Paired-Associate and Feedback-Based Weather Prediction Tasks Support Multiple Category Learning Systems

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Li, Kaiyun ; Fu, Qiufang ; Sun, Xunwei ; Zhou, Xiaoyan ; Fu, Xiaolan (2016)
  • Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
  • Journal: Frontiers in Psychology, volume 7 (issn: 1664-1078, eissn: 1664-1078)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01017, pmc: PMC4927575
  • Subject: paired-associate | Psychology | task structure knowledge | weather prediction task | declarative system | feedback-based | Original Research | self-insight knowledge | non-declarative system

It remains unclear whether probabilistic category learning in the feedback-based weather prediction task (FB-WPT) can be mediated by a non-declarative or procedural learning system. To address this issue, we compared the effects of training time and verbal working memory, which influence the declarative learning system but not the non-declarative learning system, in the FB and paired-associate (PA) WPTs, as the PA task recruits a declarative learning system. The results of Experiment 1 showed that the optimal accuracy in the PA condition was significantly decreased when the training time was reduced from 7 to 3 s, but this did not occur in the FB condition, although shortened training time impaired the acquisition of explicit knowledge in both conditions. The results of Experiment 2 showed that the concurrent working memory task impaired the optimal accuracy and the acquisition of explicit knowledge in the PA condition but did not influence the optimal accuracy or the acquisition of self-insight knowledge in the FB condition. The apparent dissociation results between the FB and PA conditions suggested that a non-declarative or procedural learning system is involved in the FB-WPT and provided new evidence for the multiple-systems theory of human category learning.
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