stressed the link between the two tasks, i.e. telling them that remembering the “important” locations for each image could be used to find the changes faster, or we simply told them to perform the second task without any reference to the first one. <p><p>We will close this thesis with a general discussion, combining findings based on our review of the existing research literature and findings based on our own experimental explorations of the contextual cueing effect. By this we will discuss the implications of our empirical studies for the scientific investigation of contextual cueing and implicit learning, in terms of theoretical, empirical and methodological issues. / Doctorat en sciences psychologiques / info:eu-repo/semantics/nonPublished
Sylvester, Michael Joseph
13 November 2007
This experiment was conducted to examine the hypothesis that learning by analogy will invoke characteristics of an implicit mode of learning. On Day 1, dart novices learned to throw darts as close as possible to the centre of a target under one of three scenarios: control (without instruction), implicit (while performing a distracting secondary task), and analogy (while imagining an analogous physical image). Each participant threw 6 blocks of 40 darts, receiving repeated instructions before each block. The next day (Day 2), participants were tested for retention and for transfer by the addition of a secondary distracting task. The results showed that significant learning took place in all groups over a period of six learning blocks on the first day. There was also significant response to retention and transfer testing on Day 2. Learning to throw darts without instruction was shown to be superior to learning under both of the other conditions – analogy and secondary task. The study demonstrated that dart throwing instruction using analogy was insufficient to induce the beneficial features of implicit learning. The chosen elastic analogy, in fact, led to a significant deterioration of performance when compared to controls during transfer on Day 2. Sex and skill differences are unlikely to have played a significant role in the main findings. The findings are discussed within the framework of current literature. / Thesis (Master, Education) -- Queen's University, 2007-11-13 09:40:59.568
Morley, Richard Henry
05 April 2013
Previous studies have indicated that persons with autism spectrum disorder have distinct cerebella, striatum, and an impaired ability to anticipate implicit learning sequences; also, previous research indicates anatomic connections among these regions. Investigating distinctions in connectivity and impairments in the ability to anticipate implicit sequences linked to ASD would help clarify some of the core deficits associated with the disorder. This dissertation sought to explore differences in functional connectivity among the cerebellum, thalamus, and striatum. This dissertation also sought to determine if an impaired ability to anticipate implicit sequences is associated with ASD. Twelve ASD participants and 11 control participants were scanned using an MRI while engaged in a modified serial reaction task. The findings indicate that the cerebellum and the striatum are functionally connected and the thalamus mediates this connection. The results indicate that ASD participants have stronger connections than the control, and ASD participants demonstrated some impairments in learning. However, there was not enough evidence to link ASD to an impaired ability to anticipate implicit sequences. This dissertation recommends that future studies consider the roles that these distinct connections play in symptoms of ASD. / text
Lam, Ngo-shan, Alision., 林傲山.
Implicit learning is the learning of underlying regularities hidden in the environment without the learner being conscious of what is being learnt. First language acquisition in young children is essentially implicit (Krashen, 1982), but the role of implicit learning in second language acquisition is debatable. Previous research on learning of tonal languages focused on perception and identification of language tones in relatively explicit settings, and showed that tonal language experience may not help with learning a new tonal language in an explicit setting (So & Best, 2010; Wang, 2006). Yet, little research was done on the implicit learning of language tones, and on whether prior tonal language experience plays a role in such implicit learning. In this study, simplified Thai tonal rules were used as a learning target to investigate if implicit learning of such rules is possible. Implicit learning performance among native tonal language speakers with no knowledge of Thai, non?tonal language native speakers who have learnt/have been learning tonal languages other than Thai, and non?tonal language speakers with little knowledge of tonal languages were compared. Results showed that the native tonal language group implicitly learnt the target, and some trends of learning were found in the tonal language learner group, but not in the tonal language na?ve group. This advantage of tonal language experience over the learning of tonal patterns suggested that tonal language experience can be transferable to the learning of a new tonal language in implicit settings. This suggested that, rather than being hindered by their prior linguistic experience, learners with some tonal language background may benefit from implicit settings when learning a new tonal language. / published_or_final_version / English / Master / Master of Philosophy
Chan, Ka-wai, Ricky., 陳嘉威.
