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Less is more: latent learning is maximized by shorter training sessions in auditory perceptual learning.

Molloy K, Moore DR, Sohoglu E, Amitay S - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: The time course and outcome of perceptual learning can be affected by the length and distribution of practice, but the training regimen parameters that govern these effects have received little systematic study in the auditory domain.Between-session improvements were inversely correlated with performance; they were largest at the start of training and reduced as training progressed.In a second experiment we found no additional longer-term improvement in performance, retention, or transfer of learning for a group that trained over 4 sessions (∼4 hr in total) relative to a group that trained for a single session (∼1 hr).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: The time course and outcome of perceptual learning can be affected by the length and distribution of practice, but the training regimen parameters that govern these effects have received little systematic study in the auditory domain. We asked whether there was a minimum requirement on the number of trials within a training session for learning to occur, whether there was a maximum limit beyond which additional trials became ineffective, and whether multiple training sessions provided benefit over a single session.

Methodology/principal findings: We investigated the efficacy of different regimens that varied in the distribution of practice across training sessions and in the overall amount of practice received on a frequency discrimination task. While learning was relatively robust to variations in regimen, the group with the shortest training sessions (∼8 min) had significantly faster learning in early stages of training than groups with longer sessions. In later stages, the group with the longest training sessions (>1 hr) showed slower learning than the other groups, suggesting overtraining. Between-session improvements were inversely correlated with performance; they were largest at the start of training and reduced as training progressed. In a second experiment we found no additional longer-term improvement in performance, retention, or transfer of learning for a group that trained over 4 sessions (∼4 hr in total) relative to a group that trained for a single session (∼1 hr). However, the mechanisms of learning differed; the single-session group continued to improve in the days following cessation of training, whereas the multi-session group showed no further improvement once training had ceased.

Conclusions/significance: Shorter training sessions were advantageous because they allowed for more latent, between-session and post-training learning to emerge. These findings suggest that efficient regimens should use short training sessions, and optimized spacing between sessions.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Retention of FD learning following cessation of training.Group mean DLFs for initial performance (first two blocks), post-test (immediately after end of training) and retention test (4–6 weeks later). Groups were no longer matched because only a subset of the participants returned for the retention test, so DLFs were adjusted for individual differences in initial DLFs [44]. Error bars show ±SEM.
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pone-0036929-g004: Retention of FD learning following cessation of training.Group mean DLFs for initial performance (first two blocks), post-test (immediately after end of training) and retention test (4–6 weeks later). Groups were no longer matched because only a subset of the participants returned for the retention test, so DLFs were adjusted for individual differences in initial DLFs [44]. Error bars show ±SEM.

Mentions: Performance did not deteriorate following cessation of training. There was no significant change in DLFs from the post-test to the retention test several weeks later (F(1,25) = 0.6, ns), and no difference between groups (F(3,25) = 0.6, ns; see Fig. 4), indicating all groups retained their learning equally successfully.


Less is more: latent learning is maximized by shorter training sessions in auditory perceptual learning.

Molloy K, Moore DR, Sohoglu E, Amitay S - PLoS ONE (2012)

Retention of FD learning following cessation of training.Group mean DLFs for initial performance (first two blocks), post-test (immediately after end of training) and retention test (4–6 weeks later). Groups were no longer matched because only a subset of the participants returned for the retention test, so DLFs were adjusted for individual differences in initial DLFs [44]. Error bars show ±SEM.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3351401&req=5

pone-0036929-g004: Retention of FD learning following cessation of training.Group mean DLFs for initial performance (first two blocks), post-test (immediately after end of training) and retention test (4–6 weeks later). Groups were no longer matched because only a subset of the participants returned for the retention test, so DLFs were adjusted for individual differences in initial DLFs [44]. Error bars show ±SEM.
Mentions: Performance did not deteriorate following cessation of training. There was no significant change in DLFs from the post-test to the retention test several weeks later (F(1,25) = 0.6, ns), and no difference between groups (F(3,25) = 0.6, ns; see Fig. 4), indicating all groups retained their learning equally successfully.

Bottom Line: The time course and outcome of perceptual learning can be affected by the length and distribution of practice, but the training regimen parameters that govern these effects have received little systematic study in the auditory domain.Between-session improvements were inversely correlated with performance; they were largest at the start of training and reduced as training progressed.In a second experiment we found no additional longer-term improvement in performance, retention, or transfer of learning for a group that trained over 4 sessions (∼4 hr in total) relative to a group that trained for a single session (∼1 hr).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: The time course and outcome of perceptual learning can be affected by the length and distribution of practice, but the training regimen parameters that govern these effects have received little systematic study in the auditory domain. We asked whether there was a minimum requirement on the number of trials within a training session for learning to occur, whether there was a maximum limit beyond which additional trials became ineffective, and whether multiple training sessions provided benefit over a single session.

Methodology/principal findings: We investigated the efficacy of different regimens that varied in the distribution of practice across training sessions and in the overall amount of practice received on a frequency discrimination task. While learning was relatively robust to variations in regimen, the group with the shortest training sessions (∼8 min) had significantly faster learning in early stages of training than groups with longer sessions. In later stages, the group with the longest training sessions (>1 hr) showed slower learning than the other groups, suggesting overtraining. Between-session improvements were inversely correlated with performance; they were largest at the start of training and reduced as training progressed. In a second experiment we found no additional longer-term improvement in performance, retention, or transfer of learning for a group that trained over 4 sessions (∼4 hr in total) relative to a group that trained for a single session (∼1 hr). However, the mechanisms of learning differed; the single-session group continued to improve in the days following cessation of training, whereas the multi-session group showed no further improvement once training had ceased.

Conclusions/significance: Shorter training sessions were advantageous because they allowed for more latent, between-session and post-training learning to emerge. These findings suggest that efficient regimens should use short training sessions, and optimized spacing between sessions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus