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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. 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

  3. Shared Learning Shapes Human Performance: Transfer Effects in Task Sharing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milanese, Nadia; Iani, Cristina; Rubichi, Sandro

    2010-01-01

    We investigated whether performing a task with a co-actor shapes the way a subsequent task is performed. In four experiments participants were administered a Simon task after practicing a spatial compatibility task with an incompatible S-R mapping. In Experiment 1 they performed both tasks alongside another person; in Experiment 2 they performed…

  4. Shared learning shapes human performance: Transfer effects in task sharing.

    PubMed

    Milanese, Nadia; Iani, Cristina; Rubichi, Sandro

    2010-07-01

    We investigated whether performing a task with a co-actor shapes the way a subsequent task is performed. In four experiments participants were administered a Simon task after practicing a spatial compatibility task with an incompatible S-R mapping. In Experiment 1 they performed both tasks alongside another person; in Experiment 2 they performed the spatial compatibility task alone, responding to only one stimulus position, and the Simon task with another person; in Experiment 3, they performed the spatial compatibility task with another person and the Simon task alone; finally, in Experiment 4, they performed the spatial compatibility task alone and the Simon task with another person. The incompatible practice eliminated the Simon effect in Experiments 1 and 4. These results indicate that when a task is distributed between two participants with each one performing a different part of it, they tend to represent the whole task rather than their own part of it. This experience can influence the way a subsequent task is performed, as long as this latter occurs in a social context.

  5. Corticostriatal dynamics during learning and performance of a neuroprosthetic task.

    PubMed

    Koralek, Aaron C; Long, John D; Costa, Rui M; Carmena, Jose M

    2010-01-01

    Corticostriatal dynamics exhibit gross alterations over the course of natural motor learning, yet little is known about the role they play in neuroprosthetic tasks. We therefore investigated interactions between the striatum and primary motor cortex while rats learned to control a brain-machine interface. Striatal firing rates increased greatly from early to late in learning, suggesting that the striatum underlies similar functions in both natural and neuroprosthetic motor learning. In addition, spike-field coherence between neurons in primary motor cortex and local field potentials in the striatum increased greatly in the alpha band in late learning relative to early learning, suggesting the development of functional interactions in corticostriatal networks over the course of learning.

  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. Effect of evaluative others upon learning and performance of a complex motor task.

    PubMed

    Haas, J; Roberts, G C

    1975-06-01

    Two experiments were conducted to assess the effect of evaluation potential upon learning and performing a complex motor task. In Experiment 1, 45 subjects learned the motor task (mirror tracing) to criterion and were then introduced to one of three treatments. Subjects performed the task either (a) alone, (b) in the presence of a blindfolded audience, or (c) in the presence of an evaluative audience. In Experiment 2, 45 subjects were introduced to the same three treatments but the subjects did not learn the task beforehand. The subjects learning the motor task were significantly inhibited by the evaluative audience, while the subjects who had already learned the task were significantly facilitated in their motor responses. The blindfolded audience also had an effect upon learning and performance. The results of both experiments were discussed in relation to their support of Cottrell's evaluation potential hypothesis.

  8. Musicians’ Online Performance during Auditory and Visual Statistical Learning Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Mandikal Vasuki, Pragati R.; Sharma, Mridula; Ibrahim, Ronny K.; Arciuli, Joanne

    2017-01-01

    Musicians’ brains are considered to be a functional model of neuroplasticity due to the structural and functional changes associated with long-term musical training. In this study, we examined implicit extraction of statistical regularities from a continuous stream of stimuli—statistical learning (SL). We investigated whether long-term musical training is associated with better extraction of statistical cues in an auditory SL (aSL) task and a visual SL (vSL) task—both using the embedded triplet paradigm. Online measures, characterized by event related potentials (ERPs), were recorded during a familiarization phase while participants were exposed to a continuous stream of individually presented pure tones in the aSL task or individually presented cartoon figures in the vSL task. Unbeknown to participants, the stream was composed of triplets. Musicians showed advantages when compared to non-musicians in the online measure (early N1 and N400 triplet onset effects) during the aSL task. However, there were no differences between musicians and non-musicians for the vSL task. Results from the current study show that musical training is associated with enhancements in extraction of statistical cues only in the auditory domain. PMID:28352223

  9. Type of learning task impacts performance and strategy selection in decision making.

    PubMed

    Pachur, Thorsten; Olsson, Henrik

    2012-09-01

    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 which the decision maker learns which of two objects has a higher criterion value, and direct criterion learning, by which the decision maker learns an object's criterion value directly. In three experiments, participants were trained either with learning by comparison or with direct criterion learning and subsequently tested with paired-comparison, classification, and estimation tasks. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that although providing less information, learning by comparison led to better generalization (at test), both when generalizing to new objects and when the task format at test differed from the task format during training. Moreover, learning by comparison enabled participants to provide rather accurate continuous estimates. Computational modeling suggests that the advantage of learning by comparison is due to differences in strategy selection: whereas direct criterion learning fosters the reliance on exemplar processing, learning by comparison fosters cue-based mechanisms. The pattern in decision performance reversed when the task environment was changed from a linear (Experiments 1 and 2) to a nonlinear structure (Experiment 3), where direct criterion learning led to better decisions. Our results demonstrate the critical impact of learning conditions for the subsequent selection of decision strategies and highlight the key role of comparison processes in cognition.

  10. Interindividual Differences in Learning Performance: The Effects of Age, Intelligence, and Strategic Task Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kliegel, Matthias; Altgassen, Mareike

    2006-01-01

    The present study investigated fluid and crystallized intelligence as well as strategic task approaches as potential sources of age-related differences in adult learning performance. Therefore, 45 young and 45 old adults were asked to learn pictured objects. Overall, young participants outperformed old participants in this learning test. However,…

  11. Performance of children with developmental dyslexia on high and low topological entropy artificial grammar learning task.

    PubMed

    Katan, Pesia; Kahta, Shani; Sasson, Ayelet; Schiff, Rachel

    2016-10-19

    Graph complexity as measured by topological entropy has been previously shown to affect performance on artificial grammar learning tasks among typically developing children. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of graph complexity on implicit sequential learning among children with developmental dyslexia. Our goal was to determine whether children's performance depends on the complexity level of the grammar system learned. We conducted two artificial grammar learning experiments that compared performance of children with developmental dyslexia with that of age- and reading level-matched controls. Experiment 1 was a high topological entropy artificial grammar learning task that aimed to establish implicit learning phenomena in children with developmental dyslexia using previously published experimental conditions. Experiment 2 is a lower topological entropy variant of that task. Results indicated that given a high topological entropy grammar system, children with developmental dyslexia who were similar to the reading age-matched control group had substantial difficulty in performing the task as compared to typically developing children, who exhibited intact implicit learning of the grammar. On the other hand, when tested on a lower topological entropy grammar system, all groups performed above chance level, indicating that children with developmental dyslexia were able to identify rules from a given grammar system. The results reinforced the significance of graph complexity when experimenting with artificial grammar learning tasks, particularly with dyslexic participants.

  12. Worms under cover: relationships between performance in learning tasks and personality in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Amy, Mathieu; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc

    2012-09-01

    In animals, individual differences in learning ability are common and are in part explained by genetic differences, developmental conditions and by general experience. Yet, not all variations in learning are well understood. Individual differences in learning may be associated with elementary individual characteristics that are consistent across situations and over time, commonly referred to as personality or temperament. Here, we tested whether or not male great tits (Parus major) from two selection lines for fast or slow exploratory behaviour, an operational measure for avian personality, vary in their learning performance in two related consecutive tasks. In the first task, birds had to associate a colour with a reward whereas in the second task, they had to associate a new colour with a reward ignoring the previously rewarded colour. Slow explorers had shorter latencies to approach the experimental device compared with fast explorers in both tasks, but birds from the two selection lines did not differ in accomplishing the first task, that is, to associate a colour with a reward. However, in the second task, fast explorers had longer latencies to solve the trials than slow explorers. Moreover, relative to the number of trials needed to reach the learning criteria in the first task, birds from the slow selection line took more trials to associate a new colour with a reward while ignoring the previously learned association compared with birds from the fast selection line. Overall, the experiments suggest that personality in great tits is not strongly related to learning per se in such an association task, but that birds from different selection lines might express different learning strategies as birds from the different selection lines were differently affected by their previous learning performance.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. The influence of stress and energy level on learning muscle relaxation during gross-motor task performance using electromyographic feedback.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, H; Voerman, G E; Hermens, H J

    2006-09-01

    The aim was to investigate the influence of mood on learning muscle relaxation. Self-reported mood (assessed by the Stress-Energy Checklist) at baseline was related to learning muscle relaxation induced by electromyographic feedback training during performance of a gross-motor task. Feedback training was provided either intermittently (Intermittent Feedback Task, IF, n=12) or continuously (Continuous Feedback Task, CF, n=9). Results reveal a negative correlation between the learning effect at short-term and energy dimension for the IF Task. It can be concluded that mood experienced prior to a learning task is relevant for the learning effect and this effect may be dependent on the schedule of feedback used.

  1. 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.