In the past few decades, cognitive psychologists and linguists have shown increasing research interest in the phenomenon of implicit learning, a term generally defined as learning of regularities in the environment without intention and awareness. Some psychologists regard implicit learning as the primary mechanism for knowledge attainment and language acquisition (Reber, 1993), whereas others deny the possibility of learning even simple contingencies in an implicit manner (Lovibond and Shanks, 2002). In the context of language acquisition, while first language acquisition is essentially implicit, the extent to which implicit learning is relevant to second language acquisition remains unclear. Empirical evidence has been found on the implicit learning of grammar/syntactic rules (e.g., Rebuschat & Williams, 2012) and form-meaning connections (e.g., Leung & Williams, 2011) but little investigation of implicit learning has been conducted in the realm of phonology, particularly supra-segmental phonology. Besides, there is still no consensus on the extent to which implicit learning exhibits population variation. This dissertation reports three experiments which aim to 1) address the possibility of learning second language (L2) word stress patterns implicitly; 2) identify relevant individual differences in the implicit learning of L2 word stress rules; and 3) improve measurement of conscious knowledge by integrating both subjective and objective measures of awareness. Using an incidental learning task and a two-alternative forced-choice post-test, Experiment 1 found evidence of learning one-to-one stress-to-phoneme connections in an implicit fashion, and successfully applied the process dissociation procedure as a sensitive awareness measure. Experiment 2 found implicit learning effect for more complicated word stress rules which involved mappings between stress assignment and syllable types/types of phoneme, and integrated verbal reports, confidence ratings and inclusion-exclusion tasks as awareness measures. Experiment 3 explored potentially individual differences in the learning of L2 word stress rules. No correlation was found between learning of L2 word stress and working memory, processing speed and phonological short-term memory, supporting the belief that involvement of working memory in implicit learning is minimal, and the view that different stimuli/task-specific subsystems govern different implicit learning tasks. It is concluded that L2 word stress rules may be learnt implicitly with minimal individual variations. / published_or_final_version / English / Master / Master of Philosophy
Developmental dyslexia and implicit learning in childhood : evidence using the artificial grammar learning paradigmPavlidou, Elpis V. January 2010 (has links)
This thesis explores implicit learning in children with developmental dyslexia. While specific cognitive abilities such as phonology and memory have been extensively explored in developmental dyslexia more global, fundamental abilities are rarely studied. A literature review is reported, which indicates that there is a gap in the study of more generic abilities highlighting at the same time, the need of investigating developmental dyslexia in the kind of contemporary context that learning literature provides. Implicit learning seems a suitable paradigm case to explore global abilities in developmental dyslexia since there have been suggestions that learning becomes more implicit in nature after explicit instruction. Based on the proposed relationship between implicit learning and reading, it is argued that impairments in the mechanisms of implicit learning could mediate selective weaknesses in reading performance in developmental dyslexia. The present thesis tests this argument in a series of three studies that are composed of five linked experiments. Together the three studies reported in the present thesis provide evidence for the implicit learning abilities in children with and without developmental dyslexia. The results suggest that while implicit learning abilities are found intact in typically developing children, children with developmental dyslexia on the other hand, might be facing an implicit learning deficit that could affect their reading performance and inhibit them from reaching their full learning potential.
Sandoval, Michelle, Patterson, Dianne, Dai, Huanping, Vance, Christopher J., Plante, Elena
27 July 2017
The neural basis of statistical learning as it occurs over time was explored with stimuli drawn from a natural language (Russian nouns). The input reflected the "rules" for marking categories of gendered nouns, without making participants explicitly aware of the nature of what they were to learn. Participants were scanned while listening to a series of gender-marked nouns during four sequential scans, and were tested for their learning immediately after each scan. Although participants were not told the nature of the learning task, they exhibited learning after their initial exposure to the stimuli. Independent component analysis of the brain data revealed five task- related sub- networks. Unlike prior statistical learning studies of word segmentation, this morphological learning task robustly activated the inferior frontal gyrus during the learning period. This region was represented in multiple independent components, suggesting it functions as a network hub for this type of learning. Moreover, the results suggest that subnetworks activated by statistical learning are driven by the nature of the input, rather than reflecting a general statistical learning system.
The research presented in this PhD dissertation examines the phenomenon of semantic implicit learning, using semantic preferences of novel verbs as a test case. Implicit learning refers to the phenomenon of learning without intending to learn or awareness that one is learning at all. Semantic preference (or selectional preference – as preferred in computational linguistics) is the tendency of a word to co-occur with words sharing similar semantic features. For example, ‘drink’ is typically followed by nouns denoting LIQUID, and the verb ‘chase’ is typically followed by ANIMATE nouns. The material presented here spans across disciplines. It examines a well-documented psychological phenomenon - implicit learning – and applies it in the context of language acquisition, thereby providing insights into both fields. The organisation of this dissertation groups its experiments by their methodology. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the current psychological and linguistic literature. Chapter 2 includes a pen-and-paper study carried out in a classroom environment on Polish learners of English, where awareness is assessed by subjective measures taken at each test question as well as a post-experiment questionnaire. Chapter 3 includes a collection of 5 computer-based experiments based on a false-memory paradigm. After exposure to sentential contexts containing novel verbs, participants are shown to endorse more previously unseen verb-noun pairings that follow the correct semantic preference patterns to the pairings that violate it. The result holds even when participants do not reveal any explicit knowledge of the patterns in the final debriefing. Awareness is additionally assessed using indirect measures examining correlations of confidence judgements with performance. Chapter 4 examines whether implicit learning of novel verb semantic preference patterns is automatic. To this end, a reaction time procedure is developed based on two consecutive decisions (“double decision priming”). The method reveals that semantic implicit learning, at least in the described cases, exerts its influence with a delay, in post-processing. Chapter 5 comprises research done in collaboration with Dr Nitin Williams, University of Reading. It documents an attempt at finding neural indices of implicit learning using a novel single-trial analysis of an electroencephalographic (EEG) signal, based on empirical mode decomposition (EMD) denoising. Chapter 6 presents a final discussion and indications for future research. The main contribution of this dissertation to the general field of implicit learning research consists in its challenging the predominant view that implicit learning mainly relies on similarity of forms presented in training and test. The experiments presented here require participants to make generalisations at a higher, semantic level, which is largely independent of perceptual form. The contribution of this work to the field of Second Language Acquisition consists of empirical support for the currently popular but seldom tested assumptions held by advocates of communicative approaches to language teaching, namely that certain aspects of linguistic knowledge can develop without explicit instruction and explanation. At the same time, it challenges any view assuming that vocabulary learning necessarily relies on explicit mediation. The experiments collected here demonstrate that at least word usage in context can be learnt implicitly. A further contribution of this dissertation is its demonstration that the native language may play a key role in determining what is learnt in such situations. A deeper understanding of the phenomenon of semantic implicit learning promises to shed light on the nature of word and grammar learning in general, which is crucial for an account of the processes involved in the development of a second language mental lexicon.
This dissertation presents an investigation of the modifying role of attention and awareness in human learning and decision making. A series of experiments showed that performance in a range of tests of unconscious cognition can be better explained as resulting from conscious attention rather than from implicit processes. The first three experiments utilised a modification of the Serial Reaction Time task in order to measure the interaction of implicit and explicit learning processes. The results did not show evidence for an interaction, but did exhibit an effect of explicit knowledge of the underlying rules of the task. Subsequent studies examined the role of selective attention in learning. The investigation failed to provide evidence that learning inevitably results from the simple presentation of contingent stimuli over repeated trials. Instead, the learning effects appeared to be modulated by explicit attention to the association between stimuli. The following study with a novel test designed to measure the role of selective attention in prediction learning demonstrated that learning is not an obligatory consequence of simultaneous activation of representations of the associated stimuli. Rather, learning occurred only when attention was drawn explicitly to the association between the stimuli. Finally, the Deliberation without Attention Paradigm was tested in a replication study along with two novel versions of the task. Additional assessment of the conscious status of participants' judgments indicated that explicit deliberation and memory could best explain the effect and that the original test may not be a reliable measure of intuition. In summary, the data in these studies did not require explanation in terms of unconscious cognition. These results do not preclude the possibility that unconscious processes could occur in these or other designs. However, the present work emphasises the role conscious attention plays in human learning and decision making.
Graham, Erin Nicole
05 June 2019
No description available.
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