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Sample records for learning task performance

  1. Learning Styles and Performance in Second Language Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andreou, Eleni; Andreou, Georgia; Vlachos, Filippos

    2008-01-01

    Given the paucity of research that has examined associations between learning styles and chosen academic discipline in connection with performance on different second language (L2) verbal fluency tasks, the authors undertook the current study with the aim of investigating the relationship between Greek students' learning styles and performance on…

  2. Business Students' Learning Preferences and Associated Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Fred

    1999-01-01

    Accounting students (n=202) had different preferences for learning discrete facts, quick and easy problems, and new and ambiguous situations. On a multiple-choice test and unstructured task completed by 73 students, preference for quick and easy problems distinguished poor and good performers on the task but not on the test. (SK)

  3. Self-Efficacy, Task Complexity and Task Performance: Exploring Interactions in Two Versions of Vocabulary Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Xiaoli; Lowyck, Joost; Sercu, Lies; Elen, Jan

    2012-01-01

    The present study aimed for better understanding of the interactions between task complexity and students' self-efficacy beliefs and students' use of learning strategies, and finally their interacting effects on task performance. This investigation was carried out in the context of Chinese students learning English as a foreign language in a…

  4. Benefits of Stimulus Exposure: Developmental Learning Independent of Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Green, David B.; Ohlemacher, Jocelyn; Rosen, Merri J.

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning (training-induced performance improvement) can be elicited by task-irrelevant stimulus exposure in humans. In contrast, task-irrelevant stimulus exposure in animals typically disrupts perception in juveniles while causing little to no effect in adults. This may be due to the extent of exposure, which is brief in humans while chronic in animals. Here we assessed the effects of short bouts of passive stimulus exposure on learning during development in gerbils, compared with non-passive stimulus exposure (i.e., during testing). We used prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, a method that can be applied at any age, to measure gap detection thresholds across four age groups, spanning development. First, we showed that both gap detection thresholds and gap detection learning across sessions displayed a long developmental trajectory, improving throughout the juvenile period. Additionally, we demonstrated larger within- and across-animal performance variability in younger animals. These results are generally consistent with results in humans, where there are extended developmental trajectories for both the perception of temporally-varying signals, and the effects of perceptual training, as well as increased variability and poorer performance consistency in children. We then chose an age (mid-juveniles) that displayed clear learning over sessions in order to assess effects of brief passive stimulus exposure on this learning. We compared learning in mid-juveniles exposed to either gap detection testing (gaps paired with startles) or equivalent gap exposure without testing (gaps alone) for three sessions. Learning was equivalent in both these groups and better than both naïve age-matched animals and controls receiving no gap exposure but only startle testing. Thus, short bouts of exposure to gaps independent of task performance is sufficient to induce learning at this age, and is as effective as gap detection testing. PMID:27378837

  5. Benefits of Stimulus Exposure: Developmental Learning Independent of Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Green, David B; Ohlemacher, Jocelyn; Rosen, Merri J

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning (training-induced performance improvement) can be elicited by task-irrelevant stimulus exposure in humans. In contrast, task-irrelevant stimulus exposure in animals typically disrupts perception in juveniles while causing little to no effect in adults. This may be due to the extent of exposure, which is brief in humans while chronic in animals. Here we assessed the effects of short bouts of passive stimulus exposure on learning during development in gerbils, compared with non-passive stimulus exposure (i.e., during testing). We used prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, a method that can be applied at any age, to measure gap detection thresholds across four age groups, spanning development. First, we showed that both gap detection thresholds and gap detection learning across sessions displayed a long developmental trajectory, improving throughout the juvenile period. Additionally, we demonstrated larger within- and across-animal performance variability in younger animals. These results are generally consistent with results in humans, where there are extended developmental trajectories for both the perception of temporally-varying signals, and the effects of perceptual training, as well as increased variability and poorer performance consistency in children. We then chose an age (mid-juveniles) that displayed clear learning over sessions in order to assess effects of brief passive stimulus exposure on this learning. We compared learning in mid-juveniles exposed to either gap detection testing (gaps paired with startles) or equivalent gap exposure without testing (gaps alone) for three sessions. Learning was equivalent in both these groups and better than both naïve age-matched animals and controls receiving no gap exposure but only startle testing. Thus, short bouts of exposure to gaps independent of task performance is sufficient to induce learning at this age, and is as effective as gap detection testing. PMID:27378837

  6. Quality of Learners' Time and Learning Performance beyond Quantitative Time-on-Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romero, Margarida; Barbera, Elena

    2011-01-01

    Along with the amount of time spent learning (or time-on-task), the quality of learning time has a real influence on learning performance. Quality of time in online learning depends on students' time availability and their willingness to devote quality cognitive time to learning activities. However, the quantity and quality of the time spent by…

  7. Type of Learning Task Impacts Performance and Strategy Selection in Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pachur, Thorsten; Olsson, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    In order to be adaptive, cognition requires knowledge about the statistical structure of the environment. We show that decision performance and the selection between cue-based and exemplar-based inference mechanisms can depend critically on how this knowledge is acquired. Two types of learning tasks are distinguished: "learning by comparison", by…

  8. Learning Opportunities: Adding Learning Value to Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crabbe, David

    2007-01-01

    Tasks provide a framework for communicative performance. Underlying each task is a set of learning opportunities--potential activities for learning. Not all of these opportunities are exploited for learning by teachers or learners. It is proposed that, when using tasks, the range of such learning opportunities needs to be identified and modelled…

  9. Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baskas, Richard S.

    2012-01-01

    Government budget constraints had forced the Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC) at a military installation to work with less than the normal number of staff. A Program Proposal was developed previously that had determined that a learning gap existed in the researcher's work environment at a military installation. To counter this gap, Learning Tasks…

  10. Performance of a motor task learned on levodopa deteriorates when subsequently practiced off.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Elise D; Horak, Fay B; Lasarev, Michael R; Nutt, John G

    2014-01-01

    Studies in animals and in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) demonstrate complex effects of dopamine on learning motor tasks; its effect on retention of motor learning has received little attention. Recent animal studies demonstrate that practicing a task in the off state, when initially learned in the on state, leads to progressive deterioration in performance. We measured the acquisition and retention of 3 different motor tasks in the presence and absence of levodopa. Twenty individuals with Hoehn and Yahr Stage 1.5 to 3 PD practiced the tasks daily for two 4-day weeks, one half practicing on L-dopa the first week and off the second week. The other half practiced off l-dopa both weeks. The tasks were (1) alternate tapping of 2 keys, (2) moving the body toward 2 targets on a posturography device, and (3) mirror drawing of a star. For the tapping and body movement tests, those who practiced on the first week had a progressive decline in performance with practice during week 2, while subjects off during week 1 maintained or improved. In contrast, for the mirror task, subjects on L-dopa initially had much more difficulty completing the task compared to subjects who practiced off. Both groups improved with practice the first week and had flat performance the second week. These data suggest that performance of speed-accuracy tasks learned in the on state may progressively worsen if subsequently practiced in the off state. In addition, performance, but not learning, of some tasks may be impeded by L-dopa. PMID:24132873

  11. Machine Learning Based Online Performance Prediction for Runtime Parallelization and Task Scheduling

    SciTech Connect

    Li, J; Ma, X; Singh, K; Schulz, M; de Supinski, B R; McKee, S A

    2008-10-09

    With the emerging many-core paradigm, parallel programming must extend beyond its traditional realm of scientific applications. Converting existing sequential applications as well as developing next-generation software requires assistance from hardware, compilers and runtime systems to exploit parallelism transparently within applications. These systems must decompose applications into tasks that can be executed in parallel and then schedule those tasks to minimize load imbalance. However, many systems lack a priori knowledge about the execution time of all tasks to perform effective load balancing with low scheduling overhead. In this paper, we approach this fundamental problem using machine learning techniques first to generate performance models for all tasks and then applying those models to perform automatic performance prediction across program executions. We also extend an existing scheduling algorithm to use generated task cost estimates for online task partitioning and scheduling. We implement the above techniques in the pR framework, which transparently parallelizes scripts in the popular R language, and evaluate their performance and overhead with both a real-world application and a large number of synthetic representative test scripts. Our experimental results show that our proposed approach significantly improves task partitioning and scheduling, with maximum improvements of 21.8%, 40.3% and 22.1% and average improvements of 15.9%, 16.9% and 4.2% for LMM (a real R application) and synthetic test cases with independent and dependent tasks, respectively.

  12. The Impact of Feedback Frequency on Learning and Task Performance: Challenging the "More Is Better" Assumption

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Chak Fu; DeRue, D. Scott; Karam, Elizabeth P.; Hollenbeck, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Previous research on feedback frequency suggests that more frequent feedback improves learning and task performance (Salmoni, Schmidt, & Walter, 1984). Drawing from resource allocation theory (Kanfer & Ackerman, 1989), we challenge the "more is better" assumption and propose that frequent feedback can overwhelm an individual's cognitive resource…

  13. A Bayesian Network Approach to Modeling Learning Progressions and Task Performance. CRESST Report 776

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Patti; Rutstein, Daisy Wise; Mislevy, Robert J.; Liu, Junhui; Choi, Younyoung; Levy, Roy; Crawford, Aaron; DiCerbo, Kristen E.; Chappel, Kristina; Behrens, John T.

    2010-01-01

    A major issue in the study of learning progressions (LPs) is linking student performance on assessment tasks to the progressions. This report describes the challenges faced in making this linkage using Bayesian networks to model LPs in the field of computer networking. The ideas are illustrated with exemplar Bayesian networks built on Cisco…

  14. Task Complexity, Student Perceptions of Vocabulary Learning in EFL, and Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Xiaoli; Lowyck, Joost; Sercu, Lies; Elen, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Background: The study deepened our understanding of how students' self-ef?cacy beliefs contribute to the context of teaching English as a foreign language in the framework of cognitive mediational paradigm at a ?ne-tuned task-speci?c level. Aim: The aim was to examine the relationship among task complexity, self-ef?cacy beliefs, domain-related…

  15. Learning one task by interleaving practice with another task

    PubMed Central

    Szpiro, Sarit; Wright, Beverly A.; Carrasco, Marisa

    2014-01-01

    Perceptual learning is a sustainable improvement in performance on a perceptual task following training. A hallmark of perceptual learning is task specificity – after participants have trained on and learned a particular task, learning rarely transfers to another task, even with identical stimuli. Accordingly, it is assumed that performing a task throughout training is a requirement for learning to occur on that specific task. Thus, interleaving training trials of a target task, with those of another task, should not improve performance on the target task. However, recent findings in audition show that interleaving two tasks during training can facilitate perceptual learning, even when the training on neither task yields learning on its own. Here we examined the role of cross-task training in the visual domain by training 4 groups of human observers for 3 consecutive days on an orientation comparison task (target task) and/or spatial-frequency comparison task (interleaving task). Interleaving small amounts of training on each task, which were ineffective alone, not only enabled learning on the target orientation task, as in audition, but also surpassed the learning attained by training on that task alone for the same total number of trials. This study illustrates that cross-task training in visual perceptual learning can be more effective than single-task training. The results reveal a comparable learning principle across modalities and demonstrate how to optimize training regimens to maximize perceptual learning. PMID:24959653

  16. Models of performance in learning multisegment movement tasks: consequences for acquisition, retention, and judgments of learning.

    PubMed

    Simon, Dominic A; Bjork, Robert A

    2002-12-01

    Participants learned different keystroke patterns, each requiring that a key sequence be struck in a prescribed time. Trials of a given pattern were either blocked or interleaved randomly with trials on the other patterns and before each trial modeled timing information was presented that either matched or mismatched the movement to be executed next. In acquisition, blocked practice and matching models supported better performance than did random practice and mismatching models. In retention, however, random practice and mismatching models were associated with superior learning. Judgments of learning made during practice were more in line with acquisition than with retention performance, providing further evidence that a learner's current ease of access to a motor skill is a poor indicator of learning benefit. PMID:12570097

  17. Dopamine and performance in a reinforcement learning task: evidence from Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Shiner, Tamara; Seymour, Ben; Wunderlich, Klaus; Hill, Ciaran; Bhatia, Kailash P; Dayan, Peter; Dolan, Raymond J

    2012-06-01

    The role dopamine plays in decision-making has important theoretical, empirical and clinical implications. Here, we examined its precise contribution by exploiting the lesion deficit model afforded by Parkinson's disease. We studied patients in a two-stage reinforcement learning task, while they were ON and OFF dopamine replacement medication. Contrary to expectation, we found that dopaminergic drug state (ON or OFF) did not impact learning. Instead, the critical factor was drug state during the performance phase, with patients ON medication choosing correctly significantly more frequently than those OFF medication. This effect was independent of drug state during initial learning and appears to reflect a facilitation of generalization for learnt information. This inference is bolstered by our observation that neural activity in nucleus accumbens and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, measured during simultaneously acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging, represented learnt stimulus values during performance. This effect was expressed solely during the ON state with activity in these regions correlating with better performance. Our data indicate that dopamine modulation of nucleus accumbens and ventromedial prefrontal cortex exerts a specific effect on choice behaviour distinct from pure learning. The findings are in keeping with the substantial other evidence that certain aspects of learning are unaffected by dopamine lesions or depletion, and that dopamine plays a key role in performance that may be distinct from its role in learning. PMID:22508958

  18. Male bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, perform equally well as workers in a serial colour-learning task

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Stephan; Chittka, Lars

    2016-01-01

    The learning capacities of males and females may differ with sex-specific behavioural requirements. Bumblebees provide a useful model system to explore how different lifestyles are reflected in learning abilities, because their (female but sterile) workers and males engage in fundamentally different behaviour routines. Bumblebee males, like workers, embark on active flower foraging but in contrast to workers they have to trade off their feeding with mate search, potentially affecting their abilities to learn and utilize floral cues efficiently during foraging. We used a serial colour-learning task with freely flying males and workers to compare their ability to flexibly learn visual floral cues with reward in a foraging scenario that changed over time. Male bumblebees did not differ from workers in both their learning speed and their ability to overcome previously acquired associations, when these ceased to predict reward. In all foraging tasks we found a significant improvement in choice accuracy in both sexes over the course of the training. In both sexes, the characteristics of the foraging performance depended largely on the colour difference of the two presented feeder types. Large colour distances entailed fast and reliable learning of the rewarding feeders whereas choice accuracy on highly similar colours improved significantly more slowly. Conversely, switching from a learned feeder type to a novel one was fastest for similar feeder colours and slow for highly different ones. Overall, we show that behavioural sex dimorphism in bumblebees did not affect their learning abilities beyond the mating context. We discuss the possible drivers and limitations shaping the foraging abilities of males and workers and implications for pollination ecology. We also suggest stingless male bumblebees as an advantageous alternative model system for the study of pollinator cognition. PMID:26877542

  19. Social Learning versus Attributional Interpretations: The Effect of Task Familiarity on Task Performance Perceptions and Future Success Expectancies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Triplet, Rodney G.; Cohn, Ellen S.

    1984-01-01

    Attempts to assess whether social learning or attributional theory best accounts for expectancies of future success in college students (N=159) with a modification of a task used by Weiner and Kukla (1970). Results indicated partial support for elements of both the social learning and attribution theories. (LLL)

  20. Relationships among Individual Task Self-Efficacy, Self-Regulated Learning Strategy Use and Academic Performance in a Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Kimberly; Narayan, Anupama

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates relationships between self-efficacy, self-regulated learning strategy use and academic performance. Participants were 96 undergraduate students working on projects with three subtasks (idea generation task, methodical task and data collection) in a blended learning environment. Task self-efficacy was measured with…

  1. Learning Style and Task Performance in Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication: A Case Study of Iranian EFL Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hedayati, Mohsen; Foomani, Elham Mohammadi

    2015-01-01

    The study reported here explores whether English as a foreign Language (EFL) learners' preferred ways of learning (i.e., learning styles) affect their task performance in computer-mediated communication (CMC). As Ellis (2010) points out, while the increasing use of different sorts of technology is witnessed in language learning contexts, it is…

  2. Acute and Chronic Alcohol Administration: Effects on Performance of Zebrafish in a Latent Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Luchiari, Ana C; Salajan, Diana C; Gerlai, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol abuse is a major medical problem. Zebrafish have been proposed to model alcohol related human disorders. Alcohol impairs learning and memory. Here, we analyze the effects of alcohol on performance of zebrafish in a recently developed latent learning paradigm. We employ a 2 × 3 × 2 experimental design (chronic × acute alcohol treatment × path blocked). The latent learning task had two phases: one, 30 min long exploration trials (16 days, 1 trial/day) with left or right path of a complex maze blocked, and two, a subsequent probe trial with all paths open leading to a goal box that now contained stimulus fish. During the 16 days each fish received one of two chronic treatments: freshwater or 0.50% (vol/vol%) alcohol. Subsequently, fish were immersed for 1h in one of the following solutions: 0.00 (freshwater), 0.50 or 1.00% alcohol, the acute challange. Behavior of fish was recorded during the probe trial that commenced immediately after the acute treatment. Path choices, latency to leave the start box and to enter the goal box, time spent in the goal box, distance travelled, and duration of freezing were quantified. We found that acute exposure to 1.00% alcohol after chronic freshwater disrupted learning performance, so did exposure to freshwater after chronic alcohol treatment (withdrawal). We also found exposure to chronic alcohol to diminish the effect of subsequent acute alcohol suggesting development of tolerance. Our results demonstrate that analysis of learning performance of zebrafish allows detection of alcohol-induced functional changes. The simplicity and scalability of the employed task also imply the utility of the zebrafish in high throughput drug screens. PMID:25557800

  3. Learning and Relative Performance on Two and Three Dimensional Visual Cue Perceptual-Motor Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glad, Harold L.

    This study evaluates the relationships that exist between three types of visual and perceptual-motor tasks (coincidence-anticipation, tracking with rotary pursuit, and a unique two-dimensional discrete motor task) and investigates the nature of learning demonstrated by the subjects on each of the three tasks. Thirty male students were given 20…

  4. Video-task assessment of learning and memory in Macaques (Macaca mulatta) - Effects of stimulus movement on performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.; Hopkins, William D.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1989-01-01

    Effects of stimulus movement on learning, transfer, matching, and short-term memory performance were assessed with 2 monkeys using a video-task paradigm in which the animals responded to computer-generated images by manipulating a joystick. Performance on tests of learning set, transfer index, matching to sample, and delayed matching to sample in the video-task paradigm was comparable to that obtained in previous investigations using the Wisconsin General Testing Apparatus. Additionally, learning, transfer, and matching were reliably and significantly better when the stimuli or discriminanda moved than when the stimuli were stationary. External manipulations such as stimulus movement may increase attention to the demands of a task, which in turn should increase the efficiency of learning. These findings have implications for the investigation of learning in other populations, as well as for the application of the video-task paradigm to comparative study.

  5. Chinese Preservice Teachers' Professional Identity Links with Education Program Performance: The Roles of Task Value Belief and Learning Motivations.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Hawk, Skyler T; Zhang, Xiaohui; Zhao, Hongyu

    2016-01-01

    Professional identity is a key issue spanning the entirety of teachers' career development. Despite the abundance of existing research examining professional identity, its link with occupation-related behavior at the primary career stage (i.e., GPA in preservice education) and the potential process that underlies this association is still not fully understood. This study explored the professional identity of Chinese preservice teachers, and its links with task value belief, intrinsic learning motivation, extrinsic learning motivation, and performance in the education program. Grade-point average (GPA) of courses (both subject and pedagogy courses) was examined as an indicator of performance, and questionnaires were used to measure the remaining variables. Data from 606 preservice teachers in the first 3 years of a teacher-training program indicated that: (1) variables in this research were all significantly correlated with each other, except the correlation between intrinsic learning motivation and program performance; (2) professional identity was positively linked to task value belief, intrinsic and extrinsic learning motivations, and program performance in a structural equation model (SEM); (3) task value belief was positively linked to intrinsic and extrinsic learning motivation; (4) higher extrinsic (but not intrinsic) learning motivation was associated with increased program performance; and (5) task value belief and extrinsic learning motivation were significant mediators in the model. PMID:27199810

  6. Chinese Preservice Teachers’ Professional Identity Links with Education Program Performance: The Roles of Task Value Belief and Learning Motivations

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yan; Hawk, Skyler T.; Zhang, Xiaohui; Zhao, Hongyu

    2016-01-01

    Professional identity is a key issue spanning the entirety of teachers’ career development. Despite the abundance of existing research examining professional identity, its link with occupation-related behavior at the primary career stage (i.e., GPA in preservice education) and the potential process that underlies this association is still not fully understood. This study explored the professional identity of Chinese preservice teachers, and its links with task value belief, intrinsic learning motivation, extrinsic learning motivation, and performance in the education program. Grade-point average (GPA) of courses (both subject and pedagogy courses) was examined as an indicator of performance, and questionnaires were used to measure the remaining variables. Data from 606 preservice teachers in the first 3 years of a teacher-training program indicated that: (1) variables in this research were all significantly correlated with each other, except the correlation between intrinsic learning motivation and program performance; (2) professional identity was positively linked to task value belief, intrinsic and extrinsic learning motivations, and program performance in a structural equation model (SEM); (3) task value belief was positively linked to intrinsic and extrinsic learning motivation; (4) higher extrinsic (but not intrinsic) learning motivation was associated with increased program performance; and (5) task value belief and extrinsic learning motivation were significant mediators in the model. PMID:27199810

  7. Dizocilpine (MK-801) impairs learning in the active place avoidance task but has no effect on the performance during task/context alternation.

    PubMed

    Vojtechova, Iveta; Petrasek, Tomas; Hatalova, Hana; Pistikova, Adela; Vales, Karel; Stuchlik, Ales

    2016-05-15

    The prevention of engram interference, pattern separation, flexibility, cognitive coordination and spatial navigation are usually studied separately at the behavioral level. Impairment in executive functions is often observed in patients suffering from schizophrenia. We have designed a protocol for assessing these functions all together as behavioral separation. This protocol is based on alternated or sequential training in two tasks testing different hippocampal functions (the Morris water maze and active place avoidance), and alternated or sequential training in two similar environments of the active place avoidance task. In Experiment 1, we tested, in adult rats, whether the performance in two different spatial tasks was affected by their order in sequential learning, or by their day-to-day alternation. In Experiment 2, rats learned to solve the active place avoidance task in two environments either alternately or sequentially. We found that rats are able to acquire both tasks and to discriminate both similar contexts without obvious problems regardless of the order or the alternation. We used two groups of rats, controls and a rat model of psychosis induced by a subchronic intraperitoneal application of 0.08mg/kg of dizocilpine (MK-801), a non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors. Dizocilpine had no selective effect on parallel/sequential learning of tasks/contexts. However, it caused hyperlocomotion and a significant deficit in learning in the active place avoidance task regardless of the task alternation. Cognitive coordination tested by this task is probably more sensitive to dizocilpine than spatial orientation because no hyperactivity or learning impairment was observed in the Morris water maze. PMID:26970577

  8. Cognitive Load Theory: An Empirical Study of Anxiety and Task Performance in Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This study explores the relationship among three variables--cognitive load, foreign language anxiety, and task performance. Cognitive load refers to the load imposed on working memory while performing a particular task. The authors hypothesized that anxiety consumes the resources of working memory, leaving less capacity for cognitive…

  9. In Search of Design Principles for Developing Digital Learning and Performance Support for a Student Design Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bollen, Lars; van der Meij, Hans; Leemkuil, Henny; McKenney, Susan

    2015-01-01

    A digital learning and performance support environment for university student design tasks was developed. This paper describes on the design rationale, process, and the usage results to arrive at a core set of design principles for the construction of such an environment. We present a collection of organizational, technical, and course-related…

  10. Does head-only exposure to GSM-900 electromagnetic fields affect the performance of rats in spatial learning tasks?

    PubMed

    Dubreuil, Diane; Jay, Thérèse; Edeline, Jean-Marc

    2002-02-01

    The rapid expansion of mobile communication has generated intense interest, but has also fuelled ongoing concerns. In both humans and animals, radiofrequency radiations are suspected to affect cognitive functions. More specifically, several studies performed in rodents have suggested that spatial learning can be impaired by electromagnetic field exposure. However, none of these previous studies have simulated the common conditions of GSM mobile phones use. This study is the first using a head-only exposure system emitting a 900-MHz GSM electromagnetic field (pulsed at 217 Hz). The two behavioural tasks that were evaluated here have been used previously to demonstrate performance deficits in spatial learning after electromagnetic field exposure: a classical radial maze elimination task and a spatial navigation task in an open-field arena (dry-land version of the Morris water maze). The performances of rats exposed for 45 min to a 900-MHz electromagnetic field (1 and 3.5 W/kg) were compared to those of sham-exposed and cage-control rats. There were no differences among exposed, sham, and cage-control rats in the two spatial learning tasks. The discussion focuses on the potential reasons that led previous studies to conclude that learning deficits do occur after electromagnetic field exposure. PMID:11809512

  11. How Explicit and Implicit Test Instructions in an Implicit Learning Task Affect Performance

    PubMed Central

    Witt, Arnaud; Puspitawati, Ira; Vinter, Annie

    2013-01-01

    Typically developing children aged 5 to 8 years were exposed to artificial grammar learning. Following an implicit exposure phase, half of the participants received neutral instructions at test while the other half received instructions making a direct, explicit reference to the training phase. We first aimed to assess whether implicit learning operated in the two test conditions. We then evaluated the differential impact of age on learning performances as a function of test instructions. The results showed that performance did not vary as a function of age in the implicit instructions condition, while age effects emerged when explicit instructions were employed at test. However, performance was affected differently by age and the instructions given at test, depending on whether the implicit learning of short or long units was assessed. These results suggest that the claim that the implicit learning process is independent of age needs to be revised. PMID:23326409

  12. The Relationship between Shared Mental Models and Task Performance in an Online Team- Based Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Tristan E.; Lee, Youngmin

    2008-01-01

    In an effort to better understand learning teams, this study examines the effects of shared mental models on team and individual performance. The results indicate that each team's shared mental model changed significantly over the time that subjects participated in team-based learning activities. The results also showed that the shared mental…

  13. Developmental stress impairs performance on an association task in male and female songbirds, but impairs auditory learning in females only.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Tara M; Morgan, Amanda; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    In songbirds, early-life environments critically shape song development. Many studies have demonstrated that developmental stress impairs song learning and the development of song-control regions of the brain in males. However, song has evolved through signaller-receiver networks and the effect stress has on the ability to receive auditory signals is equally important, especially for females who use song as an indicator of mate quality. Female song preferences have been the metric used to evaluate how developmental stress affects auditory learning, but preferences are shaped by many non-cognitive factors and preclude the evaluation of auditory learning abilities in males. To determine whether developmental stress specifically affects auditory learning in both sexes, we subjected juvenile European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to either an ad libitum or an unpredictable food supply treatment from 35 to 115 days of age. In adulthood, we assessed learning of both auditory and visual discrimination tasks. Females reared in the experimental group were slower than females in the control group to acquire a relative frequency auditory task, and slower than their male counterparts to acquire an absolute frequency auditory task. There was no difference in auditory performance between treatment groups for males. However, on the colour association task, birds from the experimental group committed more errors per trial than control birds. There was no correlation in performance across the cognitive tasks. Developmental stress did not affect all cognitive processes equally across the sexes. Our results suggest that the male auditory system may be more robust to developmental stress than that of females. PMID:26238792

  14. Effects of a metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 positive allosteric modulator, CDPPB, on spatial learning task performance in rodents.

    PubMed

    Fowler, S W; Walker, J M; Klakotskaia, D; Will, M J; Serfozo, P; Simonyi, A; Schachtman, T R

    2013-01-01

    Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) has been implicated in a variety of learning and memory processes and is important for avoidance learning. The present studies used an mGlu5 receptor positive allosteric modulator, 3-cyano-N-(1,3 diphenyl-1H-hyrazol-5-yl)benzamide (CDPPB), to characterize the importance of mGlu5 receptors in aversively- and appetitively-motivated spatial learning tasks (tasks in which the instrumental contingency involves discriminative cues that differ in spatial location). C57Bl/6 male mice were initially trained in the Barnes maze in the absence of drug. Subsequently, CDPPB (30mg/kg, i.p.), administered 20min prior to each of 3 daily reversal learning training sessions in the Barnes maze, significantly enhanced performance compared to vehicle-treated controls and had a significant effect on search strategy. Mice treated with CDPPB also displayed significantly less perseverative behavior than control-treated animals. In a second experiment, male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained in an appetitively-motivated, delayed alternation version of a T-maze. 30mg/kg CDPPB (s.c.), delivered 20min prior to each of 5 daily training sessions, enhanced the delay rats were able to withstand between the sample and choice portions of each T-maze trial. The present results emphasize the role of mGlu5 receptors in spatial learning tasks and support previous studies which report mGlu5 positive allosteric modulators can enhance learning in some tasks and may have potential as nootropic drugs. PMID:23137441

  15. Congruent and spurious motion in the learning and performance of a compensatory tracking task.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guercio, J. G.; Wall, R. L.

    1972-01-01

    Examination of the importance of congruent and spurious yaw motion in compensatory tracking by eight airline pilots. The pilots, seated erect in the Ames man-carrying rotation device(MCRD), tracked with k/s+1 and k/s(s+1) vehicle dynamics in fixed- and moving-base simulation. Following the learning phase of the experiment, five levels of spurious angular acceleration were superimposed on the motion of the MCRD. Learning of the tracking task was found to be a function of both vehicle dynamics and mode of simulation. The presence of congruent motion information reduced learningtime in k/s(s+1) vehicle dynamics and resulted in lower tracking error in both vehicle dynamics. The spurious angular accelerations resulted in an increase in pilot tracking error; however, the relationship between the magnitude of the acceleration and its effect was highly complex. The data suggest that the minimal disturbance level for spurious angular accelerations during tracking is below 0.4 degec.

  16. The California Teaching Performance Assessment Task for Assessing Student Learning: What Do Teacher Education Candidates Really Learn?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verdi, Michael P.; Riggs, Matt L.; Riggs, Iris M.

    2012-01-01

    A group of 87 teacher certification candidates in a program at a large university in Southern California took the California Teaching Performance Assessment task for assessing learners in 2004-2005. These candidates' tests were analyzed with qualitative research methods and their scores calculated with quantitative methods. Subsequently, three…

  17. Selecting Learning Tasks: Effects of Adaptation and Shared Control on Learning Efficiency and Task Involvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corbalan, Gemma; Kester, Liesbeth; van Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G.

    2008-01-01

    Complex skill acquisition by performing authentic learning tasks is constrained by limited working memory capacity [Baddeley, A. D. (1992). Working memory. "Science, 255", 556-559]. To prevent cognitive overload, task difficulty and support of each newly selected learning task can be adapted to the learner's competence level and perceived task…

  18. RESPONSES OF BRIGHT, NORMAL, AND RETARDED CHILDREN TO LEARNING TASKS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    CARRIER, NEIL A.; AND OTHERS

    THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE VARIABLES OF INTELLIGENCE, LEARNING TASK PERFORMANCE, EMOTIONAL TENSION, AND TASK MOTIVATION WERE STUDIED. ABOUT 120 BRIGHT, NORMAL, AND RETARDED CHILDREN PERFORMED SIX TRIALS OF NUMBER LEARNING, CONCEPT FORMATION, PROBLEM SOLVING, PERCEPTUAL-MOTOR COORDINATION, AND VERBAL LEARNING TASKS. DURING THE LEARNING SESSIONS,…

  19. Differences in Induced Brain Activity during the Performance of Learning and Working-Memory Tasks Related to Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert; Jausovec, Ksenija

    2004-01-01

    Thirteen high intelligent (H-IQ) and 13 low intelligent (L-IQ) individuals solved two figural working-memory (WM) tasks and two figural learning tasks while their EEG was recorded. For the WM tasks, only in the theta band group related differences in induced event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) were observed. L-IQ individuals…

  20. An approach to elemental task learning

    SciTech Connect

    Belmans, P

    1990-01-01

    In this article we deal with the automated learning of tasks by a robotic system through observation of a human operator. Particularly, we explain what is meant by a learning ability in autonomous robots and in teleoperation systems, where several operators and several machines may work in cooperation to perform tasks. We discuss different approaches to learning in these systems and outline the features of the models they are based upon. This leads us to choose an analytical model suited for tasks analysis. We then present the software architecture for our proposed approach and show the first results obtained on sample tests. 5 refs., 9 figs.

  1. Mental Effort and Performance as Determinants for the Dynamic Selection of Learning Tasks in Air Traffic Control Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salden, Ron J.C.M.; Paas, Fred; Broers, Nick J.; van Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G.

    2004-01-01

    The differential effects of four task selection methods on training efficiency and transfer in computer-based training for Air Traffic Control were investigated. A non-dynamic condition, in which the learning tasks were presented to the participants in a fixed, predetermined sequence, was compared to three dynamic conditions, in which learning…

  2. Incidental Learning and Task Boundaries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freedberg, Michael; Wagschal, Tana T.; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2014-01-01

    For skill learning processes to be effective, they must encode associations that are inherent to the current task and avoid those that are spurious or particular to training conditions so that learning can transfer to novel situations. Some everyday contexts even require grouped responding to simultaneously presented stimuli. Here we test whether…

  3. Task attention facilitates learning of task-irrelevant stimuli.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tsung-Ren; Watanabe, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    Attention plays a fundamental role in visual learning and memory. One highly established principle of visual attention is that the harder a central task is, the more attentional resources are used to perform the task and the smaller amount of attention is allocated to peripheral processing because of limited attention capacity. Here we show that this principle holds true in a dual-task setting but not in a paradigm of task-irrelevant perceptual learning. In Experiment 1, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim number targets at the screen center and to remember concurrently presented scene backgrounds. Their recognition performances for scenes paired with dim/hard targets were worse than those for scenes paired with bright/easy targets. In Experiment 2, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim letter targets at the screen center while a task-irrelevant coherent motion was concurrently presented in the background. After five days of training on letter identification, participants improved their motion sensitivity to the direction paired with hard/dim targets improved but not to the direction paired with easy/bright targets. Taken together, these results suggest that task-irrelevant stimuli are not subject to the attentional control mechanisms that task-relevant stimuli abide. PMID:22563424

  4. Task Attention Facilitates Learning of Task-Irrelevant Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Tsung-Ren; Watanabe, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    Attention plays a fundamental role in visual learning and memory. One highly established principle of visual attention is that the harder a central task is, the more attentional resources are used to perform the task and the smaller amount of attention is allocated to peripheral processing because of limited attention capacity. Here we show that this principle holds true in a dual-task setting but not in a paradigm of task-irrelevant perceptual learning. In Experiment 1, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim number targets at the screen center and to remember concurrently presented scene backgrounds. Their recognition performances for scenes paired with dim/hard targets were worse than those for scenes paired with bright/easy targets. In Experiment 2, eight participants were asked to identify either bright or dim letter targets at the screen center while a task-irrelevant coherent motion was concurrently presented in the background. After five days of training on letter identification, participants improved their motion sensitivity to the direction paired with hard/dim targets improved but not to the direction paired with easy/bright targets. Taken together, these results suggest that task-irrelevant stimuli are not subject to the attentional control mechanisms that task-relevant stimuli abide. PMID:22563424

  5. Secondary-task effects on sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Heuer, H; Schmidtke, V

    1996-01-01

    With a repeated sequence of stimuli, performance in a serial reaction-time task improves more than with a random sequence. The difference has been taken as a measure of implicit sequence learning. Implicit sequence learning is impaired when a secondary task is added to the serial RT task. In the first experiment, secondary-task effects on different types of sequences were studied to test the hypothesis that the learning of unique sequences (where each sequence element has a unique relation to the following one) is not impaired by the secondary task, while the learning of ambiguous sequences is. The sequences were random up to a certain order of sequential dependencies, where they became deterministic. Contrary to the hypothesis, secondary-task effects on the learning of unique sequences were as strong or stronger than such effects on the learning of ambiguous sequences. In the second experiment a hybrid sequence (with unique as well as ambiguous transitions) was used with different secondary tasks. A visuo-spatial and a verbal memory task did not interfere with the learning of the sequence, but interference was observed with an auditory go/no-go task in which high- and low-pitched tones were presented after each manual response and a foot pedal had to be pressed in response to high-pitched tones. Thus, interference seems to be specific to certain secondary tasks and may be related to memory processes (but most likely not to visuo-spatial and verbal memory) or to the organizations of sequences, consistent with previous suggestions. PMID:8810586

  6. Structure Learning in a Sensorimotor Association Task

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Daniel A.; Waldert, Stephan; Aertsen, Ad; Wolpert, Daniel M.; Mehring, Carsten

    2010-01-01

    Learning is often understood as an organism's gradual acquisition of the association between a given sensory stimulus and the correct motor response. Mathematically, this corresponds to regressing a mapping between the set of observations and the set of actions. Recently, however, it has been shown both in cognitive and motor neuroscience that humans are not only able to learn particular stimulus-response mappings, but are also able to extract abstract structural invariants that facilitate generalization to novel tasks. Here we show how such structure learning can enhance facilitation in a sensorimotor association task performed by human subjects. Using regression and reinforcement learning models we show that the observed facilitation cannot be explained by these basic models of learning stimulus-response associations. We show, however, that the observed data can be explained by a hierarchical Bayesian model that performs structure learning. In line with previous results from cognitive tasks, this suggests that hierarchical Bayesian inference might provide a common framework to explain both the learning of specific stimulus-response associations and the learning of abstract structures that are shared by different task environments. PMID:20126409

  7. Performance Tasks and the Pedagogy of Broadway

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chun, Marc

    2012-01-01

    If educators want students to practice and prepare for challenges they might eventually face, there are a number of useful strategies to connect academic learning to the "real world." One is to ask students to complete what are variously called "performance tasks," "case studies," "simulations," or "project- or problem-based learning units."…

  8. Task-driven dictionary learning.

    PubMed

    Mairal, Julien; Bach, Francis; Ponce, Jean

    2012-04-01

    Modeling data with linear combinations of a few elements from a learned dictionary has been the focus of much recent research in machine learning, neuroscience, and signal processing. For signals such as natural images that admit such sparse representations, it is now well established that these models are well suited to restoration tasks. In this context, learning the dictionary amounts to solving a large-scale matrix factorization problem, which can be done efficiently with classical optimization tools. The same approach has also been used for learning features from data for other purposes, e.g., image classification, but tuning the dictionary in a supervised way for these tasks has proven to be more difficult. In this paper, we present a general formulation for supervised dictionary learning adapted to a wide variety of tasks, and present an efficient algorithm for solving the corresponding optimization problem. Experiments on handwritten digit classification, digital art identification, nonlinear inverse image problems, and compressed sensing demonstrate that our approach is effective in large-scale settings, and is well suited to supervised and semi-supervised classification, as well as regression tasks for data that admit sparse representations. PMID:21808090

  9. An Assessment of Instant Messaging Interruptions on Knowledge Workers' Task Performance in E-Learning-Based Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mansi, Gary R.

    2011-01-01

    The modern workplace environment is filled with interruptions due to the necessity of coworkers to communicate with each other. Studies have revealed that interruptions can disrupt the ability of a knowledge worker to concentrate on a task, which can impact task performance (TP). Communication interruptions are due, in part, to the unavoidable…

  10. Learning task affects ERP-correlates of the own-race bias, but not recognition memory performance.

    PubMed

    Stahl, Johanna; Wiese, Holger; Schweinberger, Stefan R

    2010-06-01

    People are generally better in recognizing faces from their own ethnic group as opposed to faces from another ethnic group, a finding which has been interpreted in the context of two opposing theories. Whereas perceptual expertise theories stress the role of long-term experience with one's own ethnic group, race feature theories assume that the processing of an other-race-defining feature triggers inferior coding and recognition of faces. The present study tested these hypotheses by manipulating the learning task in a recognition memory test. At learning, one group of participants categorized faces according to ethnicity, whereas another group rated facial attractiveness. Subsequent recognition tests indicated clear and similar own-race biases for both groups. However, ERPs from learning and test phases demonstrated an influence of learning task on neurophysiological processing of own- and other-race faces. While both groups exhibited larger N170 responses to Asian as compared to Caucasian faces, task-dependent differences were seen in a subsequent P2 ERP component. Whereas the P2 was more pronounced for Caucasian faces in the categorization group, this difference was absent in the attractiveness rating group. The learning task thus influences early face encoding. Moreover, comparison with recent research suggests that this attractiveness rating task influences the processes reflected in the P2 in a similar manner as perceptual expertise for other-race faces does. By contrast, the behavioural own-race bias suggests that long-term expertise is required to increase other-race face recognition and hence attenuate the own-race bias. PMID:20362599

  11. Procedural learning deficits in specific language impairment (SLI): a meta-analysis of serial reaction time task performance.

    PubMed

    Lum, Jarrad A G; Conti-Ramsden, Gina; Morgan, Angela T; Ullman, Michael T

    2014-02-01

    Meta-analysis and meta-regression were used to evaluate whether evidence to date demonstrates deficits in procedural memory in individuals with specific language impairment (SLI), and to examine reasons for inconsistencies of findings across studies. The Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH) proposes that SLI is largely explained by abnormal functioning of the frontal-basal ganglia circuits that support procedural memory. It has also been suggested that declarative memory can compensate for at least some of the problems observed in individuals with SLI. A number of studies have used Serial Reaction Time (SRT) tasks to investigate procedural learning in SLI. In this report, results from eight studies that collectively examined 186 participants with SLI and 203 typically-developing peers were submitted to a meta-analysis. The average mean effect size was .328 (CI95: .071, .584) and was significant. This suggests SLI is associated with impairments of procedural learning as measured by the SRT task. Differences among individual study effect sizes, examined with meta-regression, indicated that smaller effect sizes were found in studies with older participants, and in studies that had a larger number of trials on the SRT task. The contributions of age and SRT task characteristics to learning are discussed with respect to impaired and compensatory neural mechanisms in SLI. PMID:24315731

  12. Leadership for Learning: Tasks of Learning Culture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corrigan, Joe

    2012-01-01

    This is a comparative analysis of leadership related to organizational culture and change that occurred at a large Canadian university during a twenty year period 1983-2003. From an institutional development perspective, leadership is characterized as a culture creation and development responsibility. By centering on the tasks of learning culture,…

  13. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  14. Learning to Model Task-Oriented Attention.

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiaochun; Zhao, Xinbo; Wang, Jian; Yang, Yongjia

    2016-01-01

    For many applications in graphics, design, and human computer interaction, it is essential to understand where humans look in a scene with a particular task. Models of saliency can be used to predict fixation locations, but a large body of previous saliency models focused on free-viewing task. They are based on bottom-up computation that does not consider task-oriented image semantics and often does not match actual eye movements. To address this problem, we collected eye tracking data of 11 subjects when they performed some particular search task in 1307 images and annotation data of 2,511 segmented objects with fine contours and 8 semantic attributes. Using this database as training and testing examples, we learn a model of saliency based on bottom-up image features and target position feature. Experimental results demonstrate the importance of the target information in the prediction of task-oriented visual attention. PMID:27247561

  15. Learning to Model Task-Oriented Attention

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Xiaochun; Zhao, Xinbo; Wang, Jian; Yang, Yongjia

    2016-01-01

    For many applications in graphics, design, and human computer interaction, it is essential to understand where humans look in a scene with a particular task. Models of saliency can be used to predict fixation locations, but a large body of previous saliency models focused on free-viewing task. They are based on bottom-up computation that does not consider task-oriented image semantics and often does not match actual eye movements. To address this problem, we collected eye tracking data of 11 subjects when they performed some particular search task in 1307 images and annotation data of 2,511 segmented objects with fine contours and 8 semantic attributes. Using this database as training and testing examples, we learn a model of saliency based on bottom-up image features and target position feature. Experimental results demonstrate the importance of the target information in the prediction of task-oriented visual attention. PMID:27247561

  16. Predicting Performance on Academic and Non-Academic Tasks: A Comparison of Adolescents with and without Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Job, Jenelle M.; Klassen, Robert M.

    2012-01-01

    Previous research suggests that adolescents with learning disabilities (LD) are less accurate in predicting academic performance than normally achieving (NA) adolescents and display a tendency to overestimate their level of performance (e.g., Klassen, 2007). However, no studies have been conducted investigating whether this overestimation is…

  17. Predictive performance models and multiple task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wickens, Christopher D.; Larish, Inge; Contorer, Aaron

    1989-01-01

    Five models that predict how performance of multiple tasks will interact in complex task scenarios are discussed. The models are shown in terms of the assumptions they make about human operator divided attention. The different assumptions about attention are then empirically validated in a multitask helicopter flight simulation. It is concluded from this simulation that the most important assumption relates to the coding of demand level of different component tasks.

  18. Introduced Drosophila subobscura populations perform better than native populations during an oviposition choice task due to increased fecundity but similar learning ability.

    PubMed

    Foucaud, Julien; Moreno, Céline; Pascual, Marta; Rezende, Enrico L; Castañeda, Luis E; Gibert, Patricia; Mery, Frederic

    2016-03-01

    The success of invasive species is tightly linked to their fitness in a putatively novel environment. While quantitative components of fitness have been studied extensively in the context of invasive species, fewer studies have looked at qualitative components of fitness, such as behavioral plasticity, and their interaction with quantitative components, despite intuitive benefits over the course of an invasion. In particular, learning is a form of behavioral plasticity that makes it possible to finely tune behavior according to environmental conditions. Learning can be crucial for survival and reproduction of introduced organisms in novel areas, for example, for detecting new predators, or finding mates or oviposition sites. Here we explored how oviposition performance evolved in relation to both fecundity and learning during an invasion, using native and introduced Drosophila subobscura populations performing an ecologically relevant task. Our results indicated that, under comparable conditions, invasive populations performed better during our oviposition task than did native populations. This was because invasive populations had higher fecundity, together with similar cognitive performance when compared to native populations, and that there was no interaction between learning and fecundity. Unexpectedly, our study did not reveal an allocation trade-off (i.e., a negative relationship) between learning and fecundity. On the contrary, the pattern we observed was more consistent with an acquisition trade-off, meaning that fecundity could be limited by availability of resources, unlike cognitive ability. This pattern might be the consequence of escaping natural enemies and/or competitors during the introduction. The apparent lack of evolution of learning may indicate that the introduced population did not face novel cognitive challenges in the new environment (i.e., cognitive "pre-adaptation"). Alternatively, the evolution of learning may have been transient and

  19. Acute Exposure to Stress Improves Performance in Trace Eyeblink Conditioning and Spatial Learning Tasks in Healthy Men

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duncko, Roman; Cornwell, Brian; Cui, Lihong; Merikangas, Kathleen R.; Grillon, Christian

    2007-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of acute stress exposure on learning performance in humans using analogs of two paradigms frequently used in animals. Healthy male participants were exposed to the cold pressor test (CPT) procedure, i.e., insertion of the dominant hand into ice water for 60 sec. Following the CPT or the control procedure,…

  20. Impact of Authentic Learning Exercises on Preservice Teachers' Self-Efficacy to Perform Bullying Prevention Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banas, Jennifer R.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Teachers and preservice teachers may neglect intervening into and/or leading efforts to prevent bullying because they the lack confidence to do so. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of authentic learning exercises on health education preservice teachers' self-efficacy to perform bullying prevention…

  1. Structured Reflection Breaks Embedded in an Online Course--Effects on Learning Experience, Time on Task and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verpoorten, Dominique; Westera, Wim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to gain an insight into the effects of practicing short, frequent, and structured reflection breaks interspersed with the learning material in a computer-based course. To that end, the study sets up a standardized control trial with two groups of secondary school pupils. The study shows that while performance is not…

  2. What Is Task-Centered Learning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francom, Gregory M.; Gardner, Joel

    2014-01-01

    Many recent models of learning and instruction center learning on real-world tasks and problems to support knowledge application and transfer. Of the many different approaches to centering learning on real-world tasks and problems, one main area in recent literature attempts to balance the efficiency of adequate learner support with the…

  3. Assessing L2 Task Performance: Understanding Effects of Task Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tavakoli, Parvaneh

    2009-01-01

    The overarching aim of the research reported here was to investigate the effects of task structure and storyline complexity of oral narrative tasks on second language task performance. Participants were 60 Iranian language learners of English who performed six narrative tasks of varying degree of structure and storyline complexity in an assessment…

  4. Motor Task Variation Induces Structural Learning

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Daniel A.; Aertsen, Ad; Wolpert, Daniel M.; Mehring, Carsten

    2009-01-01

    Summary When we have learned a motor skill, such as cycling or ice-skating, we can rapidly generalize to novel tasks, such as motorcycling or rollerblading [1–8]. Such facilitation of learning could arise through two distinct mechanisms by which the motor system might adjust its control parameters. First, fast learning could simply be a consequence of the proximity of the original and final settings of the control parameters. Second, by structural learning [9–14], the motor system could constrain the parameter adjustments to conform to the control parameters' covariance structure. Thus, facilitation of learning would rely on the novel task parameters' lying on the structure of a lower-dimensional subspace that can be explored more efficiently. To test between these two hypotheses, we exposed subjects to randomly varying visuomotor tasks of fixed structure. Although such randomly varying tasks are thought to prevent learning, we show that when subsequently presented with novel tasks, subjects exhibit three key features of structural learning: facilitated learning of tasks with the same structure, strong reduction in interference normally observed when switching between tasks that require opposite control strategies, and preferential exploration along the learned structure. These results suggest that skill generalization relies on task variation and structural learning. PMID:19217296

  5. Low-level exposure to pulsed 900 MHz microwave radiation does not cause deficits in the performance of a spatial learning task in mice.

    PubMed

    Sienkiewicz, Z J; Blackwell, R P; Haylock, R G; Saunders, R D; Cobb, B L

    2000-04-01

    There is some concern that short-term memory loss or other cognitive effects may be associated with the use of mobile cellular telephones. In this experiment, the effect of repeated, acute exposure to a low intensity 900 MHz radiofrequency (RF) field pulsed at 217 Hz was explored using an appetitively-motivated spatial learning and working memory task. Adult male C57BL/6J mice were exposed under far field conditions in a GTEM cell for 45 min each day for 10 days at an average whole-body specific energy absorption rate (SAR) of 0.05 W/kg. Their performance in an 8-arm radial maze was compared to that of sham-exposed control animals. All behavioral assessments were performed without handlers having knowledge of the exposure status of the animals. Animals were tested in the maze immediately following exposure or after a delay of 15 or 30 min. No significant field-dependent effects on performance were observed in choice accuracy or in total times to complete the task across the experiment. These results suggest that exposure to RF radiation simulating a digital wireless telephone (GSM) signal under the conditions of this experiment does not affect the acquisition of the learned response. Further studies are planned to explore the effects of other SARs on learned behavior. Bioelectromagnetics 21:151-158, 2000. Published 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:10723014

  6. Linking Task Analysis with Student Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, Thomas M.; Wildman, Terry M.

    An examination of task analysis from several perspectives in order to identify some of its purposes and advantages reveals that, as the interest in learning theory has shifted from a predominately behavioral perspective to a more cognitive orientation, the purpose of task analysis has also shifted. Formerly the purpose of task analysis was to aid…

  7. Performance Enhancements Under Dual-task Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.

    1984-01-01

    Research on dual-task performance has been concerned with delineating the antecedent conditions which lead to dual-task decrements. Capacity models of attention, which propose that a hypothetical resource structure underlies performance, have been employed as predictive devices. These models predict that tasks which require different processing resources can be more successfully time shared than tasks which require common resources. The conditions under which such dual-task integrality can be fostered were assessed in a study in which three factors likely to influence the integrality between tasks were manipulated: inter-task redundancy, the physical proximity of tasks and the task relevant objects. Twelve subjects participated in three experimental sessions in which they performed both single and dual-tasks. The primary task was a pursuit step tracking task. The secondary tasks required the discrimination between different intensities or different spatial positions of a stimulus. The results are discussed in terms of a model of dual-task integrality.

  8. Learning effects in the lane change task (LCT)--realistic secondary tasks and transfer of learning.

    PubMed

    Petzoldt, Tibor; Brüggemann, Stephanie; Krems, Josef F

    2014-05-01

    Driver distraction is a factor that is heavily involved in traffic crashes. With in-vehicle devices like navigation systems or mobile phones on the rise, the assessment of their potential to distract the driver has become a pressing issue. Several easy-to-use methods have been developed in recent years to allow for such an assessment in the early stages of product development. One of these methods is the lane change task (LCT), a simple driving simulation in which the driver has to change lanes as indicated by different signs along the road. Although the LCT is an ISO sanctioned procedure, there are still open questions. One issue are learning effects which have been found in previous studies and which have the potential to compromise the comparability of test results. In this paper, we present results on two experiments that further explored the effect of previous experience on LCT and secondary task performance. The results confirm that learning effects occur when combining the LCT with a realistic secondary task. Also, we found evidence for the transfer of learning from one secondary task to another to some degree, provided that the two tasks are sufficiently similar. PMID:24070734

  9. Designing Professional Learning Tasks for Mathematics Learning Trajectories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, P. Holt; Sztajn, Paola; Edgington, Cyndi

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we present an emerging set of learning conjectures and design principles to be used in the development of professional learning tasks that support elementary teachers' learning of mathematics learning trajectories. We outline our theoretical perspective on teacher knowledge of learning trajectories, review the literature concerning…

  10. Task precision at transfer determines specificity of perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Jeter, Pamela E.; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Petrov, Alexander; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual learning, the improvement in performance with practice, reflects plasticity in the adult visual system. We challenge a standard claim that specificity of perceptual learning depends on task difficulty during training, instead showing that specificity, or conversely transfer, is primarily controlled by the precision demands (i.e., orientation difference) of the transfer task. Thus, for an orientation discrimination task, transfer of performance improvement is observed in low-precision transfer tasks, while specificity of performance improvement is observed in high-precision transfer tasks, regardless of the precision of initial training. The nature of specificity places important constraints on mechanisms of transfer in visual learning. These results contribute to understanding generalization of practiced improvements that may be key to the development of expertise and for applications in remediation. PMID:19757940

  11. Is performance in task-cuing experiments mediated by task set selection or associative compound retrieval?

    PubMed

    Forrest, Charlotte L D; Monsell, Stephen; McLaren, Ian P L

    2014-07-01

    Task-cuing experiments are usually intended to explore control of task set. But when small stimulus sets are used, they plausibly afford learning of the response associated with a combination of cue and stimulus, without reference to tasks. In 3 experiments we presented the typical trials of a task-cuing experiment: a cue (colored shape) followed, after a short or long interval, by a digit to which 1 of 2 responses was required. In a tasks condition, participants were (as usual) directed to interpret the cue as an instruction to perform either an odd/even or a high/low classification task. In a cue + stimulus → response (CSR) condition, to induce learning of mappings between cue-stimulus compound and response, participants were, in Experiment 1, given standard task instructions and additionally encouraged to learn the CSR mappings; in Experiment 2, informed of all the CSR mappings and asked to learn them, without standard task instructions; in Experiment 3, required to learn the mappings by trial and error. The effects of a task switch, response congruence, preparation, and transfer to a new set of stimuli differed substantially between the conditions in ways indicative of classification according to task rules in the tasks condition, and retrieval of responses specific to stimulus-cue combinations in the CSR conditions. Qualitative features of the latter could be captured by an associative learning network. Hence associatively based compound retrieval can serve as the basis for performance with a small stimulus set. But when organization by tasks is apparent, control via task set selection is the natural and efficient strategy. PMID:24564543

  12. Task-switching in pigeons: Associative learning or executive control?

    PubMed

    Meier, Christina; Lea, Stephen E G; McLaren, Ian P L

    2016-04-01

    Human performance in task-switching paradigms is seen as a hallmark of executive-control processes: switching between tasks induces switch costs (such that performance when changing from Task A to Task B is worse than on trials where the task repeats), which is generally attributed to executive control suppressing one task-set and activating the other. However, even in cases where task-sets are not employed, as well as in computational modeling of task switching, switch costs can still be found. This observation has led to the hypothesis that associative-learning processes might be responsible for all or part of the switch costs in task-switching paradigms. To test which cognitive processes contribute to the presence of task-switch costs, pigeons performed two different tasks on the same set of stimuli in rapid alternation. The pigeons showed no sign of switch costs, even though performance on Trial N was influenced by Trial N - 1, showing that they were sensitive to sequential effects. Using Pearce's (1987) model for stimulus generalization, we conclude that they learned the task associatively-in particular, a form of Pavlovian-conditioned approach was involved-and that this was responsible for the lack of any detectable switch costs. Pearce's model also allows us to make interferences about the common occurrence of switch costs in the absence of task-sets in human participants and in computational models, in that they are likely due to instrumental learning and the establishment of an equivalence between cues signaling the same task. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27054382

  13. Inhibitory Avoidance Learning in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio): Effects of Shock Intensity and Unraveling Differences in Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Gorissen, Marnix; Piza Roca, Carme; Zethof, Jan; van de Vis, Hans; Flik, Gert; van den Bos, Ruud

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly used as a model in neurobehavioral and neuroendocrine studies. The inhibitory avoidance paradigm has been proposed as tool to study mechanisms underlying learning and memory in zebrafish. In this paradigm subjects receive a shock after entering the black compartment of a black-white box. On the next day, latency to enter the black compartment is assessed; higher latencies are indicative of increased avoidance learning. Here, we aimed to understand the effects of different shock intensities (0, 1, 3, and 9 V) and to unravel variation in inhibitory avoidance learning in an in-house reared Tuebingen Long-Fin zebrafish (D. rerio) strain. While median latencies had increased in the 1, 3, and 9 V groups, no increase in median latency was found in the 0 V group. In addition, higher shock intensities resulted in a higher number of avoiders (latency ≥180 s) over nonavoiders (latency <60 s). Both changes are indicative of increased avoidance learning. We assessed whole-body cortisol content and the expression levels of genes relevant to stress, anxiety, fear, and learning 2 h after testing. Shock intensity was associated with whole-body cortisol content and the expression of glucocorticoid receptor alpha [nr3c1(alpha)], cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (cart4), and mineralocorticoid receptor (nr3c2), while avoidance behavior was associated with whole-body cortisol content only. The inhibitory avoidance paradigm in combination with measuring whole-body cortisol content and gene expression is suitable to unravel (genetic) mechanisms of fear avoidance learning. Our data further show differences in brain-behavior relationships underlying fear avoidance learning and memory in zebrafish. These findings serve as starting point for further unraveling differences in brain-behavior relationships underlying (fear avoidance) learning and memory in zebrafish. PMID:25004302

  14. Neural model for learning-to-learn of novel task sets in the motor domain

    PubMed Central

    Pitti, Alexandre; Braud, Raphaël; Mahé, Sylvain; Quoy, Mathias; Gaussier, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    During development, infants learn to differentiate their motor behaviors relative to various contexts by exploring and identifying the correct structures of causes and effects that they can perform; these structures of actions are called task sets or internal models. The ability to detect the structure of new actions, to learn them and to select on the fly the proper one given the current task set is one great leap in infants cognition. This behavior is an important component of the child's ability of learning-to-learn, a mechanism akin to the one of intrinsic motivation that is argued to drive cognitive development. Accordingly, we propose to model a dual system based on (1) the learning of new task sets and on (2) their evaluation relative to their uncertainty and prediction error. The architecture is designed as a two-level-based neural system for context-dependent behavior (the first system) and task exploration and exploitation (the second system). In our model, the task sets are learned separately by reinforcement learning in the first network after their evaluation and selection in the second one. We perform two different experimental setups to show the sensorimotor mapping and switching between tasks, a first one in a neural simulation for modeling cognitive tasks and a second one with an arm-robot for motor task learning and switching. We show that the interplay of several intrinsic mechanisms drive the rapid formation of the neural populations with respect to novel task sets. PMID:24155736

  15. Distraction during learning with hypermedia: difficult tasks help to keep task goals on track

    PubMed Central

    Scheiter, Katharina; Gerjets, Peter; Heise, Elke

    2014-01-01

    In educational hypermedia environments, students are often confronted with potential sources of distraction arising from additional information that, albeit interesting, is unrelated to their current task goal. The paper investigates the conditions under which distraction occurs and hampers performance. Based on theories of volitional action control it was hypothesized that interesting information, especially if related to a pending goal, would interfere with task performance only when working on easy, but not on difficult tasks. In Experiment 1, 66 students learned about probability theory using worked examples and solved corresponding test problems, whose task difficulty was manipulated. As a second factor, the presence of interesting information unrelated to the primary task was varied. Results showed that students solved more easy than difficult probability problems correctly. However, the presence of interesting, but task-irrelevant information did not interfere with performance. In Experiment 2, 68 students again engaged in example-based learning and problem solving in the presence of task-irrelevant information. Problem-solving difficulty was varied as a first factor. Additionally, the presence of a pending goal related to the task-irrelevant information was manipulated. As expected, problem-solving performance declined when a pending goal was present during working on easy problems, whereas no interference was observed for difficult problems. Moreover, the presence of a pending goal reduced the time on task-relevant information and increased the time on task-irrelevant information while working on easy tasks. However, as revealed by mediation analyses these changes in overt information processing behavior did not explain the decline in problem-solving performance. As an alternative explanation it is suggested that goal conflicts resulting from pending goals claim cognitive resources, which are then no longer available for learning and problem solving. PMID

  16. Distraction during learning with hypermedia: difficult tasks help to keep task goals on track.

    PubMed

    Scheiter, Katharina; Gerjets, Peter; Heise, Elke

    2014-01-01

    In educational hypermedia environments, students are often confronted with potential sources of distraction arising from additional information that, albeit interesting, is unrelated to their current task goal. The paper investigates the conditions under which distraction occurs and hampers performance. Based on theories of volitional action control it was hypothesized that interesting information, especially if related to a pending goal, would interfere with task performance only when working on easy, but not on difficult tasks. In Experiment 1, 66 students learned about probability theory using worked examples and solved corresponding test problems, whose task difficulty was manipulated. As a second factor, the presence of interesting information unrelated to the primary task was varied. Results showed that students solved more easy than difficult probability problems correctly. However, the presence of interesting, but task-irrelevant information did not interfere with performance. In Experiment 2, 68 students again engaged in example-based learning and problem solving in the presence of task-irrelevant information. Problem-solving difficulty was varied as a first factor. Additionally, the presence of a pending goal related to the task-irrelevant information was manipulated. As expected, problem-solving performance declined when a pending goal was present during working on easy problems, whereas no interference was observed for difficult problems. Moreover, the presence of a pending goal reduced the time on task-relevant information and increased the time on task-irrelevant information while working on easy tasks. However, as revealed by mediation analyses these changes in overt information processing behavior did not explain the decline in problem-solving performance. As an alternative explanation it is suggested that goal conflicts resulting from pending goals claim cognitive resources, which are then no longer available for learning and problem solving. PMID

  17. Effects of the Memorization of Rule Statements on Performance, Retention, and Transfer in a Computer-Based Learning Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Towle, Nelson J.

    Research sought to determine whether memorization of rule statements before, during or after instruction in rule application skills would facilitate the acquisition and/or retention of rule-governed behavior as compared to no-rule statement memorization. A computer-assisted instructional (CAI) program required high school students to learn to a…

  18. Performance of Children with Developmental Dyslexia on Two Skill Learning Tasks--Serial Reaction Time and Tower of Hanoi Puzzle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vakil, Eli; Lowe, Michal; Goldfus, Carol

    2015-01-01

    Among the various theories proposed to explain developmental dyslexia (DD), the theory of specific procedural learning difficulties has gained certain support and is the framework for the current research. This theory claims that an inability to achieve skill automaticity explains the difficulties experienced by individuals with DD. Previous…

  19. Task appraisals, emotions, and performance goal orientation.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Cynthia D; Minbashian, Amirali; Beckmann, Nadin; Wood, Robert E

    2013-03-01

    We predict real-time fluctuations in employees' positive and negative emotions from concurrent appraisals of the immediate task situation and individual differences in performance goal orientation. Task confidence, task importance, positive emotions, and negative emotions were assessed 5 times per day for 3 weeks in an experience sampling study of 135 managers. At the within-person level, appraisals of task confidence, task importance, and their interaction predicted momentary positive and negative emotions as hypothesized. Dispositional performance goal orientation was expected to moderate emotional reactivity to appraisals of task confidence and task importance. The hypothesized relationships were significant in the case of appraisals of task importance. Those high on performance goal orientation reacted to appraisals of task importance with stronger negative and weaker positive emotions than those low on performance goal orientation. PMID:23276116

  20. Task Learning, Interpersonal Learning and Cognitive Complexity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Earle, Timothy C.

    The study of human learning has neglected interpersonal learning, mainly because of its complexity. However, with the recent development of a new methodology and research paradigm, empirical studies have been initiated. This is a report on one such study, involving 40 male University of Oregon students divided into two groups of 10 pairs of…

  1. Clustered Multi-Task Learning Via Alternating Structure Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jiayu; Chen, Jianhui; Ye, Jieping

    2013-01-01

    Multi-task learning (MTL) learns multiple related tasks simultaneously to improve generalization performance. Alternating structure optimization (ASO) is a popular MTL method that learns a shared low-dimensional predictive structure on hypothesis spaces from multiple related tasks. It has been applied successfully in many real world applications. As an alternative MTL approach, clustered multi-task learning (CMTL) assumes that multiple tasks follow a clustered structure, i.e., tasks are partitioned into a set of groups where tasks in the same group are similar to each other, and that such a clustered structure is unknown a priori. The objectives in ASO and CMTL differ in how multiple tasks are related. Interestingly, we show in this paper the equivalence relationship between ASO and CMTL, providing significant new insights into ASO and CMTL as well as their inherent relationship. The CMTL formulation is non-convex, and we adopt a convex relaxation to the CMTL formulation. We further establish the equivalence relationship between the proposed convex relaxation of CMTL and an existing convex relaxation of ASO, and show that the proposed convex CMTL formulation is significantly more efficient especially for high-dimensional data. In addition, we present three algorithms for solving the convex CMTL formulation. We report experimental results on benchmark datasets to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed algorithms. PMID:25328366

  2. Task Board Tests Manipulator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, J. W.

    1983-01-01

    Task board constructed to facilitate time-and-motion studies for remote manipulators. Apparatus equipped with holes, objects of various shapes to be grasped and sensors with switches to indicate contact. Useful in industrial robots programmed to assemble parts.

  3. Performance of Learning Disabled and Low Achieving Secondary Students on Formal Features of a Paragraph-Writing Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moran, Mary Ross

    1981-01-01

    Writing samples were analyzed for syntactic maturity, productivity and word selection; for conventions such as tense and number markers and number agreement; and for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Only spelling performance proved significantly different in favor of low achievers. (Author)

  4. Characterization of Task-free and Task-performance Brain States via Functional Connectome Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xin; Guo, Lei; Li, Xiang; Zhang, Tuo; Zhu, Dajiang; Li, Kaiming; Chen, Hanbo; Lv, Jinglei; Jin, Changfeng; Zhao, Qun; Li, Lingjiang; Liu, Tianming

    2014-01-01

    Both resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) and task-based fMRI (T-fMRI) have been widely used to study the functional activities of the human brain during task-free and task-performance periods, respectively. However, due to the difficulty in strictly controlling the participating subject's mental status and their cognitive behaviors during R-fMRI/T-fMRI scans, it has been challenging to ascertain whether or not an R-fMRI/T-fMRI scan truly reflects the participant's functional brain states during task-free/task-performance periods. This paper presents a novel computational approach to characterizing and differentiating the brain's functional status into task-free or task-performance states, by which the functional brain activities can be effectively understood and differentiated. Briefly, the brain's functional state is represented by a whole-brain quasi-stable connectome pattern (WQCP) of R-fMRI or T-fMRI data based on 358 consistent cortical landmarks across individuals, and then an effective sparse representation method was applied to learn the atomic connectome patterns (ACP) of both task-free and task-performance states. Experimental results demonstrated that the learned ACPs for R-fMRI and T-fMRI datasets are substantially different, as expected. A certain portion of ACPs from R-fMRI and T-fMRI data were overlapped, suggesting some subjects with overlapping ACPs were not in the expected task-free/task-performance brain states. Besides, potential outliers in the T-fMRI dataset were further investigated via functional activation detections in different groups, and our results revealed unexpected task-performances of some subjects. This work offers novel insights into the functional architectures of the brain. PMID:23938590

  5. Levels-of-processing effects in subject-performed tasks.

    PubMed

    Zimmer, H D; Engelkamp, J

    1999-09-01

    In memory for subject-performed tasks (SPTs), subjects encode a list of simple action phrases (e.g., thumb through a book, knock at the door) by performing these actions during learning. In three experiments, we investigated the size of the levels-of-processing effects in SPTs as compared with those in standard verbal learning tasks (VTs). Subjects under SPT and VT conditions learned lists of action phrases in a surface or a conceptual orienting task. Under both encoding conditions, the subjects recalled fewer items with surface orienting tasks than with conceptual orienting tasks, but the levels-of-processing effects were strongly reduced in the SPT condition. In the SPT condition, items that were encoded in a surface orienting task were still substantially recalled. The items were recalled almost as well as the conceptually encoded items in the VT condition. The distinct reduction of the levels-of-processing effect is caused by the fact that, in SPT encoding even with a verbal surface orienting task, subjects process conceptual information in order to perform the denoted action. We attribute the small conceptual advantage, which remains with SPT despite the conceptual processing for performing, to the fact that items are not as well integrated into memory as they are when conceptual processing is focused on the action component, rather than on the semantic contexts. This lower integration reduces the accessibility of items in the verbal surface task, even with SPT encoding. PMID:10540819

  6. Memorization Tasks: Rote Learning Vs. "Fun" Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, L. Carol; Goetz, Elizabeth M.

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of game-like learning activities, as compared to rote memorization procedures, on preschool subjects (n=8) recitation of their home telephone numbers. A rhyming mnemonic memory device was incorporated into the game procedures. A group design was used with a pretest-training-posttest…

  7. Prefrontal Dynamics Underlying Rapid Instructed Task Learning Reverse with Practice

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Michael W.; Bagic, Anto; Kass, Robert; Schneider, Walter

    2011-01-01

    The ability to rapidly reconfigure our minds to perform novel tasks is important for adapting to an ever-changing world, yet little is understood about its basis in the brain. Furthermore, it is unclear how this kind of task preparation changes with practice. Previous research suggests that prefrontal cortex (PFC) is essential when preparing to perform either novel or practiced tasks. Building upon recent evidence that PFC is organized in an anterior-to-posterior hierarchy, we postulated that novel and practiced task preparation would differentiate hierarchically distinct regions within PFC across time. Specifically, we hypothesized and confirmed using functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography with humans that novel task preparation is a bottom-up process that involves lower-level rule representations in dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) before a higher-level rule-integrating task representation in anterior PFC (aPFC). In contrast, we identified a complete reversal of this activity pattern during practiced task preparation. Specifically, we found that practiced task preparation is a top-down process that involves a higher-level rule-integrating task representation (recalled from long-term memory) in aPFC before lower-level rule representations in DLPFC. These findings reveal two distinct yet highly inter-related mechanisms for task preparation, one involving task set formation from instructions during rapid instructed task learning and the other involving task set retrieval from long-term memory to facilitate familiar task performance. These two mechanisms demonstrate the exceptional flexibility of human PFC as it rapidly reconfigures cognitive brain networks to implement a wide variety of possible tasks. PMID:20962245

  8. Optimal percentage of inhibitory synapses in multi-task learning.

    PubMed

    Capano, Vittorio; Herrmann, Hans J; de Arcangelis, Lucilla

    2015-01-01

    Performing more tasks in parallel is a typical feature of complex brains. These are characterized by the coexistence of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, whose percentage in mammals is measured to have a typical value of 20-30%. Here we investigate parallel learning of more Boolean rules in neuronal networks. We find that multi-task learning results from the alternation of learning and forgetting of the individual rules. Interestingly, a fraction of 30% inhibitory synapses optimizes the overall performance, carving a complex backbone supporting information transmission with a minimal shortest path length. We show that 30% inhibitory synapses is the percentage maximizing the learning performance since it guarantees, at the same time, the network excitability necessary to express the response and the variability required to confine the employment of resources. PMID:25898781

  9. Human Performance on the Temporal Bisection Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kopec, Charles D.; Brody, Carlos D.

    2010-01-01

    The perception and processing of temporal information are tasks the brain must continuously perform. These include measuring the duration of stimuli, storing duration information in memory, recalling such memories, and comparing two durations. How the brain accomplishes these tasks, however, is still open for debate. The temporal bisection task,…

  10. SIMPLIFIED PREDICTIVE MODELS FOR CO₂ SEQUESTRATION PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT RESEARCH TOPICAL REPORT ON TASK #3 STATISTICAL LEARNING BASED MODELS

    SciTech Connect

    Mishra, Srikanta; Schuetter, Jared

    2014-11-01

    We compare two approaches for building a statistical proxy model (metamodel) for CO₂ geologic sequestration from the results of full-physics compositional simulations. The first approach involves a classical Box-Behnken or Augmented Pairs experimental design with a quadratic polynomial response surface. The second approach used a space-filling maxmin Latin Hypercube sampling or maximum entropy design with the choice of five different meta-modeling techniques: quadratic polynomial, kriging with constant and quadratic trend terms, multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) and additivity and variance stabilization (AVAS). Simulations results for CO₂ injection into a reservoir-caprock system with 9 design variables (and 97 samples) were used to generate the data for developing the proxy models. The fitted models were validated with using an independent data set and a cross-validation approach for three different performance metrics: total storage efficiency, CO₂ plume radius and average reservoir pressure. The Box-Behnken–quadratic polynomial metamodel performed the best, followed closely by the maximin LHS–kriging metamodel.

  11. Autonomous learning of sequential tasks: experiments and analyses.

    PubMed

    Sun, R; Peterson, T

    1998-01-01

    This paper presents a novel learning model CLARION, which is a hybrid model based on the two-level approach proposed by Sun. The model integrates neural, reinforcement, and symbolic learning methods to perform on-line, bottom-up learning (i.e., learning that goes from neural to symbolic representations). The model utilizes both procedural and declarative knowledge (in neural and symbolic representations, respectively), tapping into the synergy of the two types of processes. It was applied to deal with sequential decision tasks. Experiments and analyzes in various ways are reported that shed light on the advantages of the model. PMID:18255804

  12. Affordance Analysis--Matching Learning Tasks with Learning Technologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bower, Matt

    2008-01-01

    This article presents a design methodology for matching learning tasks with learning technologies. First a working definition of "affordances" is provided based on the need to describe the action potentials of the technologies (utility). Categories of affordances are then proposed to provide a framework for analysis. Following this, a methodology…

  13. Studying Different Tasks of Implicit Learning across Multiple Test Sessions Conducted on the Web

    PubMed Central

    Sævland, Werner; Norman, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Implicit learning is usually studied through individual performance on a single task, with the most common tasks being the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task, the Dynamic System Control (DSC) task, and Artificial Grammar Learning (AGL). Few attempts have been made to compare performance across different implicit learning tasks within the same study. The current study was designed to explore the relationship between performance on the DSC Sugar factory task and the Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) task. We also addressed another limitation of traditional implicit learning experiments, namely that implicit learning is usually studied in laboratory settings over a restricted time span lasting for less than an hour. In everyday situations, implicit learning is assumed to involve a gradual accumulation of knowledge across several learning episodes over a longer time span. One way to increase the ecological validity of implicit learning experiments could be to present the learning material repeatedly across shorter test sessions. This can most easily be done by using a web-based setup in which participants can access the material from home. We therefore created an online web-based system for measuring implicit learning that could be administered in either single or multiple sessions. Participants (n = 66) were assigned to either a single session or a multiple session condition. Learning occurred on both tasks, and awareness measures suggested that acquired knowledge was not fully conscious on either of the tasks. Learning and the degree of conscious awareness of the learned regularities were compared across conditions and tasks. On the DSC task, performance was not affected by whether learning had taken place in one or over multiple sessions. On the ASRT task, RT improvement across blocks was larger in the multiple-session condition. Learning in the two tasks was not related. PMID:27375512

  14. Studying Different Tasks of Implicit Learning across Multiple Test Sessions Conducted on the Web.

    PubMed

    Sævland, Werner; Norman, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Implicit learning is usually studied through individual performance on a single task, with the most common tasks being the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task, the Dynamic System Control (DSC) task, and Artificial Grammar Learning (AGL). Few attempts have been made to compare performance across different implicit learning tasks within the same study. The current study was designed to explore the relationship between performance on the DSC Sugar factory task and the Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) task. We also addressed another limitation of traditional implicit learning experiments, namely that implicit learning is usually studied in laboratory settings over a restricted time span lasting for less than an hour. In everyday situations, implicit learning is assumed to involve a gradual accumulation of knowledge across several learning episodes over a longer time span. One way to increase the ecological validity of implicit learning experiments could be to present the learning material repeatedly across shorter test sessions. This can most easily be done by using a web-based setup in which participants can access the material from home. We therefore created an online web-based system for measuring implicit learning that could be administered in either single or multiple sessions. Participants (n = 66) were assigned to either a single session or a multiple session condition. Learning occurred on both tasks, and awareness measures suggested that acquired knowledge was not fully conscious on either of the tasks. Learning and the degree of conscious awareness of the learned regularities were compared across conditions and tasks. On the DSC task, performance was not affected by whether learning had taken place in one or over multiple sessions. On the ASRT task, RT improvement across blocks was larger in the multiple-session condition. Learning in the two tasks was not related. PMID:27375512

  15. Pleasantness of Creative Tasks and Creative Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zenasni, Franck; Lubart, Todd

    2011-01-01

    To examine the impact of emotion on creative potential, experimental studies have typically focused on the impact of induced or spontaneous mood states on creative performance. In this report the relationship between the perceived pleasantness of tasks (using divergent thinking and story writing tasks) and creative performance was examined.…

  16. Learning a stick-balancing task involves task-specific coupling between posture and hand displacements.

    PubMed

    Cluff, Tyler; Boulet, Jason; Balasubramaniam, Ramesh

    2011-08-01

    Theories of motor learning argue that the acquisition of novel motor skills requires a task-specific organization of sensory and motor subsystems. We examined task-specific coupling between motor subsystems as subjects learned a novel stick-balancing task. We focused on learning-induced changes in finger movements and body sway and investigated the effect of practice on their coupling. Eight subjects practiced balancing a cylindrical wooden stick for 30 min a day during a 20 day learning period. Finger movements and center of pressure trajectories were recorded in every fifth practice session (4 in total) using a ten camera VICON motion capture system interfaced with two force platforms. Motor learning was quantified using average balancing trial lengths, which increased with practice and confirmed that subjects learned the task. Nonlinear time series and phase space reconstruction methods were subsequently used to investigate changes in the spatiotemporal properties of finger movements, body sway and their progressive coupling. Systematic increases in subsystem coupling were observed despite reduced autocorrelation and differences in the temporal properties of center of pressure and finger trajectories. The average duration of these coupled trajectories increased systematically across the learning period. In short, the abrupt transition between coupled and decoupled subsystem dynamics suggested that stick balancing is regulated by a hierarchical control mechanism that switches from collective to independent control of the finger and center of pressure. In addition to traditional measures of motor performance, dynamical analyses revealed changes in motor subsystem organization that occurred when subjects learned a novel stick-balancing task. PMID:21706299

  17. Fuzzy reinforcement learning control for compliance tasks of robotic manipulators.

    PubMed

    Tzafestas, S G; Rigatos, G G

    2002-01-01

    A fuzzy reinforcement learning (FRL) scheme which is based on the principles of sliding-mode control and fuzzy logic is proposed. The FRL uses only immediate reward. Sufficient conditions for the convergence of the FRL to the optimal task performance are studied. The validity of the method is tested through simulation examples of a robot which deburrs a metal surface. PMID:18238109

  18. Vocabulary Learning from Reading: Examining Interactions between Task and Learner Related Variables

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Xiaoli; Lowyck, Joost; Sercu, Lies; Elen, Jan

    2013-01-01

    In the field of second and foreign language learning, how various task characteristics affect language learning has been the focus of many recent studies. Much of this research examined the relationship between task characteristics and task performance without fully taking into account learner related variables. The present study aimed to assess…

  19. Between-task transfer of learning from spatial compatibility to a color stroop task.

    PubMed

    Marini, Maddalena; Iani, Cristina; Nicoletti, Roberto; Rubichi, Sandro

    2011-01-01

    Responses to a relevant stimulus dimension are faster and more accurate when the stimulus and response spatially correspond compared to when they do not, even though stimulus position is irrelevant (Simon effect). It has been demonstrated that practicing with an incompatible spatial stimulus-response (S-R) mapping before performing a Simon task can eliminate this effect. In the present study we assessed whether a learned spatially incompatible S-R mapping can be transferred to a nonspatial conflict task, hence supporting the view that transfer effects are due to acquisition of a general "respond to the opposite stimulus value" rule. To this aim, we ran two experiments in which participants performed a spatial compatibility task with either a compatible or an incompatible mapping and then transferred, after a 5 min delay, to a color Stroop task. In Experiment 1, responses were executed by pressing one of two keys on the keyboard in both practice and transfer tasks. In Experiment 2, responses were manual in the practice task and vocal in the transfer task. The spatially incompatible practice significantly reduced the color Stroop effect only when responses were manual in both tasks. These results suggest that during practice participants develop a response-selection strategy of emitting the alternative spatial response. PMID:21592943

  20. Turbine Performance Optimization Task Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Lisa W.; Turner, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Capability to optimize for turbine performance and accurately predict unsteady loads will allow for increased reliability, Isp, and thrust-to-weight. The development of a fast, accurate aerodynamic design, analysis, and optimization system is required.

  1. Semi-supervised Learning for Phenotyping Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Dligach, Dmitriy; Miller, Timothy; Savova, Guergana K.

    2015-01-01

    Supervised learning is the dominant approach to automatic electronic health records-based phenotyping, but it is expensive due to the cost of manual chart review. Semi-supervised learning takes advantage of both scarce labeled and plentiful unlabeled data. In this work, we study a family of semi-supervised learning algorithms based on Expectation Maximization (EM) in the context of several phenotyping tasks. We first experiment with the basic EM algorithm. When the modeling assumptions are violated, basic EM leads to inaccurate parameter estimation. Augmented EM attenuates this shortcoming by introducing a weighting factor that downweights the unlabeled data. Cross-validation does not always lead to the best setting of the weighting factor and other heuristic methods may be preferred. We show that accurate phenotyping models can be trained with only a few hundred labeled (and a large number of unlabeled) examples, potentially providing substantial savings in the amount of the required manual chart review. PMID:26958183

  2. Dual-Task Interference during Initial Learning of a New Motor Task Results from Competition for the Same Brain Areas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Remy, Florence; Wenderoth, Nicole; Lipkens, Karen; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2010-01-01

    Cerebral patterns of activity elicited by dual-task performance throughout the learning of a complex bimanual coordination pattern were addressed. Subjects (N = 12) were trained on the coordination pattern and scanned using fMRI at early (PRE) and late (POST) learning stages. During scanning, the coordination pattern was performed either as a…

  3. Achievement Goals in a Presentation Task: Performance Expectancy, Achievement Goals, State Anxiety, and Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanaka, Ayumi; Takehara, Takuma; Yamauchi, Hirotsugu

    2006-01-01

    The aims of the study were to test the linkages between achievement goals to task performance, as mediated by state anxiety arousal. Performance expectancy was also examined as antecedents of achievement goals. A presentation task in a computer practice class was used as achievement task. Fifty-three undergraduates (37 females and 16 males) were…

  4. Overnight Social Isolation in Pigs Decreases Salivary Cortisol but Does Not Impair Spatial Learning and Memory or Performance in a Decision-Making Task.

    PubMed

    van der Staay, F Josef; Schoonderwoerd, Annelieke J; Stadhouders, Bo; Nordquist, Rebecca E

    2015-01-01

    Pigs in modern farming practice may be exposed to a number of stressors, including social stressors such as mixing or isolation. This may potentially affect both cognitive abilities and stress physiology of the animals. We tested the hypothesis that overnight social isolation in pigs impairs performance in a cognitive holeboard (HB) task (Experiment 1) and the Pig Gambling Task (PGT) (Experiment 2), a decision-making task inspired by the Iowa Gambling Task. In addition, we tested the effect of overnight social isolation on salivary cortisol levels. A within-subjects approach was used in which performance in the two behavioral tasks and cortisol levels were first determined during normal social housing, followed by performance and cortisol levels after experiencing stress induced by overnight social isolation. A total of 19 female pigs with a birth weight closest to their respective litter average was selected from 10 different litters and placed in two pens after weaning. Following habituation, pigs were trained in the HB task, starting at 10 weeks of age. Then, the pigs were isolated overnight, five individuals per night, at 15, 16, and 17 weeks of age. Between these three isolations, social housing and training in the HB continued. Starting 6 weeks after the end of the HB experiment, at approximately 23 weeks of age, the pigs were trained in the PGT. The effects of overnight social isolation on performance in this task were assessed once, when the pigs were 25 weeks old. Salivary cortisol was measured from samples collected 15 min after the start of isolation and at the end of the isolation period and compared to baseline values collected before the start of social isolation. Our results did not confirm the hypothesis that isolation impaired HB performance and decision-making in the PGT. Unexpectedly, overnight social isolation decreased cortisol levels below baseline values, an effect that was not associated with changes in performance of the

  5. Overnight Social Isolation in Pigs Decreases Salivary Cortisol but Does Not Impair Spatial Learning and Memory or Performance in a Decision-Making Task

    PubMed Central

    van der Staay, F. Josef; Schoonderwoerd, Annelieke J.; Stadhouders, Bo; Nordquist, Rebecca E.

    2016-01-01

    Pigs in modern farming practice may be exposed to a number of stressors, including social stressors such as mixing or isolation. This may potentially affect both cognitive abilities and stress physiology of the animals. We tested the hypothesis that overnight social isolation in pigs impairs performance in a cognitive holeboard (HB) task (Experiment 1) and the Pig Gambling Task (PGT) (Experiment 2), a decision-making task inspired by the Iowa Gambling Task. In addition, we tested the effect of overnight social isolation on salivary cortisol levels. A within-subjects approach was used in which performance in the two behavioral tasks and cortisol levels were first determined during normal social housing, followed by performance and cortisol levels after experiencing stress induced by overnight social isolation. A total of 19 female pigs with a birth weight closest to their respective litter average was selected from 10 different litters and placed in two pens after weaning. Following habituation, pigs were trained in the HB task, starting at 10 weeks of age. Then, the pigs were isolated overnight, five individuals per night, at 15, 16, and 17 weeks of age. Between these three isolations, social housing and training in the HB continued. Starting 6 weeks after the end of the HB experiment, at approximately 23 weeks of age, the pigs were trained in the PGT. The effects of overnight social isolation on performance in this task were assessed once, when the pigs were 25 weeks old. Salivary cortisol was measured from samples collected 15 min after the start of isolation and at the end of the isolation period and compared to baseline values collected before the start of social isolation. Our results did not confirm the hypothesis that isolation impaired HB performance and decision-making in the PGT. Unexpectedly, overnight social isolation decreased cortisol levels below baseline values, an effect that was not associated with changes in performance of the

  6. Task Performance in Astronomical Adaptive Optics

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Harrison H.; Myers, Kyle J.; Devaney, Nicholas; Dainty, J. C.; Caucci, Luca

    2010-01-01

    In objective or task-based assessment of image quality, figures of merit are defined by the performance of some specific observer on some task of scientific interest. This methodology is well established in medical imaging but is just beginning to be applied in astronomy. In this paper we survey the theory needed to understand the performance of ideal or ideal-linear (Hotelling) observers on detection tasks with adaptive-optical data. The theory is illustrated by discussing its application to detection of exoplanets from a sequence of short-exposure images. PMID:20890393

  7. SpaceDock: A Performance Task Platform for Spaceflight Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshburn, Thomas H.; Strangman, Gary E.; Strauss, Monica S.; Sutton, Jeffrey P.

    2003-01-01

    Preliminary evidence during both short- and long-duration spaceflight indicates that perceptual-motor coordination changes occur and persist in-flight. However, there is presently no in-flight method for evaluating astronaut performance on mission-critical tasks such as docking. We present a portable platform we have developed for attempting and evaluating docking, and describe the results of a pilot study wherein flight novices learned the docking task. Methods: A dual-joystick, six degrees of freedom platform-called SpaceDock-was developed to enable portable, adaptable performance testing in a spaceflight operations setting. Upon this platform, a simplified docking task was created, involving a constant rate of approach towards a docking target and requiring the user to correct translation in two dimensions and attitude orientation along one dimension (either pitch or roll). Ten flight naive subjects performed the task over a 45 min period and all joystick inputs and timings were collected, from which we could successfully reconstruct travel paths, input profiles and relative target displacements. Results: Subjects exhibited significant improvements in docking over the course of the experiment. Learning to compensate for roll-alterations was robust, whereas compensation for pitch-alterations was not in evidence in this population and relatively short training period. Conclusion: The SpaceDock platform can provide a novel method for training and testing subjects, on a spaceflight-relevant task, and can be used to examine behavioral learning, strategy use, and has been adapted for use in brain imaging experiments.

  8. Bayesian learning in assisted brain-computer interface tasks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yin; Schwartz, Andrew B; Chase, Steve M; Kass, Robert E

    2012-01-01

    Successful implementation of a brain-computer interface depends critically on the subject's ability to learn how to modulate the neurons controlling the device. However, the subject's learning process is probably the least understood aspect of the control loop. How should training be adjusted to facilitate dexterous control of a prosthetic device? An effective training schedule should manipulate the difficulty of the task to provide enough information to guide improvement without overwhelming the subject. In this paper, we introduce a bayesian framework for modeling the closed-loop BCI learning process that treats the subject as a bandwidth-limited communication channel. We then develop an adaptive algorithm to find the optimal difficulty-schedule for performance improvement. Simulation results demonstrate that our algorithm yields faster learning rates than several other heuristic training schedules, and provides insight into the factors that might affect the learning process. PMID:23366492

  9. A Developmental Perspective in Learning the Mirror-Drawing Task.

    PubMed

    Julius, Mona Sharon; Adi-Japha, Esther

    2016-01-01

    Is there late maturation of skill learning? This notion has been raised to explain an adult advantage in learning a variety of tasks, such as auditory temporal-interval discrimination, locomotion adaptation, and drawing visually-distorted spatial patterns (mirror-drawing, MD). Here, we test this assertion by following the practice of the MD task in two 5 min daily sessions separated by a 10 min break, over the course of 2 days, in 5-6-year-old kindergarten children, 7-8-year-old second-graders, and young adults. In the MD task, participants were required to trace a square while looking at their hand only as a reflection in a mirror. Kindergarteners did not show learning of the visual-motor mapping, and on average, did not produce even one full side of a square correctly. Second-graders showed increased online movement control with longer strokes, and robust learning of the visual-motor mapping, resulting in a between-day increase in the number of correctly drawn sides with no loss in accuracy. Overall, kindergarteners and second-graders producing at least one correct polygon-side on Day 1 were more likely to improve their performance between days. Adults showed better performance with improvements in the number of correctly drawn sides between- and within-days, and in accuracy between days. It has been suggested that 5-year-olds cannot learn the task due to their inability to detect and encapsulate previously produced accurate movements. Our findings suggest, instead, that these children lacked initial, accurate performance that could be enhanced through training. Recently, it has been shown that in a simple grapho-motor task the three age-groups improved their speed of performance within a session and between-days, while maintaining accuracy scores. Taken together, these data suggest that children's motor skill learning depends on the task's characteristics and their adopting an efficient and mature performance strategy enabling initial success that can be

  10. Effect of continuous gamma-ray exposure on performance of learned tasks and effect of subsequent fractionated exposures on blood-forming tissue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spalding, J. F.; Holland, L. M.; Prine, J. R.; Farrer, D. N.; Braun, R. G.

    1972-01-01

    Sixteen monkeys trained to perform continuous and discrete-avoidance and fixed-ratio tasks with visual and auditory cues were performance-tested before, during, and after 10-day gamma-ray exposures totaling 0, 500, 750, and 1000 rads. Approximately 14 months after the performance-test exposures, surviving animals were exposed to 100-rad gamma-ray fractions at 56-day intervals to observe injury and recovery patterns of blood-forming tissues. The fixed-ratio, food-reward task performance showed a transient decline in all dose groups within 24 hours of the start of gamma-ray exposure, followed by recovery to normal food-consumption levels within 48 to 72 hours. Avoidance tasks were performed successfully by all groups during the 10-day exposure, but reaction times of the two higher dose-rate groups in which animals received 3 and 4 rads per hour or total doses of 750 and 1000 rads, respectively, were somewhat slower.

  11. Manipulator Performance Evaluation Using Fitts' Taping Task

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, J.V.; Jared, B.C.; Noakes, M.W.

    1999-04-25

    Metaphorically, a teleoperator with master controllers projects the user's arms and hands into a re- mote area, Therefore, human users interact with teleoperators at a more fundamental level than they do with most human-machine systems. Instead of inputting decisions about how the system should func- tion, teleoperator users input the movements they might make if they were truly in the remote area and the remote machine must recreate their trajectories and impedance. This intense human-machine inter- action requires displays and controls more carefully attuned to human motor capabilities than is neces- sary with most systems. It is important for teleoperated manipulators to be able to recreate human trajectories and impedance in real time. One method for assessing manipulator performance is to observe how well a system be- haves while a human user completes human dexterity tasks with it. Fitts' tapping task has been, used many times in the past for this purpose. This report describes such a performance assessment. The International Submarine Engineering (ISE) Autonomous/Teleoperated Operations Manipulator (ATOM) servomanipulator system was evalu- ated using a generic positioning accuracy task. The task is a simple one but has the merits of (1) pro- ducing a performance function estimate rather than a point estimate and (2) being widely used in the past for human and servomanipulator dexterity tests. Results of testing using this task may, therefore, allow comparison with other manipulators, and is generically representative of a broad class of tasks. Results of the testing indicate that the ATOM manipulator is capable of performing the task. Force reflection had a negative impact on task efficiency in these data. This was most likely caused by the high resistance to movement the master controller exhibited with the force reflection engaged. Measurements of exerted forces were not made, so it is not possible to say whether the force reflection helped partici- pants

  12. Computer task performance by subjects with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Malheiros, Silvia Regina Pinheiro; da Silva, Talita Dias; Favero, Francis Meire; de Abreu, Luiz Carlos; Fregni, Felipe; Ribeiro, Denise Cardoso; de Mello Monteiro, Carlos Bandeira

    2016-01-01

    Aims Two specific objectives were established to quantify computer task performance among people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). First, we compared simple computational task performance between subjects with DMD and age-matched typically developing (TD) subjects. Second, we examined correlations between the ability of subjects with DMD to learn the computational task and their motor functionality, age, and initial task performance. Method The study included 84 individuals (42 with DMD, mean age of 18±5.5 years, and 42 age-matched controls). They executed a computer maze task; all participants performed the acquisition (20 attempts) and retention (five attempts) phases, repeating the same maze. A different maze was used to verify transfer performance (five attempts). The Motor Function Measure Scale was applied, and the results were compared with maze task performance. Results In the acquisition phase, a significant decrease was found in movement time (MT) between the first and last acquisition block, but only for the DMD group. For the DMD group, MT during transfer was shorter than during the first acquisition block, indicating improvement from the first acquisition block to transfer. In addition, the TD group showed shorter MT than the DMD group across the study. Conclusion DMD participants improved their performance after practicing a computational task; however, the difference in MT was present in all attempts among DMD and control subjects. Computational task improvement was positively influenced by the initial performance of individuals with DMD. In turn, the initial performance was influenced by their distal functionality but not their age or overall functionality. PMID:26766911

  13. Training Self-Assessment and Task-Selection Skills: A Cognitive Approach to Improving Self-Regulated Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kostons, Danny; van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred

    2012-01-01

    For self-regulated learning to be effective, students need to be able to accurately assess their own performance on a learning task and use this assessment for the selection of a new learning task. Evidence suggests, however, that students have difficulties with accurate self-assessment and task selection, which may explain the poor learning…

  14. A Developmental Perspective in Learning the Mirror-Drawing Task

    PubMed Central

    Julius, Mona Sharon; Adi-Japha, Esther

    2016-01-01

    Is there late maturation of skill learning? This notion has been raised to explain an adult advantage in learning a variety of tasks, such as auditory temporal-interval discrimination, locomotion adaptation, and drawing visually-distorted spatial patterns (mirror-drawing, MD). Here, we test this assertion by following the practice of the MD task in two 5 min daily sessions separated by a 10 min break, over the course of 2 days, in 5–6-year-old kindergarten children, 7–8-year-old second-graders, and young adults. In the MD task, participants were required to trace a square while looking at their hand only as a reflection in a mirror. Kindergarteners did not show learning of the visual-motor mapping, and on average, did not produce even one full side of a square correctly. Second-graders showed increased online movement control with longer strokes, and robust learning of the visual-motor mapping, resulting in a between-day increase in the number of correctly drawn sides with no loss in accuracy. Overall, kindergarteners and second-graders producing at least one correct polygon-side on Day 1 were more likely to improve their performance between days. Adults showed better performance with improvements in the number of correctly drawn sides between- and within-days, and in accuracy between days. It has been suggested that 5-year-olds cannot learn the task due to their inability to detect and encapsulate previously produced accurate movements. Our findings suggest, instead, that these children lacked initial, accurate performance that could be enhanced through training. Recently, it has been shown that in a simple grapho-motor task the three age-groups improved their speed of performance within a session and between-days, while maintaining accuracy scores. Taken together, these data suggest that children’s motor skill learning depends on the task’s characteristics and their adopting an efficient and mature performance strategy enabling initial success that can be

  15. Task demands, task interest, and task performance: implications for human subjects research and practicing what we preach.

    PubMed

    Eveleth, Daniel M; Pillutla, Arun

    2003-01-01

    Through the continuous investigation of humans in organizations, we have learned much about motivation, attitudes, and performance. For example, Yukl and others have helped increase our understanding of influence tactics and the effect they have on the performance of subordinates, supervisors, and peers. Some tactics (and combinations of tactics) lead to resistance, some lead to compliance, and some lead to commitment. In this study, we raise the question of whether or not we incorporate our knowledge of these research findings into the design, implementation, and interpretation of our own research studies that require the participation of human subjects. In a survey of 134 subjects from a previous social science study, we found that performance varied across the sample, consistent with the concepts of resistance, compliance, and commitment. In addition, the variance in performance could be explained, in part, by task interest and perceived task demands. Implications are discussed. PMID:14552313

  16. Exposing sequence learning in a double-step task.

    PubMed

    Oostwoud Wijdenes, Leonie; Brenner, Eli; Smeets, Jeroen B J

    2016-06-01

    Is it possible to learn to perform a motor sequence without awareness of the sequence? In two experiments, we presented participants with the most elementary sequence: an alternation between two options. We used a double-step pointing task in which the final position of the target alternated between two quite similar values. The task forced participants to start moving before the final target was visible, allowing us to determine participants' expectations about the final target position without explicitly asking them. We tracked participants' expectations (and thus motor sequence learning) by measuring the direction of the initial part of the movement, before any response to the final step. We found that participants learnt to anticipate the average size of the final step, but that they did not learn the sequence. In a second experiment, we extended the duration of the learning period and increased the difference in size between the target position changes. Some participants started anticipating the step size in accordance with the sequence at some time during the experiment. These participants reported having noticed the simple sequence. The participants who had not noticed the sequence did not move in anticipation of the sequence. This suggests that participants who did not learn this very simple sequence explicitly also did not learn it implicitly. PMID:26873350

  17. Critical Task Characteristics in Problem-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Otting, Hans; Zwaal, Wichard

    2006-01-01

    Tasks and problems in problem-based learning (PBL) are supposed to trigger and structure the learning process. The quality of problems in PBL is generally regarded as an important driver of the individual and collaborative learning processes. Although the importance of the PBL task is widely recognized, there is a lack of empirical findings and…

  18. Mental and psychomotor task performance in noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The possible adverse effects of noise on mental and psychomotor task performance were a matter of practical concern for centuries and continue to be a matter of scientific controversy. A review indicates that except for the masking or interferences with the hearing of sounds needed to perform a given task, noise does not necessarily interfer with work performance. However, because of difficulties in the experimental control of some of these possible effects, the results of research on work performance in noise were inconsistent and difficult to encompass in any simple theoretical construct. Indeed, reviews of research in this area conclude that simple generalizations about possible effects of noise on work performance cannot be made. Nevertheless, several general theories were put forth.

  19. The effect of haptic guidance and visual feedback on learning a complex tennis task.

    PubMed

    Marchal-Crespo, Laura; van Raai, Mark; Rauter, Georg; Wolf, Peter; Riener, Robert

    2013-11-01

    While haptic guidance can improve ongoing performance of a motor task, several studies have found that it ultimately impairs motor learning. However, some recent studies suggest that the haptic demonstration of optimal timing, rather than movement magnitude, enhances learning in subjects trained with haptic guidance. Timing of an action plays a crucial role in the proper accomplishment of many motor skills, such as hitting a moving object (discrete timing task) or learning a velocity profile (time-critical tracking task). The aim of the present study is to evaluate which feedback conditions-visual or haptic guidance-optimize learning of the discrete and continuous elements of a timing task. The experiment consisted in performing a fast tennis forehand stroke in a virtual environment. A tendon-based parallel robot connected to the end of a racket was used to apply haptic guidance during training. In two different experiments, we evaluated which feedback condition was more adequate for learning: (1) a time-dependent discrete task-learning to start a tennis stroke and (2) a tracking task-learning to follow a velocity profile. The effect that the task difficulty and subject's initial skill level have on the selection of the optimal training condition was further evaluated. Results showed that the training condition that maximizes learning of the discrete time-dependent motor task depends on the subjects' initial skill level. Haptic guidance was especially suitable for less-skilled subjects and in especially difficult discrete tasks, while visual feedback seems to benefit more skilled subjects. Additionally, haptic guidance seemed to promote learning in a time-critical tracking task, while visual feedback tended to deteriorate the performance independently of the task difficulty and subjects' initial skill level. Haptic guidance outperformed visual feedback, although additional studies are needed to further analyze the effect of other types of feedback visualization on

  20. Measurement of functional task difficulty during motor learning: What level of difficulty corresponds to the optimal challenge point?

    PubMed

    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2015-10-01

    The relationship between task difficulty and learning benefit was examined, as was the measurability of task difficulty. Participants were required to learn a postural control task on an unstable surface at one of four different task difficulty levels. Results from the retention test showed an inverted-U relationship between task difficulty during acquisition and motor learning. The second-highest level of task difficulty was the most effective for motor learning, while learning was delayed at the most and least difficult levels. Additionally, the results indicate that salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) are useful indices of task difficulty. Our findings suggested that instructors may be able to adjust task difficulty based on salivary α-amylase and the performance dimension of the NASA-TLX to enhance learning. PMID:26253223

  1. Is Performance in Task-Cuing Experiments Mediated by Task Set Selection or Associative Compound Retrieval?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forrest, Charlotte L. D.; Monsell, Stephen; McLaren, Ian P. L.

    2014-01-01

    Task-cuing experiments are usually intended to explore control of task set. But when small stimulus sets are used, they plausibly afford learning of the response associated with a combination of cue and stimulus, without reference to tasks. In 3 experiments we presented the typical trials of a task-cuing experiment: a cue (colored shape) followed,…

  2. Task-irrelevant auditory feedback facilitates motor performance in musicians.

    PubMed

    Conde, Virginia; Altenmüller, Eckart; Villringer, Arno; Ragert, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    An efficient and fast auditory-motor network is a basic resource for trained musicians due to the importance of motor anticipation of sound production in musical performance. When playing an instrument, motor performance always goes along with the production of sounds and the integration between both modalities plays an essential role in the course of musical training. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of task-irrelevant auditory feedback during motor performance in musicians using a serial reaction time task (SRTT). Our hypothesis was that musicians, due to their extensive auditory-motor practice routine during musical training, have superior performance and learning capabilities when receiving auditory feedback during SRTT relative to musicians performing the SRTT without any auditory feedback. Behaviorally, we found that auditory feedback reinforced SRTT performance of the right hand (referring to absolute response speed) while learning capabilities remained unchanged. This finding highlights a potential important role for task-irrelevant auditory feedback in motor performance in musicians, a finding that might provide further insight into auditory-motor integration independent of the trained musical context. PMID:22623920

  3. Impedance learning for robotic contact tasks using natural actor-critic algorithm.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byungchan; Park, Jooyoung; Park, Shinsuk; Kang, Sungchul

    2010-04-01

    Compared with their robotic counterparts, humans excel at various tasks by using their ability to adaptively modulate arm impedance parameters. This ability allows us to successfully perform contact tasks even in uncertain environments. This paper considers a learning strategy of motor skill for robotic contact tasks based on a human motor control theory and machine learning schemes. Our robot learning method employs impedance control based on the equilibrium point control theory and reinforcement learning to determine the impedance parameters for contact tasks. A recursive least-square filter-based episodic natural actor-critic algorithm is used to find the optimal impedance parameters. The effectiveness of the proposed method was tested through dynamic simulations of various contact tasks. The simulation results demonstrated that the proposed method optimizes the performance of the contact tasks in uncertain conditions of the environment. PMID:19696001

  4. Pointing Device Performance in Steering Tasks.

    PubMed

    Senanayake, Ransalu; Goonetilleke, Ravindra S

    2016-06-01

    Use of touch-screen-based interactions is growing rapidly. Hence, knowing the maneuvering efficacy of touch screens relative to other pointing devices is of great importance in the context of graphical user interfaces. Movement time, accuracy, and user preferences of four pointing device settings were evaluated on a computer with 14 participants aged 20.1 ± 3.13 years. It was found that, depending on the difficulty of the task, the optimal settings differ for ballistic and visual control tasks. With a touch screen, resting the arm increased movement time for steering tasks. When both performance and comfort are considered, whether to use a mouse or a touch screen for person-computer interaction depends on the steering difficulty. Hence, a input device should be chosen based on the application, and should be optimized to match the graphical user interface. PMID:27216944

  5. Dual task performance with LPC (Linear Predictive Coding) degraded speech in a sentence verification task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt-Nielsen, Astrid; Kallman, Howard J.; Meijer, Corinne

    1989-10-01

    The results of a preliminary study on the effects of reduced speech intelligibility on dual task performance are reported. The speech task was a sentence verification task, and the speech degradation was accomplished using a narrowband digital voice transmission system operating with and without random bit errors. The second task was a visual picture sorting task. There was a dual task decrement on the sorting task, and in addition, there was a further decrease in sorts per minute as the speech was increasingly degraded. Reaction time for the speech task increased with the concurrent sorting task, but the dual task condition did not affect speech task error rates.

