Limits...
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

Within- and between-session changes in performance.(A) Group mean within-session changes for groups T800, T400 and T200. (B) Group mean between-session changes in all training groups. The gap between bars 5 and 8 in A and B indicate a weekend break. Error bars show ±SEM.
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pone-0036929-g007: Within- and between-session changes in performance.(A) Group mean within-session changes for groups T800, T400 and T200. (B) Group mean between-session changes in all training groups. The gap between bars 5 and 8 in A and B indicate a weekend break. Error bars show ±SEM.

Mentions: All groups showed within-session improvements on each day (Fig. 7A). Group T800 showed greater learning on Day 1 than Day 2 (t(13)  = −6.8, p<.001), but groups T400 and T200 showed no change in the amount learnt in each day (t(13) <0.9 for both, ns). The T100 group did not have enough data within each day to be included in this analysis. The results for the T400 and T200 groups suggest that within-session learning is constant, with a fixed benefit per practice block regardless of the stage of training (at least up to 1600 trials). The difference seen in the T800 group’s within-day learning could thus be another indication that while 800 trials per day is an effective regimen for early training, it may lose some efficacy as training progresses.


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)

Within- and between-session changes in performance.(A) Group mean within-session changes for groups T800, T400 and T200. (B) Group mean between-session changes in all training groups. The gap between bars 5 and 8 in A and B indicate a weekend break. Error bars show ±SEM.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0036929-g007: Within- and between-session changes in performance.(A) Group mean within-session changes for groups T800, T400 and T200. (B) Group mean between-session changes in all training groups. The gap between bars 5 and 8 in A and B indicate a weekend break. Error bars show ±SEM.
Mentions: All groups showed within-session improvements on each day (Fig. 7A). Group T800 showed greater learning on Day 1 than Day 2 (t(13)  = −6.8, p<.001), but groups T400 and T200 showed no change in the amount learnt in each day (t(13) <0.9 for both, ns). The T100 group did not have enough data within each day to be included in this analysis. The results for the T400 and T200 groups suggest that within-session learning is constant, with a fixed benefit per practice block regardless of the stage of training (at least up to 1600 trials). The difference seen in the T800 group’s within-day learning could thus be another indication that while 800 trials per day is an effective regimen for early training, it may lose some efficacy as training progresses.

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