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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. 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…

  20. 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)

  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 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

  6. 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

  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 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

  4. 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

  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. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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,…

  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. 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…

  18. 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…

  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. 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

  16. 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.…

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  15. 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…

  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. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. "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…

  1. 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:…

  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. 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

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  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. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  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 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

  1. 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

  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. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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,…

  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. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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…

  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. 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…

  17. 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

  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. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  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

    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 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

  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. 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…

  9. 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…

  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