  6. Task Characteristics and Learning Potentials--Empirical Results of Three Diary Studies on Workplace Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rausch, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Most learning in the workplace occurs while pursuing working rather than learning goals. The studies at hand aimed to identify task characteristics that foster learning in the workplace. Task characteristics are supposed to exert a major effect on the learning potential. However, the fact that learning is more often than not a rather unconscious…

  7. Integrating Learning and Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

    These four papers are from a symposium on integrating learning and performance. "Identifying the Skill Requirements and Performance Needs of Small Manufacturers" (Julie A. Furst-Bowe) reports a survey to identify needs of small manufacturers in northwestern Wisconsin and to determine whether a university-based performance improvement center would…

  8. Cognitive Developmental Level Gender, and the Development of Learned Helplessness on Mathematical Calculation and Reasoning Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monaco, Nanci M.; Gentile, J. Ronald

    1987-01-01

    This study was designed to test whether a learned helplessness treatment would decrease performance on mathematical tasks and to extend learned helplessness findings to include the cognitive development dimension. Results showed no differential advantages to either sex in resisting effects of learned helplessness or in benefiting from strategy…

  9. Applications of Task-Based Learning in TESOL

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shehadeh, Ali, Ed.; Coombe, Christine, Ed.

    2010-01-01

    Why are many teachers around the world moving toward task-based learning (TBL)? This shift is based on the strong belief that TBL facilitates second language acquisition and makes second language learning and teaching more principled and effective. Based on insights gained from using tasks as research tools, this volume shows how teachers can use…

  10. Investigating Perfect Timesharing: The Relationship between IM-Compatible Tasks and Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halvorson, Kimberly M.; Ebner, Herschel; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2013-01-01

    Why are dual-task costs reduced with ideomotor (IM) compatible tasks (Greenwald & Shulman, 1973; Lien, Proctor & Allen, 2002)? In the present experiments, we first examine three different measures of single-task performance (pure single-task blocks, mixed blocks, and long stimulus onset asynchrony [SOA] trials in dual-task blocks) and two measures…

  11. E-learning, dual-task, and cognitive load: The anatomy of a failed experiment.

    PubMed

    Van Nuland, Sonya E; Rogers, Kem A

    2016-03-01

    The rising popularity of commercial anatomy e-learning tools has been sustained, in part, due to increased annual enrollment and a reduction in laboratory hours across educational institutions. While e-learning tools continue to gain popularity, the research methodologies used to investigate their impact on learning remain imprecise. As new user interfaces are introduced, it is critical to understand how functionality can influence the load placed on a student's memory resources, also known as cognitive load. To study cognitive load, a dual-task paradigm wherein a learner performs two tasks simultaneously is often used, however, its application within educational research remains uncommon. Using previous paradigms as a guide, a dual-task methodology was developed to assess the cognitive load imposed by two commercial anatomical e-learning tools. Results indicate that the standard dual-task paradigm, as described in the literature, is insensitive to the cognitive load disparities across e-learning tool interfaces. Confounding variables included automation of responses, task performance tradeoff, and poor understanding of primary task cognitive load requirements, leading to unreliable quantitative results. By modifying the secondary task from a basic visual response to a more cognitively demanding task, such as a modified Stroop test, the automation of secondary task responses can be reduced. Furthermore, by recording baseline measures for the primary task as well as the secondary task, it is possible for task performance tradeoff to be detected. Lastly, it is imperative that the cognitive load of the primary task be designed such that it does not overwhelm the individual's ability to learn new material. Anat Sci Educ 9: 186-196. © 2015 American Association of Anatomists. PMID:26480302

  12. Investigating Effects of Task Structure on EFL Learner's Oral Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rahimpour, Massoud; Mehrang, Faezeh

    2010-01-01

    It is argued that tasks with different structures yield different performances in terms of accuracy, fluency and complexity. The present study is thus an attempt to investigate the impact of task structure on second language task performance. Thirty two upper-intermediate Iranian learners of English performed two narrative tasks (Structured vs.…

  13. An analysis of factors influencing complex water maze learning in rats: effects of task complexity, path order and escape assistance on performance following prenatal exposure to phenytoin.

    PubMed

    Vorhees, C V; Weisenburger, W P; Acuff-Smith, K D; Minck, D R

    1991-01-01

    Three hypotheses on factors determining performance in a complex water maze were tested in rats prenatally exposed to phenytoin. The hypotheses were: 1) that increasing maze complexity would better differentiate experimental effects; in particular, that an expanded version of a maze originally described by Biel would better differentiate groups than Biel's original design; 2) that path order is an important factor determining performance; specifically, that path sequence AB would better differentiate experiments from controls than the opposite order (sequence BA); and 3) that repeated trial failures interfere with learning, a problem putatively prevented by employing assisted (i.e., guided) escape. The specific prediction was that rats tested with assisted escape would learn faster and produce better group differentiation than rats tested with unassisted escape. Pregnant female Sprague-Dawley CD rats were gavaged on days 7-18 of gestation with propylene glycol alone (Control) or containing 100 or 200 mg/kg of phenytoin. Straight channel swimming trials followed by maze trials were begun on separate male/female offspring pairs from each litter on postnatal days 50, 70, or 90. The results confirmed hypothesis 1, i.e., the more complex maze better differentiated phenytoin-related group differences. This was true regardless of whether the phenytoin rats exhibiting circling were included in the analyses or not. The results disconfirmed hypothesis 2, i.e., that path order AB would better differentiate the groups than path order BA. Rather, the data supported the alternate hypothesis, that path order was not a significant determinant of prenatal drug-related maze deficits. This was unchanged regardless of whether phenytoin offspring exhibiting circling were or were not included in the analyses. The implication is that path B alone was sufficient to detect phenytoin's effects on maze performance. Finally, the overall results disconfirmed hypothesis 3, i.e., assisted escape

  14. What Matters in Implicit Task Sequence Learning: Perceptual Stimulus Features, Task Sets, or Correlated Streams of Information?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiermann, Brigitte; Cock, Josephine; Meier, Beat

    2010-01-01

    Implicit task sequence learning may be attributed to learning the order of perceptual stimulus features associated with the task sequence, learning a series of automatic task set activations, or learning an integrated sequence that derives from 2 correlated streams of information. In the present study, our purpose was to distinguish among these 3…

  15. Modeling disease progression via multi-task learning.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jiayu; Liu, Jun; Narayan, Vaibhav A; Ye, Jieping

    2013-09-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common type of dementia, is a severe neurodegenerative disorder. Identifying biomarkers that can track the progress of the disease has recently received increasing attentions in AD research. An accurate prediction of disease progression would facilitate optimal decision-making for clinicians and patients. A definitive diagnosis of AD requires autopsy confirmation, thus many clinical/cognitive measures including Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) have been designed to evaluate the cognitive status of the patients and used as important criteria for clinical diagnosis of probable AD. In this paper, we consider the problem of predicting disease progression measured by the cognitive scores and selecting biomarkers predictive of the progression. Specifically, we formulate the prediction problem as a multi-task regression problem by considering the prediction at each time point as a task and propose two novel multi-task learning formulations. We have performed extensive experiments using data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Specifically, we use the baseline MRI features to predict MMSE/ADAS-Cog scores in the next 4 years. Results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed multi-task learning formulations for disease progression in comparison with single-task learning algorithms including ridge regression and Lasso. We also perform longitudinal stability selection to identify and analyze the temporal patterns of biomarkers in disease progression. We observe that cortical thickness average of left middle temporal, cortical thickness average of left and right Entorhinal, and white matter volume of left Hippocampus play significant roles in predicting ADAS-Cog at all time points. We also observe that several MRI biomarkers provide significant information for predicting MMSE scores for the first 2 years, however very few are shown to be

  16. Collaborative Tasks in Wiki-Based Environment in EFL Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zou, Bin; Wang, Dongshuo; Xing, Minjie

    2016-01-01

    Wikis provide users with opportunities to post and edit messages to collaborate in the language learning process. Many studies have offered findings to show positive impact of Wiki-based language learning for learners. This paper explores the effect of collaborative task in error correction for English as a Foreign Language learning in an online…

  17. Emotion-based learning: insights from the Iowa Gambling Task

    PubMed Central

    Turnbull, Oliver H.; Bowman, Caroline H.; Shanker, Shanti; Davies, Julie L.

    2014-01-01

    Interest in the cognitive and/or emotional basis of complex decision-making, and the related phenomenon of emotion-based learning, has been heavily influenced by the Iowa Gambling Task. A number of psychological variables have been investigated as potentially important in understanding emotion-based learning. This paper reviews the extent to which humans are explicitly aware of how we make such decisions; the biasing influence of pre-existing emotional labels; and the extent to which emotion-based systems are anatomically and functionally independent of episodic memory. Review of literature suggests that (i) an aspect of conscious awareness does appear to be readily achieved during the IGT, but as a relatively unfocused emotion-based “gut-feeling,” akin to intuition; (ii) Several studies have manipulated the affective pre-loading of IGT tasks, and make it clear that such labeling has a substantial influence on performance, an experimental manipulation similar to the phenomenon of prejudice. (iii) Finally, it appears that complex emotion-based learning can remain intact despite profound amnesia, at least in some neurological patients, a finding with a range of potentially important clinical implications: in the management of dementia; in explaining infantile amnesia; and in understanding of the possible mechanisms of psychotherapy. PMID:24711796

  18. Effect of music tempo on task performance.

    PubMed

    Mayfield, C; Moss, S

    1989-12-01

    Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of music tempo on task performance. In Study 1, 44 undergraduate business students were asked to be "workers" in a stock market project by collecting closing stock prices and calculating the percentage of change in the price from week to week. Subjects were randomly divided into groups such that they either listened to fast-paced music while they worked, to slow-paced music, or to no music. Analyses of variance and covariance were conducted on both the quantity and quality of the subjects' work, using music listening habits as a covariate. There were no differences in either the quantity or quality of the work produced by the groups. There were some methodological concerns regarding Study 1, so a second study was conducted. The 70 undergraduate business students in Study 2 completed the same task under the same music conditions as in Study 1. Analyses of variance indicated women performed significantly better than men, performance was significantly higher in the rock condition than in the heartbeat condition, and subjects in the rock condition had a significantly higher perceived level of distraction by the music. PMID:2623126

  19. Costs and benefits of autonomy when learning a task: an experimental approach.

    PubMed

    Wielenga-Meijer, Etty G A; Taris, Toon W; Wigboldus, Daniël H J; Kompier, Michiel A J

    2011-01-01

    Previous findings suggested that the positive relationship between autonomy and learning outcomes (such as improved task performance) only holds up until a certain optimum level of autonomy has been reached. This assumption was investigated in an experimental study where 95 participants had to learn a computer task. During the learning phase, we manipulated autonomy, distinguishing among no, moderate, and full autonomy. The results revealed that, when learning a task, having autonomy is preferred to having no autonomy. However, increases in autonomy beyond a certain level (i.e., full versus moderate autonomy) will not yield additional advantages regarding the motivation to learn and learning outcomes, and may have disadvantages in terms of learning efficiency. PMID:21675183

  20. Pretraining Cortical Thickness Predicts Subsequent Perceptual Learning Rate in a Visual Search Task.

    PubMed

    Frank, Sebastian M; Reavis, Eric A; Greenlee, Mark W; Tse, Peter U

    2016-03-01

    We report that preexisting individual differences in the cortical thickness of brain areas involved in a perceptual learning task predict the subsequent perceptual learning rate. Participants trained in a motion-discrimination task involving visual search for a "V"-shaped target motion trajectory among inverted "V"-shaped distractor trajectories. Motion-sensitive area MT+ (V5) was functionally identified as critical to the task: after 3 weeks of training, activity increased in MT+ during task performance, as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. We computed the cortical thickness of MT+ from anatomical magnetic resonance imaging volumes collected before training started, and found that it significantly predicted subsequent perceptual learning rates in the visual search task. Participants with thicker neocortex in MT+ before training learned faster than those with thinner neocortex in that area. A similar association between cortical thickness and training success was also found in posterior parietal cortex (PPC). PMID:25576537

  1. Learning and inference using complex generative models in a spatial localization task.

    PubMed

    Bejjanki, Vikranth R; Knill, David C; Aslin, Richard N

    2016-03-01

    A large body of research has established that, under relatively simple task conditions, human observers integrate uncertain sensory information with learned prior knowledge in an approximately Bayes-optimal manner. However, in many natural tasks, observers must perform this sensory-plus-prior integration when the underlying generative model of the environment consists of multiple causes. Here we ask if the Bayes-optimal integration seen with simple tasks also applies to such natural tasks when the generative model is more complex, or whether observers rely instead on a less efficient set of heuristics that approximate ideal performance. Participants localized a "hidden" target whose position on a touch screen was sampled from a location-contingent bimodal generative model with different variances around each mode. Over repeated exposure to this task, participants learned the a priori locations of the target (i.e., the bimodal generative model), and integrated this learned knowledge with uncertain sensory information on a trial-by-trial basis in a manner consistent with the predictions of Bayes-optimal behavior. In particular, participants rapidly learned the locations of the two modes of the generative model, but the relative variances of the modes were learned much more slowly. Taken together, our results suggest that human performance in a more complex localization task, which requires the integration of sensory information with learned knowledge of a bimodal generative model, is consistent with the predictions of Bayes-optimal behavior, but involves a much longer time-course than in simpler tasks. PMID:26967015

  2. Task-focused behavior mediates the associations between supportive interpersonal environments and students' academic performance.

    PubMed

    Kiuru, Noona; Pakarinen, Eija; Vasalampi, Kati; Silinskas, Gintautas; Aunola, Kaisa; Poikkeus, Anna-Maija; Metsäpelto, Riitta-Leena; Lerkkanen, Marja-Kristiina; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2014-04-01

    In the longitudinal study presented here, we tested the theoretical assumption that children's task-focused behavior in learning situations mediates the associations between supportive interpersonal environments and academic performance. The sample consisted of 2,137 Finnish-speaking children. Data on supportive interpersonal environments (characterized by authoritative parenting, positive teacher affect toward the child, and peer acceptance) were gathered in Grade 1. The children's task-focused behavior was measured in Grades 2 and 3, and academic performance was measured in Grades 1 and 4. The results supported our assumption by showing that all three supportive environments were positively associated with children's subsequent academic performance via increased task-focused behavior in learning situations. These findings suggest that students' academic performance can be promoted by increasing the support they receive from peers, parents, and teachers because such increased support leads to better task focus in learning tasks. PMID:24532054

  3. The Regulation of Task Performance: A Trans-Disciplinary Review

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Ian; Dumas, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Definitions of meta-cognition typically have two components: (1) knowledge about one's own cognitive functioning; and, (2) control over one's own cognitive activities. Since Flavell and his colleagues provided the empirical foundation on which to build studies of meta-cognition and the autonoetic (self) knowledge required for effective learning, the intervening years have seen the extensive dissemination of theoretical and empirical research on meta-cognition, which now encompasses a variety of issues and domains including educational psychology and neuroscience. Nevertheless, the psychological and neural underpinnings of meta-cognitive predictions and reflections that determine subsequent regulation of task performance remain ill understood. This article provides an outline of meta-cognition in the science of education with evidence drawn from neuroimaging, psycho-physiological, and psychological literature. We will rigorously explore research that addresses the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in controlling the meta-cognitive processes that underpin the self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies learners employ to regulate task performance. The article delineates what those strategies are, and how the learning environment can facilitate or frustrate strategy use by influencing learners' self-efficacy. PMID:26779050

  4. The Regulation of Task Performance: A Trans-Disciplinary Review.

    PubMed

    Clark, Ian; Dumas, Guillaume

    2015-01-01

    Definitions of meta-cognition typically have two components: (1) knowledge about one's own cognitive functioning; and, (2) control over one's own cognitive activities. Since Flavell and his colleagues provided the empirical foundation on which to build studies of meta-cognition and the autonoetic (self) knowledge required for effective learning, the intervening years have seen the extensive dissemination of theoretical and empirical research on meta-cognition, which now encompasses a variety of issues and domains including educational psychology and neuroscience. Nevertheless, the psychological and neural underpinnings of meta-cognitive predictions and reflections that determine subsequent regulation of task performance remain ill understood. This article provides an outline of meta-cognition in the science of education with evidence drawn from neuroimaging, psycho-physiological, and psychological literature. We will rigorously explore research that addresses the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in controlling the meta-cognitive processes that underpin the self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies learners employ to regulate task performance. The article delineates what those strategies are, and how the learning environment can facilitate or frustrate strategy use by influencing learners' self-efficacy. PMID:26779050

  5. Incidental learning of rewarded associations bolsters learning on an associative task.

    PubMed

    Freedberg, Michael; Schacherer, Jonathan; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2016-05-01

    Reward has been shown to change behavior as a result of incentive learning (by motivating the individual to increase their effort) and instrumental learning (by increasing the frequency of a particular behavior). However, Palminteri et al. (2011) demonstrated that reward can also improve the incidental learning of a motor skill even when participants are unaware of the relationship between the reward and the motor act. Nonetheless, it remains unknown whether these effects of reward are the indirect results of manipulations of top-down factors. To identify the locus of the benefit associated with rewarded incidental learning, we used a chord-learning task (Seibel, 1963) in which the correct performance of some chords was consistently rewarded with points necessary to complete the block whereas the correct performance of other chords was not rewarded. Following training, participants performed a transfer phase without reward and then answered a questionnaire to assess explicit awareness about the rewards. Experiment 1 revealed that rewarded chords were performed more quickly than unrewarded chords, and there was little awareness about the relationship between chords and reward. Experiment 2 obtained similar findings with simplified responses to show that the advantage for rewarded stimulus combinations reflected more efficient binding of stimulus-response (S-R) associations, rather than a response bias for rewarded associations or improved motor learning. These results indicate that rewards can be used to significantly improve the learning of S-R associations without directly manipulating top-down factors. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26569435

  6. Neural Correlates of High Performance in Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macedonia, Manuela; Muller, Karsten; Friederici, Angela D.

    2010-01-01

    Learning vocabulary in a foreign language is a laborious task which people perform with varying levels of success. Here, we investigated the neural underpinning of high performance on this task. In a within-subjects paradigm, participants learned 92 vocabulary items under two multimodal conditions: one condition paired novel words with iconic…

  7. Using Goal Setting and Task Analysis to Enhance Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubin, Joan

    2015-01-01

    Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching has received sustained attention from teachers and researchers for over thirty years. It is a well-established pedagogy that includes the following characteristics: major focus on authentic and real-world tasks, choice of linguistic resources by learners, and a clearly defined non-linguistic outcome. This…

  8. Successfully Carrying out Complex Learning-Tasks through Guiding Teams' Qualitative and Quantitative Reasoning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slof, B.; Erkens, G.; Kirschner, P. A.; Janssen, J.; Jaspers, J. G. M.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated whether and how scripting learners' use of representational tools in a computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL)-environment fostered their collaborative performance on a complex business-economics task. Scripting the problem-solving process sequenced and made its phase-related part-task demands explicit, namely…

  9. Look what I am doing: does observational learning take place in evocative task-sharing situations?

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Luca; Iani, Cristina; Mariani, Michele; Nicoletti, Roberto; Gallese, Vittorio; Rubichi, Sandro

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to investigate whether physical and observational practice in task-sharing entail comparable implicit motor learning. To this end, the social-transfer-of-learning (SToL) effect was assessed when both participants performed the joint practice task (Experiment 1--complete task-sharing), or when one participant observed the other performing half of the practice task (Experiment 2--evocative task-sharing). Since the inversion of the spatial relations between responding agent and stimulus position has been shown to prevent SToL, in the present study we assessed it in both complete and evocative task-sharing conditions either when spatial relations were kept constant or changed from the practice to the transfer session. The same pattern of results was found for both complete and evocative task-sharing, thus suggesting that implicit motor learning in evocative task-sharing is equivalent to that obtained in complete task-sharing. We conclude that this motor learning originates from the simulation of the complementary (rather than the imitative) action. PMID:22905256

  10. TASKTEACH: A Method for Computer-Assisted Learning of Serial-Action Tasks. Technical Report Number 62.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rigney, Joseph W.; And Others

    Knowledge of the importance of mediating processes for sustaining performance, and of self-organizing abilities for learning to perform a given task, served as the basis for a method (called TASKTEACH) of using a time-sharing digital computer to assist learning of prescriptively-guided or problem-solving serial-action tasks. The students involved…

  11. Designing Digital Problem Based Learning Tasks that Motivate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Loon, Anne-Marieke; Ros, Anje; Martens, Rob

    2013-01-01

    This study examines whether teachers are able to apply the principles of autonomy support and structure support in designing digital problem based learning (PBL) tasks. We examine whether these tasks are more autonomy- and structure-supportive and whether primary and secondary school students experience greater autonomy, competence, and motivation…

  12. Learning from Student Experiences for Online Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Qayyum, M. Asim; Smith, David

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Use of the Internet for open Web searches is common among university students in academic learning tasks. The tools used by students to find relevant information for online assessment tasks were investigated and their information seeking behaviour was documented to explore the impact on assessment design. Method: A mixed methods…

  13. Instance, Cue, and Dimension Learning in Concept Shift Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prentice, Joan L.; Panda, Kailas C.

    Experiment I was designed to demonstrate that young children fail to abstract the positive cue as the relevant stimulus event in a restricted concept-learning task. Sixteen kindergarten and 16 fourth grade subjects were trained to criterion on a Kendler-type task, whereupon each subject was presented a pair of new instances which contrasted only…

  14. Motivated Learning with Digital Learning Tasks: What about Autonomy and Structure?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Loon, Anne-Marieke; Ros, Anje; Martens, Rob

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, the ways in which digital learning tasks contribute to students' intrinsic motivation and learning outcomes were examined. In particular, this study explored the relative contributions of autonomy support and the provision of structure in digital learning tasks. Participants were 320 fifth- and sixth-grade students from eight…

  15. Doing Gesture Promotes Learning a Mental Transformation Task Better than Seeing Gesture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Levine, Susan C.; Zinchenko, Elena; Yip, Terina KuangYi; Hemani, Naureen; Factor, Laiah

    2012-01-01

    Performing action has been found to have a greater impact on learning than observing action. Here we ask whether a particular type of action--the gestures that accompany talk--affect learning in a comparable way. We gave 158 6-year-old children instruction in a mental transformation task. Half the children were asked to produce a "Move" gesture…

  16. Tool and Task Analysis Guide for Vocational Welding (150 Tasks). Performance Based Vocational Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    John H. Hinds Area Vocational School, Elwood, IN.

    This book contains a task inventory, a task analysis of 150 tasks from that inventory, and a tool list for performance-based welding courses in the state of Indiana. The task inventory and tool list reflect 28 job titles found in Indiana. In the first part of the guide, tasks are listed by these domains: carbon-arc, electron beam, G.M.A.W., gas…

  17. On the importance of Task 1 and error performance measures in PRP dual-task studies.

    PubMed

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

    The psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm is a dominant research tool in the literature on dual-task performance. In this paradigm a first and second component task (i.e., Task 1 and Task 2) are presented with variable stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and priority to perform Task 1. The main indicator of dual-task impairment in PRP situations is an increasing Task 2-RT with decreasing SOAs. This impairment is typically explained with some task components being processed strictly sequentially in the context of the prominent central bottleneck theory. This assumption could implicitly suggest that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing, i.e., decreasing SOAs do not increase reaction times (RTs) and error rates of the first task. The aim of the present review is to assess whether PRP dual-task studies included both RT and error data presentations and statistical analyses and whether studies including both data types (i.e., RTs and error rates) show data consistent with this assumption (i.e., decreasing SOAs and unaffected RTs and/or error rates in Task 1). This review demonstrates that, in contrast to RT presentations and analyses, error data is underrepresented in a substantial number of studies. Furthermore, a substantial number of studies with RT and error data showed a statistically significant impairment of Task 1 performance with decreasing SOA. Thus, these studies produced data that is not primarily consistent with the strong assumption that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing in the context of PRP dual-task situations; this calls for a more careful report and analysis of Task 1 performance in PRP studies and for a more careful consideration of theories proposing additions to the bottleneck assumption, which are sufficiently general to explain Task 1 and Task 2 effects. PMID:25904890

  18. The Task Is Not Enough: Processing Approaches to Task-Based Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skehan, Peter; Xiaoyue, Bei; Qian, Li; Wang, Zhan

    2012-01-01

    This article reports on three research studies, all of which concern second language task performance. The first focuses on planning, and compares on-line and strategic planning as well as task repetition. The second study examines the role of familiarity on task performance, and compares this with conventional strategic planning. The third study…

  19. The effects of stimulus modality and task integrality: Predicting dual-task performance and workload from single-task levels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hart, S. G.; Shively, R. J.; Vidulich, M. A.; Miller, R. C.

    1986-01-01

    The influence of stimulus modality and task difficulty on workload and performance was investigated. The goal was to quantify the cost (in terms of response time and experienced workload) incurred when essentially serial task components shared common elements (e.g., the response to one initiated the other) which could be accomplished in parallel. The experimental tasks were based on the Fittsberg paradigm; the solution to a SternBERG-type memory task determines which of two identical FITTS targets are acquired. Previous research suggested that such functionally integrated dual tasks are performed with substantially less workload and faster response times than would be predicted by suming single-task components when both are presented in the same stimulus modality (visual). The physical integration of task elements was varied (although their functional relationship remained the same) to determine whether dual-task facilitation would persist if task components were presented in different sensory modalities. Again, it was found that the cost of performing the two-stage task was considerably less than the sum of component single-task levels when both were presented visually. Less facilitation was found when task elements were presented in different sensory modalities. These results suggest the importance of distinguishing between concurrent tasks that complete for limited resources from those that beneficially share common resources when selecting the stimulus modalities for information displays.

  20. Electromyographic Study of Motor Learning for a Voice Production Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yiu, Edwin M.-L.; Verdolini, Katherine; Chow, Linda P. Y.

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: This study's broad objective was to examine the effectiveness of surface electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback for motor learning in the voice production domain. The specific objective was to examine whether concurrent or terminal biofeedback would facilitate learning for a relaxed laryngeal musculature task during spoken reading. Method:…

  1. "A Priori" Assessment of Language Learning Tasks by Practitioners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westhoff, Gerard J.

    2009-01-01

    Teachers' competence to estimate the effectiveness of learning materials is important and often neglected in programmes for teacher education. In this lecture I will try to explore the possibilities of designing scaffolding instruments for a "priori" assessment of language learning tasks, based on insights from SLA and cognitive psychology, more…

  2. Task-Based Language Teaching and Expansive Learning Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) has become increasingly recognized as an effective pedagogy, but its location in generalized sociocultural theories of learning has led to misunderstandings and criticism. The purpose of this article is to explain the congruence between TBLT and Expansive Learning Theory and the benefits of doing so. The merit…

  3. Lessons Learned from Crowdsourcing Complex Engineering Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Kijewski-Correa, Tracy; Thain, Douglas; Kareem, Ahsan; Madey, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    Crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed ideas, services, or content by requesting contributions from a large group of people. Amazon Mechanical Turk is a web marketplace for crowdsourcing microtasks, such as answering surveys and image tagging. We explored the limits of crowdsourcing by using Mechanical Turk for a more complicated task: analysis and creation of wind simulations. Harnessing Crowdworkers for Engineering Our investigation examined the feasibility of using crowdsourcing for complex, highly technical tasks. This was done to determine if the benefits of crowdsourcing could be harnessed to accurately and effectively contribute to solving complex real world engineering problems. Of course, untrained crowds cannot be used as a mere substitute for trained expertise. Rather, we sought to understand how crowd workers can be used as a large pool of labor for a preliminary analysis of complex data. Virtual Wind Tunnel We compared the skill of the anonymous crowd workers from Amazon Mechanical Turk with that of civil engineering graduate students, making a first pass at analyzing wind simulation data. For the first phase, we posted analysis questions to Amazon crowd workers and to two groups of civil engineering graduate students. A second phase of our experiment instructed crowd workers and students to create simulations on our Virtual Wind Tunnel website to solve a more complex task. Conclusions With a sufficiently comprehensive tutorial and compensation similar to typical crowd-sourcing wages, we were able to enlist crowd workers to effectively complete longer, more complex tasks with competence comparable to that of graduate students with more comprehensive, expert-level knowledge. Furthermore, more complex tasks require increased communication with the workers. As tasks become more complex, the employment relationship begins to become more akin to outsourcing than crowdsourcing. Through this investigation, we were able to stretch and

  4. Performance assessment task team progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, D.E.; Curl, R.U.; Armstrong, D.R.; Cook, J.R.; Dolenc, M.R.; Kocher, D.C.; Owens, K.W.; Regnier, E.P.; Roles, G.W.; Seitz, R.R.

    1994-05-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Headquarters EM-35, established a Performance Assessment Task Team (referred to as the Team) to integrate the activities of the sites that are preparing performance assessments (PAs) for disposal of new low-level waste, as required by Chapter III of DOE Order 5820.2A, {open_quotes}Low-Level Waste Management{close_quotes}. The intent of the Team is to achieve a degree of consistency among these PAs as the analyses proceed at the disposal sites. The Team`s purpose is to recommend policy and guidance to the DOE on issues that impact the PAs, including release scenarios and parameters, so that the approaches are as consistent as possible across the DOE complex. The Team has identified issues requiring attention and developed discussion papers for those issues. Some issues have been completed, and the recommendations are provided in this document. Other issues are still being discussed, and the status summaries are provided in this document. A major initiative was to establish a subteam to develop a set of test scenarios and parameters for benchmarking codes in use at the various sites. The activities of the Team are reported here through December 1993.

  5. Learning in the temporal bisection task: Relative or absolute?

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Marilia Pinheiro; Machado, Armando; Tonneau, François

    2016-01-01

    We examined whether temporal learning in a bisection task is absolute or relational. Eight pigeons learned to choose a red key after a t-seconds sample and a green key after a 3t-seconds sample. To determine whether they had learned a relative mapping (short→Red, long→Green) or an absolute mapping (t-seconds→Red, 3t-seconds→Green), the pigeons then learned a series of new discriminations in which either the relative or the absolute mapping was maintained. Results showed that the generalization gradient obtained at the end of a discrimination predicted the pattern of choices made during the first session of a new discrimination. Moreover, most acquisition curves and generalization gradients were consistent with the predictions of the learning-to-time model, a Spencean model that instantiates absolute learning with temporal generalization. In the bisection task, the basis of temporal discrimination seems to be absolute, not relational. PMID:26752233

  6. The Developmental Dynamics of Task-Avoidant Behavior and Math Performance in Kindergarten and Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirvonen, Riikka; Tolvanen, Asko; Aunola, Kaisa; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2012-01-01

    Besides cognitive factors, children's learning at school may be influenced by more dynamic phenomena, such as motivation and achievement-related task-avoidant behavior. The present study examined the developmental dynamics of task-avoidant behavior and math performance from kindergarten to Grade 4. A total of 225 children were tested for their…

  7. The Predictive Evaluation of Language Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vasiljevic, Zorana

    2011-01-01

    Teachers are often faced with difficulty in choosing appropriate teaching activities for use in their classroom. In selecting suitable materials for their learners, teachers need to be able to analyze any tasks (i.e., their objectives, procedures and intended outcomes) before they are applied in the classroom. This paper will attempt to outline a…

  8. Incidental Vocabulary Learning in Classroom Communication Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the ways in which two groups of four adult learners of English as a second language (ESL) responded to unfamiliar words they encountered in four communication tasks and the effect that different levels of engagement with these words (including negotiation of form and meaning) had on subsequent recall of word meaning. Of the…

  9. Neural correlates of context-dependent feature conjunction learning in visual search tasks.

    PubMed

    Reavis, Eric A; Frank, Sebastian M; Greenlee, Mark W; Tse, Peter U

    2016-06-01

    Many perceptual learning experiments show that repeated exposure to a basic visual feature such as a specific orientation or spatial frequency can modify perception of that feature, and that those perceptual changes are associated with changes in neural tuning early in visual processing. Such perceptual learning effects thus exert a bottom-up influence on subsequent stimulus processing, independent of task-demands or endogenous influences (e.g., volitional attention). However, it is unclear whether such bottom-up changes in perception can occur as more complex stimuli such as conjunctions of visual features are learned. It is not known whether changes in the efficiency with which people learn to process feature conjunctions in a task (e.g., visual search) reflect true bottom-up perceptual learning versus top-down, task-related learning (e.g., learning better control of endogenous attention). Here we show that feature conjunction learning in visual search leads to bottom-up changes in stimulus processing. First, using fMRI, we demonstrate that conjunction learning in visual search has a distinct neural signature: an increase in target-evoked activity relative to distractor-evoked activity (i.e., a relative increase in target salience). Second, we demonstrate that after learning, this neural signature is still evident even when participants passively view learned stimuli while performing an unrelated, attention-demanding task. This suggests that conjunction learning results in altered bottom-up perceptual processing of the learned conjunction stimuli (i.e., a perceptual change independent of the task). We further show that the acquired change in target-evoked activity is contextually dependent on the presence of distractors, suggesting that search array Gestalts are learned. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2319-2330, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26970441

  10. Active controllers and the time duration to learn a task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Repperger, D. W.; Goodyear, C.

    1986-01-01

    An active controller was used to help train naive subjects involved in a compensatory tracking task. The controller is called active in this context because it moves the subject's hand in a direction to improve tracking. It is of interest here to question whether the active controller helps the subject to learn a task more rapidly than the passive controller. Six subjects, inexperienced to compensatory tracking, were run to asymptote root mean square error tracking levels with an active controller or a passive controller. The time required to learn the task was defined several different ways. The results of the different measures of learning were examined across pools of subjects and across controllers using statistical tests. The comparison between the active controller and the passive controller as to their ability to accelerate the learning process as well as reduce levels of asymptotic tracking error is reported here.

  11. Divergent Perceptions of Telecollaborative Language Learning Tasks: Task-as-Workplan vs. Task-as-Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dooly, Melinda

    2011-01-01

    The use of computer-supported collaborative learning is more and more commonplace in language learning classrooms; this has given rise to the need for more research on roles and processes of telecollaboration in language teaching and learning and how online interactions are integrated with face-to-face classroom activities. Using a data-driven,…

  12. Rats with hippocampal lesion show impaired learning and memory in the ziggurat task: a new task to evaluate spatial behavior.

    PubMed

    Faraji, Jamshid; Lehmann, Hugo; Metz, Gerlinde A; Sutherland, Robert J

    2008-05-16

    Spatial tasks are widely used to determine the function of limbic system structures in rats. The present study used a new task designed to evaluate spatial behavior, the ziggurat task (ZT), to examine the performance of rats with widespread hippocampal damage induced by N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA). The task consisted of an open field containing 16 identical ziggurats (pyramid shaped towers) arranged at equal distances. One of the ziggurats was baited with a food reward. The task required rats to navigate through the open field by using a combination of distal and/or proximal cues in order to locate the food reward. The ability to acquire and recall the location of the goal (baited) ziggurat was tested in consecutive training sessions of eight trials per day for 10 days. The location of the goal ziggurat was changed every second day, requiring the rats to learn a total of five different locations. Several parameters, including latency to find the target, distance traveled, the number of visits to non-baited ziggurats (errors), and the number of returns were used as indices of learning and memory. Control rats showed a significant decrease in distance traveled and reduced latency in locating the goal ziggurat across trials and days, suggesting that they learned and remembered the location of the goal ziggurat. Interestingly, the hippocampal-damaged group moved significantly faster, and traveled longer distances compared to the control group. Significant differences were observed between these groups with respect to the number of errors and returns on test days. Day 11 served as probe day, in which no food reward was given. The controls spent more time searching for the food in the previous training quadrant compared to the hippocampal group. The findings demonstrate that the ZT is a sensitive and efficient dry task for measuring hippocampus-dependent spatial performance in rats requiring little training and not associated with some of the disadvantages of water

  13. Aging and Concurrent Task Performance: Cognitive Demand and Motor Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albinet, Cedric; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Beasman, Kathryn

    2006-01-01

    A motor task that requires fine control of upper limb movements and a cognitive task that requires executive processing--first performing them separately and then concurrently--was performed by 18 young and 18 older adults. The motor task required participants to tap alternatively on two targets, the sizes of which varied systematically. The…

  14. Task Interspersal and Performance of Matching Tasks by Preschoolers with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benavides, Christian A.; Poulson, Claire L.

    2009-01-01

    The current study examined the effects of task interspersal on the performance of matching-to-sample tasks by three children with autism. A pre-baseline assessed each child's mastery level of a large body of matching stimuli. These matching tasks included matching identical and non-identical animals, numbers, letters, and shapes. Through this…

  15. Modeling Task Switching without Switching Tasks: A Short-Term Priming Account of Explicitly Cued Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2005-01-01

    Switch costs in task switching are commonly attributed to an executive control process of task-set reconfiguration, particularly in studies involving the explicit task-cuing procedure. The authors propose an alternative account of explicitly cued performance that is based on 2 mechanisms: priming of cue encoding from residual activation of cues in…

  16. Young L2 learners' performance on a novel morpheme task.

    PubMed

    Kohnert, Kathryn; Danahy, Kerry

    2007-07-01

    The teaching of an invented language rule has been proposed as a possible non-biased, language-independent assessment technique useful in differentiating young L2 learners with specific language impairment from their typically developing peers. The current study explores these notions by testing typically developing sequential bilingual children's ability to learn an invented language rule in either L1 (Spanish) or L2 (English). Participants were 20 children, age 3:6-5:8, who attended a Head Start programme. For all children, Spanish was the primary language spoken in the home and English was the primary language of instruction. Children were randomly assigned two groups. Group L1 was taught the novel language rule in Spanish; Group L2 was taught the novel language rule in English. Performance was better for the L1 group than for the L2 group. Moreover, not all of these typical language learners were able to learn the new rule, even in their strongest language. These findings suggest that even for typically developing children, specific language proficiency as well as individual differences are closely linked to performance on this novel morpheme learning task. PMID:17564857

  17. The Effects of Study Tasks in a Computer-Based Chemistry Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Urhahne, Detlef; Nick, Sabine; Poepping, Anna Christin; Schulz , Sarah Jayne

    2013-01-01

    The present study examines the effects of different study tasks on the acquisition of knowledge about acids and bases in a computer-based learning environment. Three different task formats were selected to create three treatment conditions: learning with gap-fill and matching tasks, learning with multiple-choice tasks, and learning only from text…

  18. Explicating the Role of Mathematical Tasks in Conceptual Learning: An Elaboration of the Hypothetical Learning Trajectory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simon, Martin A.; Tzur, Ron

    2004-01-01

    Simon's (1995) development of the construct of hypothetical learning trajectory (HLT) offered a description of key aspects of planning mathematics lessons. An HLT consists of the goal for the students' learning, the mathematical tasks that will be used to promote student learning, and hypotheses about the process of the students' learning.…

  19. Relations Among the Structure of Learning Tasks, Achievement, and Changes in Self-Efficacy in Secondary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lodewyk, Ken R.; Winne, Philip H.

    2005-01-01

    Although much has been discovered about relations between self-efficacy and academic achievement, questions remain about links between achievement, the structure of learning tasks, and changes in students' self-efficacy as students engage with a single, complex authentic task. Students' self-efficacy for learning (SEL) and for performance (SEP)…

  20. Lucid dreaming and ventromedial versus dorsolateral prefrontal task performance.

    PubMed

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T

    2011-06-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for 1 week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function. PMID:20829072

  1. Lucid Dreaming and Ventromedial versus Dorsolateral Prefrontal Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Neider, Michelle; Pace-Schott, Edward F.; Forselius, Erica; Pittman, Brian; Morgan, Peter T.

    2010-01-01

    Activity in the prefrontal cortex may distinguish the meta-awareness experienced during lucid dreams from its absence in normal dreams. To examine a possible relationship between dream lucidity and prefrontal task performance, we carried out a prospective study in 28 high school students. Participants performed the Wisconsin Card Sort and Iowa Gambling tasks, then for one week kept dream journals and reported sleep quality and lucidity-related dream characteristics. Participants who exhibited a greater degree of lucidity performed significantly better on the task that engages the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (the Iowa Gambling Task), but degree of lucidity achieved did not distinguish performance on the task that engages the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (the Wisconsin Card Sort Task), nor did it distinguish self-reported sleep quality or baseline characteristics. The association between performance on the Iowa Gambling Task and lucidity suggests a connection between lucid dreaming and ventromedial prefrontal function. PMID:20829072

  2. The influence of degree of expertise and objective task complexity on perceived task complexity and performance.

    PubMed

    Haerem, Thorvald; Rau, Devaki

    2007-09-01

    Research on expertise has shown that nonexperts may sometimes outperform experts. Some researchers have suggested that superior performance by experts depends on the match between the experts' cognition and the demands of the task. The authors explored this issue using a quasi-experiment set in an organization. They examined how 3 sets of similar tasks that differ in their type of complexity can lead to differences in task perceptions and performance among experts, intermediates, and novices. The results suggest that experts and novices pay attention to different aspects of a task and that this affects both their perceptions of task complexity (i.e., task analyzability and variability) and their performance on the task. PMID:17845088

  3. Toward a Learning Science for Complex Crowdsourcing Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doroudi, Shayan; Kamar, Ece; Brunskill, Emma; Horvitz, Eric

    2016-01-01

    We explore how crowdworkers can be trained to tackle complex crowdsourcing tasks. We are particularly interested in training novice workers to perform well on solving tasks in situations where the space of strategies is large and workers need to discover and try different strategies to be successful. In a first experiment, we perform a comparison…

  4. [Connectionist models of social learning: a case of learning by observing a simple task].

    PubMed

    Paignon, A; Desrichard, O; Bollon, T

    2004-03-01

    alone is not sufficient to ensure accurate reproduction and must be made functional through the production phase (Deakin & Proteau, 2000). Results obtained through a second simulation replicate those produced by Bandura & Jeffery (1973), who observed that the individual tested following the retention phase recalled recorded information better than he realized in the production phase. The outcome of a third simulation shows that, when performing the transfer task, agents performed the task all the more effectively when they were required to learn a simple path which facilitated knowledge transfer to an adjacent situation. New explanatory assumptions of the mechanics of learning through observation may be produced through OLEANNet. Thus, observed deterioration between memorization and production is caused by successive approximations which occur in the acquisition phase then in the production phase. Further, depending on the type of learning undergone by agents, use of representation as a production guide induces a more or less stringent constraint in the approximation of actual behaviour. This results, during the transfer task, in the ability to effectively generalize acquired knowledge where such knowledge is not specifically related to the task at hand. In conclusion, connectionist model architecture appears valid for modeling learning through observation as defined by Bandura (1977). However, certain limitations appear during implementation, especially in terms of the observed behaviour's availability and the planning of produced behaviours that future developments are liable to counter. PMID:15072208

  5. A Structural Model of Task Values, Goal Orientations, and Learning Strategies in Elementary School Mathematics Class.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seo, Daeryong; Park, Yong Hui

    A goal mediational model to conceptualize the effects of students' motivational beliefs on their learning strategies was modified with the three goal orientations: task, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals. Questionnaires were administered to 161 Korean fifth graders (boys = 88; girls = 73) in an elementary school math class.…

  6. Effect of tDCS on task relevant and irrelevant perceptual learning of complex objects.

    PubMed

    Van Meel, Chayenne; Daniels, Nicky; de Beeck, Hans Op; Baeck, Annelies

    2016-01-01

    During perceptual learning the visual representations in the brain are altered, but these changes' causal role has not yet been fully characterized. We used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to investigate the role of higher visual regions in lateral occipital cortex (LO) in perceptual learning with complex objects. We also investigated whether object learning is dependent on the relevance of the objects for the learning task. Participants were trained in two tasks: object recognition using a backward masking paradigm and an orientation judgment task. During both tasks, an object with a red line on top of it were presented in each trial. The crucial difference between both tasks was the relevance of the object: the object was relevant for the object recognition task, but not for the orientation judgment task. During training, half of the participants received anodal tDCS stimulation targeted at the lateral occipital cortex (LO). Afterwards, participants were tested on how well they recognized the trained objects, the irrelevant objects presented during the orientation judgment task and a set of completely new objects. Participants stimulated with tDCS during training showed larger improvements of performance compared to participants in the sham condition. No learning effect was found for the objects presented during the orientation judgment task. To conclude, this study suggests a causal role of LO in relevant object learning, but given the rather low spatial resolution of tDCS, more research on the specificity of this effect is needed. Further, mere exposure is not sufficient to train object recognition in our paradigm. PMID:27096945

  7. Effects of Selected Task Performance Criteria at Initiating Adaptive Task Real locations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montgomery, Demaris A.

    2001-01-01

    In the current report various performance assessment methods used to initiate mode transfers between manual control and automation for adaptive task reallocation were tested. Participants monitored two secondary tasks for critical events while actively controlling a process in a fictional system. One of the secondary monitoring tasks could be automated whenever operators' performance was below acceptable levels. Automation of the secondary task and transfer of the secondary task back to manual control were either human- or machine-initiated. Human-initiated transfers were based on the operator's assessment of the current task demands while machine-initiated transfers were based on the operators' performance. Different performance assessment methods were tested in two separate experiments.

  8. Asymptotically Optimal Motion Planning for Learned Tasks Using Time-Dependent Cost Maps

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, Chris; Ye, Gu; Alterovitz, Ron

    2015-01-01

    In unstructured environments in people’s homes and workspaces, robots executing a task may need to avoid obstacles while satisfying task motion constraints, e.g., keeping a plate of food level to avoid spills or properly orienting a finger to push a button. We introduce a sampling-based method for computing motion plans that are collision-free and minimize a cost metric that encodes task motion constraints. Our time-dependent cost metric, learned from a set of demonstrations, encodes features of a task’s motion that are consistent across the demonstrations and, hence, are likely required to successfully execute the task. Our sampling-based motion planner uses the learned cost metric to compute plans that simultaneously avoid obstacles and satisfy task constraints. The motion planner is asymptotically optimal and minimizes the Mahalanobis distance between the planned trajectory and the distribution of demonstrations in a feature space parameterized by the locations of task-relevant objects. The motion planner also leverages the distribution of the demonstrations to significantly reduce plan computation time. We demonstrate the method’s effectiveness and speed using a small humanoid robot performing tasks requiring both obstacle avoidance and satisfaction of learned task constraints. Note to Practitioners Motivated by the desire to enable robots to autonomously operate in cluttered home and workplace environments, this paper presents an approach for intuitively training a robot in a manner that enables it to repeat the task in novel scenarios and in the presence of unforeseen obstacles in the environment. Based on user-provided demonstrations of the task, our method learns features of the task that are consistent across the demonstrations and that we expect should be repeated by the robot when performing the task. We next present an efficient algorithm for planning robot motions to perform the task based on the learned features while avoiding obstacles. We

  9. Learning and inference using complex generative models in a spatial localization task

    PubMed Central

    Bejjanki, Vikranth R.; Knill, David C.; Aslin, Richard N.

    2016-01-01

    A large body of research has established that, under relatively simple task conditions, human observers integrate uncertain sensory information with learned prior knowledge in an approximately Bayes-optimal manner. However, in many natural tasks, observers must perform this sensory-plus-prior integration when the underlying generative model of the environment consists of multiple causes. Here we ask if the Bayes-optimal integration seen with simple tasks also applies to such natural tasks when the generative model is more complex, or whether observers rely instead on a less efficient set of heuristics that approximate ideal performance. Participants localized a “hidden” target whose position on a touch screen was sampled from a location-contingent bimodal generative model with different variances around each mode. Over repeated exposure to this task, participants learned the a priori locations of the target (i.e., the bimodal generative model), and integrated this learned knowledge with uncertain sensory information on a trial-by-trial basis in a manner consistent with the predictions of Bayes-optimal behavior. In particular, participants rapidly learned the locations of the two modes of the generative model, but the relative variances of the modes were learned much more slowly. Taken together, our results suggest that human performance in a more complex localization task, which requires the integration of sensory information with learned knowledge of a bimodal generative model, is consistent with the predictions of Bayes-optimal behavior, but involves a much longer time-course than in simpler tasks. PMID:26967015

  10. Individual Differences and Development in Water-Level Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Hoben; Turner, Geoffrey, F. W.

    1991-01-01

    Presents research on individuals' ability to perform Piaget's water-level task. At almost every age and for each sex, some subjects had high probability of success and some had low. Age-related improvement was not a result of children's increasing accuracy in task performance. Differences in performance between sexes were evident at all ages.…

  11. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roebuck, Hettie; Freigang, Claudia; Barry, Johanna G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Continuous performance tasks (CPTs) are used to measure individual differences in sustained attention. Many different stimuli have been used as response targets without consideration of their impact on task performance. Here, we compared CPT performance in typically developing adults and children to assess the role of stimulus processing…

  12. The Role of Task Complexity, Modality, and Aptitude in Narrative Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kormos, Judit; Trebits, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The study reported in this paper investigated the relationship between components of aptitude and the fluency, lexical variety, syntactic complexity, and accuracy of performance in two types of written and spoken narrative tasks. We also addressed the question of how narrative performance varies in tasks of different cognitive complexity in the…

  13. Learning and generalization in an isometric visuomotor task.

    PubMed

    Rotella, Michele F; Nisky, Ilana; Koehler, Margaret; Rinderknecht, Mike D; Bastian, Amy J; Okamura, Allison M

    2015-03-15

    Adaptation is a prominent feature of the human motor system and has been studied extensively in reaching movements. This study characterizes adaptation and generalization during isometric reaching in which the arm remains stationary and the participant controls a virtual cursor via force applied by the hand. We measured how learning of a visual cursor rotation generalizes across workspace 1) to determine the coordinate system that predominates visual rotation learning, and 2) to ascertain whether mapping type, namely position or velocity control, influences transfer. Participants performed virtual reaches to one of two orthogonal training targets with the applied rotation. In a new workspace, participants reached to a single target, similar to the training target in either hand or joint space. Furthermore, a control experiment measured within-workspace generalization to an orthogonal target. Across position and velocity mappings, learning transferred predominantly in intrinsic (joint) space, although the transfer was incomplete. The velocity mapping resulted in significantly larger aftereffects and broader within-workspace generalization than the position mapping, potentially due to slower peak speeds, longer trial times, greater target overshoot, or other factors. Although we cannot rule out a mixed reference frame in our task, the predominance of intrinsic coding of cursor kinematics in the isometric environment opposes the extrinsic coding of arm kinematics in real reaching but matches the intrinsic coding of dynamics found in prior work. These findings have implications for the design of isometric control systems in human-machine interaction or in rehabilitation when coordinated multi-degree-of-freedom movement is difficult to achieve. PMID:25520430

  14. Concrete and Abstract Visualizations in History Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prangsma, Maaike E.; van Boxtel, Carla A. M.; Kanselaar, Gellof; Kirschner, Paul A.