  2. Individual personality differences in goats predict their performance in visual learning and non-associative cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Nawroth, Christian; Prentice, Pamela M; McElligott, Alan G

    2017-01-01

    Variation in common personality traits, such as boldness or exploration, is often associated with risk-reward trade-offs and behavioural flexibility. To date, only a few studies have examined the effects of consistent behavioural traits on both learning and cognition. We investigated whether certain personality traits ('exploration' and 'sociability') of individuals were related to cognitive performance, learning flexibility and learning style in a social ungulate species, the goat (Capra hircus). We also investigated whether a preference for feature cues rather than impaired learning abilities can explain performance variation in a visual discrimination task. We found that personality scores were consistent across time and context. Less explorative goats performed better in a non-associative cognitive task, in which subjects had to follow the trajectory of a hidden object (i.e. testing their ability for object permanence). We also found that less sociable subjects performed better compared to more sociable goats in a visual discrimination task. Good visual learning performance was associated with a preference for feature cues, indicating personality-dependent learning strategies in goats. Our results suggest that personality traits predict the outcome in visual discrimination and non-associative cognitive tasks in goats and that impaired performance in a visual discrimination tasks does not necessarily imply impaired learning capacities, but rather can be explained by a varying preference for feature cues.

  3. Electrotactile Feedback Improves Performance and Facilitates Learning in the Routine Grasping Task

    PubMed Central

    Isaković, Milica; Belić, Minja; Štrbac, Matija; Popović, Igor; Došen, Strahinja; Farina, Dario; Keller, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of electrotactile feedback in closed loop training of force control during the routine grasping task. The feedback was provided using an array electrode and a simple six-level spatial coding, and the experiment was conducted in three amputee subjects. The psychometric tests confirmed that the subjects could perceive and interpret the electrotactile feedback with a high success rate. The subjects performed the routine grasping task comprising 4 blocks of 60 grasping trials. In each trial, the subjects employed feedforward control to close the hand and produce the desired grasping force (four levels). First (baseline) and the last (validation) session were performed in open loop, while the second and the third session (training) included electrotactile feedback. The obtained results confirmed that using the feedback improved the accuracy and precision of the force control. In addition, the subjects performed significantly better in the validation vs. baseline session, therefore suggesting that electrotactile feedback can be used for learning and training of myoelectric control. PMID:27990236

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Learning from Scientific Texts: Personalizing the Text Increases Transfer Performance and Task Involvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dutke, Stephan; Grefe, Anna Christina; Leopold, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    In an experiment with 65 high-school students, we tested the hypothesis that personalizing learning materials would increase students' learning performance and motivation to study the learning materials. Students studied either a 915-word standard text on the anatomy and functionality of the human eye or a personalized version of the same text in…

  8. 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…

  9. How explicit and implicit test instructions in an implicit learning task affect performance.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Resting state connectivity immediately following learning correlates with subsequent sleep-dependent enhancement of motor task performance.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Michael D; Agam, Yigal; Selvadurai, Chindhuri; Nagy, Amanda; Vangel, Mark; Tucker, Matthew; Robertson, Edwin M; Stickgold, Robert; Manoach, Dara S

    2014-11-15

    There is ongoing debate concerning the functions of resting-state brain activity. Prior work demonstrates that memory encoding enhances subsequent resting-state functional connectivity within task-relevant networks and that these changes predict better recognition. Here, we used functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) to examine whether task-induced changes in resting-state connectivity correlate with performance improvement after sleep. In two separate sessions, resting-state scans were acquired before and after participants performed a motor task. In one session participants trained on the motor sequence task (MST), a well-established probe of sleep-dependent memory consolidation, and were tested the next day, after a night of sleep. In the other session they performed a motor control task (MCT) that minimized learning. In an accompanying behavioral control study, participants trained on the MST and were tested after either a night of sleep or an equivalent interval of daytime wake. Both the fcMRI and the sleep control groups showed significant improvement of MST performance, while the wake control group did not. In the fcMRI group, increased connectivity in bilateral motor cortex following MST training correlated with this next-day improvement. This increased connectivity did not appear to reflect initial learning since it did not correlate with learning during training and was not greater after MST training than MCT performance. Instead, we hypothesize that this increased connectivity processed the new memories for sleep-dependent consolidation. Our findings demonstrate that physiological processes immediately after learning correlate with sleep-dependent performance improvement and suggest that the wakeful resting brain prepares memories of recent experiences for later consolidation during sleep.

  11. 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.

