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Neuromuscular control contributes to incidental learning: head orientation during visual statistical learning

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Incidental learning of sequential information occurs in visual, auditory and tactile domains. It occurs throughout our lifetime and even in nonhuman species. It is likely to be one of the most important foundations for the development of normal learning. To

Incidental learning of sequential information occurs in visual, auditory and tactile domains. It occurs throughout our lifetime and even in nonhuman species. It is likely to be one of the most important foundations for the development of normal learning. To date, there is no agreement as to how incidental learning occurs. The goal of the present set of experiments is to determine if visual sequential information is learned in terms of abstract rules or stimulus-specific details. Two experiments test the extent to which interaction with the stimuli can influence the information that is encoded by the learner. The results of both experiments support the claim that stimulus and domain specific details directly shape what is learned, through a process of tuning the neuromuscular systems involved in the interaction between the learner and the materials.

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2013

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Testing the Limits of a Reading Comprehension Intervention

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This study investigates whether children who are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and who have poor reading comprehension will benefit from participating in the EMBRACE intervention. The reading comprehension program is based on the Theory of Embodied Cognition, which focuses on

This study investigates whether children who are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and who have poor reading comprehension will benefit from participating in the EMBRACE intervention. The reading comprehension program is based on the Theory of Embodied Cognition, which focuses on the embodied nature of language comprehension. Our understanding of language is based on mental representations that we create through experiences and are integrated with according sensorimotor information. Therefore, by engaging the motor and language system through reading stories on an iPad that prompt the children to manipulate images on-screen, we might improve children's reading strategies and comprehension scores. Fifty-six children participated in reading three stories and answering related questions over a period of two weeks. Results showed that the intervention was successful in increasing reading comprehension scores in the physical manipulation condition but not in the imaginary manipulation condition. Although lower motor skill scores positively correlated with lower comprehension skills, the children's motor deficits did not moderate their performance on the intervention.

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2016-12

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Grounding concepts: physical interaction can provide minor benefit to category learning

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Categories are often defined by rules regarding their features. These rules may be intensely complex yet, despite the complexity of these rules, we are often able to learn them with sufficient practice. A possible explanation for how we arrive at

Categories are often defined by rules regarding their features. These rules may be intensely complex yet, despite the complexity of these rules, we are often able to learn them with sufficient practice. A possible explanation for how we arrive at consistent category judgments despite these difficulties would be that we may define these complex categories such as chairs, tables, or stairs by understanding the simpler rules defined by potential interactions with these objects. This concept, called grounding, allows for the learning and transfer of complex categorization rules if said rules are capable of being expressed in a more simple fashion by virtue of meaningful physical interactions. The present experiment tested this hypothesis by having participants engage in either a Rule Based (RB) or Information Integration (II) categorization task with instructions to engage with the stimuli in either a non-interactive or interactive fashion. If participants were capable of grounding the categories, which were defined in the II task with a complex visual rule, to a simpler interactive rule, then participants with interactive instructions should outperform participants with non-interactive instructions. Results indicated that physical interaction with stimuli had a marginally beneficial effect on category learning, but this effect seemed most prevalent in participants were engaged in an II task.

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2014