    2009-01-01

    Background: History learning requires that students understand historical phenomena, abstract concepts and the relations between them. Students have problems grasping, using and relating complex historical developments and structures. Aims: A study was conducted to determine the effects of tasks with abstract and/or concrete visualizations on the…

  15. Selecting Texts and Tasks for Content Area Reading and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Douglas; Frey, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    For students to learn science, social studies, and technical subjects, their teachers have to engage them in meaningful lessons. As part of those lessons, students read informational texts. The selection of those texts is critical. Teachers can select texts worthy of attention and then align instruction and the post-reading tasks such that…

  16. Sucrose Responsiveness, Learning Success, and Task Specialization in Ants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perez, Margot; Rolland, Uther; Giurfa,, Martin; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2013-01-01

    Social insects possess remarkable learning capabilities, which are crucial for their ecological success. They also exhibit interindividual differences in responsiveness to environmental stimuli, which underlie task specialization and division of labor. Here we investigated for the first time the relationships between sucrose responsiveness,…

  17. Different Possibilities to Learn from the Same Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kullberg, Angelika; Runesson, Ulla; Mårtensson, Pernilla

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we focus on variation of the design and the implementation of a specific task during three mathematics lessons in the 8th grade in a learning study (Marton & Tsui, 2004; Runesson, 2008). The theme of the lesson was division, with a denominator between 0 and 1. The teachers wanted their students to understand that when dividing…

  18. Studying the Development of Learning and Task Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eccles, J.S.

    2005-01-01

    This commentary focuses on the papers by Nurmi and Aunola and by Spinath and Spinath. I discuss the difficulty in testing the hypothesis that ability self concepts influence developmental changes in learning and task motivation. I point to the following concerns: (1) the difficulty in conceptualizing and then measuring these concepts well; (2) the…

  19. How important tasks are performed: peer review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartonen, T.; Alava, M. J.

    2013-04-01

    The advancement of various fields of science depends on the actions of individual scientists via the peer review process. The referees' work patterns and stochastic nature of decision making both relate to the particular features of refereeing and to the universal aspects of human behavior. Here, we show that the time a referee takes to write a report on a scientific manuscript depends on the final verdict. The data is compared to a model, where the review takes place in an ongoing competition of completing an important composite task with a large number of concurrent ones - a Deadline -effect. In peer review human decision making and task completion combine both long-range predictability and stochastic variation due to a large degree of ever-changing external ``friction''.

  20. Task-free MRI predicts individual differences in brain activity during task performance.

    PubMed

    Tavor, I; Parker Jones, O; Mars, R B; Smith, S M; Behrens, T E; Jbabdi, S

    2016-04-01

    When asked to perform the same task, different individuals exhibit markedly different patterns of brain activity. This variability is often attributed to volatile factors, such as task strategy or compliance. We propose that individual differences in brain responses are, to a large degree, inherent to the brain and can be predicted from task-independent measurements collected at rest. Using a large set of task conditions, spanning several behavioral domains, we train a simple model that relates task-independent measurements to task activity and evaluate the model by predicting task activation maps for unseen subjects using magnetic resonance imaging. Our model can accurately predict individual differences in brain activity and highlights a coupling between brain connectivity and function that can be captured at the level of individual subjects. PMID:27124457

  1. Nogo Receptor 1 Limits Tactile Task Performance Independent of Basal Anatomical Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kast, Ryan J.; Chapman, Katherine S.; Dorton, Hilary M.; Stephany, Céleste-Élise; Arnett, Megan T.; Herman, David H.; McGee, Aaron W.

    2014-01-01

    The genes that govern how experience refines neural circuitry and alters synaptic structural plasticity are poorly understood. The nogo-66 receptor 1 gene (ngr1) is one candidate that may restrict the rate of learning as well as basal anatomical plasticity in adult cerebral cortex. To investigate if ngr1 limits the rate of learning we tested adult ngr1 null mice on a tactile learning task. Ngr1 mutants display greater overall performance despite a normal rate of improvement on the gap-cross assay, a whisker-dependent learning paradigm. To determine if ngr1 restricts basal anatomical plasticity in the associated sensory cortex, we repeatedly imaged dendritic spines and axonal varicosities of both constitutive and conditional adult ngr1 mutant mice in somatosensory barrel cortex for two weeks through cranial windows with two-photon chronic in vivo imaging. Neither constant nor acute deletion of ngr1 affected turnover or stability of dendritic spines or axonal boutons. The improved performance on the gap-cross task is not attributable to greater motor coordination, as ngr1 mutant mice possess a mild deficit in overall performance and a normal learning rate on the rotarod, a motor task. Mice lacking ngr1 also exhibit normal induction of tone-associated fear conditioning yet accelerated fear extinction and impaired consolidation. Thus, ngr1 alters tactile and motor task performance but does not appear to limit the rate of tactile or motor learning, nor determine the low set point for synaptic turnover in sensory cortex. PMID:25386856

  2. Improving older adults’ memory performance using prior task success

    PubMed Central

    Geraci, Lisa; Miller, Tyler M.

    2012-01-01

    Holding negative aging stereotypes can lead older adults to perform poorly on memory tests. We attempted to improve older adults’ memory performance by giving them task experience that would counter their negative performance expectations. Before participating in a memory experiment, younger and older adults were given a cognitive task that they could either successfully complete, not successfully complete, or they were given no prior task. For older adults, recall was significantly higher and self-reported anxiety was significantly lower for the prior task success group relative to the other groups. There was no effect of prior task experience on younger adults’ memory performance. Results suggest that older adults’ memory can be improved with a single successful prior task experience. PMID:23066803

  3. Sleep Deprivation and Time-on-Task Performance Decrement in the Rat Psychomotor Vigilance Task

    PubMed Central

    Oonk, Marcella; Davis, Christopher J.; Krueger, James M.; Wisor, Jonathan P.; Van Dongen, Hans P.A.

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: The rat psychomotor vigilance task (rPVT) was developed as a rodent analog of the human psychomotor vigilance task (hPVT). We examined whether rPVT performance displays time-on-task effects similar to those observed on the hPVT. Design: The rPVT requires rats to respond to a randomly presented light stimulus to obtain a water reward. Rats were water deprived for 22 h prior to each 30-min rPVT session to motivate performance. We analyzed rPVT performance over time on task and as a function of the response-stimulus interval, at baseline and after sleep deprivation. Setting: The study was conducted in an academic research vivarium. Participants: Male Long-Evans rats were trained to respond to a 0.5 sec stimulus light within 3 sec of stimulus onset. Complete data were available for n = 20 rats. Interventions: Rats performed the rPVT for 30 min at baseline and after 24 h total sleep deprivation by gentle handling. Measurements and Results: Compared to baseline, sleep deprived rats displayed increased performance lapses and premature responses, similar to hPVT lapses of attention and false starts. However, in contrast to hPVT performance, the time-on-task performance decrement was not significantly enhanced by sleep deprivation. Moreover, following sleep deprivation, rPVT response times were not consistently increased after short response-stimulus intervals. Conclusions: The rat psychomotor vigilance task manifests similarities to the human psychomotor vigilance task in global performance outcomes, but not in post-sleep deprivation effects of time on task and response-stimulus interval. Citation: Oonk M, Davis CJ, Krueger JM, Wisor JP, Van Dongen HPA. Sleep deprivation and time-on-task performance decrement in the rat psychomotor vigilance task. SLEEP 2015;38(3):445–451. PMID:25515099

  4. Automation of learning-set testing - The video-task paradigm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Washburn, David A.; Hopkins, William D.; Rumbaugh, Duane M.

    1989-01-01

    Researchers interested in studying discrimination learning in primates have typically utilized variations in the Wisconsin General Test Apparatus (WGTA). In the present experiment, a new testing apparatus for the study of primate learning is proposed. In the video-task paradigm, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) respond to computer-generated stimuli by manipulating a joystick. Using this apparatus, discrimination learning-set data for 2 monkeys were obtained. Performance on Trial 2 exceeded 80 percent within 200 discrimination learning problems. These data illustrate the utility of the video-task paradigm in comparative research. Additionally, the efficient learning and rich data that were characteristic of this study suggest several advantages of the present testing paradigm over traditional WGTA testing.

  5. Emotional reactivity and cognitive performance in aversively motivated tasks: a comparison between four rat strains

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Cognitive function might be affected by the subjects' emotional reactivity. We assessed whether behavior in different tests of emotional reactivity is correlated with performance in aversively motivated learning tasks, using four strains of rats generally considered to have a different emotional reactivity. Methods The performance of male Brown Norway, Lewis, Fischer 344, and Wistar Kyoto rats in open field (OF), elevated plus-maze (EPM), and circular light-dark preference box (cLDB) tasks, which are believed to provide measures of emotional reactivity, was evaluated. Spatial working and reference memory were assessed in two aversively motivated learning and memory tasks: the standard and the "repeated acquisition" versions of the Morris water maze escape task, respectively. All rats were also tested in a passive avoidance task. At the end of the study, levels of serotonin (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and 5-HT turnover in the hippocampus and frontal cortex were determined. Results Strain differences showed a complex pattern across behavioral tests and serotonergic measures. Fischer 344 rats had the poorest performance in both versions of the Morris water escape task, whereas Brown Norway rats performed these tasks very well but the passive avoidance task poorly. Neither correlation analysis nor principal component analysis provided convincing support for the notion that OF, EPM, and cLDB tasks measure the same underlying trait. Conclusions Our findings do not support the hypothesis that the level of emotional reactivity modulates cognitive performance in aversively motivated tasks. Concepts such as "emotional reactivity" and "learning and memory" cannot adequately be tapped with only one behavioral test. Our results emphasize the need for multiple testing. PMID:20003525

  6. Neuroimaging explanations of age-related differences in task performance

    PubMed Central

    Steffener, Jason; Barulli, Daniel; Habeck, Christian; Stern, Yaakov

    2014-01-01

    Advancing age affects both cognitive performance and functional brain activity and interpretation of these effects has led to a variety of conceptual research models without always explicitly linking the two effects. However, to best understand the multifaceted effects of advancing age, age differences in functional brain activity need to be explicitly tied to the cognitive task performance. This work hypothesized that age-related differences in task performance are partially explained by age-related differences in functional brain activity and formally tested these causal relationships. Functional MRI data was from groups of young and old adults engaged in an executive task-switching experiment. Analyses were voxel-wise testing of moderated-mediation and simple mediation statistical path models to determine whether age group, brain activity and their interaction explained task performance in regions demonstrating an effect of age group. Results identified brain regions whose age-related differences in functional brain activity significantly explained age-related differences in task performance. In all identified locations, significant moderated-mediation relationships resulted from increasing brain activity predicting worse (slower) task performance in older but not younger adults. Findings suggest that advancing age links task performance to the level of brain activity. The overall message of this work is that in order to understand the role of functional brain activity on cognitive performance, analysis methods should respect theoretical relationships. Namely, that age affects brain activity and brain activity is related to task performance. PMID:24672481

  7. Social learning of an associative foraging task in zebrafish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zala, Sarah M.; Määttänen, Ilmari

    2013-05-01

    The zebrafish ( Danio rerio) is increasingly becoming an important model species for studies on the genetic and neural mechanisms controlling behaviour and cognition. Here, we utilized a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm to study social learning in zebrafish. We tested whether social interactions with conditioned demonstrators enhance the ability of focal naïve individuals to learn an associative foraging task. We found that the presence of conditioned demonstrators improved focal fish foraging behaviour through the process of social transmission, whereas the presence of inexperienced demonstrators interfered with the learning of the control focal fish. Our results indicate that zebrafish use social learning for finding food and that this CPP paradigm is an efficient assay to study social learning and memory in zebrafish.

  8. Parallel Response Selection Disrupts Sequence Learning under Dual-Task Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumacher, Eric H.; Schwarb, Hillary

    2009-01-01

    Some studies suggest that dual-task processing impairs sequence learning; others suggest it does not. The reason for this discrepancy remains obscure. It may have to do with the dual-task procedure often used. Many dual-task sequence learning studies pair the serial reaction time (SRT) task with a tone-counting secondary task. The tone-counting…

  9. Classifying Response Correctness across Different Task Sets: A Machine Learning Approach

    PubMed Central

    Wascher, Edmund; Falkenstein, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Erroneous behavior usually elicits a distinct pattern in neural waveforms. In particular, inspection of the concurrent recorded electroencephalograms (EEG) typically reveals a negative potential at fronto-central electrodes shortly following a response error (Ne or ERN) as well as an error-awareness-related positivity (Pe). Seemingly, the brain signal contains information about the occurrence of an error. Assuming a general error evaluation system, the question arises whether this information can be utilized in order to classify behavioral performance within or even across different cognitive tasks. In the present study, a machine learning approach was employed to investigate the outlined issue. Ne as well as Pe were extracted from the single-trial EEG signals of participants conducting a flanker and a mental rotation task and subjected to a machine learning classification scheme (via a support vector machine, SVM). Overall, individual performance in the flanker task was classified more accurately, with accuracy rates of above 85%. Most importantly, it was even feasible to classify responses across both tasks. In particular, an SVM trained on the flanker task could identify erroneous behavior with almost 70% accuracy in the EEG data recorded during the rotation task, and vice versa. Summed up, we replicate that the response-related EEG signal can be used to identify erroneous behavior within a particular task. Going beyond this, it was possible to classify response types across functionally different tasks. Therefore, the outlined methodological approach appears promising with respect to future applications. PMID:27032108

  10. Classifying Response Correctness across Different Task Sets: A Machine Learning Approach.

    PubMed

    Plewan, Thorsten; Wascher, Edmund; Falkenstein, Michael; Hoffmann, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Erroneous behavior usually elicits a distinct pattern in neural waveforms. In particular, inspection of the concurrent recorded electroencephalograms (EEG) typically reveals a negative potential at fronto-central electrodes shortly following a response error (Ne or ERN) as well as an error-awareness-related positivity (Pe). Seemingly, the brain signal contains information about the occurrence of an error. Assuming a general error evaluation system, the question arises whether this information can be utilized in order to classify behavioral performance within or even across different cognitive tasks. In the present study, a machine learning approach was employed to investigate the outlined issue. Ne as well as Pe were extracted from the single-trial EEG signals of participants conducting a flanker and a mental rotation task and subjected to a machine learning classification scheme (via a support vector machine, SVM). Overall, individual performance in the flanker task was classified more accurately, with accuracy rates of above 85%. Most importantly, it was even feasible to classify responses across both tasks. In particular, an SVM trained on the flanker task could identify erroneous behavior with almost 70% accuracy in the EEG data recorded during the rotation task, and vice versa. Summed up, we replicate that the response-related EEG signal can be used to identify erroneous behavior within a particular task. Going beyond this, it was possible to classify response types across functionally different tasks. Therefore, the outlined methodological approach appears promising with respect to future applications. PMID:27032108

  11. LMS Use and Instructor Performance: The Role of Task-Technology Fit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGill, Tanya; Klobas, Jane; Renzi, Stefano

    2011-01-01

    The introduction of learning management systems (LMS) has changed the way in which instructors work. This paper uses Goodhue and Thompson's (1995) technology-to-performance chain (TPC) to explore the roles of task-technology fit (TTF) and level of LMS use in the performance impacts of LMS for instructors. A mixed method approach was used: an…

  12. Why Does Background Noise Debilitate Simple Task Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kohfeld, David L.; Goedecke, Dennis W.

    An earlier study indicated that a subject's performance on simple mental tasks, such as tracing soluble and unsoluble geometric designs and proofreading, was not affected by background noise regardless of its intensity, unpredictability, or uncontrollability. But, since background noise did have a significant effect on postnoise task performance,…

  13. Age-related changes in learning across early childhood: a new imitation task.

    PubMed

    Dickerson, Kelly; Gerhardstein, Peter; Zack, Elizabeth; Barr, Rachel

    2013-11-01

    Imitation plays a critical role in social and cognitive development, but the social learning mechanisms contributing to the development of imitation are not well understood. We developed a new imitation task designed to examine social learning mechanisms across the early childhood period. The new task involves assembly of abstract-shaped puzzle pieces in an arbitrary sequence on a magnet board. Additionally, we introduce a new scoring system that extends traditional goal-directed imitation scoring to include measures of both children's success at copying gestures (sliding the puzzle pieces) and goals (connecting the puzzle pieces). In Experiment 1, we demonstrated an age-invariant baseline from 1.5 to 3.5 years of age, accompanied by age-related changes in success at copying goals and gestures from a live demonstrator. In Experiment 2, we applied our new task to learning following a video demonstration. Imitation performance in the video demonstration group lagged behind that of the live demonstration group, showing a protracted video deficit effect. Across both experiments, children were more likely to copy gestures at earlier ages, suggesting mimicry, and only later copy both goals and gestures, suggesting imitation. Taken together, the findings suggest that different social learning strategies may predominate in imitation learning dependent upon the degree of object affordance, task novelty, and task complexity. PMID:22786801

  14. Human performance evaluation in dual-axis critical task tracking

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ritchie, M. L.; Nataraj, N. S.

    1975-01-01

    A dual axis tracking using a multiloop critical task was set up to evaluate human performance. The effects of control stick variation and display formats are evaluated. A secondary loading was used to measure the degradation in tracking performance.

  15. The effect of action video game playing on sensorimotor learning: Evidence from a movement tracking task.

    PubMed

    Gozli, Davood G; Bavelier, Daphne; Pratt, Jay

    2014-10-12

    Research on the impact of action video game playing has revealed performance advantages on a wide range of perceptual and cognitive tasks. It is not known, however, if playing such games confers similar advantages in sensorimotor learning. To address this issue, the present study used a manual motion-tracking task that allowed for a sensitive measure of both accuracy and improvement over time. When the target motion pattern was consistent over trials, gamers improved with a faster rate and eventually outperformed non-gamers. Performance between the two groups, however, did not differ initially. When the target motion was inconsistent, changing on every trial, results revealed no difference between gamers and non-gamers. Together, our findings suggest that video game playing confers no reliable benefit in sensorimotor control, but it does enhance sensorimotor learning, enabling superior performance in tasks with consistent and predictable structure. PMID:25318081

  16. Emotional reactivity and awareness of task performance in Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Mograbi, Daniel C; Brown, Richard G; Salas, Christian; Morris, Robin G

    2012-07-01

    Lack of awareness about performance in tasks is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease. Nevertheless, clinical anecdotes have suggested that patients may show emotional or behavioural responses to the experience of failure despite reporting limited awareness, an aspect which has been little explored experimentally. The current study investigated emotional reactions to success or failure in tasks despite unawareness of performance in Alzheimer's disease. For this purpose, novel computerised tasks which expose participants to systematic success or failure were used in a group of Alzheimer's disease patients (n=23) and age-matched controls (n=21). Two experiments, the first with reaction time tasks and the second with memory tasks, were carried out, and in each experiment two parallel tasks were used, one in a success condition and one in a failure condition. Awareness of performance was measured comparing participant estimations of performance with actual performance. Emotional reactivity was assessed with a self-report questionnaire and rating of filmed facial expressions. In both experiments the results indicated that, relative to controls, Alzheimer's disease patients exhibited impaired awareness of performance, but comparable differential reactivity to failure relative to success tasks, both in terms of self-report and facial expressions. This suggests that affective valence of failure experience is processed despite unawareness of task performance, which might indicate implicit processing of information in neural pathways bypassing awareness. PMID:22609573

  17. Performance Proficiency as a Measure of Learning Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robbins, Paul

    2009-01-01

    Level 2 evaluation often advocates that pretest and posttest measures be collected to assess learning gains. In many military organizations, learning per se is less relevant than whether graduates can proficiently perform the job tasks for which they were hired. The critical end is performance proficiency. Incorporating methods for measuring…

  18. Deep Thinking Increases Task-Set Shielding and Reduces Shifting Flexibility in Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischer, Rico; Hommel, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    Performing two tasks concurrently is difficult, which has been taken to imply the existence of a structural processing bottleneck. Here we sought to assess whether and to what degree one's multitasking abilities depend on the cognitive-control style one engages in. Participants were primed with creativity tasks that either called for divergent…

  19. Vocabulary Learning in Collaborative Tasks: A Comparison of Pair and Small Group Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dobao, Ana Fernández

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the opportunities that pair and small group interaction offer for collaborative dialogue and second language (L2) vocabulary learning. It compared the performance of the same collaborative writing task by learners working in groups of four (n = 60) and in pairs (n = 50), focusing on the occurrence of lexical language-related…

  20. Motor Learning of a Bimanual Task in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ya-Ching; Gordon, Andrew M.

    2013-01-01

    Children with unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) have been shown to improve their motor performance with sufficient practice. However, little is known about how they learn goal-oriented tasks. In the current study, 21 children with unilateral CP (age 4-10 years old) and 21 age-matched typically developed children (TDC) practiced a simple bimanual…

  1. Search for Autonomy in Motor Task Learning in Physical Education University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno Murcia, Juan Antonio; Lacarcel, Jose Antonio Vera; Del Villar Alvarez, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    The study focused on discovering the influence that an autonomous motor task learning programme had on the improvement of perceived competence, intrinsic regulation, incremental belief and motivational orientations. The study was performed with two groups of participants (n = 22 and n = 20) aged between 19 and 35 years. The instruments used were…

  2. Place Learning in the Morris Water Task: Making the Memory Stick

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bolding, Kevin; Rudy, Jerry W.

    2006-01-01

    Although the Morris water task has been used in hundreds of studies of place learning, there have been no systematic studies of retention of the place memory. We report that retention, as measured by selective search behavior on a probe trial, is excellent when the retention interval is short (5-10 min). However, performance rapidly deteriorates,…

  3. Quantifying Learning in Young Infants: Tracking Leg Actions During a Discovery-learning Task.

    PubMed

    Sargent, Barbara; Reimann, Hendrik; Kubo, Masayoshi; Fetters, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Task-specific actions emerge from spontaneous movement during infancy. It has been proposed that task-specific actions emerge through a discovery-learning process. Here a method is described in which 3-4 month old infants learn a task by discovery and their leg movements are captured to quantify the learning process. This discovery-learning task uses an infant activated mobile that rotates and plays music based on specified leg action of infants. Supine infants activate the mobile by moving their feet vertically across a virtual threshold. This paradigm is unique in that as infants independently discover that their leg actions activate the mobile, the infants' leg movements are tracked using a motion capture system allowing for the quantification of the learning process. Specifically, learning is quantified in terms of the duration of mobile activation, the position variance of the end effectors (feet) that activate the mobile, changes in hip-knee coordination patterns, and changes in hip and knee muscle torque. This information describes infant exploration and exploitation at the interplay of person and environmental constraints that support task-specific action. Subsequent research using this method can investigate how specific impairments of different populations of infants at risk for movement disorders influence the discovery-learning process for task-specific action. PMID:26066904

  4. Task relevancy and demand modulate double-training enabled transfer of perceptual learning

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rui; Zhang, Jun-Yun; Klein, Stanley A.; Levi, Dennis M.; Yu, Cong

    2011-01-01

    Location-specific perceptual learning can be rendered transferrable to a new location with double training, in which feature training (e.g., contrast) is accompanied by additional location training at the new location even with an irrelevant task (e.g. orientation). Here we investigated the impact of relevancy (to feature training) and demand of location training tasks on double training enabled learning transfer. We found that location training with an irrelevant task (Gabor vs. letter judgment, or contrast discrimination) limited transfer of Vernier learning to the trained orientation only. However, performing a relevant suprathreshold orthogonal Vernier task prompted additional transfer to an untrained orthogonal orientation. In addition, the amount of learning transfer may depend on the demand of location training as well as the double training procedure. These results characterize how double training potentiates the functional connections between a learned high-level decision unit and visual inputs from an untrained location to enable transfer of learning across retinal locations. PMID:21820004

  5. Inferring multi-target QSAR models with taxonomy-based multi-task learning

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A plethora of studies indicate that the development of multi-target drugs is beneficial for complex diseases like cancer. Accurate QSAR models for each of the desired targets assist the optimization of a lead candidate by the prediction of affinity profiles. Often, the targets of a multi-target drug are sufficiently similar such that, in principle, knowledge can be transferred between the QSAR models to improve the model accuracy. In this study, we present two different multi-task algorithms from the field of transfer learning that can exploit the similarity between several targets to transfer knowledge between the target specific QSAR models. Results We evaluated the two methods on simulated data and a data set of 112 human kinases assembled from the public database ChEMBL. The relatedness between the kinase targets was derived from the taxonomy of the humane kinome. The experiments show that multi-task learning increases the performance compared to training separate models on both types of data given a sufficient similarity between the tasks. On the kinase data, the best multi-task approach improved the mean squared error of the QSAR models of 58 kinase targets. Conclusions Multi-task learning is a valuable approach for inferring multi-target QSAR models for lead optimization. The application of multi-task learning is most beneficial if knowledge can be transferred from a similar task with a lot of in-domain knowledge to a task with little in-domain knowledge. Furthermore, the benefit increases with a decreasing overlap between the chemical space spanned by the tasks. PMID:23842210

  6. Short-term memory and dual task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, J. E.

    1982-01-01

    Two hypotheses concerning the way in which short-term memory interacts with another task in a dual task situation are considered. It is noted that when two tasks are combined, the activity of controlling and organizing performance on both tasks simultaneously may compete with either task for a resource; this resource may be space in a central mechanism or general processing capacity or it may be some task-specific resource. If a special relationship exists between short-term memory and control, especially if there is an identity relationship between short-term and a central controlling mechanism, then short-term memory performance should show a decrement in a dual task situation. Even if short-term memory does not have any particular identity with a controlling mechanism, but both tasks draw on some common resource or resources, then a tradeoff between the two tasks in allocating resources is possible and could be reflected in performance. The persistent concurrence cost in memory performance in these experiments suggests that short-term memory may have a unique status in the information processing system.

  7. The Curvilinear Relationship between State Neuroticism and Momentary Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Debusscher, Jonas; Hofmans, Joeri; De Fruyt, Filip

    2014-01-01

    A daily diary and two experience sampling studies were carried out to investigate curvilinearity of the within-person relationship between state neuroticism and task performance, as well as the moderating effects of within-person variation in momentary job demands (i.e., work pressure and task complexity). In one, results showed that under high work pressure, the state neuroticism–task performance relationship was best described by an exponentially decreasing curve, whereas an inverted U-shaped curve was found for tasks low in work pressure, while in another study, a similar trend was visible for task complexity. In the final study, the state neuroticism–momentary task performance relationship was a linear one, and this relationship was moderated by momentary task complexity. Together, results from all three studies showed that it is important to take into account the moderating effects of momentary job demands because within-person variation in job demands affects the way in which state neuroticism relates to momentary levels of task performance. Specifically, we found that experiencing low levels of state neuroticism may be most beneficial in high demanding tasks, whereas more moderate levels of state neuroticism are optimal under low momentary job demands. PMID:25238547

  8. Dual Task Performance in Normal Aging: A Comparison of Choice Reaction Time Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Vaportzis, Eleftheria; Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie; Stout, Julie C.

    2013-01-01

    This study examined dual task performance in 28 younger (18–30 years) and 28 older (>60 years) adults using two sets of choice reaction time (RT) tasks paired with digit tasks. Set one paired simple choice RT with digit forward; set two paired complex choice RT with digit backward. Each task within each set had easy and hard conditions. For the simple choice RT, participants viewed single letters and pressed a specified keyboard key if the letter was X or Z or a different key for other letters (easy). For the hard condition, there were 4 target letters (X, Z, O, Y). Digit forward consisted of 4 (easy) or 5 (hard) digits. For the complex choice RT, participants viewed 4×4 matrices of Xs and Os, and indicated whether four Xs (easy) or four Xs or four Os (hard) appeared in a row. Digit backward consisted of 3 (easy) or 4 (hard) digits. Within each set, participants performed every possible combination of tasks. We found that in the simple choice RT tasks older adults were significantly slower than, but as accurate as younger adults. In the complex choice RT tasks, older adults were significantly less accurate, but as fast as younger adults. For both age groups and both dual task sets, RT decreased and error rates increased with greater task difficulty. Older adults had greater dual task costs for error rates in the simple choice RT, whereas in the complex choice RT, it was the younger group that had greater dual task costs. Findings suggest that younger and older adults may adopt differential behavioral strategies depending on complexity and difficulty of dual tasks. PMID:23555937

  9. Investigation of automated task learning, decomposition and scheduling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livingston, David L.; Serpen, Gursel; Masti, Chandrashekar L.

    1990-01-01

    The details and results of research conducted in the application of neural networks to task planning and decomposition are presented. Task planning and decomposition are operations that humans perform in a reasonably efficient manner. Without the use of good heuristics and usually much human interaction, automatic planners and decomposers generally do not perform well due to the intractable nature of the problems under consideration. The human-like performance of neural networks has shown promise for generating acceptable solutions to intractable problems such as planning and decomposition. This was the primary reasoning behind attempting the study. The basis for the work is the use of state machines to model tasks. State machine models provide a useful means for examining the structure of tasks since many formal techniques have been developed for their analysis and synthesis. It is the approach to integrate the strong algebraic foundations of state machines with the heretofore trial-and-error approach to neural network synthesis.

  10. Different levels of food restriction reveal genotype-specific differences in learning a visual discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Makowiecki, Kalina; Hammond, Geoff; Rodger, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    In behavioural experiments, motivation to learn can be achieved using food rewards as positive reinforcement in food-restricted animals. Previous studies reduce animal weights to 80-90% of free-feeding body weight as the criterion for food restriction. However, effects of different degrees of food restriction on task performance have not been assessed. We compared learning task performance in mice food-restricted to 80 or 90% body weight (BW). We used adult wildtype (WT; C57Bl/6j) and knockout (ephrin-A2⁻/⁻) mice, previously shown to have a reverse learning deficit. Mice were trained in a two-choice visual discrimination task with food reward as positive reinforcement. When mice reached criterion for one visual stimulus (80% correct in three consecutive 10 trial sets) they began the reverse learning phase, where the rewarded stimulus was switched to the previously incorrect stimulus. For the initial learning and reverse phase of the task, mice at 90%BW took almost twice as many trials to reach criterion as mice at 80%BW. Furthermore, WT 80 and 90%BW groups significantly differed in percentage correct responses and learning strategy in the reverse learning phase, whereas no differences between weight restriction groups were observed in ephrin-A2⁻/⁻ mice. Most importantly, genotype-specific differences in reverse learning strategy were only detected in the 80%BW groups. Our results indicate that increased food restriction not only results in better performance and a shorter training period, but may also be necessary for revealing behavioural differences between experimental groups. This has important ethical and animal welfare implications when deciding extent of diet restriction in behavioural studies. PMID:23144936

  11. Can zebrafish learn spatial tasks? An empirical analysis of place and single CS-US associative learning

    PubMed Central

    Karnik, Indraneel; Gerlai, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The zebrafish may be an ideal tool with which genes underlying learning and memory can be identified and functionally investigated. From a translational viewpoint, relational learning and episodic memory are particularly important as their impairment is the hallmark of prevalent human neurodegenerative diseases. Recent reports suggest that zebrafish are capable of solving complex relational-type associative learning tasks, namely spatial learning tasks. However, it is not known whether good performance in these tasks was truly based upon relational learning or upon a single CS-US association. Here we study whether zebrafish can find a rewarding stimulus (sight of conspecifics) based upon a single associative cue or/and upon the location of the reward using a method conceptually similar to ‘context and cue dependent fear conditioning’ employed with rodents. Our results confirm that zebrafish can form an association between a salient visual cue and the rewarding stimulus and at the same time they can also learn where the reward is presented. Although our results do not prove that zebrafish form a dynamic spatial map of their surroundings and use this map to locate their reward, they do show that these fish perform similarly to rodents whose hippocampal function is unimpaired. These results further strengthen the notion that complex cognitive abilities exist in the zebrafish and thus they may be analyzed using the excellent genetic tool set developed for this simple vertebrate. PMID:22633962

  12. Crew performance and communication: Performing a terrain navigation task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Battiste, Vernol; Delzell, Susanne

    1993-01-01

    A study was conducted to examine the map and route cues pilots use while navigating under controlled, but realistic, nap-of-the-earth (NOE) flight conditions. US Army helicopter flight crews were presented a map and route overlay and asked to perform normal mission planning. They then viewed a video-recording of the out-the-window scene during low-level flights, without the route overlay, and were asked periodically to locate their current position on the map. The pilots and navigators were asked to communicate normally during the planning and flight phases. During each flight the navigator's response time, accuracy, and subjective workload were assessed. Post-flight NASA-TLX workload ratings were collected. No main effect of map orientation (north-up vs. track-up) was found for errors or response times on any of the tasks evaluated. Navigators in the north-up group rated their workload lower than those in the track-up group.

  13. Early Failures Benefit Subsequent Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Igata, Hideyoshi; Sasaki, Takuya; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2016-01-01

    Animals navigate using cognitive maps. However, how they adaptively exploit these maps in changing environments is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the problem-solving behaviors of mice in a complicated maze in which multiple routes with different intersections were available (Test 1). Although all mice eventually settled on the shortest route, mice that initially exhibited more trial-and-error exploration solved the maze more rapidly. We then introduced one or two barriers that obstructed learned routes such that mice had to establish novel roundabout detours (Tests 2/3). Solutions varied among mice but were predictable based on individual early trial-and-error patterns observed in Test 1: mice that had initially explored more extensively found better solutions. Finally, when the barriers were removed (Test 4), all mice reverted to the best solution after active exploration. Thus, early active exploration helps mice to develop optimal strategies. PMID:26883387

  14. Early Failures Benefit Subsequent Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Igata, Hideyoshi; Sasaki, Takuya; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2016-01-01

    Animals navigate using cognitive maps. However, how they adaptively exploit these maps in changing environments is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the problem-solving behaviors of mice in a complicated maze in which multiple routes with different intersections were available (Test 1). Although all mice eventually settled on the shortest route, mice that initially exhibited more trial-and-error exploration solved the maze more rapidly. We then introduced one or two barriers that obstructed learned routes such that mice had to establish novel roundabout detours (Tests 2/3). Solutions varied among mice but were predictable based on individual early trial-and-error patterns observed in Test 1: mice that had initially explored more extensively found better solutions. Finally, when the barriers were removed (Test 4), all mice reverted to the best solution after active exploration. Thus, early active exploration helps mice to develop optimal strategies. PMID:26883387

  15. A Learning Style-Based Grouping Collaborative Learning Approach to Improve EFL Students' Performance in English Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuo, Yu-Chen; Chu, Hui-Chun; Huang, Chi-Hao

    2015-01-01

    Learning English is an important and challenging task for English as Foreign Language (EFL) students. Educators had indicated that, without proper learning support, most EFL students might feel frustrated while learning English, which could significantly affect their learning performance. In the past research, learning usually utilized grouping,…

  16. Performance of Healthy Participants on the Iowa Gambling Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steingroever, Helen; Wetzels, Ruud; Horstmann, Annette; Neumann, Jane; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2013-01-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; Bechara, Damasio, Damasio, & Anderson, 1994) is often used to assess decision-making deficits in clinical populations. The interpretation of the results hinges on 3 key assumptions: (a) healthy participants learn to prefer the good options over the bad options; (b) healthy participants show homogeneous choice behavior;…

  17. Comparing species decisions in a dichotomous choice task: adjusting task parameters improves performance in monkeys.

    PubMed

    Prétôt, Laurent; Bshary, Redouan; Brosnan, Sarah F

    2016-07-01

    In comparative psychology, both similarities and differences among species are studied to better understand the evolution of their behavior. To do so, we first test species in tasks using similar procedures, but if differences are found, it is important to determine their underlying cause(s) (e.g., are they due to ecology, cognitive ability, an artifact of the study, and/or some other factor?). In our previous work, primates performed unexpectedly poorly on an apparently simple two-choice discrimination task based on the natural behavior of cleaner fish, while the fish did quite well. In this task, if the subjects first chose one of the options (ephemeral) they received both food items, but if they chose the other (permanent) option first, the ephemeral option disappeared. Here, we test several proposed explanations for primates' relatively poorer performance. In Study 1, we used a computerized paradigm that differed from the previous test by removing interaction with human experimenters, which may be distracting, and providing a more standardized testing environment. In Study 2, we adapted the computerized paradigm from Study 1 to be more relevant to primate ecology. Monkeys' overall performance in these adapted tasks matched the performance of the fish in the original study, showing that with the appropriate modifications they can solve the task. We discuss these results in light of comparative research, which requires balancing procedural similarity with considerations of how the details of the task or the context may influence how different species perceive and solve tasks differently. PMID:27086302

  18. Learning what to learn: the effects of task experience on strategy shifts in the allocation of study time.

    PubMed

    Ariel, Robert

    2013-11-01

    Learners typically allocate more resources to learning items that are higher in value than they do to items lower in value. For instance, when items vary in point value for learning, participants allocate more study time to the higher point items than they do to the lower point items. The current experiments extend this research to a context where the value of items is not explicitly labeled by evaluating whether learners' study decisions are sensitive to statistical regularities in the testing environment that signal which items are valuable to learn. In 4 experiments, participants studied English-English and Swahili-English paired associates across 4 study-test trials. On each trial, they were tested on only 1 type of item (e.g., only Swahili-English pairs), and, hence, only 1 type of item was valuable for performance. Some participants were cued to which information was valuable, and other participants had to learn from task experience. Experiment 2 examined the effect of performance incentives on study decisions, and Experiment 3 examined how the organization of the task environment influences learners' decisions. Finally, Experiment 4 examined the role of working memory span, fluid intelligence, and need for cognition on decisions. Findings indicated that some people can learn from task experience which items are important to study. However, many learners fail to do so (in particular, learners with low working memory spans); as a consequence, they dysregulate their study by allocating time to items that are not valuable to performance. PMID:23751010

  19. Bimanual interference in children performing a dual motor task.

    PubMed

    Otte, E; van Mier, H I

    2006-10-01

    The present study addressed the development of bimanual interference in children performing a dual motor task, in which each hand executes a different task simultaneously. Forty right-handed children (aged 4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-11years, ten in each age group) were asked to perform a bimanual task in which they had to tap with a pen using the non-preferred hand and simultaneously trace a circle or a square with a pen using the preferred hand as quickly as possible. Tapping and tracing were also performed unimanually. Differences between unimanual and bimanual performance were assessed for number of taps, length of tap trace and mean tracing velocity. It was assumed that with increasing age, better bimanual coordination would result in better performance on the dual task showing less intermanual interference. The results showed that tapping and tracing performance increased with age, unimanually as well as bimanually, consistent with developmental advancement. However, the percentage of intermanual interference due to bimanual performance was not significantly different in the four age groups. Although performing the dual task resulted in mutual intermanual interference, all groups showed a significant effect of tracing shape. More specifically, all age groups showed a larger percentage decrease in tracing velocity when performing the circle compared to the square in the dual task. The present study reveals that children as young as four years are able to coordinate both hands when tapping and tracing bimanually. PMID:17011654

  20. The Effects of Distraction on Cognitive Task Performance during Toddlerhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wyss, Nancy M.; Kannass, Kathleen N.; Haden, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effects of distraction on attention and task performance during toddlerhood. Thirty toddlers (24- to 26-month-olds) completed different tasks (2 of each: categorization, problem solving, memory, free play) in one of two conditions: No Distraction or Distraction. The results revealed that the distractor had varying effects on…

  1. Interference effects of vocalization on dual task performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owens, J. M.; Goodman, L. S.; Pianka, M. J.

    1984-09-01

    Voice command and control systems have been proposed as a potential means of off-loading the typically overburdened visual information processing system. However, prior to introducing novel human-machine interfacing technologies in high workload environments, consideration must be given to the integration of the new technologists within existing task structures to ensure that no new sources of workload or interference are systematically introduced. This study examined the use of voice interactive systems technology in the joint performance of two cognitive information processing tasks requiring continuous memory and choice reaction wherein a basis for intertask interference might be expected. Stimuli for the continuous memory task were presented aurally and either voice or keyboard responding was required in the choice reaction task. Performance was significantly degraded in each task when voice responding was required in the choice reaction time task. Performance degradation was evident in higher error scores for both the choice reaction and continuous memory tasks. Performance decrements observed under conditions of high intertask stimulus similarity were not statistically significant. The results signal the need to consider further the task requirements for verbal short-term memory when applying speech technology in multitask environments.

  2. Modeling Cognitive Strategies during Complex Task Performing Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazman, Sacide Guzin; Altun, Arif

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine individuals' computer based complex task performing processes and strategies in order to determine the reasons of failure by cognitive task analysis method and cued retrospective think aloud with eye movement data. Study group was five senior students from Computer Education and Instructional Technologies…

  3. Development of task network models of human performance in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, Manuel F.; Adam, Susan

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the utility of task-network modeling for quantifying human performance variability in microgravity. The data are gathered for: (1) improving current methodologies for assessing human performance and workload in the operational space environment; (2) developing tools for assessing alternative system designs; and (3) developing an integrated set of methodologies for the evaluation of performance degradation during extended duration spaceflight. The evaluation entailed an analysis of the Remote Manipulator System payload-grapple task performed on many shuttle missions. Task-network modeling can be used as a tool for assessing and enhancing human performance in man-machine systems, particularly for modeling long-duration manned spaceflight. Task-network modeling can be directed toward improving system efficiency by increasing the understanding of basic capabilities of the human component in the system and the factors that influence these capabilities.

  4. Reversal Learning Task in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Robot-Based Approach.

    PubMed

    Costescu, Cristina A; Vanderborght, Bram; David, Daniel O

    2015-11-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) engage in highly perseverative and inflexible behaviours. Technological tools, such as robots, received increased attention as social reinforces and/or assisting tools for improving the performance of children with ASD. The aim of our study is to investigate the role of the robotic toy Keepon in a cognitive flexibility task performed by children with ASD and typically developing (TD) children. The number of participants included in this study is 81 children: 40 TD children and 41 children with ASD. Each participant had to go through two conditions: robot interaction and human interaction in which they had performed the reversal learning task. Our primary outcomes are the number of errors from acquisition phase and from reversal phase of the task; as secondary outcomes we have measured attentional engagement and positive affect. The results of this study showed that children with ASD are more engaged in the task and they seem to enjoy more the task when interacting with the robot compared with the interaction with the adult. On the other hand their cognitive flexibility performance is, in general, similar in the robot and the human conditions with the exception of the learning phase where the robot can interfere with the performance. Implication for future research and practice are discussed. PMID:25479815

  5. Reducing postural sway by concurrently performing challenging cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Polskaia, Nadia; Lajoie, Yves

    2016-04-01

    The present experiment varied cognitive complexity and sensory modality on postural control in young adults. Seventeen participants (23.71±1.99years) were instructed to stand feet together on a force platform while concurrently performing cognitive tasks of varying degrees of difficulty (easy, moderate and difficult). The cognitive tasks were presented both, auditorily and visually. Auditory tasks consisted of counting the occurrence of one or two letters and repeating a string of words. Visual tasks consisted of counting the occurrence of one or two numbers. With increasing cognitive demand, area of 95% confidence ellipse and ML sway variability was significantly reduced. The visual tasks reduced ML sway variability, whereas the auditory tasks increased COP irregularity. We suggest that these findings are primarily due to an increase in sensorimotor integration as a result of a shift in attentional focus. PMID:26796418

  6. Motivational Effects on Self-Regulated Learning with Different Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vollmeyer, Regina; Rheinberg, Falko

    2006-01-01

    In our cognitive motivational process model (Vollmeyer & Rheinberg, "Zeitschrift fur Padagogische Psychologie," 12:11-23, 1998) we assume that initial motivation affects performance via motivation during learning and learning strategies. These variables are also central for self-regulation theories (e.g., M. Boekaerts, "European Psychologist,"…

  7. Contingency learning is not affected by conflict experience: Evidence from a task conflict-free, item-specific Stroop paradigm.

    PubMed

    Levin, Yulia; Tzelgov, Joseph

    2016-02-01

    A contingency learning account of the item-specific proportion congruent effect has been described as an associative stimulus-response learning process that has nothing to do with controlling the Stroop conflict. As supportive evidence, contingency learning has been demonstrated with response conflict-free stimuli, such as neutral words. However, what gives rise to response conflict and to Stroop interference in general is task conflict. The present study investigated whether task conflict can constitute a trigger or, alternatively, a booster to the contingency learning process. This was done by employing a "task conflict-free" condition (i.e., geometric shapes) and comparing it with a "task conflict" condition (i.e., neutral words). The results showed a significant contingency learning effect in both conditions, refuting the possibility that contingency learning is triggered by the presence of a task conflict. Contingency learning was also not enhanced by the task conflict experience, indicating its complete insensitivity to Stroop conflict(s). Thus, the results showed no evidence that performance optimization as a result of contingency learning is greater under conflict, implying that contingency learning is not recruited to assist the control system to overcome conflict. PMID:26720099

  8. Learning New Grammatical Structures in Task-Based Language Learning: The Effects of Recasts and Prompts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van de Guchte, Marrit; Braaksma, Martine; Rijlaarsdam, Gert; Bimmel, Peter

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, we examine the effects of prompts and recasts on the acquisition of two new and different grammar structures in a task-based learning environment. Sixty-four 14-year-old 9th grade students (low intermediate) learning German as a foreign language were randomly assigned to three conditions: two experimental groups (one…

  9. Effects of the Learning Opportunities Task Force (LOTF) Programs on Postsecondary Students with Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Allyson G.; Areepattamannil, Shaljan; Freeman, John

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the effects of participation in the Learning Opportunities Task Force (LOTF) programs on postsecondary students with learning disabilities (LDs). Data regarding 969 students from 6 colleges and 4 universities in Ontario were evaluated to investigate rates of academic success and increased self-awareness. Participants had a…

  10. Performance of children with good and poor articulation on tasks of tongue placement.

    PubMed

    Jordan, L S; Hardy, J C; Morris, H L

    1978-09-01

    This study determined whether children could learn to replicate four positions of lingual-palatal contact with and without topical anesthesia that eliminated touch-pressure sensations. First-grade boys, nine with good articulation skills and nine with poor articulation skills, were used as subjects. Results suggest that individuals are able to learn nonspeech tasks of tongue positioning by relying on muscle spindles or deep receptors within the tongue, or both, or by relying on lingual touch-pressure or other surface receptors within the tongue, or, by a combination of deep and surface receptors of the tongue. Further, tongue positioning need not be dependent on touch-pressure or superficial tactile mechanisms. Children with relatively severe articulation problems performed more poorly on the tasks of precise tongue placement than children with good articulation skills. And finally, children with relatively severe articulation problems may be able to improve their initially poor performance on tongue placement tasks with specific training on those tasks, implying that this group did receive the intraoral sensory feedback necessary to learn the task, but that more experience was needed for the learning to occur. PMID:713514

  11. Animated Ranking Tasks: Student Attitudes, Practices, & Learning Gains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kevin M.; Prather, E. E.; Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars CATS

    2012-01-01

    A ranking task typically provides the learner with a series of pictures or diagrams that describe several slightly different variations of a basic physical situation. The student is then asked to make a comparative judgment and order or rank the various situations based on some physical outcome or result. These novel and intellectually challenging tasks effectively probe student understanding at a deep conceptual level. For several years we have been developing a library of computer-based ranking and sorting tasks for introductory astronomy. The students in this study completed a series of animated ranking tasks on lunar phases, were surveyed regarding their experiences, and completed a pre/post assessment based on Lunar Phase Concept Inventory questions. The tasks communicated with a database and all student interactions were recorded. This poster will detail student learning gains, practices, and attitudes from the study. Interesting correlations between variables will be identified. All eduational tools described in this poster are publicly available at http://astro.unl.edu. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants Nos. 0737376 and 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  12. Expectancy-value theory in persistence of learning effects in schizophrenia: role of task value and perceived competency.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jimmy; Fiszdon, Joanna M; Medalia, Alice

    2010-09-01

    Expectancy-value theory, a widely accepted model of motivation, posits that expectations of success on a learning task and the individual value placed on the task are central determinants of motivation to learn. This is supported by research in healthy controls suggesting that beliefs of self-and-content mastery can be so influential they can predict the degree of improvement on challenging cognitive tasks even more so than general cognitive ability. We examined components of expectancy-value theory (perceived competency and task value), along with baseline arithmetic performance and neuropsychological performance, as possible predictors of learning outcome in a sample of 70 outpatients with schizophrenia randomized to 1 of 2 different arithmetic learning conditions and followed up after 3 months. Results indicated that as with nonpsychiatric samples, perceived self-competency for the learning task was significantly related to perceptions of task value attributed to the learning task. Baseline expectations of success predicted persistence of learning on the task at 3-month follow-up, even after accounting for variance attributable to different arithmetic instruction, baseline arithmetic ability, attention, and self-reports of task interest and task value. We also found that expectation of success is a malleable construct, with posttraining improvements persisting at follow-up. These findings support the notion that expectancy-value theory is operative in schizophrenia. Thus, similar to the nonpsychiatric population, treatment benefits may be enhanced and better maintained if remediation programs also focus on perceptions of self-competency for the training tasks. Treatment issues related to instilling self-efficacy in cognitive recovery programs are discussed. PMID:20634277

  13. Acquisition Performance by Mentally Retarded Children and Young Adults on Complex Benchwork Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Kevin P.

    1984-01-01

    To assess the capacity of younger handicapped children to learn a benchwork assembly, 18 children (mean age 12.7) were taught a complex worksample, and various acquisition measures were compared with the performance of 60 older subjects on the same task. Only one significant difference was found between all measures of acquisition. (Author/CL)

  14. Task Switching versus Cue Switching: Using Transition Cuing to Disentangle Sequential Effects in Task-Switching Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2007-01-01

    Recent methodological advances have allowed researchers to address confounds in the measurement of task-switch costs in task-switching performance by dissociating cue switching from task switching. For example, in the transition-cuing procedure, which involves presenting cues for task transitions rather than for tasks, cue transitions (cue…

  15. Observational training improves adult womens' performance on Piaget's water-level task.

    PubMed

    Krekling, S; Nordvik, H

    1992-01-01

    Among women university students who lacked conceptual understanding of the principle that the surface of still water is always horizontal, a specific task procedure designed to optimize self-discovery of the principle proved effective. Successful learning was reflected in more accurate responses on an adjustment task and by a significant increase (p less than .01) in the number of subjects able to verbalize a correct strategy. In contrast to previous research the results show that adult womens' performance on the water-level task can be improved by observational training, suggesting that the female lag in spatial skills may depend on experiential factors. PMID:1641606

  16. Cooperative Learning for Better Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Di Natale, John J.; Russell, Gordon

    1995-01-01

    Asserts that linking music ensemble programs and cooperative learning strategies often has been overlooked. Describes the benefits of cooperative learning techniques for music performance preparation. Concludes that the small-group approach can enhance traditional music programs by offering students the chance to make their own decisions. (CFR)

  17. Uniform task level definitions for robotic system performance comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Charles; Tesar, Delbert

    1989-01-01

    A series of ten task levels of increasing difficulty was compiled for use in comparative performance evaluations of available and future robotics technology. Each level has a breakdown of ten additional levels of difficulty to provide a layering of 100 levels. It is assumed that each level of task performance must be achieved by the system before it can be appropriately considered for the next level.

  18. Habitual routines in task-performing groups

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gersick, C. J.; Hackman, J. R.

    1990-01-01

    Groups, like individuals, often develop habitual routines for dealing with frequently encountered stimuli. Although such routines are consequential for group life and work, little is known about them. This paper reconnoiters the territory of habitual behavior in groups that perform work within organizations. We offer a definition of group habits, identify their functions and dysfunctions, suggest how they develop and are maintained, and identify the circumstances when they are likely to be altered or abandoned. Throughout, we give special attention to the social nature of habitual routines in groups, to the interaction between habitual behavior and group life cycle phenomena, and to the role of the organizational context in prompting, shaping, and terminating habitual routines.

  19. Effect of Augmented Sensorimotor Input on Learning Verbal and Nonverbal Tasks among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latham, Susan O.; Stockman, Ida J.

    2014-01-01

    Thirty-four children, with autism spectrum disorders, ages 4-14 years, were matched and randomly assigned to one of two conditions for learning a novel juice-making task and producing two novel words about the event. Seventeen sighted children were manually guided to perform the task and tactually prompted during imitated productions of novel…

  20. Learning control for minimizing a quadratic cost during repetitions of a task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longman, Richard W.; Chang, Chi-Kuang

    1990-01-01

    In many applications, control systems are asked to perform the same task repeatedly. Learning control laws have been developed over the last few years that allow the controller to improve its performance each repetition, and to converge to zero error in tracking a desired trajectory. This paper generates a new type of learning control law that learns to minimize a quadratic cost function for tracking. Besides being of interest in its own right, this objective alleviates the need to specify a desired trajectory that can actually be performed by the system. The approach used here is to adapt appropriate methods from numerical optimization theory in order to produce learning control algorithms that adjust the system command from repetition to repetition in order to converge to the quadratic cost optimal trajectory.

