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Developmental differences in effects of task pacing on implicit sequence learning.

Hodel AS, Markant JC, Van Den Heuvel SE, Cirilli-Raether JM, Thomas KM - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Results indicated that preschool-aged children showed reduced evidence of implicit sequence learning in comparison to adults, regardless of the SRT paradigm used.In addition, we found the preschoolers showed significantly greater learning when stimulus presentation was self-paced.These data provide evidence for developmental differences in implicit sequence learning that are dependent on specific task demands such as stimulus pacing, which may be related to developmental changes in the impact of broader constructs such as attention and task motivation on implicit learning.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN, USA.

ABSTRACT
Although there is now substantial evidence that developmental change occurs in implicit learning abilities over the lifespan, disparate results exist regarding the specific developmental trajectory of implicit learning skills. One possible reason for discrepancies across implicit learning studies may be that younger children show an increased sensitivity to variations in implicit learning task procedures and demands relative to adults. Studies using serial-reaction time (SRT) tasks have suggested that in adults, measurements of implicit learning are robust across variations in task procedures. Most classic SRT tasks have used response-contingent pacing in which the participant's own reaction time determines the duration of each trial. However, recent paradigms with adults and children have used fixed trial pacing, which leads to alterations in both response and attention demands, accuracy feedback, perceived agency, and task motivation for participants. In the current study, we compared learning on fixed-paced and self-paced versions of a spatial sequence learning paradigm in 4-year-old children and adults. Results indicated that preschool-aged children showed reduced evidence of implicit sequence learning in comparison to adults, regardless of the SRT paradigm used. In addition, we found the preschoolers showed significantly greater learning when stimulus presentation was self-paced. These data provide evidence for developmental differences in implicit sequence learning that are dependent on specific task demands such as stimulus pacing, which may be related to developmental changes in the impact of broader constructs such as attention and task motivation on implicit learning.

No MeSH data available.


Basic task, run, and analysis design used for each of the five runs of the SRT task variants, where R represents pseudorandomly appearing stimuli and S denotes stimuli that followed the 10-item spatial sequence. Stimuli are denoted by an asterisk; actual stimuli used were cartoon characters from the children's television program Sesame Street.
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Figure 1: Basic task, run, and analysis design used for each of the five runs of the SRT task variants, where R represents pseudorandomly appearing stimuli and S denotes stimuli that followed the 10-item spatial sequence. Stimuli are denoted by an asterisk; actual stimuli used were cartoon characters from the children's television program Sesame Street.

Mentions: Child and adult participants were told they would be playing a computerized game of tag with the characters from Sesame Street to investigate how children learn new skills with practice. During each experimental trial, a 9 × 9 cm image of the face of one of four Sesame Street characters was presented in a framed location on a 41 × 31 cm monitor. The four frames were arranged in a quadrant orientation, with a separate 9 × 9 cm frame in each quadrant of the screen; frames were spaced 7 cm apart horizontally and 6 cm apart vertically (see Figure 1). Participants were instructed to “tag” the character as quickly as possible by pressing a button that corresponded to the character's spatial location on a button response box, while making as few mistakes as possible. Participants were instructed to use their dominant hand to respond (4-year-olds completed a brief test with the experimenter prior to beginning the experiment to determine handedness). The 35.5 × 35.5 cm button box consisted of four large 5 × 5 cm buttons that corresponded to the arrangement of the spatial locations on the computer screen. Between trials, participants were encouraged to return their hand to a neutral, central position on the button box. Button presses were collected and evaluated for accuracy of first press and reaction time on correct trials.


Developmental differences in effects of task pacing on implicit sequence learning.

Hodel AS, Markant JC, Van Den Heuvel SE, Cirilli-Raether JM, Thomas KM - Front Psychol (2014)

Basic task, run, and analysis design used for each of the five runs of the SRT task variants, where R represents pseudorandomly appearing stimuli and S denotes stimuli that followed the 10-item spatial sequence. Stimuli are denoted by an asterisk; actual stimuli used were cartoon characters from the children's television program Sesame Street.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3934418&req=5

Figure 1: Basic task, run, and analysis design used for each of the five runs of the SRT task variants, where R represents pseudorandomly appearing stimuli and S denotes stimuli that followed the 10-item spatial sequence. Stimuli are denoted by an asterisk; actual stimuli used were cartoon characters from the children's television program Sesame Street.
Mentions: Child and adult participants were told they would be playing a computerized game of tag with the characters from Sesame Street to investigate how children learn new skills with practice. During each experimental trial, a 9 × 9 cm image of the face of one of four Sesame Street characters was presented in a framed location on a 41 × 31 cm monitor. The four frames were arranged in a quadrant orientation, with a separate 9 × 9 cm frame in each quadrant of the screen; frames were spaced 7 cm apart horizontally and 6 cm apart vertically (see Figure 1). Participants were instructed to “tag” the character as quickly as possible by pressing a button that corresponded to the character's spatial location on a button response box, while making as few mistakes as possible. Participants were instructed to use their dominant hand to respond (4-year-olds completed a brief test with the experimenter prior to beginning the experiment to determine handedness). The 35.5 × 35.5 cm button box consisted of four large 5 × 5 cm buttons that corresponded to the arrangement of the spatial locations on the computer screen. Between trials, participants were encouraged to return their hand to a neutral, central position on the button box. Button presses were collected and evaluated for accuracy of first press and reaction time on correct trials.

Bottom Line: Results indicated that preschool-aged children showed reduced evidence of implicit sequence learning in comparison to adults, regardless of the SRT paradigm used.In addition, we found the preschoolers showed significantly greater learning when stimulus presentation was self-paced.These data provide evidence for developmental differences in implicit sequence learning that are dependent on specific task demands such as stimulus pacing, which may be related to developmental changes in the impact of broader constructs such as attention and task motivation on implicit learning.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN, USA.

ABSTRACT
Although there is now substantial evidence that developmental change occurs in implicit learning abilities over the lifespan, disparate results exist regarding the specific developmental trajectory of implicit learning skills. One possible reason for discrepancies across implicit learning studies may be that younger children show an increased sensitivity to variations in implicit learning task procedures and demands relative to adults. Studies using serial-reaction time (SRT) tasks have suggested that in adults, measurements of implicit learning are robust across variations in task procedures. Most classic SRT tasks have used response-contingent pacing in which the participant's own reaction time determines the duration of each trial. However, recent paradigms with adults and children have used fixed trial pacing, which leads to alterations in both response and attention demands, accuracy feedback, perceived agency, and task motivation for participants. In the current study, we compared learning on fixed-paced and self-paced versions of a spatial sequence learning paradigm in 4-year-old children and adults. Results indicated that preschool-aged children showed reduced evidence of implicit sequence learning in comparison to adults, regardless of the SRT paradigm used. In addition, we found the preschoolers showed significantly greater learning when stimulus presentation was self-paced. These data provide evidence for developmental differences in implicit sequence learning that are dependent on specific task demands such as stimulus pacing, which may be related to developmental changes in the impact of broader constructs such as attention and task motivation on implicit learning.

No MeSH data available.