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A single paradigm for implicit and statistical learning

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>23/07/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Topics in Cognitive Science
Issue number3
Volume11
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)536–554
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Implicit learning generally refers to the acquisition of structures that, like knowledge of natural language grammar, are not available to awareness. In contrast, statistical learning has frequently been related to learning language structures that are explicitly available, such as vocabulary. In this paper, we report an experimental paradigm that enables testing of both classic implicit and statistical learning in language. The paradigm employs an artificial language comprising sentences that accompany visual scenes that they represent, thus combining artificial grammar learning with cross-situational statistical learning of vocabulary. We show that this methodology enables a comparison between acquisition of grammar and vocabulary, and the influences on their learning. We show that both grammar and vocabulary are promoted by explicit information about the language structure, that awareness of structure affects acquisition during learning, and awareness precedes learning, but is not distinctive at the endpoint of learning. The two traditions of learning – implicit and statistical – can be conjoined in a single paradigm to explore both the phenomenological and learning consequences of statistical structural knowledge.