  1. Accommodation in Astigmatic Children During Visual Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Erin M.; Miller, Joseph M.; Apple, Howard P.; Parashar, Pavan; Twelker, J. Daniel; Crescioni, Mabel; Davis, Amy L.; Leonard-Green, Tina K.; Campus, Irene; Sherrill, Duane L.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. To determine the accuracy and stability of accommodation in uncorrected children during visual task performance. Methods. Subjects were second- to seventh-grade children from a highly astigmatic population. Measurements of noncycloplegic right eye spherical equivalent (Mnc) were obtained while uncorrected subjects performed three visual tasks at near (40 cm) and distance (2 m). Tasks included reading sentences with stimulus letter size near acuity threshold and an age-appropriate letter size (high task demands) and viewing a video (low task demand). Repeated measures ANOVA assessed the influence of astigmatism, task demand, and accommodative demand on accuracy (mean Mnc) and variability (mean SD of Mnc) of accommodation. Results. For near and distance analyses, respectively, sample size was 321 and 247, mean age was 10.37 (SD 1.77) and 10.30 (SD 1.74) years, mean cycloplegic M was 0.48 (SD 1.10) and 0.79 diopters (D) (SD 1.00), and mean astigmatism was 0.99 (SD 1.15) and 0.75 D (SD 0.96). Poor accommodative accuracy was associated with high astigmatism, low task demand (video viewing), and high accommodative demand. The negative effect of accommodative demand on accuracy increased with increasing astigmatism, with the poorest accommodative accuracy observed in high astigmats (≥3.00 D) with high accommodative demand/high hyperopia (1.53 D and 2.05 D of underaccommodation for near and distant stimuli, respectively). Accommodative variability was greatest in high astigmats and was uniformly high across task condition. No/low and moderate astigmats showed higher variability for the video task than the reading tasks. Conclusions. Accuracy of accommodation is reduced in uncorrected children with high astigmatism and high accommodative demand/high hyperopia, but improves with increased visual task demand (reading). High astigmats showed the greatest variability in accommodation. PMID:25103265

  2. Functional Task Test: 1. Sensorimotor changes Associated with Postflight Alterations in Astronaut Functional Task Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Arzeno, N. H.; Buxton, R. E.; Feiveson, A. H.; Kofman, I. S.; Lee, S. M. C.; Miller, C. A.; Mulavara, A. P.; Platts, S. H.; Peters, B. T.; Phillips, T.; Ploutz-Snyder, L. L.; Reschke, M. F.; Ryder, J. W.; Spiering, B. A.; Stenger, M. B.; Taylor, L. C.; Wickwire, P. J.; Wood, S. J.

    2011-01-01

    Space flight is known to cause alterations in multiple physiological systems including changes in sensorimotor, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems. These changes may affect a crewmember s ability to perform critical mission tasks immediately after landing on a planetary surface. The overall goal of this project is to determine the effects of space flight on functional tests that are representative of high priority exploration mission tasks and to identify the key underlying physiological factors that contribute to decrements in performance. This presentation will focus on the sensorimotor contributions to postflight functional performance.

  3. Monetary reward modulates task-irrelevant perceptual learning for invisible stimuli.

    PubMed

    Pascucci, David; Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL) shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL. PMID:25942318

  4. Performance gains from directed training do not transfer to untrained tasks.

    PubMed

    Lee, HyunKyu; Boot, Walter R; Basak, Chandramallika; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Neider, Mark; Erickson, Kirk I; Simons, Daniel J; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele; Low, Kathy A; Kramer, Arthur F

    2012-01-01

    Given the increasing complexity of the tasks and skills needed in modern society, developing effective training strategies is of tremendous practical importance. Furthermore, training that improves performance of both trained and untrained tasks would be highly efficient. In the present study, we examined how directed training contributes to skill acquisition, and more importantly, to engendering transfer of training to untrained tasks. Participants learned a complex video game for 30 h (Space Fortress, Donchin, Fabiani, & Sanders, 1989) using one of two training regimens: Hybrid Variable-Priority Training (HVT), with a focus on improving specific skills and managing task priority, or Full Emphasis Training (FET) in which participants simply practiced the game to obtain the highest overall score. We compared game performance, retention of training gains, and transfer of training to untrained tasks as a function of the training regimen. Compared to FET, HVT learners reached higher levels of mastery on the game and HVT was particularly beneficial for initially poor performing participants. This benefit persisted seven months after training. However, contrary to expectation, both HVT and FET were unsuccessful in producing transfer to untrained tasks compared to a group that received limited game experience, suggesting that directed training and practice can produce task-specific improvements, but improvements do not necessarily transfer from trained to untrained tasks. PMID:22133724

  5. Coupling of postural and manual tasks in expert performers.

    PubMed

    Amado, A C; Palmer, C J; Hamill, J; van Emmerik, R E A

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the integration of bimanual rhythmic movements and posture in expert marching percussionists. Participants (N=11) performed three rhythmic manual tasks [1:1, 2:3, and 2:3-F (2:3 rhythm played faster at a self-selected tempo)] in one of three postures: sitting, standing on one foot, and standing on two feet. Discrete relative phase, postural time-to-contact, and coherence analysis were used to analyze the performance of the manual task, postural control, and the integration between postural and manual performance. Across all three rhythms, discrete relative phase mean and variability results showed no effects of posture on rhythmic performance. The complexity of the manual task (1:1 vs. 2:3) had no effect on postural time-to-contact. However, increasing the tempo of the manual task (2:3 vs. 2:3-F) did result in a decreased postural time-to-contact in the two-footed posture. Coherence analysis revealed that the coupling between the postural and manual task significantly decreased as a function of postural difficulty (going from a two-footed to a one-footed posture) and rhythmic complexity (1:1 vs. 2:3). Taken together, these results demonstrate that expert marching percussionists systematically decouple postural and manual fluctuations in order to preserve the performance of the rhythmic movement task. PMID:26803676

  6. An opportunity cost model of subjective effort and task performance

    PubMed Central

    Kurzban, Robert; Duckworth, Angela; Kable, Joseph W.; Myers, Justus

    2013-01-01

    Why does performing certain tasks cause the aversive experience of mental effort and concomitant deterioration in task performance? One explanation posits a physical resource that is depleted over time. We propose an alternate explanation that centers on mental representations of the costs and benefits associated with task performance. Specifically, certain computational mechanisms, especially those associated with executive function, can be deployed for only a limited number of simultaneous tasks at any given moment. Consequently, the deployment of these computational mechanisms carries an opportunity cost – that is, the next-best use to which these systems might be put. We argue that the phenomenology of effort can be understood as the felt output of these cost/benefit computations. In turn, the subjective experience of effort motivates reduced deployment of these computational mechanisms in the service of the present task. These opportunity cost representations, then, together with other cost/benefit calculations, determine effort expended and, everything else equal, result in performance reductions. In making our case for this position, we review alternate explanations both for the phenomenology of effort associated with these tasks and for performance reductions over time. Likewise, we review the broad range of relevant empirical results from across subdisciplines, especially psychology and neuroscience. We hope that our proposal will help to build links among the diverse fields that have been addressing similar questions from different perspectives, and we emphasize ways in which alternate models might be empirically distinguished. PMID:24304775

  7. The interaction of criterion and feedback information in learning a drawing task.

    PubMed

    Newell, K M; Carlton, M J; Antoniou, A

    1990-12-01

    Experiments were designed to examine the influence of criterion and feedback information in the learning of a two-dimensional drawing task. Experiment 1 showed that when the task criterion is well known to the subject, the combined presentation of criterion information and information feedback facilitates the rate of acquisition of the skill but not its overall performance level of achievement. Experiment 2 showed that when the task criterion information is not well known to the subject, presentation of criterion information facilitates both the rate of acquisition and the overall performance level and, furthermore, is essential if configuration information feedback is to be utilized effectively. Experiment 3 showed that it is the combined presentation of criterion and configuration information feedback rather than the isolate presentation of either type of information alone, that facilitates learning and performance. Collectively, the findings from the three experiments suggest an interactive effect of prior knowledge by the learner and type of augmented information in facilitating the acquisition of skill, according to the constraints imposed in the task. The data are consistent with the proposal that the degrees of freedom in the information available to support motor skill learning must match the degrees of freedom to be constraint in the perceptual-motor workspace. PMID:15117661

  8. Estimating endogenous changes in task performance from EEG

    PubMed Central

    Touryan, Jon; Apker, Gregory; Lance, Brent J.; Kerick, Scott E.; Ries, Anthony J.; McDowell, Kaleb

    2014-01-01

    Brain wave activity is known to correlate with decrements in behavioral performance as individuals enter states of fatigue, boredom, or low alertness.Many BCI technologies are adversely affected by these changes in user state, limiting their application and constraining their use to relatively short temporal epochs where behavioral performance is likely to be stable. Incorporating a passive BCI that detects when the user is performing poorly at a primary task, and adapts accordingly may prove to increase overall user performance. Here, we explore the potential for extending an established method to generate continuous estimates of behavioral performance from ongoing neural activity; evaluating the extended method by applying it to the original task domain, simulated driving; and generalizing the method by applying it to a BCI-relevant perceptual discrimination task. Specifically, we used EEG log power spectra and sequential forward floating selection (SFFS) to estimate endogenous changes in behavior in both a simulated driving task and a perceptual discrimination task. For the driving task the average correlation coefficient between the actual and estimated lane deviation was 0.37 ± 0.22 (μ ± σ). For the perceptual discrimination task we generated estimates of accuracy, reaction time, and button press duration for each participant. The correlation coefficients between the actual and estimated behavior were similar for these three metrics (accuracy = 0.25 ± 0.37, reaction time = 0.33 ± 0.23, button press duration = 0.36 ± 0.30). These findings illustrate the potential for modeling time-on-task decrements in performance from concurrent measures of neural activity. PMID:24994968

  9. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance. Revision

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.M.; Fein, G.; Jewett, D.L.; Ashford, F.

    1993-02-01

    Subjects judged the orientation of a 2 min. gap Landolt C located at a distance of 2.4 m. The stimuli were presented in central vision on a CRT, at low to medium contrast. The effects of varying the spectrum and luminance of surround lighting were assessed on both pupil size (measured using infrared pupillometry during task performance) and task accuracy. The task display was protected from the surround lighting, so that its luminance and contrast could be varied independently of the changes in the surround lighting. Indirect surround illumination was provided by either two illuminants of very different scotopic spectral content but with the same photopic luminance (Experiments 1 and 3), or by using the same illuminant at two different luminance levels (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the effect of changing surround spectrum was compared to the effect of varying task background luminance between 12 cd/m{sup 2} and 73 cd/m{sup 2}. In all experiments, scotopically enhanced surround lighting produced pupil areas which were reduced by almost 50% in comparison with surround lighting with relatively less scotopic luminance. Concomitantly there was improvement in Landolt C task performance with the scotopically enhanced surround lighting at all contrast and luminance levels. In these experiments, smaller pupil sizes were associated with significantly better visual-task performance in spite of lower task retinal illuminance when compared to the condition with larger pupils. These results suggest that changes in surround spectrum can compensate for the effect on task performance of a reduction in task luminance and supports the hypothesis that lighting energy savings could accrue in the workplace by shifting lamp spectra to obtain greater scotopic efficacy.

  10. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.M. ); Fein, G. ); Jewett, D.L.; Ashford, F. )

    1993-02-01

    Subjects judged the orientation of a 2 min. gap Landolt C located at a distance of 2.4 m. The stimuli were presented in central vision on a CRT, at low to medium contrast. The effects of varying the spectrum and luminance of surround lighting were assessed on both pupil size (measured using infrared pupillometry during task performance) and task accuracy. The task display was protected from the surround lighting, so that its luminance and contrast could be varied independently of the changes in the surround lighting. Indirect surround illumination was provided by either two illuminants of very different scotopic spectral content but with the same photopic luminance (Experiments 1 and 3), or by using the same illuminant at two different luminance levels (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, the effect of changing surround spectrum was compared to the effect of varying task background luminance between 12 cd/m[sup 2] and 73 cd/m[sup 2]. In all experiments, scotopically enhanced surround lighting produced pupil areas which were reduced by almost 50% in comparison with surround lighting with relatively less scotopic luminance. Concomitantly there was improvement in Landolt C task performance with the scotopically enhanced surround lighting at all contrast and luminance levels. In these experiments, smaller pupil sizes were associated with significantly better visual-task performance in spite of lower task retinal illuminance when compared to the condition with larger pupils. These results suggest that changes in surround spectrum can compensate for the effect on task performance of a reduction in task luminance and supports the hypothesis that lighting energy savings could accrue in the workplace by shifting lamp spectra to obtain greater scotopic efficacy.

  11. Analytical reasoning task reveals limits of social learning in networks.

    PubMed

    Rahwan, Iyad; Krasnoshtan, Dmytro; Shariff, Azim; Bonnefon, Jean-François

    2014-04-01

    Social learning-by observing and copying others-is a highly successful cultural mechanism for adaptation, outperforming individual information acquisition and experience. Here, we investigate social learning in the context of the uniquely human capacity for reflective, analytical reasoning. A hallmark of the human mind is its ability to engage analytical reasoning, and suppress false associative intuitions. Through a set of laboratory-based network experiments, we find that social learning fails to propagate this cognitive strategy. When people make false intuitive conclusions and are exposed to the analytic output of their peers, they recognize and adopt this correct output. But they fail to engage analytical reasoning in similar subsequent tasks. Thus, humans exhibit an 'unreflective copying bias', which limits their social learning to the output, rather than the process, of their peers' reasoning-even when doing so requires minimal effort and no technical skill. In contrast to much recent work on observation-based social learning, which emphasizes the propagation of successful behaviour through copying, our findings identify a limit on the power of social networks in situations that require analytical reasoning. PMID:24501275

  12. Fast Gaussian kernel learning for classification tasks based on specially structured global optimization.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Shangping; Chen, Tianshun; He, Fengying; Niu, Yuzhen

    2014-09-01

    For a practical pattern classification task solved by kernel methods, the computing time is mainly spent on kernel learning (or training). However, the current kernel learning approaches are based on local optimization techniques, and hard to have good time performances, especially for large datasets. Thus the existing algorithms cannot be easily extended to large-scale tasks. In this paper, we present a fast Gaussian kernel learning method by solving a specially structured global optimization (SSGO) problem. We optimize the Gaussian kernel function by using the formulated kernel target alignment criterion, which is a difference of increasing (d.i.) functions. Through using a power-transformation based convexification method, the objective criterion can be represented as a difference of convex (d.c.) functions with a fixed power-transformation parameter. And the objective programming problem can then be converted to a SSGO problem: globally minimizing a concave function over a convex set. The SSGO problem is classical and has good solvability. Thus, to find the global optimal solution efficiently, we can adopt the improved Hoffman's outer approximation method, which need not repeat the searching procedure with different starting points to locate the best local minimum. Also, the proposed method can be proven to converge to the global solution for any classification task. We evaluate the proposed method on twenty benchmark datasets, and compare it with four other Gaussian kernel learning methods. Experimental results show that the proposed method stably achieves both good time-efficiency performance and good classification performance. PMID:24929345

  13. Task-induced fatigue states and simulated driving performance.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Gerald; Desmond, Paula A

    2002-04-01

    States of fatigue are implicated in driver impairment and motor vehicle accidents. This article reports two studies investigating two possible mechanisms for performance impairment: (1) loss of attentional resources; and (2) active regulation of matching effort to task demands. The first hypothesis predicts that fatigue effects will be accentuated by high task demands, but the second hypothesis predicts that fatigue effects will be strongest in "underload" conditions. In two studies, drivers performed a stimulated driving task, in which task demands were manipulated by varying road curvature. In a "fatigue induction" condition, the early part of the drive was occupied by performance of a demanding secondary task concurrently with driving, after which the concurrent task ceased. Post-induction driving performance was compared with a control condition in which drivers were not exposed to the induction. In both studies, the fatigue induction elicited various subjective fatigue and stress symptoms, and also raised reported workload. Fatigue effects on vehicle control and signal detection were assessed during and after the fatigue induction. The fatigue induction increased heading error, reduced steering activity, and, in the second study, reduced perceptual sensitivity on a secondary detection task. These effects were confined to driving on straight rather than on curved road sections, consistent with the effort regulation hypothesis. The second study showed that fatigue effects were moderated by a motivational manipulation. Results are interpreted within a control model, such that task-induced fatigue may reduce awareness of performance impairment, rather than reluctance or inability to mobilize compensatory effort following detection of impairment. PMID:12047065

  14. Reactivation of emergent task-related ensembles during slow-wave sleep after neuroprosthetic learning.

    PubMed

    Gulati, Tanuj; Ramanathan, Dhakshin S; Wong, Chelsea C; Ganguly, Karunesh

    2014-08-01

    Brain-machine interfaces can allow neural control over assistive devices. They also provide an important platform for studying neural plasticity. Recent studies have suggested that optimal engagement of learning is essential for robust neuroprosthetic control. However, little is known about the neural processes that may consolidate a neuroprosthetic skill. On the basis of the growing body of evidence linking slow-wave activity (SWA) during sleep to consolidation, we examined whether there is 'offline' processing after neuroprosthetic learning. Using a rodent model, we found that, after successful learning, task-related units specifically experienced increased locking and coherency to SWA during sleep. Moreover, spike-spike coherence among these units was substantially enhanced. These changes were not present with poor skill acquisition or after control awake periods, demonstrating the specificity of our observations to learning. Notably, the time spent in SWA predicted the performance gains. Thus, SWA appears to be involved in offline processing after neuroprosthetic learning. PMID:24997761

  15. Seniors' attributions for task performance difficulties: implications for feelings of task efficacy.

    PubMed

    Chipperfield, J G; Segall, A

    1996-11-01

    Some seniors face difficulties carrying out simple everyday tasks such as opening containers and turning doorknobs. This study began with the premise that seniors' appraisals about such difficulties may have consequences for feelings of task efficacy (e.g., feelings of control and optimism). Attributions to poor product design (an external/environmental factor) and to limitations (an internal/personal factor) were considered in addition to joint attributions to both factors. After controlling for health and gender, type of attribution for task difficulties was found to relate to feelings of task efficacy. Overall, the results suggest that seniors may be advantaged by viewing their performance difficulties as a consequence of poor product design. Compared to their counterparts, these individuals reported the highest levels of control, ability to cope, optimism, and beliefs about overcoming problems. Individuals who made joint attributions reported feeling most helpless and unable to cope with the present problems. PMID:10182383

  16. Pupil dilation signals uncertainty and surprise in a learning gambling task.

    PubMed

    Lavín, Claudio; San Martín, René; Rosales Jubal, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    Pupil dilation under constant illumination is a physiological marker where modulation is related to several cognitive functions involved in daily decision making. There is evidence for a role of pupil dilation change during decision-making tasks associated with uncertainty, reward-prediction errors and surprise. However, while some work suggests that pupil dilation is mainly modulated by reward predictions, others point out that this marker is related to uncertainty signaling and surprise. Supporting the latter hypothesis, the neural substrate of this marker is related to noradrenaline (NA) activity which has been also related to uncertainty signaling. In this work we aimed to test whether pupil dilation is a marker for uncertainty and surprise in a learning task. We recorded pupil dilation responses in 10 participants performing the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a decision-making task that requires learning and constant monitoring of outcomes' feedback, which are important variables within the traditional study of human decision making. Results showed that pupil dilation changes were modulated by learned uncertainty and surprise regardless of feedback magnitudes. Interestingly, greater pupil dilation changes were found during positive feedback (PF) presentation when there was lower uncertainty about a future negative feedback (NF); and by surprise during NF presentation. These results support the hypothesis that pupil dilation is a marker of learned uncertainty, and may be used as a marker of NA activity facing unfamiliar situations in humans. PMID:24427126

  17. Pupil dilation signals uncertainty and surprise in a learning gambling task

    PubMed Central

    Lavín, Claudio; San Martín, René; Rosales Jubal, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    Pupil dilation under constant illumination is a physiological marker where modulation is related to several cognitive functions involved in daily decision making. There is evidence for a role of pupil dilation change during decision-making tasks associated with uncertainty, reward-prediction errors and surprise. However, while some work suggests that pupil dilation is mainly modulated by reward predictions, others point out that this marker is related to uncertainty signaling and surprise. Supporting the latter hypothesis, the neural substrate of this marker is related to noradrenaline (NA) activity which has been also related to uncertainty signaling. In this work we aimed to test whether pupil dilation is a marker for uncertainty and surprise in a learning task. We recorded pupil dilation responses in 10 participants performing the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a decision-making task that requires learning and constant monitoring of outcomes’ feedback, which are important variables within the traditional study of human decision making. Results showed that pupil dilation changes were modulated by learned uncertainty and surprise regardless of feedback magnitudes. Interestingly, greater pupil dilation changes were found during positive feedback (PF) presentation when there was lower uncertainty about a future negative feedback (NF); and by surprise during NF presentation. These results support the hypothesis that pupil dilation is a marker of learned uncertainty, and may be used as a marker of NA activity facing unfamiliar situations in humans. PMID:24427126

  18. Effects of Decision-Phase Time Constraints on Emotion-Based Learning in the Iowa Gambling Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cella, Matteo; Dymond, Simon; Cooper, Andrew; Turnbull, Oliver

    2007-01-01

    Research employing the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) has frequently shown that learning is impaired in various clinical populations. However, precisely what constitutes "unimpaired" control group learning remains unclear. In order to understand some of the possible factors underlying variability in control group IGT performance, the present study…

  19. Children's mathematical performance: five cognitive tasks across five grades.

    PubMed

    Moore, Alex M; Ashcraft, Mark H

    2015-07-01

    Children in elementary school, along with college adults, were tested on a battery of basic mathematical tasks, including digit naming, number comparison, dot enumeration, and simple addition or subtraction. Beyond cataloguing performance to these standard tasks in Grades 1 to 5, we also examined relationships among the tasks, including previously reported results on a number line estimation task. Accuracy and latency improved across grades for all tasks, and classic interaction patterns were found, for example, a speed-up of subitizing and counting, increasingly shallow slopes in number comparison, and progressive speeding of responses especially to larger addition and subtraction problems. Surprisingly, digit naming was faster than subitizing at all ages, arguing against a pre-attentive processing explanation for subitizing. Estimation accuracy and speed were strong predictors of children's addition and subtraction performance. Children who gave exponential responses on the number line estimation task were slower at counting in the dot enumeration task and had longer latencies on addition and subtraction problems. The results provided further support for the importance of estimation as an indicator of children's current and future mathematical expertise. PMID:25814266

  20. [Study of tasks performed by nurses in a teaching hospital].

    PubMed

    Costa, Rita de Almeida; Shimizu, Helena Eri

    2006-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze tasks performed by nurses at hospitalization units (maternity, general medicine, surgical and pediatric) in a training hospital in order to better know which factors make it difficult to outline their role as well as the meaning of their actions. It's a descriptive-type qualitative research. Twenty nurses were interviewed following a half-structured script. Nurses perceive that they perform help-providing tasks more frequently, followed by administrative tasks, dealing with the information system and educational tasks. The lack of skilled human resources, essentially nurses, infrastructure, valorization of nursing care and its workers, work organization and integration among members of the multi-disciplinary staff were identified as work-hampering factors. PMID:17094327

  1. Spatial cognition following early-life seizures in rats: Performance deficits are dependent on task demands.

    PubMed

    Barry, Jeremy M; Tian, Chengju; Spinella, Anthony; Page, Matias; Holmes, Gregory L

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive impairment is a common comorbidity in childhood epilepsy. Studies in rodents have demonstrated that frequent seizures during the first weeks of life result in impaired spatial cognition when the rats are tested as juvenile or adults. To determine if spatial cognitive deficits following early-life seizures are task-specific or similar across spatial tasks, we compared the effects of early-life seizures in two spatial assays: 1) the Morris water maze, a hippocampal-dependent task of spatial cognition and 2) the active avoidance task, a task that associates an aversive shock stimulus with a static spatial location that requires intact hippocampal-amygdala networks. Rats with early-life seizures tested as adults did not differ from control rats in the water maze. However, while animals with early-life seizures showed some evidence of learning the active avoidance task, they received significantly more shocks in later training trials, particularly during the second training day, than controls. One possibility for the performance differences between the tasks is that the active avoidance task requires multiple brain regions and that interregional communication could be affected by alterations in white matter integrity. However, there were no measurable group differences with regard to levels of myelination. The study suggests that elucidation of mild cognitive deficits seen following early-life seizures may be dependent on task features of active avoidance. PMID:27152463

  2. Background music for repetitive task performance of severely retarded individuals.

    PubMed

    Richman, J S

    1976-11-01

    Environmental manipulation in the form of specific tempo background music was used to assist in the habilitation of severely retarded persons. Thirty institutionalized retarded males were tested on a repetitive manual performance task judged to be similar to the type of tasks found in sheltered workshops. Each subject received each of the background treatments noncontingently: no music, slow tempo music, regular tempo music, fast tempo music. The results indicated that the regular tempo of background music facilitated the greatest improvement in performance, suggesting that the effect of music on performance is more complex than the issue of contingent presentation. PMID:998661

  3. Social learning of migratory performance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mueller, Thomas; O'Hara, Robert B.; Converse, Sarah J.; Urbanek, Richard P.; Fagan, William F.

    2013-01-01

    Successful bird migration can depend on individual learning, social learning, and innate navigation programs. Using 8 years of data on migrating whooping cranes, we were able to partition genetic and socially learned aspects of migration. Specifically, we analyzed data from a reintroduced population wherein all birds were captive bred and artificially trained by ultralight aircraft on their first lifetime migration. For subsequent migrations, in which birds fly individually or in groups but without ultralight escort, we found evidence of long-term social learning, but no effect of genetic relatedness on migratory performance. Social learning from older birds reduced deviations from a straight-line path, with 7 years of experience yielding a 38% improvement in migratory accuracy.

  4. Social learning of migratory performance.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Thomas; O'Hara, Robert B; Converse, Sarah J; Urbanek, Richard P; Fagan, William F

    2013-08-30

    Successful bird migration can depend on individual learning, social learning, and innate navigation programs. Using 8 years of data on migrating whooping cranes, we were able to partition genetic and socially learned aspects of migration. Specifically, we analyzed data from a reintroduced population wherein all birds were captive bred and artificially trained by ultralight aircraft on their first lifetime migration. For subsequent migrations, in which birds fly individually or in groups but without ultralight escort, we found evidence of long-term social learning, but no effect of genetic relatedness on migratory performance. Social learning from older birds reduced deviations from a straight-line path, with 7 years of experience yielding a 38% improvement in migratory accuracy. PMID:23990559

  5. Pavlovian to Instrumental Transfer of Control in a Human Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Nadler, Natasha; Delgado, Mauricio R.; Delamater, Andrew R.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian learning tasks have been widely used as tools to understand basic cognitive and emotional processes in humans. The present studies investigated one particular task, Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT), with human participants in an effort to examine potential cognitive and emotional effects of Pavlovian cues upon instrumentally-trained performance. In two experiments subjects first learned two separate instrumental response-outcome relationships (R1-O1, R2-O2) and then were exposed to various stimulus-outcome relationships (S1-O1, S2-O2, S3-O3, S4-) before the effects of the Pavlovian stimuli on instrumental responding were assessed during a nonreinforced test. In Experiment 1 instrumental responding was established using a positive reinforcement procedure whereas in Experiment 2 a quasi-avoidance learning task was used. In both cases the Pavlovian stimuli exerted selective control over instrumental responding, whereby S1 & S2 selectively elevated the instrumental response with which it shared an outcome. In addition, in Experiment 2, S3 exerted a nonselective transfer of control effect, whereby both responses were elevated over baseline levels. These data identify two ways, one specific and one general, in which Pavlovian processes can exert control over instrumental responding in human learning paradigms, and suggest that this method may serve as a useful tool in the study of basic cognitive and emotional processes in human learning. PMID:21534664

  6. Lessons Learned from Deploying an Analytical Task Management Database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Neil, Daniel A.; Welch, Clara; Arceneaux, Joshua; Bulgatz, Dennis; Hunt, Mitch; Young, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    Defining requirements, missions, technologies, and concepts for space exploration involves multiple levels of organizations, teams of people with complementary skills, and analytical models and simulations. Analytical activities range from filling a To-Be-Determined (TBD) in a requirement to creating animations and simulations of exploration missions. In a program as large as returning to the Moon, there are hundreds of simultaneous analysis activities. A way to manage and integrate efforts of this magnitude is to deploy a centralized database that provides the capability to define tasks, identify resources, describe products, schedule deliveries, and generate a variety of reports. This paper describes a web-accessible task management system and explains the lessons learned during the development and deployment of the database. Through the database, managers and team leaders can define tasks, establish review schedules, assign teams, link tasks to specific requirements, identify products, and link the task data records to external repositories that contain the products. Data filters and spreadsheet export utilities provide a powerful capability to create custom reports. Import utilities provide a means to populate the database from previously filled form files. Within a four month period, a small team analyzed requirements, developed a prototype, conducted multiple system demonstrations, and deployed a working system supporting hundreds of users across the aeros pace community. Open-source technologies and agile software development techniques, applied by a skilled team enabled this impressive achievement. Topics in the paper cover the web application technologies, agile software development, an overview of the system's functions and features, dealing with increasing scope, and deploying new versions of the system.

  7. Task Level Job Performance Criteria Development. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiley, Llewellyn N.; Hahn, Clifford P.

    This study investigated possibilities for improving identification of job performance requirements by examining job incumbent's performance on separate tasks. Three specialties were studied: 291X0, Telecommunications Operation Specialist; 304X4, Group Radio Communications Equipment Repairman; and 431X1C, Aircraft Maintenance Specialist.…

  8. Effects of Physical Practice and Imagery Practice on Bilateral Transfer in Learning a Sequential Tapping Task

    PubMed Central

    Land, William M.; Liu, Binya; Cordova, Alberto; Fang, Ming; Huang, Yufei; Yao, Wan X.

    2016-01-01

    Recent research on bilateral transfer suggests that imagery training can facilitate the transfer of motor skill from a trained limb to that of an untrained limb above and beyond that of physical practice. To further explore this effect, the present study examined the influence of practice duration and task difficulty on the extent to which imagery training and physical training influences bilateral transfer of a sequential key pressing task. In experiment 1, participants trained on the key pressing task using their non-dominant arm under one of three conditions (physical practice, imagery practice, and no practice). In a subsequent bilateral transfer test, participants performed the sequential task using their untrained dominant arm in either an original order or mirror-ordered sequence. In experiment 2, the same procedures were followed as in experiment 1 except that participants trained with their dominant arm and performed the bilateral transfer task with their non-dominant arm. Results indicated that with extended practice beyond what has been employed in previous studies, physical practice is more effective at facilitating bilateral transfer compared to training with imagery. Interestingly, significant bilateral transfer was only observed for transfer from the non-dominant to the dominant arm with no differences observed between performing the task in an original or mirror ordered sequence. Overall, these findings suggest that imagery training may benefit bilateral transfer primarily at the initial stages of learning, but with extended training, physical practice leads to larger influences on transfer. PMID:27050168

  9. Analytical reasoning task reveals limits of social learning in networks

    PubMed Central

    Rahwan, Iyad; Krasnoshtan, Dmytro; Shariff, Azim; Bonnefon, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Social learning—by observing and copying others—is a highly successful cultural mechanism for adaptation, outperforming individual information acquisition and experience. Here, we investigate social learning in the context of the uniquely human capacity for reflective, analytical reasoning. A hallmark of the human mind is its ability to engage analytical reasoning, and suppress false associative intuitions. Through a set of laboratory-based network experiments, we find that social learning fails to propagate this cognitive strategy. When people make false intuitive conclusions and are exposed to the analytic output of their peers, they recognize and adopt this correct output. But they fail to engage analytical reasoning in similar subsequent tasks. Thus, humans exhibit an ‘unreflective copying bias’, which limits their social learning to the output, rather than the process, of their peers’ reasoning—even when doing so requires minimal effort and no technical skill. In contrast to much recent work on observation-based social learning, which emphasizes the propagation of successful behaviour through copying, our findings identify a limit on the power of social networks in situations that require analytical reasoning. PMID:24501275

  10. Effect of task-related continuous auditory feedback during learning of tracking motion exercises

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background This paper presents the results of a set of experiments in which we used continuous auditory feedback to augment motor training exercises. This feedback modality is mostly underexploited in current robotic rehabilitation systems, which usually implement only very basic auditory interfaces. Our hypothesis is that properly designed continuous auditory feedback could be used to represent temporal and spatial information that could in turn, improve performance and motor learning. Methods We implemented three different experiments on healthy subjects, who were asked to track a target on a screen by moving an input device (controller) with their hand. Different visual and auditory feedback modalities were envisaged. The first experiment investigated whether continuous task-related auditory feedback can help improve performance to a greater extent than error-related audio feedback, or visual feedback alone. In the second experiment we used sensory substitution to compare different types of auditory feedback with equivalent visual feedback, in order to find out whether mapping the same information on a different sensory channel (the visual channel) yielded comparable effects with those gained in the first experiment. The final experiment applied a continuously changing visuomotor transformation between the controller and the screen and mapped kinematic information, computed in either coordinate system (controller or video), to the audio channel, in order to investigate which information was more relevant to the user. Results Task-related audio feedback significantly improved performance with respect to visual feedback alone, whilst error-related feedback did not. Secondly, performance in audio tasks was significantly better with respect to the equivalent sensory-substituted visual tasks. Finally, with respect to visual feedback alone, video-task-related sound feedback decreased the tracking error during the learning of a novel visuomotor perturbation, whereas

  11. Development of additional tasks for the executive function performance test.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Bridget; Baum, Carolyn; Moore, Jennifer; Ehrlich-Jones, Linda; Spoeri, Susan; Doherty, Meghan; Wolf, Timothy J

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. The Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT) is a reliable and valid performance-based assessment of executive function for people with stroke. The objective of this study was to enhance the clinical utility of the EFPT by developing and testing additional tasks for the EFPT in the Alternate EFPT (aEFPT). METHOD. We performed a cross-sectional study with poststroke participants (n = 25) and healthy control participants (n = 25). All participants completed a neuropsychological assessment battery and both the EFPT and the aEFPT. RESULTS. No statistically significant differences were found between the EFPT and the aEFPT when examining total scores, construct scores, and two overall task scores. Correlations between the aEFPT and the neuropsychological measures were adequate to strong (r2s = .59-.83). CONCLUSION. The aEFPT tasks are comparable to the original EFPT tasks, providing occupational therapy practitioners with additional tasks that can be used clinically to identify performance-based executive function deficits in people with stroke. PMID:25397771

  12. Situation awareness and driving performance in a simulated navigation task.

    PubMed

    Ma, R; Kaber, D B

    2007-08-01

    The objective of this study was to identify task and vehicle factors that may affect driver situation awareness (SA) and its relationship to performance, particularly in strategic (navigation) tasks. An experiment was conducted to assess the effects of in-vehicle navigation aids and reliability on driver SA and performance in a simulated navigation task. A total of 20 participants drove a virtual car and navigated a large virtual suburb. They were required to follow traffic signs and navigation directions from either a human aid via a mobile phone or an automated aid presented on a laptop. The navigation aids operated under three different levels of information reliability (100%, 80% and 60%). A control condition was used in which each aid presented a telemarketing survey and participants navigated using a map. Results revealed perfect navigation information generally improved driver SA and performance compared to unreliable navigation information and the control condition (task-irrelevant information). In-vehicle automation appears to mediate the relationship of driver SA to performance in terms of operational and strategic (navigation) behaviours. The findings of this work support consideration of driver SA in the design of future vehicle automation for navigation tasks. PMID:17558674

  13. Socially triggered negative affect impairs performance in simple cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Böttcher, Svenja; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-03-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of a social-evaluative context on simple cognitive tasks. While another person present in the room evaluated photographs of beautiful women or landscapes by beauty/attractiveness, female participants had to perform a combination of digit-categorization and spatial-compatibility task. There, before every trial, one of the women or landscape pictures was presented. Results showed selective performance impairments: the numerical distance effects increased on trials that followed women pictures but only, if another person concurrently evaluated these women pictures. In a second experiment, using the affective priming paradigm, the authors show that female pictures have a more negative connotation when they are concurrently evaluated by another person (social-evaluative context) than when they are not evaluated (neutral context). Together, these results suggest that the social-evaluative context triggers mild negative affective reactions to women pictures which then impair performance in an unrelated task. PMID:23423348

  14. Human task animation from performance models and natural language input

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esakov, Jeffrey; Badler, Norman I.; Jung, Moon

    1989-01-01

    Graphical manipulation of human figures is essential for certain types of human factors analyses such as reach, clearance, fit, and view. In many situations, however, the animation of simulated people performing various tasks may be based on more complicated functions involving multiple simultaneous reaches, critical timing, resource availability, and human performance capabilities. One rather effective means for creating such a simulation is through a natural language description of the tasks to be carried out. Given an anthropometrically-sized figure and a geometric workplace environment, various simple actions such as reach, turn, and view can be effectively controlled from language commands or standard NASA checklist procedures. The commands may also be generated by external simulation tools. Task timing is determined from actual performance models, if available, such as strength models or Fitts' Law. The resulting action specification are animated on a Silicon Graphics Iris workstation in real-time.

  15. Self-Control of Task Difficulty during Training Enhances Motor Learning of a Complex Coincidence-Anticipation Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Danna, Jeremy; Thon, Bernard

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the present work was to analyze the influence of self-controlled task difficulty on motor learning. Participants had to intercept three targets falling at different velocities by displacing a stylus above a digitizer. Task difficulty corresponded to racquet width. Half the participants (self-control condition) could choose the racquet…

  16. Examining the Impact of Off-Task Multi-Tasking with Technology on Real-Time Classroom Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Eileen; Zivcakova, Lucia; Gentile, Petrice; Archer, Karin; De Pasquale, Domenica; Nosko, Amanda

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of multi-tasking with digital technologies while attempting to learn from real-time classroom lectures in a university setting. Four digitally-based multi-tasking activities (texting using a cell-phone, emailing, MSN messaging and Facebook[TM]) were compared to 3 control groups…

  17. Changes in cognitive task performance across the menstrual cycle.

    PubMed

    Broverman, D M; Vogel, W; Klaiber, E L; Majcher, D; Shea, D; Paul, V

    1981-08-01

    Menstrual-cycle-related changes in estrogen were expected to differentially affect various cognitive tests. Specifically, the estrogen peak occurring at midcycle in ovulatory women was expected to facilitate performance of highly practiced "automatized" tasks and to impair performance of "perceptual-restructuring" tasks, compared with performance of these tasks in the postovulatory phase of the cycle when progesterone is thought to counteract the action of estrogen. Perceptual-restructuring tasks are defined as tasks in which the initial percepts to obvious stimulus attributes are wrong and must be set aside in favor of percepts to less obvious stimulus attributes. Eight-seven regularly menstruating undergraduate women were studied. Odd-numbered subjects were tested first on or about Day 10 of their cycle and then again on Day 20; even-numbered subjects, in the reverse sequence. Daily basal body temperature records were obtained. These temperature records suggested that 21, or 24%, of the subjects did not ovulate in the cycle(s) studied. No main effect of Day 10 versus Day 20 occurred for any task in the 66 women who did appear to ovulate. However, the magnitude of predicted shifts in performance was significantly correlated with proximity of the "Day 10" testing day to the thermal nadir of the basal body temperature record, the presumed preovulatory estrogen peak; and to the "Day 20" proximity to the basal body temperature thermal peak, the presumed progesterone peak. Subjects tested 3 or fewer days before the thermal nadir and on or after the thermal peak had the predicted significant changes on three of the four administered tasks. No other temporally defined group produced significant changes. The results of the study support the experimental hypotheses and also indicate that precise timing is essential to demonstrate the phenomena. PMID:7276285

  18. Effects of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, J.V.; Moore, W.E.; Herndon, J.N.; Weil, B.S.

    1986-01-01

    This paper reports results of a testing program that assessed the impact of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance. The testing program compared three force-reflection levels: 4 to 1 (four units of force on the slave produce one unit of force at the master controller), 1 to 1, and infinity to 1 (no force reflection). Time required to complete tasks, rate of occurrence of errors, the maximum force applied to task components, and variability in forces during completion of representative remote handling tasks were used as dependent variables. Operators exhibited lower error rates, lower peak forces, and more consistent application of forces using force reflection than they did without it. These data support the hypothesis that force reflection provides useful information for servomanipulator operators.

  19. Learning a Nonmediated Route for Response Selection in Task Switching

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2015-01-01

    Two modes of response selection—a mediated route involving categorization and a nonmediated route involving instance-based memory retrieval—have been proposed to explain response congruency effects in task-switching situations. In the present study, we sought a better understanding of the development and characteristics of the nonmediated route. In two experiments involving training and transfer phases, we investigated practice effects at the level of individual target presentations, transfer effects associated with changing category–response mappings, target-specific effects from comparisons of old and new targets during transfer, and the percentage of early responses associated with task-nonspecific response selection (the target preceded the task cue on every trial). The training results suggested that the nonmediated route is quickly learned in the context of target–cue order and becomes increasingly involved in response selection with practice. The transfer results suggested that the target–response instances underlying the nonmediated route involve abstract response labels coding response congruency that can be rapidly remapped to alternative responses but not rewritten when category–response mappings change after practice. Implications for understanding the nonmediated route and its relationship with the mediated route are discussed. PMID:25663003

  20. Developmental and individual differences in performance on phonological synthesis tasks.

    PubMed

    Torgesen, J K; Wagner, R K; Balthazar, M; Davis, C; Morgan, S; Simmons, K; Stage, S; Zirps, F

    1989-06-01

    This study was conducted in order to examine the role of individual differences in working memory and lexical access in accounting for age and reading skill related differences in performance on phonological synthesis tasks. The performance of 28 kindergarten, first-, and second-grade children with normal reading skills, as well as that of 28 reading-disabled second graders, was compared under four testing conditions. The testing conditions were formed by completely crossing rate of presentation of phoneme strings with type of stimulus to be blended (real or nonword). Both independent variables affected performance on the blending tasks, with better performance obtained at faster presentation rates and with real words. There was a developmental discontinuity in overall performance, with the kindergarten children obtaining substantially lower scores than the first or second graders. In the comparison of second-grade good and poor readers, there was a significant interaction between groups, presentation rates, and type of stimulus. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for a general model of performance on the sound blending task, as well as their value for interpreting individual differences on the task. PMID:2738517

  1. Mice and rats achieve similar levels of performance in an adaptive decision-making task

    PubMed Central

    Jaramillo, Santiago; Zador, Anthony M.

    2014-01-01

    Two opposing constraints exist when choosing a model organism for studying the neural basis of adaptive decision-making: (1) experimental access and (2) behavioral complexity. Available molecular and genetic approaches for studying neural circuits in the mouse fulfill the first requirement. In contrast, it is still under debate if mice can perform cognitive tasks of sufficient complexity. Here we compare learning and performance of mice and rats, the preferred behavioral rodent model, during an acoustic flexible categorization two-alternative choice task. The task required animals to switch between two categorization definitions several times within a behavioral session. We found that both species achieved similarly high performance levels. On average, rats learned the task faster than mice, although some mice were as fast as the average rat. No major differences in subjective categorization boundaries or the speed of adaptation between the two species were found. Our results demonstrate that mice are an appropriate model for the study of the neural mechanisms underlying adaptive decision-making, and suggest they might be suitable for other cognitive tasks as well. PMID:25278849

  2. Effect of task load and task load increment on performance and workload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hancock, P. A.; Williams, G.

    1993-01-01

    The goal of adaptive automated task allocation is the 'seamless' transfer of work demand between human and machine. Clearly, at the present time, we are far from this objective. One of the barriers to achieving effortless human-machine symbiosis is an inadequate understanding of the way in which operators themselves seek to reallocate demand among their own personal 'resources.' The paper addresses this through an examination of workload response, which scales an individual's reaction to common levels of experienced external demand. The results indicate the primary driver of performance is the absolute level of task demand over the increment in that demand.

  3. Simple Plans or Sophisticated Habits? State, Transition and Learning Interactions in the Two-Step Task.

    PubMed

    Akam, Thomas; Costa, Rui; Dayan, Peter

    2015-12-01

    The recently developed 'two-step' behavioural task promises to differentiate model-based from model-free reinforcement learning, while generating neurophysiologically-friendly decision datasets with parametric variation of decision variables. These desirable features have prompted its widespread adoption. Here, we analyse the interactions between a range of different strategies and the structure of transitions and outcomes in order to examine constraints on what can be learned from behavioural performance. The task involves a trade-off between the need for stochasticity, to allow strategies to be discriminated, and a need for determinism, so that it is worth subjects' investment of effort to exploit the contingencies optimally. We show through simulation that under certain conditions model-free strategies can masquerade as being model-based. We first show that seemingly innocuous modifications to the task structure can induce correlations between action values at the start of the trial and the subsequent trial events in such a way that analysis based on comparing successive trials can lead to erroneous conclusions. We confirm the power of a suggested correction to the analysis that can alleviate this problem. We then consider model-free reinforcement learning strategies that exploit correlations between where rewards are obtained and which actions have high expected value. These generate behaviour that appears model-based under these, and also more sophisticated, analyses. Exploiting the full potential of the two-step task as a tool for behavioural neuroscience requires an understanding of these issues. PMID:26657806

  4. Simple Plans or Sophisticated Habits? State, Transition and Learning Interactions in the Two-Step Task

    PubMed Central

    Akam, Thomas; Costa, Rui; Dayan, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The recently developed ‘two-step’ behavioural task promises to differentiate model-based from model-free reinforcement learning, while generating neurophysiologically-friendly decision datasets with parametric variation of decision variables. These desirable features have prompted its widespread adoption. Here, we analyse the interactions between a range of different strategies and the structure of transitions and outcomes in order to examine constraints on what can be learned from behavioural performance. The task involves a trade-off between the need for stochasticity, to allow strategies to be discriminated, and a need for determinism, so that it is worth subjects’ investment of effort to exploit the contingencies optimally. We show through simulation that under certain conditions model-free strategies can masquerade as being model-based. We first show that seemingly innocuous modifications to the task structure can induce correlations between action values at the start of the trial and the subsequent trial events in such a way that analysis based on comparing successive trials can lead to erroneous conclusions. We confirm the power of a suggested correction to the analysis that can alleviate this problem. We then consider model-free reinforcement learning strategies that exploit correlations between where rewards are obtained and which actions have high expected value. These generate behaviour that appears model-based under these, and also more sophisticated, analyses. Exploiting the full potential of the two-step task as a tool for behavioural neuroscience requires an understanding of these issues. PMID:26657806

  5. Learning-related coordination of striatal and hippocampal theta rhythms during acquisition of a procedural maze task.

    PubMed

    DeCoteau, William E; Thorn, Catherine; Gibson, Daniel J; Courtemanche, Richard; Mitra, Partha; Kubota, Yasuo; Graybiel, Ann M

    2007-03-27

    The striatum and hippocampus are conventionally viewed as complementary learning and memory systems, with the hippocampus specialized for fact-based episodic memory and the striatum for procedural learning and memory. Here we directly tested whether these two systems exhibit independent or coordinated activity patterns during procedural learning. We trained rats on a conditional T-maze task requiring navigational and cue-based associative learning. We recorded local field potential (LFP) activity with tetrodes chronically implanted in the caudoputamen and the CA1 field of the dorsal hippocampus during 6-25 days of training. We show that simultaneously recorded striatal and hippocampal theta rhythms are modulated differently as the rats learned to perform the T-maze task but nevertheless become highly coherent during the choice period of the maze runs in rats that successfully learned the task. Moreover, in the rats that acquired the task, the phase of the striatal-hippocampal theta coherence was modified toward a consistent antiphase relationship, and these changes occurred in proportion to the levels of learning achieved. We suggest that rhythmic oscillations, including theta-band activity, could influence not only neural processing in cortico-basal ganglia circuits but also dynamic interactions between basal ganglia-based and hippocampus-based forebrain circuits during the acquisition and performance of learned behaviors. Experience-dependent changes in coordination of oscillatory activity across brain structures thus may parallel the well known plasticity of spike activity that occurs as a function of experience. PMID:17372196

  6. Secondary task performance during challenging walking tasks and freezing episodes in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Dibilio, Valeria; Stummer, Claudia; Drenthen, Linda; Bloem, Bastiaan R; Nonnekes, Jorik; Weerdesteyn, Vivian

    2016-05-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) patients likely use attentional strategies to compensate for their gait deficits, which increases the cognitive challenge of walking. The interplay between cognitive functions and gait can be investigated by evaluating the subject's attendance to a secondary task during walking. We hypothesized that the ability to attend to a secondary task decreases during challenging walking conditions in PD, particularly during freezing of gait (FOG)-episodes. Twenty-nine PD patients and 14 age-matched controls performed a simple reaction task that involved squeezing a ball as fast as possible in response to an auditory stimulus. Participants performed this reaction task during four conditions: (1) walking at preferred speed; (2) walking with short steps at preferred speed; (3) walking with short steps, as rapidly as possible; (4) making rapid full turns. We used surface electromyography to determine reaction times, and a pressure sensor located within the ball to determine movement onset. Reaction times of PD patients were slower (on average by 42 ms) compared to controls, regardless of the walking task. In both groups, reaction times were significantly longer during the turning condition compared to all other conditions. FOG-episodes were most often seen during the turning condition. In PD patients, reaction times were significantly longer during FOG-episodes compared to trials without FOG. Our results suggest that turning requires more attentional resources than other walking tasks. The observation of delayed reaction times during FOG-episodes compared to trials without FOG suggests that freezers use additional resources to overcome their FOG-episodes. PMID:27032775

  7. Cognitive Control over Learning: Creating, Clustering, and Generalizing Task-Set Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Anne G. E.; Frank, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    Learning and executive functions such as task-switching share common neural substrates, notably prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia. Understanding how they interact requires studying how cognitive control facilitates learning but also how learning provides the (potentially hidden) structure, such as abstract rules or task-sets, needed for…

  8. Industrial Electrical Maintenance Learning Guides and Task Listing by Occupational Titles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitmer, Melvin

    Seven student learning guides are provided for an industrial electrical maintenance program at the secondary, postsecondary, or adult level. Each learning guide is composed of these component parts: a title page that states the task, purpose, program and task numbers, estimated time, and prerequisites; an optional learning contract that includes…

  9. Learning to improve path planning performance

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Pang C.

    1995-04-01

    In robotics, path planning refers to finding a short. collision-free path from an initial robot configuration to a desired configuratioin. It has to be fast to support real-time task-level robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To remedy this situation, we present and analyze a learning algorithm that uses past experience to increase future performance. The algorithm relies on an existing path planner to provide solutions to difficult tasks. From these solutions, an evolving sparse network of useful robot configurations is learned to support faster planning. More generally, the algorithm provides a speedup-learning framework in which a slow but capable planner may be improved both cost-wise and capability-wise by a faster but less capable planner coupled with experience. The basic algorithm is suitable for stationary environments, and can be extended to accommodate changing environments with on-demand experience repair and object-attached experience abstraction. To analyze the algorithm, we characterize the situations in which the adaptive planner is useful, provide quantitative bounds to predict its behavior, and confirm our theoretical results with experiments in path planning of manipulators. Our algorithm and analysis are sufficiently, general that they may also be applied to other planning domains in which experience is useful.

  10. Children's Sleep, Sleepiness, and Performance on Cognitive Tasks.

    PubMed

    Buckhalt, Joseph A

    2011-01-01

    While causal connections between sleep deprivation and attention, learning, and memory have been well established in adults, much less research has been done with children. Relations between the amount and quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness have been found for a number of cognitive and academic tasks in several groups of children. These relations have been found for children who have sleep disorders, for children with disorders involving cognitive impairment, and for typically developing children with no known disorders. The research is reviewed here with a focus on the types of cognitive and academic tasks that have been related to insufficient sleep. A series of studies is described that relates sleep parameters to the Woodcock-Johnson® III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and other, similar measures. Implications for educators and psychologists who work with children are discussed. PMID:25279390

  11. Task-Based Learning and Content and Language Integrated Learning Materials Design: Process and Product

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Pat; Lorenzo, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) represents an increasingly popular approach to bilingual education in Europe. In this article, we describe and discuss a project which, in response to teachers' pleas for materials, led to the production of a significant bank of task-based primary and secondary CLIL units for three L2s (English,…

  12. Interpersonal synergies: static prehension tasks performed by two actors.

    PubMed

    Solnik, Stanislaw; Reschechtko, Sasha; Wu, Yen-Hsun; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2016-08-01

    We investigated multidigit synergies stabilizing components of the resultant force vector during joint performance of a static prehension task by two persons as compared to similar tasks performed by a single person using both hands. Subjects transferred the instrumented handle from the right hand to the left hand (one-person condition) or passed that handle to another person (two-person condition) while keeping the handle's position and orientation stationary. Only three digits were involved per hand, the thumb, the index finger, and the middle finger; the forces and moments produced by the digits were measured by six-component sensors. We estimated the performance-stabilizing synergies within the uncontrolled manifold framework by quantifying the intertrial variance structure of digit forces and moments. The analysis was performed at three levels: between hands, between virtual finger and virtual thumb (imagined digits producing the same mechanical variables as the corresponding actual digits combined) produced by the two hands (in both interpersonal and intrapersonal conditions), and between the thumb and virtual finger for one hand only. Additionally, we performed correlation and phase synchronization analyses of resultant tangential forces and internal normal forces. Overall, the one-person conditions were characterized by higher amount of intertrial variance that did not affect resultant normal force components, higher internal components of normal forces, and stronger synchronization of the normal forces generated by the hands. Our observations suggest that in two-person tasks, when participants try to achieve a common mechanical outcome, the performance-stabilizing synergies depend on non-visual information exchange, possibly via the haptic and proprioceptive systems. Therefore, synergies quantified in tasks using visual feedback only may not be generalizable to more natural tasks. PMID:27021074

  13. Ability Beliefs, Task Value, and Performance as a Function of Race in a Dart-Throwing Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gao, Zan; Kosma, Maria; Harrison, Louis, Jr.

