Poster C105, Sunday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Statistical learning and explicit sequence-learning are differentiated with ERPs during task automatization
Adam Takacs1, Andrea Kóbor2, Zsofia Kardos3,4, Karolina Janacsek1,3, Kata Horvath1,3, Dezso Nemeth1,3; 1Institute of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, 2Brain Imaging Centre, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, 3Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, 4Department of Cognitive Science, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary
There are several processes underlying the acquisition of automatic behavior, such as skills and habits. The temporal dynamics of the underlying processes of automatization and their neurophysiological markers are not yet understood. Here we investigated two key learning processes: 1) statistical learning, a fundamental mechanism of the brain, which extracts and represents regularities of our environment and 2) explicit sequence-learning which is a higher-order type of learning with explicit access. Young adults (N = 40) performed a perceptual-motor probabilistic sequence-learning task while EEG was recorded using 64 channels. Although the statistical regularity between non-adjacent trials was unknown to participants, pure statistical learning was found both at the behavioral and neural levels. While the visual N170 was sensitive to statistical regularities, the frontal N2 and the P3 reflected the discrimination and elaborative processing of the explicit sequence structure. Moreover, the P3 became attenuated to sequence stimuli as compared to random ones as the task progressed. Our results indicate that statistical and explicit sequence-learning have different markers at the psychophysiological level: Statistical learning is related to visual ERP components, while explicit sequence-learning is related to components that have been traditionally linked to controlled/declarative processes.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Skill learning