    2009-01-01

    This study examines differences in self-efficacy, expectancy-related beliefs, task value, and performance in a dart-throwing task as a function of race among diverse college students using the expectancy-value model and self-efficacy theory. It also examines the predictive contributions of these beliefs on task performance within each racial…

  14. Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rauscher, Frances H.; And Others

    This research paper reports on testing the hypothesis that music and spatial task performance are causally related. Two complementary studies are presented that replicate and explore previous findings. One study of college students showed that listening to a Mozart sonata induces subsequent short-term spatial reasoning facilitation and tested the…

  15. Career Development, Collective Efficacy, and Individual Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kellett, Janet B.; Humphrey, Ronald H.; Sleeth, Randall G.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to test the hypothesis that perceived collective efficacy would mediate the effects of self-efficacy on individual task performance. Design/methodology/approach: An assessment center design with 147 participants in 49 three-person groups was used. Findings: It is found that for individuals working on an…

  16. Analytic versus Holistic Scoring of Science Performance Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klein, Stephen P.; Stecher, Brian M.; Shavelson, Richard J.; McCaffrey, Daniel; Ormseth, Tor; Bell, Robert M.; Comfort, Kathy; Othman, Abdul R.

    1998-01-01

    Two studies involving 368 elementary and high school students and 29 readers were conducted to investigate reader consistency, score reliability, and reader time requirements of three hands-on science performance tasks. Holistic scores were as reliable as analytic scores, and there was a high correlation between them after they were disattenuated…

  17. Predictors of processing-based task performance in bilingual and monolingual children.

    PubMed

    Buac, Milijana; Gross, Megan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we examined performance of bilingual Spanish-English-speaking and monolingual English-speaking school-age children on a range of processing-based measures within the framework of Baddeley's working memory model. The processing-based measures included measures of short-term memory, measures of working memory, and a novel word-learning task. Results revealed that monolinguals outperformed bilinguals on the short-term memory tasks but not the working memory and novel word-learning tasks. Further, children's vocabulary skills and socioeconomic status (SES) were more predictive of processing-based task performance in the bilingual group than the monolingual group. Together, these findings indicate that processing-based tasks that engage verbal working memory rather than short-term memory may be better-suited for diagnostic purposes with bilingual children. However, even verbal working memory measures are sensitive to bilingual children's language-specific knowledge and demographic characteristics, and therefore may have limited clinical utility. PMID:27179914

  18. Performance of Down syndrome subjects during a coincident timing task

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The time synchronization is a very important ability for the acquisition and performance of motor skills that generate the need to adapt the actions of body segments to external events of the environment that are changing their position in space. Down Syndrome (DS) individuals may present some deficits to perform tasks with synchronization demand. We aimed to investigate the performance of individuals with DS in a simple Coincident Timing task. Method 32 individuals were divided into 2 groups: the Down syndrome group (DSG) comprised of 16 individuals with average age of 20 (+/− 5 years old), and a control group (CG) comprised of 16 individuals of the same age. All individuals performed the Simple Timing (ST) task and their performance was measured in milliseconds. The study was conducted in a single phase with the execution of 20 consecutive trials for each participant. Results There was a significant difference in the intergroup analysis for the accuracy adjustment - Absolute Error (Z = 3.656, p = 0.001); and for the performance consistence - Variable Error (Z = 2.939, p = 0.003). Conclusion DS individuals have more difficulty in integrating the motor action to an external stimulus and they also present more inconsistence in performance. Both groups presented the same tendency to delay their motor responses. PMID:23618314

  19. Motivation To Learn and Perform.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1997

    This document contains four papers from a symposium on motivation to learn and perform in the workplace. "Getting It Together: Motivations and Success Characteristics for Interorganizational Collaborations" (Mary Wilson Callahan) presents results of a literature review, a hierarchical framework of motivations for interorganizational collaboration,…

  20. Exploring the Neural Representation of Novel Words Learned through Enactment in a Word Recognition Task

    PubMed Central

    Macedonia, Manuela; Mueller, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    Vocabulary learning in a second language is enhanced if learners enrich the learning experience with self-performed iconic gestures. This learning strategy is called enactment. Here we explore how enacted words are functionally represented in the brain and which brain regions contribute to enhance retention. After an enactment training lasting 4 days, participants performed a word recognition task in the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner. Data analysis suggests the participation of different and partially intertwined networks that are engaged in higher cognitive processes, i.e., enhanced attention and word recognition. Also, an experience-related network seems to map word representation. Besides core language regions, this latter network includes sensory and motor cortices, the basal ganglia, and the cerebellum. On the basis of its complexity and the involvement of the motor system, this sensorimotor network might explain superior retention for enactment. PMID:27445918

  1. Exploring the Neural Representation of Novel Words Learned through Enactment in a Word Recognition Task.

    PubMed

    Macedonia, Manuela; Mueller, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    Vocabulary learning in a second language is enhanced if learners enrich the learning experience with self-performed iconic gestures. This learning strategy is called enactment. Here we explore how enacted words are functionally represented in the brain and which brain regions contribute to enhance retention. After an enactment training lasting 4 days, participants performed a word recognition task in the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner. Data analysis suggests the participation of different and partially intertwined networks that are engaged in higher cognitive processes, i.e., enhanced attention and word recognition. Also, an experience-related network seems to map word representation. Besides core language regions, this latter network includes sensory and motor cortices, the basal ganglia, and the cerebellum. On the basis of its complexity and the involvement of the motor system, this sensorimotor network might explain superior retention for enactment. PMID:27445918

  2. Horses fail to use social learning when solving spatial detour tasks.

    PubMed

    Rørvang, Maria Vilain; Ahrendt, Line Peerstrup; Christensen, Janne Winther

    2015-07-01

    Social animals should have plenty of opportunities to learn from conspecifics, but most studies have failed to document social learning in horses. This study investigates whether young Icelandic horses can learn a spatial detour task through observation of a trained demonstrator horse of either the same age (Experiments 1 and 2, n = 22) or older (Experiment 3, n = 24). Observer horses were allowed to observe the demonstrator being led three times through the detour route immediately before being given the opportunity to solve the task themselves. Controls were allowed only to observe the demonstrator horse eating at the final position, but not the demonstration of the route. Although we found a tendency towards better performance by observer horses in the second experiment, we were unable to repeat this result in a similar set-up with a new group of horses and older, dominant demonstrator horses. We conclude that horses exposed to prior demonstration did not perform better than control horses in solving spatial detour tasks. PMID:25716720

  3. Online Learning and Performance Support in Organizational Environments Using Performance Support Platforms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gal, Eran; Nachmias, Rafi

    2011-01-01

    An electronic performance support system (EPSS) is a method that integrates learning and task performance into one single action by providing information and guidance during performance. Wide-range EPSS effectiveness research has been conducted by Tel Aviv University in tandem with a large telecommunications firm implementing EPSS solutions. The…

  4. Learning the Task Management Space of an Aircraft Approach Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krall, Joseph; Menzies, Tim; Davies, Misty

    2014-01-01

    Validating models of airspace operations is a particular challenge. These models are often aimed at finding and exploring safety violations, and aim to be accurate representations of real-world behavior. However, the rules governing the behavior are quite complex: nonlinear physics, operational modes, human behavior, and stochastic environmental concerns all determine the responses of the system. In this paper, we present a study on aircraft runway approaches as modeled in Georgia Tech's Work Models that Compute (WMC) simulation. We use a new learner, Genetic-Active Learning for Search-Based Software Engineering (GALE) to discover the Pareto frontiers defined by cognitive structures. These cognitive structures organize the prioritization and assignment of tasks of each pilot during approaches. We discuss the benefits of our approach, and also discuss future work necessary to enable uncertainty quantification.

  5. Voluntary exercise improves performance of a discrimination task through effects on the striatal dopamine system.

    PubMed

    Eddy, Meghan C; Stansfield, Katherine J; Green, John T

    2014-07-01

    We have previously demonstrated that voluntary exercise facilitates discrimination learning in a modified T-maze. There is evidence implicating the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) as the substrate for this task. The present experiments examined whether changes in DLS dopamine receptors might underlie the exercise-associated facilitation. Infusing a D1R antagonist into the DLS prior to discrimination learning facilitated the performance of nonexercising rats but not exercising rats. Infusing a D2R antagonist impaired the performance of exercising rats but not nonexercising rats. Exercise-associated facilitation of this task may rely on an exercise-induced decrease in D1R and increase in D2R activation in the DLS. PMID:24934332

  6. Voluntary exercise improves performance of a discrimination task through effects on the striatal dopamine system

    PubMed Central

    Eddy, Meghan C.; Stansfield, Katherine J.; Green, John T.

    2014-01-01

    We have previously demonstrated that voluntary exercise facilitates discrimination learning in a modified T-maze. There is evidence implicating the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) as the substrate for this task. The present experiments examined whether changes in DLS dopamine receptors might underlie the exercise-associated facilitation. Infusing a D1R antagonist into the DLS prior to discrimination learning facilitated the performance of nonexercising rats but not exercising rats. Infusing a D2R antagonist impaired the performance of exercising rats but not nonexercising rats. Exercise-associated facilitation of this task may rely on an exercise-induced decrease in D1R and increase in D2R activation in the DLS. PMID:24934332

  7. Information Feedback: Contributions to Learning and Performance in Perceptual Identification Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abrams, Alvin J.; Cook, Richard L.

    In training people to perform auditory identification tasks (e.g., training students to identify sound characteristics in a sonar classification task), it is important to know whether or not training procedures are merely sustaining performance during training or whether they enhance learning of the task. Often an incorrect assumption is made that…

  8. The Effects of Study Tasks in a Computer-Based Chemistry Learning Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urhahne, Detlef; Nick, Sabine; Poepping, Anna Christin; Schulz, Sarah Jayne

    2013-12-01

    The present study examines the effects of different study tasks on the acquisition of knowledge about acids and bases in a computer-based learning environment. Three different task formats were selected to create three treatment conditions: learning with gap-fill and matching tasks, learning with multiple-choice tasks, and learning only from text and figures without any additional tasks. Participants were 196 ninth-grade students who learned with a self-developed multimedia program in a pretest-posttest control group design. Research results reveal that gap-fill and matching tasks were most effective in promoting knowledge acquisition, followed by multiple-choice tasks, and no tasks at all. The findings are in line with previous research on this topic. The effects can possibly be explained by the generation-recognition model, which predicts that gap-fill and matching tasks trigger more encompassing learning processes than multiple-choice tasks. It is concluded that instructional designers should incorporate more challenging study tasks for enhancing the effectiveness of computer-based learning environments.

  9. Effects of task complexity on rhythmic reproduction performance in adults.

    PubMed

    Iannarilli, Flora; Vannozzi, Giuseppe; Iosa, Marco; Pesce, Caterina; Capranica, Laura

    2013-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of task complexity on the capability to reproduce rhythmic patterns. Sedentary musically illiterate individuals (age: 34.8±4.2 yrs; M±SD) were administered a rhythmic test including three rhythmic patterns to be reproduced by means of finger-tapping, foot-tapping and walking. For the quantification of subjects' ability in the reproduction of rhythmic patterns, qualitative and quantitative parameters were submitted to analysis. A stereophotogrammetric system was used to reconstruct and evaluate individual performances. The findings indicated a good internal stability of the rhythmic reproduction, suggesting that the present experimental design is suitable to discriminate the participants' rhythmic ability. Qualitative aspects of rhythmic reproduction (i.e., speed of execution and temporal ratios between events) varied as a function of the perceptual-motor requirements of the rhythmic reproduction task, with larger reproduction deviations in the walking task. PMID:23452943

  10. Task Learning of an Arm Robot in Real Space by Using a Learning System in Virtual Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsubone, Tadashi; Kurimoto, Kenichi; Sugiyama, Koichi; Wada, Yasuhiro

    Reinforced learning by which a robot acquires control rules through trial and error has gotten a lot of attention. However, it is quite difficult for robots to acquire control rules by reinforcement learning in real space because many learning trials are needed to achieve the control rules; the robot itself may lose control, or there may be safety problems with the control objects. In this paper, we propose a method in which a robot in real space learns a virtual task; then the task is transferred from virtual to real space. The robot eventually acquires the task in a real environment. We show that a real robot can acquire a task in virtual space with an input device by an example of an inverted pendulum. Next, we verify availability that the acquired task in virtual space can be applied to a real world task. We emphasize the utilization of virtual space to effectively obtain the real world task.

  11. Evaluation of high-definition television for remote task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Draper, J.V.; Fujita, Y.; Herndon, J.N.

    1987-04-01

    High-definition television (HDTV) transmits a video image with more than twice the number (1125 for HDTV to 525 for standard-resolution TV) of horizontal scan lines that standard-resolution TV provides. The improvement in picture quality (compared to standard-resolution TV) that the extra scan lines provide is impressive. Objects in the HDTV picture have more sharply defined edges, better contrast, and more accurate reproduction of shading and color patterns than do those in the standard-resolution TV picture. Because the TV viewing system is a key component for teleoperator performance, an improvement in TV picture quality could mean an improvement in the speed and accuracy with which teleoperators perform tasks. This report describes three experiments designed to evaluate the impact of HDTV on the performance of typical remote tasks. The performance of HDTV was compared to that of standard-resolution, monochromatic TV and standard-resolution, stereoscopic, monochromatic TV in the context of judgment of depth in a televised scene, visual inspection of an object, and performance of a typical remote handling task. The results of the three experiments show that in some areas HDTV can lead to improvement in teleoperator performance. Observers inspecting a small object for a flaw were more accurate with HDTV than with either of the standard-resolution systems. High resolution is critical for detection of small-scale flaws of the type in the experiment (a scratch on a glass bottle). These experiments provided an evaluation of HDTV television for use in tasks that must be routinely performed to remotely maintain a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility. 5 refs., 7 figs., 9 tabs.

  12. Embodied Information in Cognitive Tasks: Haptic Weight Sensations Affect Task Performance and Processing Style

    PubMed Central

    Kaspar, Kai; Vennekötter, Alina

    2015-01-01

    Research in the field of embodied cognition showed that incidental weight sensations influence peoples’ judgments about a variety of issues and objects. Most studies found that heaviness compared to lightness increases the perception of importance, seriousness, and potency. In two experiments, we broadened this scope by investigating the impact of weight sensations on cognitive performance. In Experiment 1, we found that the performance in an anagram task was reduced when participants held a heavy versus a light clipboard in their hands. Reduced performance was accompanied by an increase in the perceived effort. In Experiment 2, a heavy clipboard elicited a specific response heuristic in a two-alternative forced-choice task. Participants showed a significant right side bias when holding a heavy clipboard in their hands. After the task, participants in the heavy clipboard condition reported to be more frustrated than participants in the light clipboard condition. In both experiments, we did not find evidence for mediated effects that had been proposed by previous literature. Overall, the results indicate that weight effects go beyond judgment formation and highlight new avenues for future research. PMID:26421084

  13. Integration of classroom science performance assessment tasks by participants of the Wisconsin Performance Assessment Development Project (WPADP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonnis, Dorothy Ann

    The goals of this interpretive study were to examine selected Wisconsin science teachers' perceptions of teaching and learning science, to describe the scope of classroom performance assessment practices, and to gain an understanding of teachers' personal and professional experiences that influenced their belief systems of teaching, learning and assessment. The study was designed to answer the research questions: (1) How does the integration of performance assessment relate to the teachers' views of teaching and learning? (2) How are the selected teachers integrating performance assessment in their teaching? (3) What past personal and professional experiences have influenced teachers' attitudes and beliefs related to their classroom performance assessment practices? Purposeful sampling was used to select seven Wisconsin elementary, middle and high school science teachers who participated in the WPADP initiative from 1993-1995. Data collection methods included a Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI), semi-structured interviews, teacher developed portfolios, portfolio conferences, and classroom observations. Four themes and multiple categories emerged through data analysis to answer the research questions and to describe the results. Several conclusions were drawn from this research. First, science teachers who appeared to effectively integrate performance assessment, demonstrated transformational thinking in their attitudes and beliefs about teaching and learning science. In addition, these teachers viewed assessment and instructional practices as interdependent. Third, transformational teachers generally used well defined criteria to judge student work and made it public to the students. Transformational teachers provided students with real-world performance assessment tasks that were also learning events. Furthermore, student task responses informed the transformational teachers about effectiveness of instruction, students' complex thinking skills, quality of

  14. EEG Beta Power but Not Background Music Predicts the Recall Scores in a Foreign-Vocabulary Learning Task.

    PubMed

    Küssner, Mats B; de Groot, Annette M B; Hofman, Winni F; Hillen, Marij A

    2016-01-01

    As tantalizing as the idea that background music beneficially affects foreign vocabulary learning may seem, there is-partly due to a lack of theory-driven research-no consistent evidence to support this notion. We investigated inter-individual differences in the effects of background music on foreign vocabulary learning. Based on Eysenck's theory of personality we predicted that individuals with a high level of cortical arousal should perform worse when learning with background music compared to silence, whereas individuals with a low level of cortical arousal should be unaffected by background music or benefit from it. Participants were tested in a paired-associate learning paradigm consisting of three immediate word recall tasks, as well as a delayed recall task one week later. Baseline cortical arousal assessed with spontaneous EEG measurement in silence prior to the learning rounds was used for the analyses. Results revealed no interaction between cortical arousal and the learning condition (background music vs. silence). Instead, we found an unexpected main effect of cortical arousal in the beta band on recall, indicating that individuals with high beta power learned more vocabulary than those with low beta power. To substantiate this finding we conducted an exact replication of the experiment. Whereas the main effect of cortical arousal was only present in a subsample of participants, a beneficial main effect of background music appeared. A combined analysis of both experiments suggests that beta power predicts the performance in the word recall task, but that there is no effect of background music on foreign vocabulary learning. In light of these findings, we discuss whether searching for effects of background music on foreign vocabulary learning, independent of factors such as inter-individual differences and task complexity, might be a red herring. Importantly, our findings emphasize the need for sufficiently powered research designs and exact replications

  15. EEG Beta Power but Not Background Music Predicts the Recall Scores in a Foreign-Vocabulary Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    de Groot, Annette M. B.; Hofman, Winni F.; Hillen, Marij A.

    2016-01-01

    As tantalizing as the idea that background music beneficially affects foreign vocabulary learning may seem, there is—partly due to a lack of theory-driven research—no consistent evidence to support this notion. We investigated inter-individual differences in the effects of background music on foreign vocabulary learning. Based on Eysenck’s theory of personality we predicted that individuals with a high level of cortical arousal should perform worse when learning with background music compared to silence, whereas individuals with a low level of cortical arousal should be unaffected by background music or benefit from it. Participants were tested in a paired-associate learning paradigm consisting of three immediate word recall tasks, as well as a delayed recall task one week later. Baseline cortical arousal assessed with spontaneous EEG measurement in silence prior to the learning rounds was used for the analyses. Results revealed no interaction between cortical arousal and the learning condition (background music vs. silence). Instead, we found an unexpected main effect of cortical arousal in the beta band on recall, indicating that individuals with high beta power learned more vocabulary than those with low beta power. To substantiate this finding we conducted an exact replication of the experiment. Whereas the main effect of cortical arousal was only present in a subsample of participants, a beneficial main effect of background music appeared. A combined analysis of both experiments suggests that beta power predicts the performance in the word recall task, but that there is no effect of background music on foreign vocabulary learning. In light of these findings, we discuss whether searching for effects of background music on foreign vocabulary learning, independent of factors such as inter-individual differences and task complexity, might be a red herring. Importantly, our findings emphasize the need for sufficiently powered research designs and exact

  16. Learning to research in first grade: Bridging the transition from narrative to expository texts and tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weise, Richard

    Decades of research indicate that students at all academic grade and performance levels perform poorly with informational texts and tasks and particularly with locating assignment-relevant information in expository texts. Students have little understanding of the individual tasks required, the arc of the activity, the hierarchical structure of the information they seek, or how to reconstitute and interpret the information they extract. Poor performance begins with the introduction of textbooks and research assignments in fourth grade and continues into adulthood. However, to date, neither educators nor researchers have substantially addressed this problem. In this quasi-experimental study, we ask if first-grade children can perform essential tasks in identifying, extracting, and integrating assignment-relevant information and if instruction improves their performance. To answer this question, we conducted a 15-week, teacher-led, intervention in two first-grade classrooms in an inner-city Nashville elementary school. We created a computer learning environment (NoteTaker) to facilitate children's creation of a mental model of the research process and a narrative/expository bridge curriculum to support the children's transition from all narrative to all expository texts and tasks. We also created a new scaffolding taxonomy and a reading-to-research model to focus our research. Teachers participated in weekly professional development workshops. The results of this quasi-experimental study indicate that at-risk, first-grade children are able to (a) identify relevant information in an expository text, (b) categorize the information they identify, and (c) justify their choice of category. Children's performance in the first and last tasks significantly improved with instruction, and low-performing readers showed the greatest benefits from instruction. We find that the children's performance in categorizing information depended upon content-specific knowledge that was not

  17. Dogs can learn to attend to connectivity in string pulling tasks

    PubMed Central

    Riemer, Stefanie; Müller, Corsin; Range, Friederike; Huber, Ludwig

    2014-01-01

    String pulling tasks are commonly used to investigate recognition of means-end connections. Previous studies suggested that dogs base their choice on proximity rather than connectivity (Osthaus, Lea, & Slater, 2005), nonetheless, dogs performed successfully in the related support problem (Range, Hentrup, & Virányi, 2011). To re-investigate dogs’ means-end understanding, we tested 34 Border collies in string pulling tasks in which the proximity of the reward to the connected string’s end was varied. First, subjects were presented with a four-string task (four parallel perpendicular strings, one baited, with the reward in line with the correct string’s end). Dogs that performed above chance in this task were tested with a curved string task, involving one straight and one curved string. When the reward was attached to the curved string, it was equidistant from both strings’ ends so that choosing by proximity was not possible. While group level performance was significantly above chance, only three of 20 dogs met criterion individually, of which one dog subsequently solved a broken string task upon its first presentation. However, the dogs seemed to be unable to overcome their proximity bias in a parallel diagonal string task where proximity of the unconnected string’s end to the reward was misleading. We conclude that although dogs may not demonstrate means-end understanding spontaneously, some can learn to pay attention to connectivity when proximity is not a confounding factor. This study supports the notion that animals may apply several alternative strategies to solve physical problems, which are influenced by the test-setup. PMID:23875921

  18. Effect of practice on performance of a skilled motor task in patients with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Soliveri, P; Brown, R G; Jahanshahi, M; Marsden, C D

    1992-06-01

    Parkinson's disease leads to a breakdown in the execution of highly practised, skilled movements such as walking and handwriting. The improved execution of skilled movements with practice can be understood as a process of schema learning, the determining of the relevant parameters of the specific movement. The ability of patients with Parkinson's disease and age matched normal control subjects to improve their performance, with practice, on a skilled motor task, doing up buttons, was assessed. The task was assessed on its own and with simultaneous foot tapping. Both groups showed an initial improvement in the task on its own and deterioration in performance when buttoning with foot tapping. The amount of interference, however, decreased with practice, particularly in the patients with a 2 Hz tapping rate. The results suggest that patients with Parkinson's disease are capable of schema learning but require more practice than control subjects to achieve comparable levels of performance. This may be a reflection of the fundamental motor dysfunction of the disease rather than a specific learning deficit. PMID:1619411

  19. Cue Utilization and Cognitive Load in Novel Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Brouwers, Sue; Wiggins, Mark W.; Helton, William; O’Hare, David; Griffin, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to examine whether differences in cue utilization were associated with differences in performance during a novel, simulated rail control task, and whether these differences reflected a reduction in cognitive load. Two experiments were conducted, the first of which involved the completion of a 20-min rail control simulation that required participants to re-route trains that periodically required a diversion. Participants with a greater level of cue utilization recorded a consistently greater response latency, consistent with a strategy that maintained accuracy, but reduced the demands on cognitive resources. In the second experiment, participants completed the rail task, during which a concurrent, secondary task was introduced. The results revealed an interaction, whereby participants with lesser levels of cue utilization recorded an increase in response latency that exceeded the response latency recorded for participants with greater levels of cue utilization. The relative consistency of response latencies for participants with greater levels of cue utilization, across all blocks, despite the imposition of a secondary task, suggested that those participants with greater levels of cue utilization had adopted a strategy that was effectively minimizing the impact of additional sources of cognitive load on their performance. PMID:27064669

  20. Differential contributions of worry, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive symptoms to ERN amplitudes in response monitoring and reinforcement learning tasks.

    PubMed

    Zambrano-Vazquez, Laura; Allen, John J B

    2014-08-01

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by intrusive thoughts (i.e. obsessions) and future-oriented worrisome cognitions that are associated with behavioral ritualistic compensations (i.e. compulsions) and anxious arousal. Research has found an enhanced error-related negativity (ERN) among those with OCD in choice response tasks such as the flankers task, but not in probabilistic learning tasks. To date, research has not directly investigated whether the ERN effect observed in individuals with OCD is specific to the central features of OCD (obsessions and compulsions), or is related more closely to the worry or anxiety observed in this disorder. This study compared groups with relatively pure symptom profiles on OC, worry, and anxiety symptoms (e.g. high on OC, low on worry and anxiety) relative to a "typical" OC presentation group (e.g. high OC, mild to high worry and anxiety) and a non-anxious non-worry Control group, in both flankers and probabilistic learning tasks. For the flankers task, only the Worry group had a significantly enhanced ERN relative to controls. For the probabilistic learning task, the OC typical group had significantly enhanced ERN amplitude on suboptimal choices relative to controls. Across tasks, the experimental groups had significantly enhanced activity on error/suboptimal choices relative to the OC specific group. The results highlight the role of worry across both tasks, and to a lesser extent anxiety and OC symptoms, in performance-monitoring processes. PMID:24971709

  1. Elementary Students' Learning of Materials Science Practices Through Instruction Based on Engineering Design Tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendell, Kristen Bethke; Lee, Hee-Sun

    2010-12-01

    Materials science, which entails the practices of selecting, testing, and characterizing materials, is an important discipline within the study of matter. This paper examines how third grade students' materials science performance changes over the course of instruction based on an engineering design challenge. We conducted a case study of nine students who participated in engineering design-based science instruction with the goal of constructing a stable, quiet, thermally comfortable model house. The learning outcome of materials science practices was assessed by clinical interviews conducted before and after the instruction, and the learning process was assessed by students' workbooks completed during the instruction. The interviews included two materials selection tasks for designing a sturdy stepstool and an insulated pet habitat. Results indicate that: (1) students significantly improved on both materials selection tasks, (2) their gains were significantly positively associated with the degree of completion of their workbooks, and (3) students who were highly engaged with the workbook's reflective record-keeping tasks showed the greatest improvement on the interviews. These findings suggest the important role workbooks can play in facilitating elementary students' learning of science through authentic activity such as engineering design.

  2. Humans and Monkeys Exert Metacognitive Control Based on Learning Difficulty in a Perceptual Categorization Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redford, Joshua S.

    2010-01-01

    Recently, Redford (2010) found that monkeys seemed to exert metacognitive control in a category-learning paradigm. Specifically, they selected more trials to view as the difficulty of the category-learning task increased. However, category-learning difficulty was determined by manipulating the family resemblance across the to-be-learned exemplars.…

  3. Effects of Dispositional Mindfulness on the Self-Controlled Learning of a Novel Motor Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kee, Ying Hwa; Liu, Yeou-Teh

    2011-01-01

    Current literature suggests that mindful learning is beneficial to learning but its links with motor learning is seldom examined. In the present study, we examine the effects of learners' mindfulness disposition on the self-controlled learning of a novel motor task. Thirty-two participants undertook five practice sessions, in addition to a pre-,…

  4. The Relationship between Levels of Expertise, Task Difficulty, Perceived Self-Efficacy, and Mental Effort Investment in Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Hsin-Ning

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the impact of different levels of task difficulty and expertise on self-efficacy judgments. In addition, the study examines how self-efficacy judgments affect the amount of mental effort investment and task performance under different levels of task difficulty and expertise. Results from this study are used to build a…

  5. Performance on the Hamilton search task, and the influence of lateralization, in captive orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica).

    PubMed

    Cussen, Victoria A; Mench, Joy A

    2014-07-01

    Psittacines are generally considered to possess cognitive abilities comparable to those of primates. Most psittacine research has evaluated performance on standardized complex cognition tasks, but studies of basic cognitive processes are limited. We tested orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica) on a spatial foraging assessment, the Hamilton search task. This task is a standardized test used in human and non-human primate studies. It has multiple phases, which require trial and error learning, learning set breaking, and spatial memory. We investigated search strategies used to complete the task, cognitive flexibility, and long-term memory for the task. We also assessed the effects of individual strength of motor lateralization (foot preference) and sex on task performance. Almost all (92%) of the parrots acquired the task. All had significant foot preferences, with 69% preferring their left foot, and showed side preferences contralateral to their preferred limb during location selection. The parrots were able to alter their search strategies when reward contingencies changed, demonstrating cognitive flexibility. They were also able to remember the task over a 6-month period. Lateralization had a significant influence on learning set acquisition but no effect on cognitive flexibility. There were no sex differences. To our knowledge, this is the first cognitive study using this particular species and one of the few studies of cognitive abilities in any Neotropical parrot species. PMID:24370681

  6. Trajectory generation for two robots cooperating to perform a task

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, C.L.

    1995-10-01

    This paper formulates an algorithm for trajectory generation for two robots cooperating to perform an assembly task. Treating the two robots as a single redundant system, this paper derives two Jacobian matrices which relate the joint rates of the entire system to the relative motion of the grippers with respect to one another. The advantage of this formulation over existing methods is that a variety of secondary criteria can be conveniently satisfied using motion in the null-space of the relative Jacobian. This paper presents methods for generating dual-arm joint trajectories which perform assembly tasks while at the same time avoiding obstacles and joint limits, and also maintaining constraints on the absolute position and orientation of the end-effectors.

  7. Learning Task Inventories (LTIs). Exploration of Optimal Conditions to Help Students Develop, Improve and Sustain Good Study and Learning Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacNeil, Stephen; Wood, Eileen; Zivcakova, Lucia; Glover, Robyn; Smith, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    To support students in an introductory organic chemistry course, scaffolding in the form of weekly Learning Task Inventories (LTIs) were introduced. LTIs are chapter-by-chapter lists of detailed learning tasks students are expected to master during the course. This paper describes efforts to effectively implement LTIs, the effect of differing…

  8. Sleep-Related Offline Improvements in Gross Motor Task Performance Occur Under Free Recall Requirements

    PubMed Central

    Malangré, Andreas; Blischke, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Nocturnal sleep effects on memory consolidation following gross motor sequence learning were examined using a complex arm movement task. This task required participants to produce non-regular spatial patterns in the horizontal plane by successively fitting a small peg into different target-holes on an electronic pegboard. The respective reaching movements typically differed in amplitude and direction. Targets were visualized prior to each transport movement on a computer screen. With this task we tested 18 subjects (22.6 ± 1.9 years; 8 female) using a between-subjects design. Participants initially learned a 10-element arm movement sequence either in the morning or in the evening. Performance was retested under free recall requirements 15 min post training, as well as 12 and 24 h later. Thus, each group was provided with one sleep-filled and one wake retention interval. Dependent variables were error rate (number of Erroneous Sequences, ES) and average sequence execution time (correct sequences only). Performance improved during acquisition. Error rate remained stable across retention. Sequence execution time (inverse to execution speed) significantly decreased again during the sleep-filled retention intervals, but remained stable during the respective wake intervals. These results corroborate recent findings on sleep-related enhancement consolidation in ecological valid, complex gross motor tasks. At the same time, they suggest this effect to be truly memory-based and independent from repeated access to extrinsic sequence information during retests. PMID:27065834

  9. [Gender related strategies of visual-spatial task performance].

    PubMed

    Slavutskaia, A V; Gerasimenko, N Iu; Mikhaĭlova, E S

    2012-11-01

    In 31 subjects (16 men and 15 women) in model of the gender differences the brain mechanisms of two different strategies of visual-spatial tasks performance were studied. Although we did not find gender differences in the performing of visual-construction task the pattern of evoked activity was unequal in men and women. In men the early answer of the parietal cortex was related with spatial transformation of figure: the more was rotation of figures details, the more was amplitude of P1 wave. Moreover the amplitude of P1 wave in parietal area decreased with incorrect answers. In opposite, in women we did not find any ERP changes reflecting the details rotation. At the same time, in women we observed the increase of N150 negativity in occipital and infero-temporal cortex area when figure ungrouped into separate details. Our results shed light on some additional information concerning the basis of gender differences in performing of visuo-spatial tasks. Our data show that different strategies are not only defined by the later, but also the early stages of visual processing. PMID:23431764

  10. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance.

    PubMed

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the ability to maintain task goals and working memory capacity (WMC) is firmly established, but evidence for WMC-related differences in conflict processing is mixed. We investigated whether WMC (measured using two complex-span tasks) mediates differences in adjustments of cognitive control in response to conflict. Participants performed a Simon task in which congruent and incongruent trials were equiprobable, but in which the proportion of congruency repetitions (congruent trials followed by congruent trials or incongruent trials followed by incongruent trials) and thus the need for trial-by-trial adjustments in cognitive control varied by block. The overall Simon effect did not depend on WMC capacity. However, for the low-WMC participants the Simon effect decreased as the proportion of congruency repetitions decreased, whereas for the high- and average-WMC participants it was relatively constant across conditions. Distribution analysis of the Simon effect showed more evidence for the inhibition of stimulus location in the low- than in the high-WMC participants, especially when the proportion of congruency repetitions was low. We hypothesize that low-WMC individuals exhibit more interference from task-irrelevant information due to weaker preparatory control prior to stimulus presentation and, thus, stronger reliance on reactive recruitment of cognitive control. PMID:24199908

  11. American ginseng extract reduces scopolamine-induced amnesia in a spatial learning task.

    PubMed Central

    Sloley, B D; Pang, P K; Huang, B H; Ba, F; Li, F L; Benishin, C G; Greenshaw, A J; Shan, J J

    1999-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To determine if HT-1001, an extract of American ginseng, affects scopolamine-induced memory and performance deficits in a spatial learning task, alters brain concentrations of aminergic neurotransmitters, and alters choline uptake in synaptosome preparations. DESIGN: Animal study. ANIMALS: 48 Sprague Dawley rats. INTERVENTIONS: Long-term oral administration of a test material or control solution. Intraperitoneal administration of scopolamine (2 mg/kg) 30 minutes before testing. OUTCOME MEASURES: Performance on Morris water maze task, choline uptake, aminergic neurotransmitter analysis, in vitro monoamine oxidase analysis (of compounds). RESULTS: HT-1001 protected against scopolamine-induced amnesia and increased choline uptake in synaptosomal preparations. HT-1001 did not alter brain concentrations of norepinephrine, dopamine, 5-HT (serotonin), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid or 5-hydroxyindoleactic acid. HT-1001 had a very weak ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase activity in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: HT-1001 demonstrates a capacity to protect against scopolamine-induced memory deficits. PMID:10586535

  12. Musical training, bilingualism, and executive function: a closer look at task switching and dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician) were matched on age and socioeconomic status and administered task switching and dual-task paradigms. Results demonstrated reduced global and local switch costs in musicians compared with non-musicians, suggesting that musical training can contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On dual-task performance, musicians also outperformed non-musicians. There was neither a cognitive advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, nor an interaction between music and language to suggest additive effects of both types of experience. These findings demonstrate that long-term musical training is associated with improvements in task switching and dual-task performance. PMID:25289704

  13. Comparison of School Counselors and School Social Workers: Performance of Tasks and Perceived Preparedness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldman, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    This study compares the professional roles of school counselors and school social workers in terms of the frequency of performing various practice tasks, feelings of preparedness to perform various practice tasks, discrepancies between frequency of task performance and feelings of preparedness to perform said tasks, and factors that may affect…

  14. Competitive Learning Neural Network Ensemble Weighted by Predicted Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ye, Qiang

    2010-01-01

    Ensemble approaches have been shown to enhance classification by combining the outputs from a set of voting classifiers. Diversity in error patterns among base classifiers promotes ensemble performance. Multi-task learning is an important characteristic for Neural Network classifiers. Introducing a secondary output unit that receives different…

  15. Autonomous Learning through Task-Based Instruction in Fully Online Language Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Lina

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the affordances for autonomous learning in a fully online learning environment involving the implementation of task-based instruction in conjunction with Web 2.0 technologies. To that end, four-skill-integrated tasks and digital tools were incorporated into the coursework. Data were collected using midterm reflections,…

  16. Elementary School Students' Strategic Learning: Does Task-Type Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malmberg, Jonna; Järvelä, Sanna; Kirschner, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated what types of learning patterns and strategies elementary school students use to carry out ill- and well-structured tasks. Specifically, it was investigated which and when learning patterns actually emerge with respect to students' task solutions. The present study uses computer log file traces to investigate how…

  17. Implications of Task Structure on Self-Regulated Learning and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lodewyk, Ken R.; Winne, Philip H.; Jamieson-Noel, Dianne L.

    2009-01-01

    School tasks interact with student motivation, cognition, and instruction to influence learning and achievement. Heeding calls for additional research linking motivational and cognitive factors in learning and instruction on specific tasks within authentic classroom settings we quantitatively and qualitatively track 90 tenth-grade science…

  18. Using Dual-Task Methodology to Dissociate Automatic from Nonautomatic Processes Involved in Artificial Grammar Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hendricks, Michelle A.; Conway, Christopher M.; Kellogg, Ronald T.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that both automatic and intentional processes contribute to the learning of grammar and fragment knowledge in artificial grammar learning (AGL) tasks. To explore the relative contribution of automatic and intentional processes to knowledge gained in AGL, we utilized dual-task methodology to dissociate automatic and…

  19. Accuracy Feedback Improves Word Learning from Context: Evidence from a Meaning-Generation Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frishkoff, Gwen A.; Collins-Thompson, Kevyn; Hodges, Leslie; Crossley, Scott

    2016-01-01

    The present study asked whether accuracy feedback on a meaning generation task would lead to improved contextual word learning (CWL). Active generation can facilitate learning by increasing task engagement and memory retrieval, which strengthens new word representations. However, forced generation results in increased errors, which can be…

  20. Impact of Static Graphics, Animated Graphics and Mental Imagery on a Complex Learning Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Feng-Qi; Newby, Timothy J.

    2012-01-01

    The present study compared the impact of different categories of graphics used within a complex learning task. One hundred eighty five native English speaking undergraduates participated in a task that required learning 18 Chinese radicals and their English equivalent translations. A post-test only control group design compared performance…

  1. Opportunity-to-Learn Context-Based Tasks Provided by Mathematics Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wijaya, Ariyadi; van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, Marja; Doorman, Michiel

    2015-01-01

    Based on the findings of an error analysis revealing that Indonesian ninth- and tenth-graders had difficulties in solving context-based tasks, we investigated the opportunity-to-learn offered by Indonesian textbooks for solving context-based mathematics tasks and the relation of this opportunity-to-learn to students' difficulties in solving these…

  2. Writing to Learn via Text Chat: Task Implementation and Focus on Form

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alwi, Nik Aloesnita Nik Mohd; Adams, Rebecca; Newton, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    Research has shown that task-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) can foster attention to linguistic form in ways that may promote language learning (c.f., Blake, 2000; Smith, 2003, 2005). However, relatively little research has investigated how differences in the way that tasks are used in CMC settings influence learning opportunities…

  3. Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching: An Action-Research Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calvert, Megan; Sheen, Younghee

    2015-01-01

    The creation, implementation, and evaluation of language learning tasks remain a challenge for many teachers, especially those with limited experience with using tasks in their teaching. This action-research study reports on one teacher's experience of developing, implementing, critically reflecting on, and modifying a language learning task…

  4. Assessment of procedural learning and problem solving in schizophrenic patients by Tower of Hanoi type tasks.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, T E; Saint-Cyr, J A; Weinberger, D R

    1990-01-01

    Two versions of the Tower of Hanoi task were used to investigate different components of learning and problem solving in schizophrenia. Prior studies have suggested that a three-disk version (Tower 3), which involves primarily problem-solving abilities and planning, is preferentially sensitive to frontal lobe lesions and that the more difficult four-disk version (Tower 4), which involves "learning by doing," is sensitive to basal ganglia disease. Schizophrenic patients performed significantly worse than normal subjects on Tower 3 and Tower 4. However, they performed at least as well relatively on Tower 4 as on Tower 3, indicating that level of difficulty per se does not account for their poor performance on these tasks. Moreover, they eventually attained perfect or near-perfect performance after four days of repeated administration. Their relatively stronger performance on Tower 4 may have reflected an ability to acquire a procedure and, as such, suggests greater preservation of basal ganglia function than of prefrontal function. PMID:2136071

  5. Deep sparse multi-task learning for feature selection in Alzheimer's disease diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Suk, Heung-Il; Lee, Seong-Whan; Shen, Dinggang

    2016-06-01

    Recently, neuroimaging-based Alzheimer's disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosis has attracted researchers in the field, due to the increasing prevalence of the diseases. Unfortunately, the unfavorable high-dimensional nature of neuroimaging data, but a limited small number of samples available, makes it challenging to build a robust computer-aided diagnosis system. Machine learning techniques have been considered as a useful tool in this respect and, among various methods, sparse regression has shown its validity in the literature. However, to our best knowledge, the existing sparse regression methods mostly try to select features based on the optimal regression coefficients in one step. We argue that since the training feature vectors are composed of both informative and uninformative or less informative features, the resulting optimal regression coefficients are inevidently affected by the uninformative or less informative features. To this end, we first propose a novel deep architecture to recursively discard uninformative features by performing sparse multi-task learning in a hierarchical fashion. We further hypothesize that the optimal regression coefficients reflect the relative importance of features in representing the target response variables. In this regard, we use the optimal regression coefficients learned in one hierarchy as feature weighting factors in the following hierarchy, and formulate a weighted sparse multi-task learning method. Lastly, we also take into account the distributional characteristics of samples per class and use clustering-induced subclass label vectors as target response values in our sparse regression model. In our experiments on the ADNI cohort, we performed both binary and multi-class classification tasks in AD/MCI diagnosis and showed the superiority of the proposed method by comparing with the state-of-the-art methods. PMID:25993900

  6. Deep sparse multi-task learning for feature selection in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Suk, Heung-Il; Lee, Seong-Whan; Shen, Dinggang

    2016-01-01

    Recently, neuroimaging-based Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosis has attracted researchers in the field, due to the increasing prevalence of the diseases. Unfortunately, the unfavorable high-dimensional nature of neuroimaging data, but a limited small number of samples available, makes it challenging to build a robust computer-aided diagnosis system. Machine learning techniques have been considered as a useful tool in this respect and, among various methods, sparse regression has shown its validity in the literature. However, to our best knowledge, the existing sparse regression methods mostly try to select features based on the optimal regression coefficients in one step. We argue that since the training feature vectors are composed of both informative and uninformative or less informative features, the resulting optimal regression coefficients are inevidently affected by the uninformative or less informative features. To this end, we first propose a novel deep architecture to recursively discard uninformative features by performing sparse multi-task learning in a hierarchical fashion. We further hypothesize that the optimal regression coefficients reflect the relative importance of features in representing the target response variables. In this regard, we use the optimal regression co-efficients learned in one hierarchy as feature weighting factors in the following hierarchy, and formulate a weighted sparse multi-task learning method. Lastly, we also take into account the distributional characteristics of samples per class and use clustering-induced subclass label vectors as target response values in our sparse regression model. In our experiments on the ADNI cohort, we performed both binary and multi-class classification tasks in AD/MCI diagnosis and showed the superiority of the proposed method by comparing with the state-of-the-art methods. PMID:25993900

  7. A neural network model with dopamine-like reinforcement signal that learns a spatial delayed response task.

    PubMed

    Suri, R E; Schultz, W

    1999-01-01

    This study investigated how the simulated response of dopamine neurons to reward-related stimuli could be used as reinforcement signal for learning a spatial delayed response task. Spatial delayed response tasks assess the functions of frontal cortex and basal ganglia in short-term memory, movement preparation and expectation of environmental events. In these tasks, a stimulus appears for a short period at a particular location, and after a delay the subject moves to the location indicated. Dopamine neurons are activated by unpredicted rewards and reward-predicting stimuli, are not influenced by fully predicted rewards, and are depressed by omitted rewards. Thus, they appear to report an error in the prediction of reward, which is the crucial reinforcement term in formal learning theories. Theoretical studies on reinforcement learning have shown that signals similar to dopamine responses can be used as effective teaching signals for learning. A neural network model implementing the temporal difference algorithm was trained to perform a simulated spatial delayed response task. The reinforcement signal was modeled according to the basic characteristics of dopamine responses to novel stimuli, primary rewards and reward-predicting stimuli. A Critic component analogous to dopamine neurons computed a temporal error in the prediction of reinforcement and emitted this signal to an Actor component which mediated the behavioral output. The spatial delayed response task was learned via two subtasks introducing spatial choices and temporal delays, in the same manner as monkeys in the laboratory. In all three tasks, the reinforcement signal of the Critic developed in a similar manner to the responses of natural dopamine neurons in comparable learning situations, and the learning curves of the Actor replicated the progress of learning observed in the animals. Several manipulations demonstrated further the efficacy of the particular characteristics of the dopamine

  8. Studying Mathematics Teacher Education: Analysing the Process of Task Variation on Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bragg, Leicha A.

    2015-01-01

    Self-study of variations to task design offers a way of analysing how learning takes place. Over several years, variations were made to improve an assessment task completed by final-year teacher candidates in a primary mathematics teacher education subject. This article describes how alterations to a task informed on-going developments in…

  9. Second Language Learning with the Story Maze Task: Examining the Training Effect of Weaving through Stories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enkin, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The maze task is a psycholinguistic experimental procedure that measures real-time incremental sentence processing. The task has recently been tested as a language learning tool with promising results. Therefore, the present study examines the merits of a contextualized version of this task: the story maze. The findings are consistent with…

  10. A wavelet contrast metric for the targeting task performance metric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preece, Bradley L.; Flug, Eric A.

    2016-05-01

    Target acquisition performance depends strongly on the contrast of the target. The Targeting Task Performance (TTP) metric, within the Night Vision Integrated Performance Model (NV-IPM), uses a combination of resolution, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast to predict and model system performance. While the dependence on resolution and SNR are well defined and understood, defining a robust and versatile contrast metric for a wide variety of acquisition tasks is more difficult. In this correspondence, a wavelet contrast metric (WCM) is developed under the assumption that the human eye processes spatial differences in a manner similar to a wavelet transform. The amount of perceivable information, or useful wavelet coefficients, is used to predict the total viewable contrast to the human eye. The WCM is intended to better match the measured performance of the human vision system for high-contrast, low-contrast, and low-observable targets. After further validation, the new contrast metric can be incorporated using a modified TTP metric into the latest Army target acquisition software suite, the NV-IPM.

  11. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance.

    PubMed

    Limongi, Roberto; Silva, Angélica M; Góngora-Costa, Begoña

    2015-01-01

    We have previously shown that temporal prediction errors (PEs, the differences between the expected and the actual stimulus' onset times) modulate the effective connectivity between the anterior cingulate cortex and the right anterior insular cortex (rAI), causing the activity of the rAI to decrease. The activity of the rAI is associated with efficient performance under uncertainty (e.g., changing a prepared behavior when a change demand is not expected), which leads to hypothesize that temporal PEs might disrupt behavior-change performance under uncertainty. This hypothesis has not been tested at a behavioral level. In this work, we evaluated this hypothesis within the context of task switching and concurrent temporal predictions. Our participants performed temporal predictions while observing one moving ball striking a stationary ball which bounced off with a variable temporal gap. Simultaneously, they performed a simple color comparison task. In some trials, a change signal made the participants change their behaviors. Performance accuracy decreased as a function of both the temporal PE and the delay. Explaining these results without appealing to ad hoc concepts such as "executive control" is a challenge for cognitive neuroscience. We provide a predictive coding explanation. We hypothesize that exteroceptive and proprioceptive minimization of PEs would converge in a fronto-basal ganglia network which would include the rAI. Both temporal gaps (or uncertainty) and temporal PEs would drive and modulate this network respectively. Whereas the temporal gaps would drive the activity of the rAI, the temporal PEs would modulate the endogenous excitatory connections of the fronto-striatal network. We conclude that in the context of perceptual uncertainty, the system is not able to minimize perceptual PE, causing the ongoing behavior to finalize and, in consequence, disrupting task switching. PMID:26379568

  12. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance

    PubMed Central

    Limongi, Roberto; Silva, Angélica M.; Góngora-Costa, Begoña

    2015-01-01

    We have previously shown that temporal prediction errors (PEs, the differences between the expected and the actual stimulus’ onset times) modulate the effective connectivity between the anterior cingulate cortex and the right anterior insular cortex (rAI), causing the activity of the rAI to decrease. The activity of the rAI is associated with efficient performance under uncertainty (e.g., changing a prepared behavior when a change demand is not expected), which leads to hypothesize that temporal PEs might disrupt behavior-change performance under uncertainty. This hypothesis has not been tested at a behavioral level. In this work, we evaluated this hypothesis within the context of task switching and concurrent temporal predictions. Our participants performed temporal predictions while observing one moving ball striking a stationary ball which bounced off with a variable temporal gap. Simultaneously, they performed a simple color comparison task. In some trials, a change signal made the participants change their behaviors. Performance accuracy decreased as a function of both the temporal PE and the delay. Explaining these results without appealing to ad hoc concepts such as “executive control” is a challenge for cognitive neuroscience. We provide a predictive coding explanation. We hypothesize that exteroceptive and proprioceptive minimization of PEs would converge in a fronto-basal ganglia network which would include the rAI. Both temporal gaps (or uncertainty) and temporal PEs would drive and modulate this network respectively. Whereas the temporal gaps would drive the activity of the rAI, the temporal PEs would modulate the endogenous excitatory connections of the fronto-striatal network. We conclude that in the context of perceptual uncertainty, the system is not able to minimize perceptual PE, causing the ongoing behavior to finalize and, in consequence, disrupting task switching. PMID:26379568

  13. Multimodal Plasticity in Dorsal Striatum While Learning a Lateralized Navigation Task.

    PubMed

    Hawes, Sarah L; Evans, Rebekah C; Unruh, Benjamin A; Benkert, Elizabeth E; Gillani, Fawad; Dumas, Theodore C; Blackwell, Kim T

    2015-07-22

    Growing evidence supports a critical role for the dorsal striatum in cognitive as well as motor control. Both lesions and in vivo recordings demonstrate a transition in the engaged dorsal striatal subregion, from dorsomedial to dorsolateral, as skill performance shifts from an attentive phase to a more automatic or habitual phase. What are the neural mechanisms supporting the cognitive and behavioral transitions in skill learning? To pursue this question, we used T-maze training during which rats transition from early, attentive (dorsomedial) to late habitual (dorsolateral) performance. Following early or late training, we performed the first direct comparison of bidirectional synaptic plasticity in striatal brain slices, and the first evaluation of striatal synaptic plasticity by hemisphere relative to a learned turn. Consequently, we find that long-term potentiation and long-term depression are independently modulated with learning rather than reciprocally linked as previously suggested. Our results establish that modulation of evoked synaptic plasticity with learning depends on striatal subregion, training stage, and hemisphere relative to the learned turn direction. Exclusive to the contralateral hemisphere, intrinsic excitability is enhanced in dorsomedial relative to dorsolateral medium spiny neurons early in training and population responses are dampened late in training. Neuronal reconstructions indicate dendritic remodeling after training, which may represent a novel form of pruning. In conclusion, we describe region- and hemisphere-specific changes in striatal synaptic, intrinsic, and morphological plasticity which correspond to T-maze learning stages, and which may play a role in the cognitive transition between attentive and habitual strategies. Significance statement: We investigated neural plasticity in dorsal striatum from rats that were briefly or extensively trained on a directional T-maze task. Our results demonstrate that both the extent of

  14. The Effect of a Workload-Preview on Task-Prioritization and Task-Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minotra, Dev

    2012-01-01

    With increased volume and sophistication of cyber attacks in recent years, maintaining situation awareness and effective task-prioritization strategy is critical to the task of cybersecurity analysts. However, high levels of mental-workload associated with the task of cybersecurity analyst's limits their ability to prioritize tasks.…

  15. Changes in P3b Latency and Amplitude Reflect Expertise Acquisition in a Football Visuomotor Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Kyle K.; Luu, Phan; Tucker, Don M.

    2016-01-01

    Learning is not a unitary phenomenon. Rather, learning progresses through stages, with the stages reflecting different challenges that require the support of specific cognitive processes that reflect the functions of different brain networks. A theory of general learning proposes that learning can be divided into early and late stages controlled by corticolimbic networks located in frontal and posterior brain regions, respectively. Recent human studies using dense-array EEG (dEEG) support these results by showing progressive increases in P3b amplitude (an Event Related Potential with estimated sources in posterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus) as participants acquire a new visuomotor skill. In the present study, the P3b was used to track the learning and performance of participants as they identify defensive football formations and make an appropriate response. Participants acquired the task over three days, and P3b latency and amplitude significantly changed when participants learned the task. As participants demonstrated further proficiency with extensive training, amplitude and latency changes in the P3b continued to closely mirror performance improvements. Source localization results across all days suggest that an important source generator of the P3b is located in the posterior cingulate cortex. Results from the study support prior findings and further suggest that the careful analysis of covert learning mechanisms and their underlying electrical signatures are a robust index of task competency. PMID:27111898

  16. The appetitively motivated "cognitive" holeboard: a family of complex spatial discrimination tasks for assessing learning and memory.

    PubMed

    van der Staay, F Josef; Gieling, Elise T; Pinzón, Nathaly Espitia; Nordquist, Rebecca E; Ohl, Frauke

    2012-01-01

    Spatial learning and memory tasks have captured a solid position in neuroscience research. A variety of holeboard-type tasks are suitable for investigating the effects of a broad range of experimental manipulations on spatial learning and memory in a broad range of species, including fish, rodents, cats, pigs, tupaias, and humans. We summarize the concepts and procedures underlying tests of spatial discrimination learning, with special emphasis on holeboard-type tasks and task-specific characteristics. Holeboard-type tasks enable a broad range of mnemonic and cognitive variables to be measured in parallel, including cognitive processes such as habituation processes, spatial working and reference memory, and search strategies, but also non-cognitive variables, such as exploration, anxiety-related behavior, and stereotypies. These tasks are sensitive to a large number of naturally occurring differences (e.g. strain differences and age effects) and to the effects of non-genetic (e.g. specific brain lesions, stress, treatment with cognition impairers or cognition enhancers) and genetic experimental manipulations. In conclusion, holeboard-type tasks provide powerful tools to investigate multiple aspects of spatial orientation behavior in the same experimental setup. Cross-species comparison of holeboard performance shows the potential for translational studies. PMID:21810442

  17. How chronic self-views influence (and mislead) self-assessments of task performance: self-views shape bottom-up experiences with the task.

    PubMed

    Critcher, Clayton R; Dunning, David

    2009-12-01

    Self-assessments of task performance can draw on both top-down sources of information (preconceived notions about one's ability at the task) and bottom-up cues (one's concrete experience with the task itself). Past research has suggested that top-down self-views can mislead performance evaluations but has yet to specify the exact psychological mechanisms that produce this influence. Across 4 experiments, the authors tested the hypothesis that self-views influence performance evaluations by first shaping perceptions of bottom-up experiences with the task, which in turn inform performance evaluations. Consistent with this hypothesis, a relevant top-down belief influenced performance estimates only when learned of before, but not after, completing a task (Study 1), and measures of bottom-up experience were found to mediate the link between top-down beliefs about one's abilities and performance evaluations (Studies 2-4). Furthermore, perception of an objectively definable bottom-up cue (i.e., time it takes to solve a problem) was better predicted by a relevant self-view than the actual passage of time. PMID:19968411

  18. Category learning in older adulthood: A study of the Shepard, Hovland, and Jenkins (1961) tasks.

    PubMed

    Rabi, Rahel; Minda, John Paul

    2016-03-01

    Shepard, Hovland, and Jenkins (1961) examined the categorization abilities of younger adults using tasks involving single-dimensional rule learning, disjunctive rule learning, and family resemblance learning. The current study examined category learning in older adults using this well-known category set. Older adults, like younger adults, found category tasks with a single relevant dimension the easiest to learn. In contrast to younger adults, older adults found complex disjunctive rule-based categories harder to learn than family resemblance based categories. Disjunctive rule-based category learning appeared to be the most difficult for older adults to learn because this category set placed the heaviest demands on working memory, which is known to be a cognitive function that declines with normal aging. The authors discuss why complex rule-based category learning is considered more difficult for older adults to learn relative to younger adults, drawing parallels to developmental research. PMID:26765750

  19. The Word Decoding Strategies of Hebrew Readers with and without Hearing Impairments: Some Insight from an Associative Learning Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to elucidate the word decoding strategies of Hebrew readers with pre-lingually-acquired, severe hearing impairments as opposed to regular Hebrew readers, and to determine their efficiency. The research paradigm used to clarify these issues asked participants to perform a sequence of three learning tasks, calling for the…

  20. Demonstration of Nondeclarative Sequence Learning in Mice: Development of an Animal Analog of the Human Serial Reaction Time Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christie, Michael A.; Hersch, Steven M.

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, we demonstrate nondeclarative sequence learning in mice using an animal analog of the human serial reaction time task (SRT) that uses a within-group comparison of behavior in response to a repeating sequence versus a random sequence. Ten female B6CBA mice performed eleven 96-trial sessions containing 24 repetitions of a 4-trial…

  1. Distribution of Practice and Metacognition in Learning and Long-Term Retention of a Discrete Motor Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dail, Teresa K.; Christina, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    This study examined judgments of learning and the long-term retention of a discrete motor task (golf putting) as a function of practice distribution. The results indicated that participants in the distributed practice group performed more proficiently than those in the massed practice group during both acquisition and retention phases. No…

  2. The relationship between initial errorless learning conditions and subsequent performance.

    PubMed

    Poolton, J M; Masters, R S W; Maxwell, J P

    2005-06-01

    This experiment explores a suggestion by [Maxwell, J.P., Masters, R.S.W., Kerr, E., Weedon, E. (2001). The implicit benefit of learning without errors. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 54, 1049-1068] that an initial bout of implicit motor learning confers beneficial performance characteristics, such as robustness under secondary task loading, despite subsequent explicit learning. Participants acquired a complex motor skill (golf putting) over 400 trials. The environment was constrained early in learning to minimize performance error. It was predicted that in the absence of explicit instruction, reducing error would prevent hypothesis testing strategies and the concomitant accrual of declarative (explicit) knowledge, thereby reducing dependence on working memory resources. The effect of an additional cognitive task on putting performance was used to assess reliance on working memory. Putting performance of participants in the Implicit-Explicit condition was unaffected by the additional cognitive load, whereas the performance of Explicit participants deteriorated. The relationship between error correction and episodic verbal reports suggested that the explicit group were involved in more hypothesis testing behaviours than the Implicit-Explicit group early in learning. It was concluded that a constrained, uninstructed, environment early in learning, results in procedurally based motor output unencumbered by disadvantages associated with working memory control. PMID:16087262

  3. Sex Differences in Performance on Piagetian Spatial Tasks: Differences in Competence or Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liben, Lynn S.; Golbeck, Susan L.

    1980-01-01

    Results indicate that the performance factors examined do, in part, account for subjects' difficulties on standard Piagetian horizontality and verticality tasks but that they cannot fully account for the overall sex differences. (RH)

  4. Primary School Teachers Learning Experiences in Child- and Adulthood and the Pedagogical Task of Teaching to Learn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barabási, Tünde

    2013-01-01

    One of the most important tasks of the elementary (and not only) education we can find the teaching pupils to learn. The main topic of this paper is the presentation of the effects of teacher's experiences gotten in their own learning process as students or adults on the development of children's learning strategies. As the research was made in…

  5. Performance-Based Assessment: The Road to Authentic Learning for the Gifted

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    VanTassel-Baska, Joyce

    2014-01-01

    Performance-based assessment clearly represents an indispensable approach for assessing gifted student learning. Challenging performance tasks allow gifted learners to reveal their considerable intellectual capacity and energy. Through performance tasks, teachers gain insights into a gifted student's true level of capability in a domain of…

  6. High-definition television evaluation for remote handling task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Fujita, Y.; Omori, E.; Hayashi, S.; Draper, J.V.; Herndon, J.N.

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes experiments designed to evaluate the impact of HDTV on the performance of typical remote tasks. The experiments described in this paper compared the performance of four operators using HDTV with their performance while using other television systems. The experiments included four television systems: (1) high-definition color television, (2) high-definition monochromatic television, (3) standard-resolution monochromatic television, and (4) standard-resolution stereoscopic monochromatic television. The stereo system accomplished stereoscopy by displaying two cross-polarized images, one reflected by a half-silvered mirror and one seen through the mirror. Observers wore a pair of glasses with cross-polarized lenses so that the left eye received only the view from the left camera and the right eye received only the view from the right camera.

  7. Human problem solving performance in a fault diagnosis task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouse, W. B.

    1978-01-01

    It is proposed that humans in automated systems will be asked to assume the role of troubleshooter or problem solver and that the problems which they will be asked to solve in such systems will not be amenable to rote solution. The design of visual displays for problem solving in such situations is considered, and the results of two experimental investigations of human problem solving performance in the diagnosis of faults in graphically displayed network problems are discussed. The effects of problem size, forced-pacing, computer aiding, and training are considered. Results indicate that human performance deviates from optimality as problem size increases. Forced-pacing appears to cause the human to adopt fairly brute force strategies, as compared to those adopted in self-paced situations. Computer aiding substantially lessens the number of mistaken diagnoses by performing the bookkeeping portions of the task.

  8. SANDROS: A motion planner with performance proportional to task difficulty

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Pang C.; Hwang, Yong K.

    1991-09-10

    To address the need of a practical motion planner for manipulators, we present an efficient and resolution-complete algorithm that has performance commensurate with task difficulty. The algorithm uses SANDROS, a new search strategy that combines hierarchical, nonuniform-multi-resolution, and best-fit search to find a near-optimal solution in the configuration space. This algorithm can be applied to any manipulator, and has been tested with 5 and 6-degree-of-freedom robots, with execution time ranging from 20 seconds to 10 minutes on a 16 MIPS workstation. 14 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  9. Ecological Problem-Based Learning: An Environmental Consulting Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tessier, Jack T.

    2004-01-01

    Problem-based learning is becoming a popular and effective approach in Science, as it touted as an effective way to promote active learning and encourage students to develop life long learning skills. The problem-based learning could easily be adapted to the high school level and used as long-term project for a biology laboratory.

  10. Examining Associations between Psychosis Risk, Social Anhedonia, and Performance of Striatum-Related Behavioral Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Karcher, Nicole R.; Martin, Elizabeth A.; Kerns, John G.

    2015-01-01

    Both psychosis and anhedonia have been associated to some extent with striatal functioning. The current study examined whether either psychosis risk or social anhedonia was associated with performance on three tasks related to striatal functioning. Psychosis risk participants had extremely elevated Perceptual Aberration/Magical Ideation (PerMag) scores (n=69), with 43% of psychosis risk participants also having semi-structured interview-assessed psychotic-like experiences which further heightens their risk of psychotic disorder (Chapman, Chapman, Kwapil, Eckblad, & Zinser, 1994). Compared to both extremely elevated Social Anhedonia (n=60) and control (n=68) groups, the PerMag group exhibited poorer performance on two of the striatum-related tasks, the Weather Prediction Task (WPT) and the Learned Irrelevance Paradigm, but not on Finger Tapping. In addition, PerMag participants with psychotic-like experiences were especially impaired on the WPT. Overall, this study arguably provides the first evidence that psychosis risk but not social anhedonia is associated with performance on the WPT, a task thought to be strongly associated with activation in the associative striatum, and also suggests that the WPT might be especially useful as a behavioral measure of psychosis risk. PMID:26075968

  11. Experience Playing a Musical Instrument and Overnight Sleep Enhance Performance on a Sequential Typing Task.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Matthew A; Nguyen, Nam; Stickgold, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The smooth, coordinated fine motor movements required to play a musical instrument are not only highly valued in our society; they also predict academic success in areas that generalize beyond the motor domain, including reading and math readiness, and verbal abilities. Interestingly, motor skills that overlap with those required to play a musical instrument (e.g., sequential finger tapping) markedly improve (get faster) over a night of sleep, but not after a day spent awake. Here we studied whether individuals who play musical instruments that require fine finger motor skill are better able to learn and consolidate a simple motor skill task compared to those who do not play an instrument, and whether sleep-specific motor skill benefits interact with those imparted by musical experience. We used the motor sequence task (MST), which taps into a core skill learned and used by musicians, namely, the repetition of learned sequences of key presses. Not surprisingly, we found that musicians were faster than non-musicians throughout the learning session, typing more correct sequences per 30-sec trial. In the 12hrs that followed learning we found that sleep and musical experience both led to greater improvement in performance. Surprisingly, musicians retested after a day of wake performed slightly better than non-musicians who had slept between training and retest, suggesting that musicians have the capacity to consolidate a motor skill across waking hours, while non-musicians appear to lack this capacity. These findings suggest that the musically trained brain is optimized for motor skill consolidation across both wake and sleep, and that sleep may simply promote a more effective use of this machinery. In sum, there may be something special about musicians, perhaps a neurophysiological advantage, that leads to both the expected-greater motor speed at learning-and the surprising-greater motor skill improvement over time. PMID:27472398

  12. New paradigm for task switching strategies while performing multiple tasks: entropy and symbolic dynamics analysis of voluntary patterns.

    PubMed

    Guastello, Stephen J; Gorin, Hillary; Huschen, Samuel; Peters, Natalie E; Fabisch, Megan; Poston, Kirsten

    2012-10-01

    It has become well established in laboratory experiments that switching tasks, perhaps due to interruptions at work, incur costs in response time to complete the next task. Conditions are also known that exaggerate or lessen the switching costs. Although switching costs can contribute to fatigue, task switching can also be an adaptive response to fatigue. The present study introduces a new research paradigm for studying the emergence of voluntary task switching regimes, self-organizing processes therein, and the possibly conflicting roles of switching costs and minimum entropy. Fifty-four undergraduates performed 7 different computer-based cognitive tasks producing sets of 49 responses under instructional conditions requiring task quotas or no quotas. The sequences of task choices were analyzed using orbital decomposition to extract pattern types and lengths, which were then classified and compared with regard to Shannon entropy, topological entropy, number of task switches involved, and overall performance. Results indicated that similar but different patterns were generated under the two instructional conditions, and better performance was associated with lower topological entropy. Both entropy metrics were associated with the amount of voluntary task switching. Future research should explore conditions affecting the trade-off between switching costs and entropy, levels of automaticity between task elements, and the role of voluntary switching regimes on fatigue. PMID:22980455

  13. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task.

    PubMed

    Kuschpel, Maxim S; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game "Angry Birds" before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the "Angry Birds" video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity. PMID:26579055

  14. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    PubMed Central

    Kuschpel, Maxim S.; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J.; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game “Angry Birds” before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the “Angry Birds” video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity. PMID:26579055

  15. Effects of Task-Focused Goals on Low-Achieving Students with and without Learning Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Fuchs, Douglas; Karns, Kathy; Hamlett, Carol L.; Katzaroff, Michelle; Dutka, Suzanne

    1997-01-01

    The effects of a task-focused goals (TFG) treatment in mathematics were studied with low-achieving students with or without learning disabilities. Results with 40 elementary classrooms showed that TFG students enjoyed the approach, but that increased effort was associated with greater learning only for those without learning disabilities. (SLD)

  16. Task Rotation: Strategies for Differentiating Activities and Assessments by Learning Style. A Strategic Teacher PLC Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silver, Harvey; Moirao, Daniel; Jackson, Joyce

    2011-01-01

    One of the hardest jobs in teaching is to differentiate learning activities and assessments to your students' learning styles. But you and your colleagues can learn how to do this together when each of you has this guide to the Task Rotation strategy from our ultimate guide to teaching strategies, "The Strategic Teacher". Use the guide in your…

  17. Wearable Sensors for eLearning of Manual Tasks: Using Forearm EMG in Hand Hygiene Training.

    PubMed

    Kutafina, Ekaterina; Laukamp, David; Bettermann, Ralf; Schroeder, Ulrik; Jonas, Stephan M

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel approach to eLearning that makes use of smart wearable sensors. Traditional eLearning supports the remote and mobile learning of mostly theoretical knowledge. Here we discuss the possibilities of eLearning to support the training of manual skills. We employ forearm armbands with inertial measurement units and surface electromyography sensors to detect and analyse the user's hand motions and evaluate their performance. Hand hygiene is chosen as the example activity, as it is a highly standardized manual task that is often not properly executed. The World Health Organization guidelines on hand hygiene are taken as a model of the optimal hygiene procedure, due to their algorithmic structure. Gesture recognition procedures based on artificial neural networks and hidden Markov modeling were developed, achieving recognition rates of 98 . 30 % ( ± 1 . 26 % ) for individual gestures. Our approach is shown to be promising for further research and application in the mobile eLearning of manual skills. PMID:27527167

  18. Differential effects of bupropion on acquisition and performance of an active avoidance task in male mice.

    PubMed

    Gómez, M C; Redolat, R; Carrasco, M C

    2016-03-01

    Bupropion is an antidepressant drug that is known to aid smoking cessation, although little experimental evidence exists about its actions on active avoidance learning tasks. Our aim was to evaluate the effects of this drug on two-way active avoidance conditioning. In this study, NMRI mice received bupropion (10, 20 and 40mg/kg) or saline before a daily training session (learning phase, days 1-4) in the active avoidance task. Performance was evaluated on the fifth day (retention phase): in each bupropion-treated group half of the mice continued with the same dose of bupropion, and the other half received saline. Among the vehicle-treated mice, different sub-groups were challenged with different doses of bupropion. Results indicated that mice treated with 10 and 20mg/kg bupropion exhibited more number of avoidances during acquisition. The response latency confirmed this learning improvement, since this parameter decreased after bupropion administration. No differences between groups were observed in the retention phase. In conclusion, our data show that bupropion influences the learning process during active avoidance conditioning, suggesting that this drug can improve the control of emotional responses. PMID:26688488

  19. A Convex Formulation for Learning a Shared Predictive Structure from Multiple Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jianhui; Tang, Lei; Liu, Jun; Ye, Jieping

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we consider the problem of learning from multiple related tasks for improved generalization performance by extracting their shared structures. The alternating structure optimization (ASO) algorithm, which couples all tasks using a shared feature representation, has been successfully applied in various multitask learning problems. However, ASO is nonconvex and the alternating algorithm only finds a local solution. We first present an improved ASO formulation (iASO) for multitask learning based on a new regularizer. We then convert iASO, a nonconvex formulation, into a relaxed convex one (rASO). Interestingly, our theoretical analysis reveals that rASO finds a globally optimal solution to its nonconvex counterpart iASO under certain conditions. rASO can be equivalently reformulated as a semidefinite program (SDP), which is, however, not scalable to large datasets. We propose to employ the block coordinate descent (BCD) method and the accelerated projected gradient (APG) algorithm separately to find the globally optimal solution to rASO; we also develop efficient algorithms for solving the key subproblems involved in BCD and APG. The experiments on the Yahoo webpages datasets and the Drosophila gene expression pattern images datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed algorithms and confirm our theoretical analysis. PMID:23520249

  20. A PILOT STUDY ON THE ENCODING OF A PERCEPTUAL LEARNING TASK FOLLOWING SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

    PubMed

    McWhirter, Kelly K; Morrow, Anne S; Lee, Beth A; Bishu, Shrinivas; Zametkin, Alan J; Balkin, Thomas J; Smith, Carolyn B; Picchioni, Dante

    2015-08-01

    Memory encoding sometimes must occur during a period of sleep deprivation. The question was whether one night of sleep deprivation inhibits encoding on a perceptual learning task (the texture discrimination task). The sample was 18 human participants (M age=22.1 yr., SEM=0.5; 8 men). The participants were randomized to a sleep deprivation or sleep control condition and, after the manipulation, were given two administrations of the texture discrimination task. All participants were given an opportunity for a 90 min. nap between the two administrations. Performance was measured by the interpolated stimulus-to-mask-onset asynchrony (i.e., the inter-stimulus interval), at which the percentage of correct responses for the stimuli in the participant's peripheral vision fell below 80%. Offline consolidation was defined as a decrease in this index between the two administrations. Participants who were sleep deprived prior to encoding exhibited similar offline consolidation (M=-5.3 msec., SEM=2.3) compared to participants who were not sleep deprived prior to encoding (M=-6.2 msec., SEM=3.9); the two-way interaction between time and condition was not significant. In light of reports in the literature, these results indicate encoding following sleep deprivation may be influenced by both the type of task encoded and the brain regions involved in memory processing. PMID:26226287

  1. The Network Operations Control Center upgrade task: Lessons learned

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sherif, J. S.; Tran, T.-L.; Lee, S.

    1994-01-01

    This article synthesizes and describes the lessons learned from the Network Operations Control Center (NOCC) upgrade project, from the requirements phase through development and test and transfer. At the outset, the NOCC upgrade was being performed simultaneously with two other interfacing and dependent upgrades at the Signal Processing Center (SPC) and Ground Communications Facility (GCF), thereby adding a significant measure of complexity to the management and overall coordination of the development and transfer-to-operations (DTO) effort. Like other success stories, this project carried with it the traditional elements of top management support and exceptional dedication of cognizant personnel. Additionally, there were several NOCC-specific reasons for success, such as end-to-end system engineering, adoption of open-system architecture, thorough requirements management, and use of appropriate off-the-shelf technologies. On the other hand, there were several difficulties, such as ill-defined external interfaces, transition issues caused by new communications protocols, ambivalent use of two sets of policies and standards, and mistailoring of the new JPL management standard (due to the lack of practical guidelines). This article highlights the key lessons learned, as a means of constructive suggestions for the benefit of future projects.

  2. EFFECTIVE INDICES FOR MONITORING MENTAL WORKLOAD WHILE PERFORMING MULTIPLE TASKS.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Bin-Wei; Wang, Mao-Jiun J; Chen, Chi-Yuan; Chen, Fang

    2015-08-01

    This study identified several physiological indices that can accurately monitor mental workload while participants performed multiple tasks with the strategy of maintaining stable performance and maximizing accuracy. Thirty male participants completed three 10-min. simulated multitasks: MATB (Multi-Attribute Task Battery) with three workload levels. Twenty-five commonly used mental workload measures were collected, including heart rate, 12 HRV (heart rate variability), 10 EEG (electroencephalography) indices (α, β, θ, α/θ, θ/β from O1-O2 and F4-C4), and two subjective measures. Analyses of index sensitivity showed that two EEG indices, θ and α/θ (F4-C4), one time-domain HRV-SDNN (standard deviation of inter-beat intervals), and four frequency-domain HRV: VLF (very low frequency), LF (low frequency), %HF (percentage of high frequency), and LF/HF were sensitive to differentiate high workload. EEG α/θ (F4-C4) and LF/HF were most effective for monitoring high mental workload. LF/HF showed the highest correlations with other physiological indices. EEG α/θ (F4-C4) showed strong correlations with subjective measures across different mental workload levels. Operation strategy would affect the sensitivity of EEG α (F4-C4) and HF. PMID:26226284

  3. Online kernel-based learning for task-space tracking robot control.

    PubMed

    Nguyen-Tuong, Duy; Peters, Jan

    2012-09-01

    Task-space control of redundant robot systems based on analytical models is known to be susceptive to modeling errors. Data-driven model learning methods may present an interesting alternative approach. However, learning models for task-space tracking control from sampled data is an ill-posed problem. In particular, the same input data point can yield many different output values, which can form a nonconvex solution space. Because the problem is ill-posed, models cannot be learned from such data using common regression methods. While learning of task-space control mappings is globally ill-posed, it has been shown in recent work that it is locally a well-defined problem. In this paper, we use this insight to formulate a local kernel-based learning approach for online model learning for task-space tracking control. We propose a parametrization for the local model, which makes an application in task-space tracking control of redundant robots possible. The model parametrization further allows us to apply the kernel-trick and, therefore, enables a formulation within the kernel learning framework. In our evaluations, we show the ability of the method for online model learning for task-space tracking control of redundant robots. PMID:24807925

  4. Evaluation of linearly solvable Markov decision process with dynamic model learning in a mobile robot navigation task.

    PubMed

    Kinjo, Ken; Uchibe, Eiji; Doya, Kenji

    2013-01-01

    Linearly solvable Markov Decision Process (LMDP) is a class of optimal control problem in which the Bellman's equation can be converted into a linear equation by an exponential transformation of the state value function (Todorov, 2009b). In an LMDP, the optimal value function and the corresponding control policy are obtained by solving an eigenvalue problem in a discrete state space or an eigenfunction problem in a continuous state using the knowledge of the system dynamics and the action, state, and terminal cost functions. In this study, we evaluate the effectiveness of the LMDP framework in real robot control, in which the dynamics of the body and the environment have to be learned from experience. We first perform a simulation study of a pole swing-up task to evaluate the effect of the accuracy of the learned dynamics model on the derived the action policy. The result shows that a crude linear approximation of the non-linear dynamics can still allow solution of the task, despite with a higher total cost. We then perform real robot experiments of a battery-catching task using our Spring Dog mobile robot platform. The state is given by the position and the size of a battery in its camera view and two neck joint angles. The action is the velocities of two wheels, while the neck joints were controlled by a visual servo controller. We test linear and bilinear dynamic models in tasks with quadratic and Guassian state cost functions. In the quadratic cost task, the LMDP controller derived from a learned linear dynamics model performed equivalently with the optimal linear quadratic regulator (LQR). In the non-quadratic task, the LMDP controller with a linear dynamics model showed the best performance. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the LMDP framework in real robot control even when simple linear models are used for dynamics learning. PMID:23576983

  5. EPIC Computational Models of Psychological Refractory-Period Effects in Human Multiple-Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, David E.; Kieras, David E.

    Perceptual-motor and cognitive processes whereby people perform multiple concurrent tasks have been studied through an overlapping-tasks procedure in which two successive choice-reaction tasks are performed with a variable interval (stimulus onset asynchrony, or SOA) between the beginning of the first and second tasks. The increase in subjects'…

  6. The lognormal handwriter: learning, performing, and declining

    PubMed Central

    Plamondon, Réjean; O'Reilly, Christian; Rémi, Céline; Duval, Thérésa

    2013-01-01

    The generation of handwriting is a complex neuromotor skill requiring the interaction of many cognitive processes. It aims at producing a message to be imprinted as an ink trace left on a writing medium. The generated trajectory of the pen tip is made up of strokes superimposed over time. The Kinematic Theory of rapid human movements and its family of lognormal models provide analytical representations of these strokes, often considered as the basic unit of handwriting. This paradigm has not only been experimentally confirmed in numerous predictive and physiologically significant tests but it has also been shown to be the ideal mathematical description for the impulse response of a neuromuscular system. This latter demonstration suggests that the lognormality of the velocity patterns can be interpreted as reflecting the behavior of subjects who are in perfect control of their movements. To illustrate this interpretation, we present a short overview of the main concepts behind the Kinematic Theory and briefly describe how its models can be exploited, using various software tools, to investigate these ideal lognormal behaviors. We emphasize that the parameters extracted during various tasks can be used to analyze some underlying processes associated with their realization. To investigate the operational convergence hypothesis, we report on two original studies. First, we focus on the early steps of the motor learning process as seen as a converging behavior toward the production of more precise lognormal patterns as young children practicing handwriting start to become more fluent writers. Second, we illustrate how aging affects handwriting by pointing out the increasing departure from the ideal lognormal behavior as the control of the fine motricity begins to decline. Overall, the paper highlights this developmental process of merging toward a lognormal behavior with learning, mastering this behavior to succeed in performing a given task, and then gradually

  7. Effects of short-term training on behavioral learning and skill acquisition during intraoral fine motor task.

    PubMed

    Kumar, A; Grigoriadis, J; Trulsson, M; Svensson, P; Svensson, K G

    2015-10-15

    Sensory information from the orofacial mechanoreceptors are used by the nervous system to optimize the positioning of food, determine the force levels, and force vectors involved in biting of food morsels. Moreover, practice resulting from repetition could be a key to learning and acquiring a motor skill. Hence, the aim of the experiment was to test the hypothesis that repeated splitting of a food morsel during a short-term training with an oral fine motor task would result in increased performance and optimization of jaw movements, in terms of reduction in duration of various phases of the jaw movements. Thirty healthy volunteers were asked to intraorally manipulate and split a chocolate candy, into two equal halves. The participants performed three series (with 10 trials) of the task before and after a short-term (approximately 30 min) training. The accuracy of the split and vertical jaw movement during the task were recorded. The precision of task performance improved significantly after training (22% mean deviation from ideal split after vs. 31% before; P<0.001). There was a significant decrease in the total duration of jaw movements during the task after the training (1.21 s total duration after vs. 1.56 s before; P<0.001). Further, when the jaw movements were divided into different phases, the jaw opening phase and contact phase were significantly shorter after training than before training (P=0.001, P=0.002). The results indicate that short-term training of an oral fine motor task induces behavior learning, skill acquisition and optimization of jaw movements in terms of better performance and reduction in the duration of jaw movements, during the task. The finding of the present study provides insights into how humans learn oral motor behaviors or the kind of adaptation that takes place after a successful prosthetic rehabilitation. PMID:26162238

  8. Effect of Mild Thyrotoxicosis on Performance and Brain Activations in a Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Göbel, Anna; Heldmann, Marcus; Göttlich, Martin; Dirk, Anna-Luise; Brabant, Georg; Münte, Thomas F.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Disturbed levels of thyroid hormones are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including memory impairments. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of mild induced thyrotoxicosis on working memory and its neural correlates. Methods Twenty-nine healthy, male subjects with normal thyroid state participated in the study. Functional MRI was acquired during a working memory task (n-back task) before and after ingesting 250 μg L-thyroxin per day for a period of eight weeks. In addition, neuropsychological tests were performed. Results In the hyperthyroid condition the subjects showed slower reaction times, but a higher accuracy in the 0-back version of the memory tasks. Fewer differences between euthyroid and hyperthyroid state were seen for the more difficult conditions of the n-back task. FMRI revealed effects of difficulty in the parahippocampal gyrus, supplementary motor area, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cerebellum, rolandic operculum and insula (p<0.05, FWE corrected). When comparing euthyroid and hyperthyroid condition in relation to task-induced activation, differences of activation were found in the right prefrontal cortex as well as in the right parahippocampal area. In the psychological assessment, the alerting effect in the Attention Network Task (ANT) and four out of five parameters of the auditory verbal learning test (AVLT) showed an increase from euthyroid to hyperthyroid state. Conclusions It can be concluded that even a short-term intake of thyroid hormones leads to an activation of brain areas associated with working memory and to an improvement of accuracy of working memory tasks. PMID:27536945

  9. Effects of Gender Role and Task Content on Performance in Same-Gender Dyads: Transactive Memory as a Potential Mediator

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michinov, Estelle; Michinov, Nicolas; Huguet, Pascal

    2009-01-01

    This experiment was designed to examine the effects of gender role and task content on performance in learning dyads and to test the potential mediator effect of an intragroup process related to transactive memory. A total of 44 same-gender dyads participated in the study and were asked to collaborate on a stereotypically masculine or feminine…

  10. The Role of Subjective Task Value in Service-Learning Engagement among Chinese College Students

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yulan; Guo, Fangfang; Yao, Meilin; Wang, Cong; Yan, Wenfan

    2016-01-01

    Most service-learning studies in higher education focused on its effects on students’ development. The dynamic processes and mechanisms of students’ development during service-learning, however, have not been explored thoroughly. Student engagement in service-learning may affect service-learning outcomes and be affected by subjective task value at the same time. The present study aimed to explore the effect of subjective task value on Chinese college student engagement during service-learning. Fifty-four Chinese college students participated in a 9-weeks service-learning program of interacting with children with special needs. Students’ engagement and subjective task value were assessed via self-report questionnaires and 433 weekly reflective journals. The results indicated that the cognitive, emotional and behavioral engagement of Chinese college students demonstrated different developmental trends during service-learning process. Subjective task value played an essential role in student engagement in service-learning activities. However, the role of subjective task value varied with different stages. Finally, the implications for implementing service-learning in Chinese education were discussed. PMID:27445919

  11. Student Off-Task Behavior in Computer-Based Learning in the Philippines: Comparison to Prior Research in the USA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodrigo, Ma. Mercedes T.; Baker, Ryan S. J. D.; Rossi, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Background: Off-task behavior can be defined as any behavior that does not involve the learning task or material, or where learning from the material is not the primary goal. One suggested path for understanding how to address off-task behavior is to study classrooms where off-task behavior is less common, particularly in Asia, in order to…

  12. Task complexity and maximal isometric strength gains through motor learning

    PubMed Central

    McGuire, Jessica; Green, Lara A.; Gabriel, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract This study compared the effects of a simple versus complex contraction pattern on the acquisition, retention, and transfer of maximal isometric strength gains and reductions in force variability. A control group (N = 12) performed simple isometric contractions of the wrist flexors. An experimental group (N = 12) performed complex proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) contractions consisting of maximal isometric wrist extension immediately reversing force direction to wrist flexion within a single trial. Ten contractions were completed on three consecutive days with a retention and transfer test 2‐weeks later. For the retention test, the groups performed their assigned contraction pattern followed by a transfer test that consisted of the other contraction pattern for a cross‐over design. Both groups exhibited comparable increases in strength (20.2%, P < 0.01) and reductions in mean torque variability (26.2%, P < 0.01), which were retained and transferred. There was a decrease in the coactivation ratio (antagonist/agonist muscle activity) for both groups, which was retained and transferred (35.2%, P < 0.01). The experimental group exhibited a linear decrease in variability of the torque‐ and sEMG‐time curves, indicating transfer to the simple contraction pattern (P < 0.01). The control group underwent a decrease in variability of the torque‐ and sEMG‐time curves from the first day of training to retention, but participants returned to baseline levels during the transfer condition (P < 0.01). However, the difference between torque RMS error versus the variability in torque‐ and sEMG‐time curves suggests the demands of the complex task were transferred, but could not be achieved in a reproducible way. PMID:25428951

  13. Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults. The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vella, Jane

    This book examines an approach to teaching adults, in which teaching and learning are integrated and where the learning task is the overall design, incorporating the lecture or input along with practice. In 12 chapters, the book challenges the reader to describe the difference between teaching tasks and learning tasks and to examine both the…

  14. Ensuring Quality E-Learning: Creating Engaging Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hedberg, John G.

    2003-01-01

    Focuses on several examples of software design that have been pedagogically successful and have demonstrated what is possible in software design and online learning. Contrasts are made with some examples of the current push into e-learning and how best to structure learning environments to ensure student participation and high quality learning…

  15. CSCL in Teacher Training: What Learning Tasks Lead to Collaboration?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lockhorst, Ditte; Admiraal, Wilfried; Pilot, Albert

    2010-01-01

    Professional teacher communities appear to be positively related to student learning, teacher learning, teacher practice and school culture. Teacher collaboration is a significant element of these communities. In initial teacher training as well as in-service training and other initiatives for teacher learning, collaborative skills should be…

  16. Enhancement of Declarative Memory Performance Following a Daytime Nap Is Contingent on Strength of Initial Task Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Matthew A.; Fishbein, William

    2008-01-01

    Study Objectives: In this study we examined the benefit of a daytime nap containing only NREM sleep on the performance of three declarative memory tasks: unrelated paired associates, maze learning, and the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure. Additionally, we explored the impact of factors related to task acquisition on sleep-related memory processing. To this end, we examined whether testing of paired associates during training leads to sleep-related enhancement of memory compared to simply learning the word pairs without test. We also examined whether strength of task acquisition modulates sleep-related processing for each of the three tasks. Subjects and Procedure: Subjects (11 male, 22 female) arrived at 11:30, were trained on each of the declarative memory tasks at 12:15, and at 13:00 either took a nap or remained awake in the sleep lab. After the nap period, all subjects remained in the lab until retest at 16:00. Results: Compared to subjects who stayed awake during the training-retest interval, subjects who took a NREM nap demonstrated enhanced performance for word pairs that were tested during training, but not for untested word pairs. For each of the three declarative memory tasks, we observed a sleep-dependent performance benefit only for subjects that most strongly acquired the tasks during the training session. Conclusions: NREM sleep obtained during a daytime nap benefits declarative memory performance, with these benefits being intimately tied to how well subjects acquire the tasks and the way in which the information is acquired. Citation: Tucker MA; Fishbein W. Enhancement of declarative memory performance following a daytime nap is contingent on strength of initial task acquisition. SLEEP 2008;31(2):197–203. PMID:18274266

  17. Involvement of Working Memory in College Students' Sequential Pattern Learning and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kundey, Shannon M. A.; De Los Reyes, Andres; Rowan, James D.; Lee, Bern; Delise, Justin; Molina, Sabrina; Cogdill, Lindsay

    2013-01-01

    When learning highly organized sequential patterns of information, humans and nonhuman animals learn rules regarding the hierarchical structures of these sequences. In three experiments, we explored the role of working memory in college students' sequential pattern learning and performance in a computerized task involving a sequential…

  18. The Effect of Observational Learning on Students' Performance, Processes, and Motivation in Two Creative Domains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Groenendijk, Talita; Janssen, Tanja; Rijlaarsdam, Gert; van den Bergh, Huub

    2013-01-01

    Background. Previous research has shown that observation can be effective for learning in various domains, for example, argumentative writing and mathematics. The question in this paper is whether observational learning can also be beneficial when learning to perform creative tasks in visual and verbal arts. Aims. We hypothesized that observation…

  19. Experience Playing a Musical Instrument and Overnight Sleep Enhance Performance on a Sequential Typing Task

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Matthew A.; Nguyen, Nam; Stickgold, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The smooth, coordinated fine motor movements required to play a musical instrument are not only highly valued in our society; they also predict academic success in areas that generalize beyond the motor domain, including reading and math readiness, and verbal abilities. Interestingly, motor skills that overlap with those required to play a musical instrument (e.g., sequential finger tapping) markedly improve (get faster) over a night of sleep, but not after a day spent awake. Here we studied whether individuals who play musical instruments that require fine finger motor skill are better able to learn and consolidate a simple motor skill task compared to those who do not play an instrument, and whether sleep-specific motor skill benefits interact with those imparted by musical experience. We used the motor sequence task (MST), which taps into a core skill learned and used by musicians, namely, the repetition of learned sequences of key presses. Not surprisingly, we found that musicians were faster than non-musicians throughout the learning session, typing more correct sequences per 30-sec trial. In the 12hrs that followed learning we found that sleep and musical experience both led to greater improvement in performance. Surprisingly, musicians retested after a day of wake performed slightly better than non-musicians who had slept between training and retest, suggesting that musicians have the capacity to consolidate a motor skill across waking hours, while non-musicians appear to lack this capacity. These findings suggest that the musically trained brain is optimized for motor skill consolidation across both wake and sleep, and that sleep may simply promote a more effective use of this machinery. In sum, there may be something special about musicians, perhaps a neurophysiological advantage, that leads to both the expected—greater motor speed at learning—and the surprising—greater motor skill improvement over time. PMID:27472398

  20. Source Evaluation, Comprehension, and Learning in Internet Science Inquiry Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiley, Jennifer; Goldman, Susan R.; Graesser, Arthur C.; Sanchez, Christopher A.; Ash, Ivan K.; Hemmerich, Joshua A.

    2009-01-01

    In two experiments, undergraduates' evaluation and use of multiple Internet sources during a science inquiry task were examined. In Experiment 1, undergraduates had the task of explaining what caused the eruption of Mt. St. Helens using the results of an Internet search. Multiple regression analyses indicated that source evaluation significantly…

  1. Learning to Pose Cognitively Demanding Tasks through Letter Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norton, Anderson; Kastberg, Signe

    2012-01-01

    We have used letter writing as a means for preservice teachers (PSTs) to develop ability to design effective tasks, in terms of eliciting high levels of cognitive activity from students. Studies on student-dependent task analyses, by assessing the levels of cognitive demand indicated in students' responses, have demonstrated significant growth…

  2. Co-Constructional Task Analysis: Moving beyond Adult-Based Models to Assess Young Children's Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of young children's thinking competence in task performances has typically followed the novice-to-expert regimen involving models of strategies that adults use when engaged in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making. Socio-constructivists argue for a balanced pedagogical approach between the adult and child…

  3. Musical Training, Bilingualism, and Executive Function: A Closer Look at Task Switching and Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician)…

  4. Inversion of left–right asymmetry alters performance of Xenopus tadpoles in nonlateralized cognitive tasks

    PubMed Central

    Blackiston, Douglas J.; Levin, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Left–right behavioural biases are well documented across the animal kingdom, and handedness has long been associated with cognitive performance. However, the relationship between body laterality and cognitive ability is poorly understood. The embryonic pathways dictating normal left–right patterning have been molecularly dissected in model vertebrates, and numerous genetic and pharmacological treatments now facilitate experimental randomization or reversal of the left–right axis in these animals. Several recent studies showed a link between brain asymmetry and strongly lateralized behaviours such as eye use preference. However, links between laterality of the body and performance on cognitive tasks utilizing nonlateralized cues remain unknown. Xenopus tadpoles are an established model for the study of early left–right patterning, and protocols were recently developed to quantitatively evaluate learning and memory in these animals. Using an automated testing and training platform, we tested wild-type, left–right-randomized and left–right-reversed tadpoles for their ability to learn colour cues in an automated assay. Our results indicate that animals with either randomization or reversal of somatic left–right patterning learned more slowly than wild-type siblings, although all groups were able to reach the same performance optimum given enough training sessions. These results are the first analysis of the link between body laterality and learning of nonlateralized cues, and they position the Xenopus tadpole as an attractive and tractable model for future studies of the links between asymmetry of the body, lateralization of the brain and behaviour. PMID:24039274

  5. Evaluating the subject-performed task effect in healthy older adults: relationship with neuropsychological tests

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Ana Rita; Pinho, Maria Salomé; Souchay, Céline; Moulin, Christopher J. A.

    2015-01-01

    Background An enhancement in recall of simple instructions is found when actions are performed in comparison to when they are verbally presented – the subject-performed task (SPT) effect. This enhancement has also been found with older adults. However, the reason why older adults, known to present a deficit in episodic memory, have a better performance for this type of information remains unclear. In this article, we explored this effect by comparing the performance on the SPT task with the performance on other tasks, in order to understand the underlying mechanisms that may explain this effect. Objective We hypothesized that both young and older adult groups should show higher recall in SPT compared with the verbal learning condition, and that the differences between age groups should be lower in the SPT condition. We aimed to explore the correlations between these tasks and known neuropsychological tests, and we also measured source memory for the encoding condition. Design A mixed design was used with 30 healthy older adults, comparing their performance with 30 healthy younger adults. Each participant was asked to perform 16 simple instructions (SPT condition) and to only read the other 16 instructions (Verbal condition – VT). The test phase included a free recall task. Participants were also tested with a set of neuropsychological measures (speed of processing, working memory and verbal episodic memory). Results The SPT effect was found for both age groups; but even for SPT materials, group differences in recall persisted. Source memory was found to be preserved for the two groups. Simple correlations suggested differences in correlates of SPT performance between the two groups. However, when controlling for age, the SPT and VT tasks correlate with each other, and a measure of episodic memory correlated moderately with both SPT and VT performance. Conclusions A strong effect of SPT was observed for all but one, which still displayed the expected aging

  6. Blind insight: metacognitive discrimination despite chance task performance.

    PubMed

    Scott, Ryan B; Dienes, Zoltan; Barrett, Adam B; Bor, Daniel; Seth, Anil K

    2014-12-01

    Blindsight and other examples of unconscious knowledge and perception demonstrate dissociations between judgment accuracy and metacognition: Studies reveal that participants' judgment accuracy can be above chance while their confidence ratings fail to discriminate right from wrong answers. Here, we demonstrated the opposite dissociation: a reliable relationship between confidence and judgment accuracy (demonstrating metacognition) despite judgment accuracy being no better than chance. We evaluated the judgments of 450 participants who completed an AGL task. For each trial, participants decided whether a stimulus conformed to a given set of rules and rated their confidence in that judgment. We identified participants who performed at chance on the discrimination task, utilizing a subset of their responses, and then assessed the accuracy and the confidence-accuracy relationship of their remaining responses. Analyses revealed above-chance metacognition among participants who did not exhibit decision accuracy. This important new phenomenon, which we term blind insight, poses critical challenges to prevailing models of metacognition grounded in signal detection theory. PMID:25384551

  7. Performance stability in simultaneous tasks of pedalling and reaction time.

    PubMed

    Arcelin, R; Brisswalter, J

    1999-06-01

    The purpose of the study was to examine the within-subject variability in heart rate, pedal rate, choice reaction time, and error rate during simultaneous tasks of cycling and reaction time. Students in physical education classes exercised a 10-min. submaximal cycloergometer test at a relative power output corresponding to 60% of their own maximal aerobic power, in a replication procedure. Concomitantly, the subjects performed a 2-choice reaction time task from Min. 3 of the exercise bout. No significant differences (p > .05) were found between the individual means in the tests for the diverse parameters. The total intraindividual variability averaged 1.3% for heart rate, 2.2% for pedal rate, and 13.3% for choice reaction time. Because wide within-subject variability was observed (from 7.7 to 16.7%), the reliability of choice reaction time was low. These data suggest that it is necessary to quantify more accurately the intraindividual differences of reaction time measures for the interpretation of exercise-changes in cognitive functioning. PMID:10485101

  8. Effect of caffeine on performances of a perceptual-restructuring task at different stages of practice.

    PubMed

    Broverman, D M; Casagrande, E

    1982-01-01

    Caffeine, a sympathomimetic drug which stimulates the adrenergic nervous system, was hypothesized to exert opposite effects upon performances of a perceptual-restructuring task (the Embedded Figures Task) at different stages of practice. Specifically, caffeine was hypothesized to impair performances of perceptual-restructuring tasks when the task is still novel in early trials; and to facilitate practice induced gains in task performance as the task becomes less novel. Sixty male undergraduates were studied. Each subject was tested on the Embedded Figures Task twice, in one of the following three sequences: caffeine-placebo; placebo-caffeine; and placebo-placebo. Both hypotheses received statistically significant support. PMID:6818581

  9. Multimedia Design Principles in the Psychomotor Domain: The Effect of Multimedia and Spatial Contiguity on Students' Learning of Basic Life Support with Task Cards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iserbyt, Peter; Mols, Liesbet; Elen, Jan; Behets, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    This study adds to the literature by introducing multimedia research in the psychomotor area. In this study, 87 freshman students in pedagogy used task cards to learn Basic Life Support (BLS), a psychomotor skill consisting of nine lifesaving actions to be performed in a specific order. Task cards are printed materials and are often implemented…

  10. Iowa gambling task performance in currently depressed suicide attempters.

    PubMed

    Gorlyn, Marianne; Keilp, John G; Oquendo, Maria A; Burke, Ainsley K; John Mann, J

    2013-05-30

    Deficits in decision-making using the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) have been found in past suicide attempters, but primarily euthymic and/or medicated patients. This study compared IGT performance among medication-free, currently depressed patients (unipolar and bipolar) with (n=26) and without (n=46) a past history of suicide attempt, and healthy volunteers (n=42). Attempter status, in a sample whose attempts were predominantly non-violent, was not associated with impaired IGT performance even when accounting for sex, mood disorder type, and comorbid Borderline Personality Disorder. A non-significant trend towards poorer performance was found in a small subgroup of past attempters who had used a violent method, consistent with prior studies. Suicide intent and ideation were unrelated to IGT scores. There were no consistent associations between IGT performance and ratings of impulsiveness (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS)), hostility (Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI)) or aggression (Brown-Goodwin Aggression Inventory (BGAI)). Results suggest that decision-making impairment is related to specific subtypes of suicidal behavior, but may not be universally sensitive to suicide risk in all types of attempters, especially those using non-violent means. Psychometric and conceptual issues surrounding the IGT also appear to affect its utility as a general marker of suicidal behavior risk. PMID:23489594

  11. Boon and Bane of Being Sure: The Effect of Performance Certainty and Expectancy on Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schindler, Simon; Reinhard, Marc-André; Dickhäuser, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has suggested certainty to be an important factor when investigating effects of level of expectancies on future behavior. With the present study, we addressed the interplay of expectancy certainty and level of expectancies regarding task performance. We assumed that certain performance expectancies provide a better basis for the…

  12. Evidence for impairment of behavioural inhibition in performance of operant tasks in tPA-/- mice.

    PubMed

    Ripley, T L; Horwood, J M; Stephens, D N

    2001-11-01

    We have previously shown that mice that lack the serine protease, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), show over-responding on the active lever during time-out periods in an I.V. cocaine self-administration task. To investigate this effect further, tPA knockout mice (tPA-/-) were tested in a number of operant paradigms for a liquid food reinforcer. tPA-/- and wild-type (WT) control mice acquired a fixed ratio (FR) and a fixed interval (FI) task equally. However, extinction from the FR schedule resulted in a significant decrease in responses on the active and inactive levers in the WT mice whilst responding on the inactive lever remained high in the tPA-/- animals. In a differential reinforcement of low rate (DRL) task, tPA-/- mice acquired the task at a slower rate than WT animals. This was characterised by high levels of responding on the active lever during the first 15 sessions in the tPA-/- mice. Burst responding on the active lever (lever press rate with an inter-response time of less than 3 s) was especially high in these animals. This behaviour pattern resulted in the animals obtaining less reinforcers than the WT controls. Acute cocaine dose-dependently shifted the pattern of behaviour on the active lever towards shorter inter-response times. However, there was no difference between the tPA-/- and WT mice in their sensitivity to cocaine on this task. Repeated administration of a low dose of cocaine did not alter performance on this task in either set of animals. When the DRL task was modified to allow the tPA-/- and WT mice an equal number of reinforced trials per session there was no difference in the ability of the animals to perform the task. This would suggest that the tPA-/- mice have a tendency to over-respond but that this can be overcome when the task is modified to allow equal opportunity to learn. PMID:11682113

  13. Foraging Ecology Predicts Learning Performance in Insectivorous Bats

    PubMed Central

    Clarin, Theresa M. A.; Ruczyński, Ireneusz; Page, Rachel A.

    2013-01-01

    Bats are unusual among mammals in showing great ecological diversity even among closely related species and are thus well suited for studies of adaptation to the ecological background. Here we investigate whether behavioral flexibility and simple- and complex-rule learning performance can be predicted by foraging ecology. We predict faster learning and higher flexibility in animals hunting in more complex, variable environments than in animals hunting in more simple, stable environments. To test this hypothesis, we studied three closely related insectivorous European bat species of the genus Myotis that belong to three different functional groups based on foraging habitats: M. capaccinii, an open water forager, M. myotis, a passive listening gleaner, and M. emarginatus, a clutter specialist. We predicted that M. capaccinii would show the least flexibility and slowest learning reflecting its relatively unstructured foraging habitat and the stereotypy of its natural foraging behavior, while the other two species would show greater flexibility and more rapid learning reflecting the complexity of their natural foraging tasks. We used a purposefully unnatural and thus species-fair crawling maze to test simple- and complex-rule learning, flexibility and re-learning performance. We found that M. capaccinii learned a simple rule as fast as the other species, but was slower in complex rule learning and was less flexible in response to changes in reward location. We found no differences in re-learning ability among species. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that animals’ cognitive skills reflect the demands of their ecological niche. PMID:23755146

  14. Instructional Cues Modify Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balodis, Iris M.; MacDonald, Tara K.; Olmstead, Mary C.

    2006-01-01

    The current study investigated whether acute alcohol intoxication produces impaired decision-making on tasks assessing ventromedial prefrontal (VMF) cortex functioning and impulsive responding. Participants completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a decision-making test targeting the VMF, and the Newman Perseveration Task (NT), a measure of…

  15. The Impact of Assessment Tasks on Subsequent Examination Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Gaal, Frank; De Ridder, Annemieke

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the impact of assessment tasks on examination result (measured by examination grades) is investigated. Although many describe the advantages of electronic assessment tasks, few studies have been undertaken which compare a traditional approach using a classical examination with a new approach using assessment tasks. The main…

  16. Effects of cues in a binary categorization task on dual-task performance, mental workload, and effort.

    PubMed

    Botzer, Assaf; Meyer, Joachim; Parmet, Yisrael

    2016-09-01

    Binary cues help operators perform binary categorization tasks, such as monitoring for system failures. They may also allow them to attend to other tasks they concurrently perform. If the time saved by using cues is allocated to other concurrent tasks, users' overall effort may remain unchanged. In 2 experiments, participants performed a simulated quality control task, together with a tracking task. In half the experimental blocks cues were available, and participants could use them in their decisions about the quality of products (intact or faulty). In Experiment 1, the difficulty of tracking was constant, while in Experiment 2, tracking difficulty differed in the 2 halves of the experiment. In both experiments, participants reported on the NASA Task Load Index that cues improved their performance and reduced their frustration. Consequently, their overall score on mental workload (MWL) was lower with cues. They also reported, however, that cues did not reduce their effort. We conclude that cues and other forms of automation may support task performance and reduce overall MWL, but this will not necessarily mean that users will work less hard. Thus, effort and overall MWL should be evaluated separately, if one wants to obtain a full picture of the effects of automation. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27505049

  17. Characterizing “fibrofog”: Subjective appraisal, objective performance, and task-related brain activity during a working memory task

    PubMed Central

    Walitt, Brian; Čeko, Marta; Khatiwada, Manish; Gracely, John L.; Rayhan, Rakib; VanMeter, John W.; Gracely, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    The subjective experience of cognitive dysfunction (“fibrofog”) is common in fibromyalgia. This study investigated the relation between subjective appraisal of cognitive function, objective cognitive task performance, and brain activity during a cognitive task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Sixteen fibromyalgia patients and 13 healthy pain-free controls completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Multiple Ability Self-Report Questionnaire (MASQ), a measure of self-perceived cognitive difficulties. Participants were evaluated for working memory performance using a modified N-back working memory task while undergoing Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) fMRI measurements. Fibromyalgia patients and controls did not differ in working memory performance. Subjective appraisal of cognitive function was associated with better performance (accuracy) on the working memory task in healthy controls but not in fibromyalgia patients. In fibromyalgia patients, increased perceived cognitive difficulty was positively correlated with the severity of their symptoms. BOLD response during the working memory task did not differ between the groups. BOLD response correlated with task accuracy in control subjects but not in fibromyalgia patients. Increased subjective cognitive impairment correlated with decreased BOLD response in both groups but in different anatomic regions. In conclusion, “fibrofog” appears to be better characterized by subjective rather than objective impairment. Neurologic correlates of this subjective experience of impairment might be separate from those involved in the performance of cognitive tasks. PMID:26955513

  18. Learning Task-Optimal Registration Cost Functions for Localizing Cytoarchitecture and Function in the Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sabuncu, Mert R.; Vercauteren, Tom; Holt, Daphne J.; Amunts, Katrin; Zilles, Karl; Golland, Polina; Fischl, Bruce

    2013-01-01

    Image registration is typically formulated as an optimization problem with multiple tunable, manually set parameters. We present a principled framework for learning thousands of parameters of registration cost functions, such as a spatially-varying tradeoff between the image dissimilarity and regularization terms. Our approach belongs to the classic machine learning framework of model selection by optimization of cross-validation error. This second layer of optimization of cross-validation error over and above registration selects parameters in the registration cost function that result in good registration as measured by the performance of the specific application in a training data set. Much research effort has been devoted to developing generic registration algorithms, which are then specialized to particular imaging modalities, particular imaging targets and particular postregistration analyses. Our framework allows for a systematic adaptation of generic registration cost functions to specific applications by learning the “free” parameters in the cost functions. Here, we consider the application of localizing underlying cytoarchitecture and functional regions in the cerebral cortex by alignment of cortical folding. Most previous work assumes that perfectly registering the macro-anatomy also perfectly aligns the underlying cortical function even though macro-anatomy does not completely predict brain function. In contrast, we learn 1) optimal weights on different cortical folds or 2) optimal cortical folding template in the generic weighted sum of squared differences dissimilarity measure for the localization task. We demonstrate state-of-the-art localization results in both histological and functional magnetic resonance imaging data sets. PMID:20529736

  19. Alterations in cognitive performance during passive hyperthermia are task dependent

    PubMed Central

    Gaoua, Nadia; Racinais, Sebastien; Grantham, Justin; Massioui, Farid El

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to (1) assess the effect of passive heating upon attention and memory task performance, and (2) evaluate the effectiveness of the application of cold packs to the head on preserving these functions. Using a counterbalance design 16 subjects underwent three trials: a control (CON, 20°C, 40% rH), hot (HOT, 50°C, 50% rH) and hot with the head kept cool (HHC). In each condition, three attention tests and two memory tests were performed. Mean core, forehead and tympanic temperatures were all significantly higher (p< 0.05) during HOT (38.6° ±0.1°, 39.6° ±0.2° and 38.8°±0.1°C, respectively) and HHC (38°±0.2, 37.7°±0.3° and 37.7°C, respectively) than in CON (37.1°±0.6°, 33.3° ±0.2° and 35.9°±0.3°C, respectively). Results indicate that there was impairment in working memory with heat exposure (p < 0.05) without alteration in attentional processes. The regular application of cold packs only prevented the detrimental effect of hyperthermia on short-term memory. Our results show that impairments in cognitive function with passive hyperthermia and the beneficial effect of head cooling are task dependent and suggests that exposure to a hot environment is a competing variable to the cognitive processes. PMID:21070137

  20. Task-independent effects are potential confounders in longitudinal imaging studies of learning in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Korostil, Michele; Fatima, Zainab; Kovacevic, Natasha; Menon, Mahesh; McIntosh, Anthony Randal

    2015-01-01

    Learning impairment is a core deficit in schizophrenia that impacts on real-world functioning and yet, elucidating its underlying neural basis remains a challenge. A key issue when interpreting learning-task experiments is that task-independent changes may confound interpretation of task-related signal changes in neuroimaging studies. The nature of these task-independent changes in schizophrenia is unknown. Therefore, we examined task-independent “time effects” in a group of participants with schizophrenia contrasted with healthy participants in a longitudinal fMRI learning-experiment designed to allow for examination of non-specific effects of time. Flanking the learning portions of the experiment with a task-of-no-interest allowed us to extract task-independent BOLD changes. Task-independent effects occurred in both groups, but were more robust in the schizophrenia group. There was a significant interaction effect between group and time in a distributed activity pattern that included inferior and superior temporal regions, frontal areas (left anterior insula and superior medial gyri), and parietal areas (posterior cingulate cortices and precuneus). This pattern showed task-independent linear decrease in BOLD amplitude over the two scanning sessions for the schizophrenia group, but showed either opposite effect or no activity changes for the control group. There was a trend towards a correlation between task-independent effects and the presence of more negative symptoms in the schizophrenia group. The strong interaction between group and time suggests that both the scanning experience as a whole and the transition between task-types evokes a different response in persons with schizophrenia and may confound interpretation of learning-related longitudinal imaging experiments if not explicitly considered. PMID:26759790

  1. Helping Reasoners Succeed in the Wason Selection Task: When Executive Learning Discourages Heuristic Response but Does Not Necessarily Encourage Logic

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Sandrine; Cassotti, Mathieu; Moutier, Sylvain; Delcroix, Nicolas; Houdé, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Reasoners make systematic logical errors by giving heuristic responses that reflect deviations from the logical norm. Influential studies have suggested first that our reasoning is often biased because we minimize cognitive effort to surpass a cognitive conflict between heuristic response from system 1 and analytic response from system 2 thinking. Additionally, cognitive control processes might be necessary to inhibit system 1 responses to activate a system 2 response. Previous studies have shown a significant effect of executive learning (EL) on adults who have transferred knowledge acquired on the Wason selection task (WST) to another isomorphic task, the rule falsification task (RFT). The original paradigm consisted of teaching participants to inhibit a classical matching heuristic that sufficed the first problem and led to significant EL transfer on the second problem. Interestingly, the reasoning tasks differed in inhibiting-heuristic metacognitive cost. Success on the WST requires half-suppression of the matching elements. In contrast, the RFT necessitates a global rejection of the matching elements for a correct answer. Therefore, metacognitive learning difficulty most likely differs depending on whether one uses the first or second task during the learning phase. We aimed to investigate this difficulty and various matching-bias inhibition effects in a new (reversed) paradigm. In this case, the transfer effect from the RFT to the WST could be more difficult because the reasoner learns to reject all matching elements in the first task. We observed that the EL leads to a significant reduction in matching selections on the WST without increasing logical performances. Interestingly, the acquired metacognitive knowledge was too “strictly” transferred and discouraged matching rather than encouraging logic. This finding underlines the complexity of learning transfer and adds new evidence to the pedagogy of reasoning. PMID:25849555

  2. The effects of sleep, wake activity and time-on-task on offline motor sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Landry, Shane; Anderson, Clare; Conduit, Russell

    2016-01-01

    While intervening sleep promotes the consolidation of memory, it is well established that cognitive interference from competing stimuli can impede memory retention. The current study examined changes in motor skill learning across periods of wakefulness with and without competing stimuli, and periods of sleep with and without disruption from external stimuli. A napping study design was adopted where participants (N=44) either had (1) a 30min nap composed of Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep, (2) 30min NREM nap fragmented by audio tone induced arousals, (3) 45min of quiet wakefulness, or (4) 45min of active wakefulness. Measures of subjective sleepiness (KSS), alertness (PVT) and motor skill learning (Sequential Finger Tapping Task, SFTT) were completed in the morning and evening to assess performance pre- and post-nap or wakefulness. Following a practice session, change in motor skill performance was measured over a 10min post training rest interval, as well as following a 7h morning to evening interval comprising one of the four study conditions. A significant offline enhancement in motor task performance (13-23%) was observed following 10min of rest in all conditions. Following the long delay with the intervening nap/wake condition, there were no further offline gains or losses in performance in any sleep (uninterrupted/fragmented) or wake (quiet/active) condition. The current findings suggest that after controlling for offline gains in performance that occur after a brief rest and likely to due to the dissipation of fatigue, the subsequent effect of an intervening sleep or wake period on motor skill consolidation is not significant. Consistent with this null result, the impact of disrupting the sleep episode or manipulating activity during intervening wake also appears to be negligible. PMID:26655281

  3. [Psychological and stabilographic features in healthy persons performing dual tasks with different quality].

    PubMed

    2013-01-01

    The results of performance of 40 healthy volunteers (29.8 ± 2.47 y.o.) in four dual tasks that included postural balance task as a motor sub-task and calculation as a cognitive sub-task were compared to results of individual psychological assessment which measured working and spatial memory capacity, speed of attention switch etc. Performance of participants in dual tasks was not uniform. For each of four tasks four types of performance were observed. Those included decrease of performance in both or one task and increase of performance in both tasks. In one of the four dual tasks 30% of the group of participants performed in both components of dual task better then in separate motor and cognitive tasks. Better performance in this dual task correlated with higher speed of attention switch, higher estimates of spatial and working memory. Analysis of results of psychological and stabilografic investigations showed negative correlation between speed of sway of center of pressure (CoP) and speed of attention switch test, and also between amplitude of CoP sway along frontal axis and capacity of spatial and working memory. These correlations reflect involvement of cognitive resources in voluntary postural control and motor automatism in successful dual task performance. Selected variant of dual task could be used as an instrument of selection of individuals for activities related to high informational loads. PMID:25508959

  4. [Psychological and stabilographic features in healthy persons performing dual tasks with different quality].

    PubMed

    Zharikov, A V; Zhavoronkova, L A; Kuptsova, S B; Kushnir, E M; Kulikov, M A; Mikhalkova, A A

    2013-01-01

    The results of performance of 40 healthy volunteers (29.8 ± 2.47 y.o.) in four dual tasks that included postural balance task as a motor sub-task and calculation as a cognitive sub-task were compared to results of individual psychological assessment which measured working and spatial memory capacity, speed of attention switch etc. Performance of participants in dual tasks was not uniform. For each of four tasks four types of performance were observed. Those included decrease of performance in both or one task and increase of performance in both tasks. In one of the four dual tasks 30% of the group of participants performed in both components of dual task better then in separate motor and cognitive tasks. Better performance in this dual task correlated with higher speed of attention switch, higher estimates of spatial and working memory. Analysis of results of psychological and stabilografic investigations showed negative correlation between speed of sway of center of pressure (CoP) and speed of attention switch test, and also between amplitude of CoP sway along frontal axis and capacity of spatial and working memory. These correlations reflect involvement of cognitive resources in voluntary postural control and motor automatism in successful dual task performance. Selected variant of dual task could be used as an instrument of selection of individuals for activities related to high informational loads. PMID:25486828

  5. Self-Esteem, Locus of Control, and Task Difficulty as Determinants of Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Richard S.; Lefkowitz, Joel

    1977-01-01

    High school students (N=126) responded to questionnaire measures of chronic self-esteem (CSD), task-specific self-esteem (TSSE), and locus of control of reinforcements (L of C) varied in level of task difficulty (TD). The overall relationships of TSSE and L of C with TP were each moderated significantly by TD. (Author)

  6. Student Practices, Learning, and Attitudes When Using Computerized Ranking Tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kevin M.; Prather, E. E.; Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars CATS

    2011-01-01

    Ranking Tasks are a novel type of conceptual exercise based on a technique called rule assessment. Ranking Tasks present students with a series of four to eight icons that describe slightly different variations of a basic physical situation. Students are then asked to identify the order, or ranking, of the various situations based on some physical outcome or result. The structure of Ranking Tasks makes it difficult for students to rely strictly on memorized answers and mechanical substitution of formulae. In addition, by changing the presentation of the different scenarios (e.g., photographs, line diagrams, graphs, tables, etc.) we find that Ranking Tasks require students to develop mental schema that are more flexible and robust. Ranking tasks may be implemented on the computer which requires students to order the icons through drag-and-drop. Computer implementation allows the incorporation of background material, grading with feedback, and providing additional similar versions of the task through randomization so that students can build expertise through practice. This poster will summarize the results of a study of student usage of computerized ranking tasks. We will investigate 1) student practices (How do they make use of these tools?), 2) knowledge and skill building (Do student scores improve with iteration and are there diminishing returns?), and 3) student attitudes toward using computerized Ranking Tasks (Do they like using them?). This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  7. Processing of task-irrelevant emotional faces impacted by implicit sequence learning.

    PubMed

    Peng, Ming; Cai, Mengfei; Zhou, Renlai

    2015-12-01

    Attentional load may be increased by task-relevant attention, such as difficulty of task, or task-irrelevant attention, such as an unexpected light-spot in the screen. Several studies have focused on the influence of task-relevant attentional load on task-irrelevant emotion processing. In this study, we used event-related potentials to examine the impact of task-irrelevant attentional load on task-irrelevant expression processing. Eighteen participants identified the color of a word (i.e. the color Stroop task) while a picture of a fearful or a neutral face was shown in the background. The task-irrelevant attentional load was increased by regularly presented congruence trials (congruence between the color and the meaning of the word) in the regular condition because implicit sequence learning was induced. We compared the task-irrelevant expression processing between the regular condition and the random condition (the congruence and incongruence trials were presented randomly). Behaviorally, reaction times for the fearful face condition were faster than the neutral faces condition in the random condition, whereas no significant difference was found in the regular condition. The event-related potential results indicated enhanced positive amplitudes in P2, N2, and P3 components relative to neutral faces in the random condition. In comparison, only P2 differed significantly for the two types of expressions in the regular condition. The study showed that attentional load increased by implicit sequence learning influenced the late processing of task-irrelevant expression. PMID:26445285

  8. Task Card Instruction: The Effect of Different Cue Sequences on Students' Learning in Tennis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iserbyt, Peter; Madou, Bob; Elen, Jan; Behets, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    In physical education, task cards are often used in student-centred learning models. Consequently, a better understanding of how to deliver effective instructions by means of task cards would make a contribution to the literature. In this study, 80 right-handed university students in kinesiology were randomized across three experimental conditions…

  9. Researching Pedagogic Tasks: Second Language Learning, Teaching, and Testing. Applied Linguistics and Language Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bygate, Martin; Skehan, Peter; Swain, Merrill

    This book brings together a series of empirical studies into the use of pedagogical tasks for second language learning, with a view to better understanding the structure of tasks, their impact on students, and their use by teachers. This edited volume starts with an introduction to the background and key issues in the topic area. Each section…

  10. Children's Self-Regulated Learning Profile in Language and Mathematics: The Role of Task Value Beliefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metallidou, Panayiota; Vlachou, Anastasia

    2010-01-01

    This study explored the self-regulated learning (SRL) profile of upper elementary (fifth and sixth grade) school children who were differentiated in their task value beliefs (low and high) in language and mathematics. Students' SRL profile involved their teachers' ratings of achievement outcomes and SRL behaviors. The subscale of task value…

  11. Gender Effects When Learning Manipulative Tasks from Instructional Animations and Static Presentations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wong, Mona; Castro-Alonso, Juan C.; Ayres, Paul; Paas, Fred

    2015-01-01

    Humans have an evolved embodied cognition that equips them to deal easily with the natural movements of object manipulations. Hence, learning a manipulative task is generally more effective when watching animations that show natural motions of the task, rather than equivalent static pictures. The present study was completed to explore this…

  12. Pattern of Non-Task Interactions in Asynchronous Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abedin, Babak; Daneshgar, Farhad; D'Ambra, John

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of the non-task interactions in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments as emphasized in the literature, few studies have investigated online behavior of people in the CSCL environments. This paper studies the pattern of non-task interactions among postgraduate students in an Australian university. The…

  13. Incidental Learning of S-R Contingencies in the Masked Prime Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlaghecken, Friederike; Blagrove, Elisabeth; Maylor, Elizabeth A.

    2007-01-01

    Subliminal motor priming effects in the masked prime paradigm can only be obtained when primes are part of the task set. In 2 experiments, the authors investigated whether the relevant task set feature needs to be explicitly instructed or could be extracted automatically in an incidental learning paradigm. Primes and targets were symmetrical…

  14. Advanced Marketing 8130. Instructional Areas. Duties and Tasks. Learning Activities. Referenced Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Virginia State Dept. of Education, Richmond.

    This resource handbook, which is designed for use by instructors of courses in advanced marketing, consists of a duty/task list with referenced resources, a duty/task list with learning activities, and a list of resources. Included in each list are materials dealing with the following topics: communication in marketing, economics in marketing,…

  15. Emotion-Based Learning on a Simplified Card Game: The Iowa and Bangor Gambling Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowman, Caroline H.; Turnbull, Oliver H.

    2004-01-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) has been widely used in the assessment of neurological patients with frontal lesions. Emphasis has been placed on the complexity of the task (i.e., four decks of varying contingency pattern) with the suggestion that the participant must use emotion-based learning to deal with a complex decision-making process. The…

  16. Attitudes toward Task-Based Language Learning: A Study of College Korean Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pyun, Danielle Ooyoung

    2013-01-01

    This study explores second/foreign language (L2) learners' attitudes toward task-based language learning (TBLL) and how these attitudes relate to selected learner variables, namely anxiety, integrated motivation, instrumental motivation, and self-efficacy. Ninety-one college students of Korean as a foreign language, who received task-based…

  17. The Effects of Inspecting and Constructing Part-Task-Specific Visualizations on Team and Individual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slof, Bert; Erkens, Gijsbert; Kirschner, Paul A.; Helms-Lorenz, Michelle

    2013-01-01

    This study examined whether inspecting and constructing different part-task-specific visualizations differentially affects learning. To this end, a complex business-economics problem was structured into three phase-related part-tasks: (1) determining core concepts, (2) proposing multiple solutions, and (3) coming to a single solution. Each phase…

  18. The Effectiveness of the Continuation Task on Second Language Learning of English Articles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Lin

    2015-01-01

    This article aims to uncover how alignment in the continuation task affects second language (L2) learning of English articles. Two classes of 47 Chinese students participated in the study which employed a pretest-treatment-posttest research design and lasted for a period of 20 weeks. One class received the continuation task treatment, during which…

  19. Balancing Classroom Management with Mathematical Learning: Using Practice-Based Task Design in Mathematics Teacher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biza, Irene; Nardi, Elena; Joel, Gareth

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we present the results from a study in which 21 mathematics trainee teachers engage with two practice-based tasks in which classroom management interferes with mathematical learning. We investigate the trainees' considerations when they make decisions in classroom situations and how these tasks can trigger their reflections on the…

  20. Simulated Firefighting Task Performance and Physiology Under Very Hot Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Brianna; Snow, Rod; Williams-Bell, Michael; Aisbett, Brad

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To assess the impact of very hot (45°C) conditions on the performance of, and physiological responses to, a simulated firefighting manual-handling task compared to the same work in a temperate environment (18°C). Methods: Ten male volunteer firefighters performed a 3-h protocol in both 18°C (CON) and 45°C (VH). Participants intermittently performed 12 × 1-min bouts of raking, 6 × 8-min bouts of low-intensity stepping, and 6 × 20-min rest periods. The area cleared during the raking task determined work performance. Core temperature, skin temperature, and heart rate were measured continuously. Participants also periodically rated their perceived exertion (RPE) and thermal sensation. Firefighters consumed water ad libitum. Urine specific gravity (USG) and changes in body mass determined hydration status. Results: Firefighters raked 19% less debris during the VH condition. Core and skin temperature were 0.99 ± 0.20 and 5.45 ± 0.53°C higher, respectively, during the VH trial, and heart rate was 14–36 beats.min−1 higher in the VH trial. Firefighters consumed 2950 ± 1034 mL of water in the VH condition, compared to 1290 ± 525 in the CON trial. Sweat losses were higher in the VH (1886 ± 474 mL) compared to the CON trial (462 ± 392 mL), though both groups were hydrated upon protocol completion (USG < 1.020). Participants' average RPE was higher in the VH (15.6 ± 0.9) compared to the CON trial (12.6 ± 0.9). Similarly, the firefighers' thermal sensation scores were significantly higher in the VH (6.4 ± 0.5) compared to the CON trial (4.4 ± 0.4). Conclusions: Despite the decreased work output and aggressive fluid replacement observed in the VH trial, firefighters' experienced increases in thermal stress, and exertion. Fire agencies should prioritize the health and safety of fire personnel in very hot temperatures, and consider the impact of reduced productivity on fire suppression efforts. PMID:26617527

  1. Modeling How, When, and What Is Learned in a Simple Fault-Finding Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritter, Frank E.; Bibby, Peter A.

    2008-01-01

    We have developed a process model that learns in multiple ways while finding faults in a simple control panel device. The model predicts human participants' learning through its own learning. The model's performance was systematically compared to human learning data, including the time course and specific sequence of learned behaviors. These…

  2. Influence of gender on psychomotor vigilance task performance by adolescents.

    PubMed

    Beijamini, F; Silva, A G T; Peixoto, C A T; Louzada, F M

    2008-08-01

    During adolescence, the sleep phase delay associated with early school times increases daytime sleepiness and reduces psychomotor performance. Some studies have shown an effect of gender on psychomotor performance in adults and children. Males present faster reaction times (RT) compared with females. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of gender on Palm psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) performance in adolescents. Thirty-four adolescents (19 girls, 13 to 16 years old) attending morning school classes of a public school in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, participated in the study. Sleep patterns were measured using actigraphy and sleepiness data were accessed with the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). KSS and PVT measurements were collected at two times in the morning (8:00 and 11:00 h). The data were compared using one-way ANOVA, considering gender as a factor. ANOVA indicated that gender did not affect sleep patterns and subjective somnolence; however, a statistically significant effect of gender was detected for PVT performance. Boys presented faster RT (RT-PVT1: 345.51 ms, F = 6.08, P < 0.05; RT-PVT2: 343.30 ms, F = 6.35, P < 0.05) and fewer lapses (lapses-PVT1: 8.71, F = 4.45, P < 0.05; lapses-PVT2: 7.82, F = 7.06, P < 0.05) compared with girls (RT-PVT1: 402.96; RT-PVT2: 415.70; lapses-PVT1: 16.33; lapses-PVT2: 17.80). These results showed that this effect of gender, already reported in adults and children, is also observed in adolescents. The influence of gender should be taken into account in studies that use Palm PVT to evaluate psychomotor performance in this age range. PMID:18797710

  3. The Effectiveness of Project-Based Learning on Pupils with Learning Difficulties Regarding Academic Performance, Group Work and Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filippatou, Diamanto; Kaldi, Stavroula

    2010-01-01

    This study focuses upon the effectiveness of project-based learning on primary school pupils with learning difficulties regarding their academic performance and attitudes towards self efficacy, task value, group work and teaching methods applied. The present study is a part of a larger one that included six Greek fourth-grade primary school…

  4. No evidence of learning in non-symbolic numerical tasks--A comment on Park and Brannon (2014).

    PubMed

    Lindskog, Marcus; Winman, Anders

    2016-05-01

    Two recent studies - one of which was published in this journal - claimed to have found that learning on a non-symbolic arithmetic task improved performance on a symbolic arithmetic task (Park & Brannon, 2013, 2014). This finding has potentially far-reaching implications, because it would constitute evidence for a causal link between the Approximate Number System (ANS) and symbolic-math ability. Here, we argue that, due to the methodology used in both studies, the interpretation of data in terms of an improvement in ANS performance is problematic. We provide arguments and simulations showing that the trends in the data are similar to what one would expect for a non-learning observer. We discuss the implications for the original interpretation in terms of causality between non-symbolic and symbolic arithmetic performance. PMID:26972468

  5. A Nonverbal False Belief Task: The Performance of Children and Great Apes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Compared performance of preschool children, chimpanzees, and orangutans on nonverbal task of false-belief understanding and tested children's performance on a verbal version of the same task. Found that children's performance on verbal and nonverbal tasks were highly correlated, and no chimp or orangutan succeeded in the nonverbal false-belief…

  6. Trajectories of Resilience during Dyadic Task Performance among Children Six to Seven Years of Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mykkänen, Arttu; Kronqvist, Eeva-Liisa; Järvelä, Sanna

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to analyse resilience displayed by young children in dyadic task performance situations. Data were collected by videotaping children (aged six to seven years; N?=?40) during a geometrical task performance. Results describe ways in which children confronted the challenges during task performance, and the order in which the…

  7. OLDER ADULTS CATCH UP TO YOUNGER ADULTS ON A LEARNING AND MEMORY TASK THAT INVOLVES COLLABORATIVE SOCIAL INTERACTION

    PubMed Central

    Derksen, B.J.; Duff, M.C.; Weldon, K.; Zhang, J.; Zamba, G.; Tranel, D.; Denburg, N.L.

    2014-01-01

    Learning and memory abilities tend to decline as people age. The current study examines the question of whether a learning situation that emphasizes collaborative social interaction might help older persons overcome age-related learning and memory changes and thus perform similarly to younger persons. Younger and Older participants (n = 34 in each group) completed the Barrier Task, a game-like social interaction where partners work together to develop labels for a set of abstract tangrams. Participants were also administered standard clinical neuropsychological measures of memory, on which the Older group showed expected inferiority to the Younger group. On the Barrier Task, the Older group performed less well than the Younger group early on, but as the task progressed, the performance of the Older group caught up and became statistically indistinguishable from that of the Younger group. These results can be taken to suggest that a learning milieu characterized by collaborative social interaction can attenuate some of the typical memory disadvantages associated with being older. PMID:24841619

  8. Presentation-Practice-Production and Task-Based Learning in the Light of Second Language Learning Theories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritchie, Graeme

    2003-01-01

    Features of presentation-practice-production (PPP) and task-based learning (TBL) models for language teaching are discussed with reference to language learning theories. Pre-selection of target structures, use of controlled repetition, and explicit grammar instruction in a PPP lesson are given. Suggests TBL approaches afford greater learning…

  9. Context-Sensitive Adjustment of Cognitive Control in Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischer, Rico; Gottschalk, Caroline; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-01-01

    Performing 2 highly similar tasks at the same time requires an adaptive regulation of cognitive control to shield prioritized primary task processing from between-task (cross-talk) interference caused by secondary task processing. In the present study, the authors investigated how implicitly and explicitly delivered information promotes the…

  10. Summary document of tasks performed on the Shuttle-C/NLS contract

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    During FY92, USBI performed many programmatic related tasks. These programmatic tasks have been categorized as follows: (1) acquisition; (2) project engineering/program planning; and (3) cost. The reports associated with these tasks follow in paragraphs 1.1.1 through 1.3.3. Proceeding each task report is a brief description of the contents contained within.

  11. Learners Performing Tasks in a Japanese EFL Classroom: A Multimodal and Interpersonal Approach to Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Paul

    2012-01-01

    In this paper I describe and analyse learner task-based interactions from a multimodal perspective with the aim of better understanding how learners' interpersonal relationships might affect task performance. Task-based pedagogy is focused on classroom interaction between learners, yet analysis of tasks has often neglected the analysis of this…

  12. Task Sheets and Stations: Busy, Happy, and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newsome, John A.

    2005-01-01

    Ensuring that learning takes place in physical education has been a challenge to physical educators for many years. "Busy, happy, and learning" is a variation of Judith Placek's (1983) landmark concept, defined in her article "Conceptions of success in teaching: Busy, happy and good?" In this article, Placek argues that many physical educators are…

  13. Exploring the Effect of Red and Blue on Cognitive Task Performances

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Tiansheng; Song, Lu; Wang, Ting T.; Tan, Ling; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies on the effect of color on cognitive task performances and have led to two different views. Some researchers think that the influence of red and blue on cognitive tasks is modulated by the difficulty of the task, and other researchers suggest that the influence mainly depends on the type of task. The current study combined these factors to investigate the effect of color on cognitive task performance. In Experiment 1, we manipulated the difficulty of the task to investigate the effect of red and blue on detail-oriented task performance (the proofreading task), whereas in Experiment 2 we manipulated task difficulty to explore the effect of red and blue on creative task performance (the Remote Associates Test). The results showed that red enhanced the performance on a simple detail-oriented task. However, blue improved the performance on a difficult detail-oriented task as well as on both simple and difficult creative tasks. The results of the current study indicate that the type and difficulty of the task together modulate the effect of color on cognitive performances. PMID:27303343

  14. Modelling the Factors that Affect Individuals' Utilisation of Online Learning Systems: An Empirical Study Combining the Task Technology Fit Model with the Theory of Planned Behaviour

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Tai-Kuei; Yu, Tai-Yi

    2010-01-01

    Understanding learners' behaviour, perceptions and influence in terms of learner performance is crucial to predict the use of electronic learning systems. By integrating the task-technology fit (TTF) model and the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this paper investigates the online learning utilisation of Taiwanese students. This paper provides a…

  15. Transformation of OODT CAS to Perform Larger Tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mattmann, Chris; Freeborn, Dana; Crichton, Daniel; Hughes, John; Ramirez, Paul; Hardman, Sean; Woollard, David; Kelly, Sean

    2008-01-01

    A computer program denoted OODT CAS has been transformed to enable performance of larger tasks that involve greatly increased data volumes and increasingly intensive processing of data on heterogeneous, geographically dispersed computers. Prior to the transformation, OODT CAS (also alternatively denoted, simply, 'CAS') [wherein 'OODT' signifies 'Object-Oriented Data Technology' and 'CAS' signifies 'Catalog and Archive Service'] was a proven software component used to manage scientific data from spaceflight missions. In the transformation, CAS was split into two separate components representing its canonical capabilities: file management and workflow management. In addition, CAS was augmented by addition of a resource-management component. This third component enables CAS to manage heterogeneous computing by use of diverse resources, including high-performance clusters of computers, commodity computing hardware, and grid computing infrastructures. CAS is now more easily maintainable, evolvable, and reusable. These components can be used separately or, taking advantage of synergies, can be used together. Other elements of the transformation included addition of a separate Web presentation layer that supports distribution of data products via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, and provision for full Resource Description Framework (RDF) exports of metadata.

  16. Examining age differences in performance of a complex information search and retrieval task.

    PubMed

    Czaja, S J; Sharit, J; Ownby, R; Roth, D L; Nair, S

    2001-12-01

    This study examined age differences in performance of a complex information search and retrieval task by using a simulated real-world task typical of those performed by customer service representatives. The study also investigated the influence of task experience and the relationships between cognitive abilities and task performance. One hundred seventeen participants from 3 age groups, younger (20-39 years). middle-aged (40-59 years), and older (60-75 years), performed the task for 3 days. Significant age differences were found for all measures of task performance with the exception of navigational efficiency and number of problems correctly navigated per attempt. There were also effects of task experience. The findings also indicated significant direct and indirect relations between component cognitive abilities and task performance. PMID:11766912

  17. Can learning disabilities be determined from working memory performance?

    PubMed

    Swanson, H L; Cochran, K F; Ewers, C A

    1990-01-01

    This study assumes that children of various academic abilities may be characterized by different patterns of memory function. To test this assumption, subgroups of children were identified through a hierarchical cluster analysis based upon a test battery of sentence span, preload, and concurrent memory demand tasks. One subtype presented a profile of children with learning disabilities showing severe memory performance deficits, while another subgroup yielded high memory and high academic performance. Four additional subtypes had variations in memory performance, which in turn reflected variations in external criteria related to reading, mathematics, and spelling performance. For each subtype, performance strengths and weaknesses were characterized within Baddeley's (1986) working memory model. The study provides partial validation for the classification of children with learning disabilities on psychometric measures according to patterns of memory performance. PMID:2295872

  18. Learner Perspectives on Task Design for Oral-Visual eTandem Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    El-Hariri, Yasmin

    2016-01-01

    Constituting a more specific form of online collaboration, eTandem Language Learning (eTLL) shows great potential for non-formal, self-directed language learning. Research in this field, particularly regarding task design, is still scarce. Focusing on their beliefs and attitudes, this article examines what learners think about how…

  19. A Task-Technology Fit View of Learning Management System Impact

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGill, Tanya J.; Klobas, Jane E.

    2009-01-01

    Learning management systems (LMSs) are very widely used in higher education. However, much of the research on LMSs has had a technology focus or has been limited to studies of adoption. In order to take advantage of the potential associated with LMSs, research that addresses the role of LMSs in learning success is needed. Task-technology fit is…

  20. How Attention Can Create Synaptic Tags for the Learning of Working Memories in Sequential Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Rombouts, Jaldert O.; Bohte, Sander M.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2015-01-01

    Intelligence is our ability to learn appropriate responses to new stimuli and situations. Neurons in association cortex are thought to be essential for this ability. During learning these neurons become tuned to relevant features and start to represent them with persistent activity during memory delays. This learning process is not well understood. Here we develop a biologically plausible learning scheme that explains how trial-and-error learning induces neuronal selectivity and working memory representations for task-relevant information. We propose that the response selection stage sends attentional feedback signals to earlier processing levels, forming synaptic tags at those connections responsible for the stimulus-response mapping. Globally released neuromodulators then interact with tagged synapses to determine their plasticity. The resulting learning rule endows neural networks with the capacity to create new working memory representations of task relevant information as persistent activity. It is remarkably generic: it explains how association neurons learn to store task-relevant information for linear as well as non-linear stimulus-response mappings, how they become tuned to category boundaries or analog variables, depending on the task demands, and how they learn to integrate probabilistic evidence for perceptual decisions. PMID:25742003

  1. How attention can create synaptic tags for the learning of working memories in sequential tasks.

    PubMed

    Rombouts, Jaldert O; Bohte, Sander M; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2015-03-01

    Intelligence is our ability to learn appropriate responses to new stimuli and situations. Neurons in association cortex are thought to be essential for this ability. During learning these neurons become tuned to relevant features and start to represent them with persistent activity during memory delays. This learning process is not well understood. Here we develop a biologically plausible learning scheme that explains how trial-and-error learning induces neuronal selectivity and working memory representations for task-relevant information. We propose that the response selection stage sends attentional feedback signals to earlier processing levels, forming synaptic tags at those connections responsible for the stimulus-response mapping. Globally released neuromodulators then interact with tagged synapses to determine their plasticity. The resulting learning rule endows neural networks with the capacity to create new working memory representations of task relevant information as persistent activity. It is remarkably generic: it explains how association neurons learn to store task-relevant information for linear as well as non-linear stimulus-response mappings, how they become tuned to category boundaries or analog variables, depending on the task demands, and how they learn to integrate probabilistic evidence for perceptual decisions. PMID:25742003

  2. Mothers' and Infants' Contingent Behaviors in Learning Tasks: Links with Attachment Relationship.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gagnon, J.; Tarabulsy, G. M.; Tessier, R.

    This study examined the dynamic organization of interactions specific to attachment groups in a learning situation. Participating were 62 mothers and their 12- to 16-month-olds, observed in the laboratory during three 3-minute learning tasks. After the laboratory session was completed, the Strange Situation procedure was conducted. Findings…

  3. A Comparison of Learning Disabled Adolescents with Normal Learners on an Anaphoric Pronominal Reference Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fayne, Harriet R.

    1981-01-01

    To investigate differences between learning disabled and nonhandicapped adolescents in comprehension of pronoun-antecedent relationships, a pronoun reference task was administered to 75 learning disabled (LD), nonacademic, and academic 10th and 11th graders in a middle-class suburban high school. Results indicated that LD students may have…

  4. Using Educational Technology to Mediate Informal, Task-Conscious Learning: Design Innovations in Two European Projects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, John

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to feature two European projects that have explored innovative approaches to using educational technology to mediate "informal learning" in a variety of contexts. The article is structured as follows: Firstly, it briefly delineates what the author means by "informal learning," opting for the term "task-conscious…

  5. Tasks and Learner Motivation in Learning Chinese as a Foreign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruan, Youjin; Duan, Xiaoju; Du, Xiang Yun

    2015-01-01

    This study focuses on how beginner learners in a task-based teaching and learning (TBTL) environment perceive what is motivating to them in the process of learning Chinese as a foreign language at Aalborg University, Denmark. Drawing upon empirical data from surveys, group interviews and participant observation, this study explores which kinds of…

  6. Cultivating Student Skills in Self-Regulated Learning through Evaluation of Task Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belski, Regina; Belski, Iouri

    2014-01-01

    In order to self-regulate, students need to honestly reflect on their learning and to take appropriate corrective action. A simple procedure to cultivate student skills in self-regulated learning, known as the Task Evaluation and Reflection Instrument for Student Self-Assessment (TERISSA) is discussed in this paper. TERISSA guides students through…

  7. Operant Task Performance and Corticosterone Concentrations in Rats Housed Directly on Bedding and on Wire

    PubMed Central

    Freed, Carrie; Martinez, Vicente; Sarter, Martin; DeVries, Courtney; Bergdall, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    The present experiment was designed to investigate the effect of housing conditions on task performance and corticosterone response. Two groups of male F344BNF1 rats were housed on a ventilated rack with ad libitum access to water and a restricted feeding regime. Group 1 was housed in solid-bottom caging with corn cob bedding, whereas group 2 was housed in wire-bottom caging. After learning an operant task, each rat was exposed to acute restraint followed 48 h later by exposure to continuous light. Corticosterone concentrations were determined before and after exposure to each intervention. Contrary to assumptions, housing did not affect task performance. Baseline corticosterone concentrations were similar for the 2 experimental groups, but corticosterone concentrations were significantly higher for the wire-bottom group than the solid-bottom group immediately after the restraint and remained elevated 2 d later. Corticosterone levels decreased in both groups after exposure to continuous light. Overall, the data indicate that subtle but significant differences occur in responses of rats housed on wire-bottom versus solid-bottom caging when the animals are exposed to acute restraint. PMID:18947165

  8. The primary motor cortex is associated with learning the absolute, but not relative, timing dimension of a task: A tDCS study.

    PubMed

    Apolinário-Souza, Tércio; Romano-Silva, Marco Aurélio; de Miranda, Débora Marques; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro Fernandes; Benda, Rodolfo Novellino; Ugrinowitsch, Herbert; Lage, Guilherme Menezes

    2016-06-01

    The functional role of the primary motor cortex (M1) in the production of movement parameters, such as length, direction and force, is well known; however, whether M1 is associated with the parametric adjustments in the absolute timing dimension of the task remains unknown. Previous studies have not applied tasks and analyses that could separate the absolute (variant) and relative (invariant) dimensions. We applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to M1 before motor practice to facilitate motor learning. A sequential key-pressing task was practiced with two goals: learning the relative timing dimension and learning the absolute timing dimension. All effects of the stimulation of M1 were observed only in the absolute dimension of the task. Mainly, the stimulation was associated with better performance in the transfer test in the absolute dimension. Taken together, our results indicate that M1 is an important area for learning the absolute timing dimension of a motor sequence. PMID:27018089

  9. An empirically derived figure of merit for the quality of overall task performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemay, Moira

    1989-01-01

    The need to develop an operationally relevant figure of merit for the quality of performance of a complex system such as an aircraft cockpit stems from a hypothesized dissociation between measures of performance and those of workload. Performance can be measured in terms of time, errors, or a combination of these. In most tasks performed by expert operators, errors are relatively rare and often corrected in time to avoid consequences. Moreover, perfect performance is seldom necessary to accomplish a particular task. Moreover, how well an expert performs a complex task consisting of a series of discrete cognitive tasks superimposed on a continuous task, such as flying an aircraft, does not depend on how well each discrete task is performed, but on their smooth sequencing. This makes the amount of time spent on each subtask of paramount importance in measuring overall performance, since smooth sequencing requires a minimum amount of time spent on each task. Quality consists in getting tasks done within a crucial time interval while maintaining acceptable continuous task performance. Thus, a figure of merit for overall quality of performance should be primarily a measure of time to perform discrete subtasks combined with a measure of basic vehicle control. Thus, the proposed figure of merit requires doing a task analysis on a series of performance, or runs, of a particular task, listing each discrete task and its associated time, and calculating the mean and standard deviation of these times, along with the mean and standard deviation of tracking error for the whole task. A set of simulator data on 30 runs of a landing task was obtained and a figure of merit will be calculated for each run. The figure of merit will be compared for voice and data link, so that the impact of this technology on total crew performance (not just communication performance) can be assessed. The effect of data link communication on other cockpit tasks will also be considered.

  10. Exploring students' perceptions and performance on predict-observe-explain tasks in high school chemistry laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vadapally, Praveen

    This study sought to understand the impact of gender and reasoning level on students' perceptions and performances of Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) laboratory tasks in a high school chemistry laboratory. Several literature reviews have reported that students at all levels have not developed the specific knowledge and skills that were expected from their laboratory work. Studies conducted over the last several decades have found that boys tend to be more successful than girls in science and mathematics courses. However, some recent studies have suggested that girls may be reducing this gender gap. This gender difference is the focal point of this research study, which was conducted at a mid-western, rural high school. The participants were 24 boys and 25 girls enrolled in two physical science classes taught by the same teacher. In this mixed methods study, qualitative and quantitative methods were implemented simultaneously over the entire period of the study. MANOVA statistics revealed significant effects due to gender and level of reasoning on the outcome variables, which were POE performances and perceptions of the chemistry laboratory environment. There were no significant interactions between these effects. For the qualitative method, IRB-approved information was collected, coded, grouped, and analyzed. This method was used to derive themes from students' responses on questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Students with different levels of reasoning and gender were interviewed, and many of them expressed positive themes, which was a clear indication that they had enjoyed participating in the POE learning tasks and they had developed positive perceptions towards POE inquiry laboratory learning environment. When students are capable of formal reasoning, they can use an abstract scientific concept effectively and then relate it to the ideas they generate in their minds. Thus, instructors should factor the nature of students' thinking abilities into their

  11. Potential Performance Theory (PPT): A General Theory of Task Performance Applied to Morality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trafimow, David; Rice, Stephen

    2008-01-01

    People can use a variety of different strategies to perform tasks and these strategies all have two characteristics in common. First, they can be evaluated in comparison with either an absolute or a relative standard. Second, they can be used at varying levels of consistency. In the present article, the authors develop a general theory of task…

  12. Differential effects of emotionally versus neutrally cued autobiographical memories on performance of a subsequent cognitive task: effects of task difficulty

    PubMed Central

    Young, Kymberly D.; Erickson, Kristine; Drevets, Wayne C.

    2012-01-01

    Attention is a limited resource, and in order to improve processing of the attended information, competing processes must be suppressed. Although it is well established that an experimentally induced change in mood state comprises one type of competing process that can impair performance on a subsequent task, no study has investigated whether an emotionally valenced autobiographical memory (AM) also can alter performance on a subsequent task. We therefore examined the effects of AM recall on cognitive performance. Healthy participants (n = 20 per experiment) recalled AMs in response to positive, negative, and neutral cue words. Following each AM participants completed a simple perceptual task (Experiment 1) or solved moderately difficult subtraction problems (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1 participants performed less accurately following exposure to positive or negative versus neutral cue words (ps < 0.001), and also were less accurate following negative versus positive cue words (p < 0.001). In Experiment 2, in contrast, no difference in accuracy or response times reached statistical significance. Performance accuracy even trended toward being higher following exposure to negative versus neutral cue words (p = 0.08). The results of Experiment 1 suggested that recalling emotionally salient AMs reduces the attention directed toward a simple continuous performance task administered immediately following the AM task, conceivably due to persistent contemplation of the AM. The negative results of Experiment 2 suggested that the effect of AMs on attention was attenuated, however, by increasing the difficulty of the subsequent task. Our results have implications for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), as performing cognitively demanding tasks may allow them to attenuate the impairing effects of negative rumination on cognition. PMID:23060823

  13. Estradiol enhances learning and memory in a spatial memory task and effects levels of monoaminergic neurotransmitters.

    PubMed

    Luine, V N; Richards, S T; Wu, V Y; Beck, K D

    1998-10-01

    The effects of chronic estrogen treatment on radial arm maze performance and on levels of central monoaminergic and amino acid neurotransmitters were examined in ovariectomized (Ovx) rats. In an eight arms baited paradigm, choice accuracy was enhanced following 12 days but not 3 days of treatment. In addition, performance during acquisition of the eight arms baited maze task was better in estrogen-treated Ovx rats than in Ovx rats. Performance of treated rats was also enhanced in win-shift trials conducted 12 days postestrogen treatment. Working, reference, and working-reference memory was examined when four of the eight arms were baited, and only working memory was improved by estrogen and only after long-term treatment. Activity of Ovx rats on an open field, crossings and rearings, was increased at 5 but not at 35 days following estrogen treatment. In medial prefrontal cortex, levels of NE, DA, and 5-HT were decreased but glutamate and GABA levels were not affected following chronic estrogen treatment. Basal forebrain nuclei also showed changes in monoamines following estrogen. Hippocampal subfields showed no effects of estrogen treatment on monoaminergic or amino acid transmitters. Levels of GABA were increased in the vertical diagonal bands following chronic estrogen. Results show that estrogen enhances learning/memory on a task utilizing spatial memory. Effects in Ovx rats appear to require the chronic (several days) presence of estrogen. Changes in activity of both monoaminergic and amino acid transmitters in the frontal cortex and basal forebrain may contribute to enhancing effects of estrogen on learning/memory. PMID:9799625

  14. Implicit and Explicit Learning of a Sequential Postural Weight-Shifting Task in Young and Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Caljouw, Simone R.; Veldkamp, Renee; Lamoth, Claudine J. C.

    2016-01-01

    Sequence-specific postural motor learning in a target-directed weight-shifting task in 12 older and 12 young participants was assessed. In the implicit sequence learning condition participants performed a concurrent spatial cognitive task and in the two explicit conditions participants were required to discover the sequence order either with or without the concurrent cognitive task. Participants moved a cursor on the screen from the center location to one of the target locations projected in a semi-circle and back by shifting their center of pressure (CoP) on force plates. During the training the targets appeared in a simple fixed 5-target sequence. Plan-based control (i.e., direction of the CoP displacement in the first part of the target-directed movement) improved by anticipating the sequence order in the implicit condition but not in the explicit dual task condition. Only the young participants were able to use the explicit knowledge of the sequence structure to improve the directional error as indicated by a significant decrease in directional error over practice and an increase in directional error with sequence removal in the explicit single task condition. Time spent in the second part of the movement trajectory to stabilize the cursor on the target location improved over training in both the implicit and explicit sequence learning conditions, for both age groups. These results might indicate that an implicit motor learning method, which holds back explicit awareness of task relevant features, may be desirable for improving plan-based motor control in older adults. PMID:27252670

  15. Intelligence, but Not Emotional Intelligence, Predicts Iowa Gambling Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demaree, Heath A.; Burns, Kevin J.; DeDonno, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is a famous and frequently-used neuropsychological task that is thought to reflect real-world decision-making. There has been some debate, however, about the degree to which the IGT involves cold (cognitive) versus hot (emotional) processing. The present study incorporated 68 healthy individuals and used measures of…

  16. Global Statistical Learning in a Visual Search Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, John L.; Kaschak, Michael P.

    2012-01-01

    Locating a target in a visual search task is facilitated when the target location is repeated on successive trials. Global statistical properties also influence visual search, but have often been confounded with local regularities (i.e., target location repetition). In two experiments, target locations were not repeated for four successive trials,…

  17. Cooperative Learning: We Can also Do It without Task Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serrano, Jose Manuel; Pons, Rosa Maria

    2007-01-01

    The present study focuses on the use of a cooperative methodology with university students during the last year of their degree programme. The task structure could be freely chosen, and there were no restraints on group decisions to deal with the classroom work. All the elements of cooperation were based on a reward structure. The results show…

  18. Cortical neural responses to previous trial outcome during learning of a directional choice task.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yuan; Mao, Hongwei; Si, Jennie

    2015-04-01

    The outcomes that result from previous behavior affect future choices in several ways, but the neural mechanisms underlying these effects remain to be determined. Previous studies have shown that the lateral (AGl) and medial (AGm) agranular areas of the rat frontal cortex are involved in the learning and selection of action. Here we describe the activity of single neurons in AGl and AGm as rats learned to perform a directional choice task. Our analysis shows that single-cell activity in AGl and AGm was modulated by the outcome of the previous trial. A larger proportion of neurons encoded the previous trial's outcome shortly after cue onset than during other time periods of a trial. Most of these neurons had greater activity after correct trials than after error trials, a difference that increased as behavioral performance improved. The number of neurons encoding the previous trial's outcome correlated positively with performance accuracy. In summary, we found that neurons in both AGl and AGm encode the outcome of the immediately preceding trial, information that might play a role in the successful selection of action based on past experience. PMID:25552636

  19. Cortical neural responses to previous trial outcome during learning of a directional choice task

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Yuan; Mao, Hongwei

    2014-01-01

    The outcomes that result from previous behavior affect future choices in several ways, but the neural mechanisms underlying these effects remain to be determined. Previous studies have shown that the lateral (AGl) and medial (AGm) agranular areas of the rat frontal cortex are involved in the learning and selection of action. Here we describe the activity of single neurons in AGl and AGm as rats learned to perform a directional choice task. Our analysis shows that single-cell activity in AGl and AGm was modulated by the outcome of the previous trial. A larger proportion of neurons encoded the previous trial's outcome shortly after cue onset than during other time periods of a trial. Most of these neurons had greater activity after correct trials than after error trials, a difference that increased as behavioral performance improved. The number of neurons encoding the previous trial's outcome correlated positively with performance accuracy. In summary, we found that neurons in both AGl and AGm encode the outcome of the immediately preceding trial, information that might play a role in the successful selection of action based on past experience. PMID:25552636

  20. The significance of task significance: Job performance effects, relational mechanisms, and boundary conditions.

    PubMed

    Grant, Adam M

    2008-01-01

    Does task significance increase job performance? Correlational designs and confounded manipulations have prevented researchers from assessing the causal impact of task significance on job performance. To address this gap, 3 field experiments examined the performance effects, relational mechanisms, and boundary conditions of task significance. In Experiment 1, fundraising callers who received a task significance intervention increased their levels of job performance relative to callers in 2 other conditions and to their own prior performance. In Experiment 2, task significance increased the job dedication and helping behavior of lifeguards, and these effects were mediated by increases in perceptions of social impact and social worth. In Experiment 3, conscientiousness and prosocial values moderated the effects of task significance on the performance of new fundraising callers. The results provide fresh insights into the effects, relational mechanisms, and boundary conditions of task significance, offering noteworthy implications for theory, research, and practice on job design, social information processing, and work motivation and performance. PMID:18211139