  12. Influence of procedural learning on Iowa Gambling Task performance among HIV+ individuals with history of substance dependence.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Raul; Wardle, Margaret; Jacobus, Joanna; Vassileva, Jasmin; Martin-Thormeyer, Eileen M

    2010-02-01

    HIV+ individuals have been shown to demonstrate deficits on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a complex measure of "decision-making." Little remains known about what other neurocognitive processes may account for variability in IGT performance among HIV+ samples or the role of procedural learning (PL) in IGT performance. A sample of 49 HIV+ individuals with a history of substance use disorders was examined to explore the relationship between IGT performance and three measures of PL: The Rotary Pursuit, Mirror Star Tracing, and Weather Prediction tasks. We found no statistically significant relationships between IGT performance and any of the PL tasks, despite finding significant correlations among the PL tasks. This pattern of results persisted when analyzing IGT performance in various ways (e.g., performance on earlier trial blocks or impairment classifications). Although other nondeclarative processes (e.g., somatic markers) may be important for IGT performance, these findings do not support PL as an important component neurocognitive process for the IGT. Similarly, these results suggest that differences in PL performance does not account for the decision-making deficits or variability in performances observed on the IGT among HIV+ individuals with a history of substance dependence.

  13. Task Complexity, the Cognition Hypothesis and Second Language Learning and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Peter; Gilabert, Roger

    2007-01-01

    In this paper we describe a taxonomy of task demands which distinguishes between Task Complexity, Task Condition and Task Difficulty. We then describe three theoretical claims and predictions of the Cognition Hypothesis (Robinson 2001, 2003b, 2005a) concerning the effects of task complexity on: (a) language production; (b) interaction and uptake…

  14. Motion cues improve the performance of harnessed bees in a colour learning task.

    PubMed

    Balamurali, G S; Somanathan, Hema; Hempel de Ibarra, N

    2015-05-01

    The proboscis extension conditioning (PER) is a successful behavioural paradigm for studying sensory and learning mechanisms in bees. Whilst mainly used with olfactory and tactile stimuli, more recently reliable PER conditioning has been achieved with visual stimuli such as colours and looming stripes. However, the results reported in different studies vary quite strongly, and it remains controversially discussed how to best condition visual PER. It is particularly striking that visual PER leads to more limited performance as compared to visual conditioning of free-flying bees. It could be that visual PER learning is affected by the lack of movement and that the presence of visual motion cues could compensate for it. We tested whether bees would show differences in learning performances when conditioned either with a colour and motion stimulus in combination or with colour alone. Colour acquisition was improved in the presence of the motion stimulus. The result is consistent with the idea that visual learning might be tightly linked to movement in bees, given that they use vision predominantly during flight. Our results further confirm recent findings that successful visual PER conditioning in bees is achievable without obligatorily removing the antennae.

  15. Selection of Learning Tasks Based on Performance and Cognitive Load Scores as a Way To Optimize the Learning Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    To attain highly efficient instructional conditions, it is important to adapt instruction to the individual trainee. This so-called personalization of training by dynamic/automatic task selection is the focus of this paper. Recently, cognitive load measures have been proposed as a useful addition to conventional performance measures like speed and…

  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. 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…

  19. 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,…

  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. Performing a reaching task with one arm while adapting to a visuomotor rotation with the other can lead to complete transfer of motor learning across the arms.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinsung; Lei, Yuming; Binder, Jeffrey R

    2015-04-01

    The extent to which motor learning is generalized across the limbs is typically very limited. Here, we investigated how two motor learning hypotheses could be used to enhance the extent of interlimb transfer. According to one hypothesis, we predicted that reinforcement of successful actions by providing binary error feedback regarding task success or failure, in addition to terminal error feedback, during initial training would increase the extent of interlimb transfer following visuomotor adaptation (experiment 1). According to the other hypothesis, we predicted that performing a reaching task repeatedly with one arm without providing performance feedback (which prevented learning the task with this arm), while concurrently adapting to a visuomotor rotation with the other arm, would increase the extent of transfer (experiment 2). Results indicate that providing binary error feedback, compared with continuous visual feedback that provided movement direction and amplitude information, had no influence on the extent of transfer. In contrast, repeatedly performing (but not learning) a specific task with one arm while visuomotor adaptation occurred with the other arm led to nearly complete transfer. This suggests that the absence of motor instances associated with specific effectors and task conditions is the major reason for limited interlimb transfer and that reinforcement of successful actions during initial training is not beneficial for interlimb transfer. These findings indicate crucial contributions of effector- and task-specific motor instances, which are thought to underlie (a type of) model-free learning, to optimal motor learning and interlimb transfer.

  3. The relation of salivary cortisol to patterns of performance on a word list learning task in healthy older adults.

    PubMed

    Suhr, Julie; Demireva, Petya; Heffner, Kathi

    2008-10-01

    A pattern of performance on a word list learning task known as a reduced primacy effect has been shown to be characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and can distinguish AD from depression. Deficits in memory and hippocampal atrophy seen in AD have been associated with hypercortisolism. The present study evaluated whether the reduced primacy effect is associated with elevated salivary cortisol in a sample of 40 healthy older community-dwelling adults participating in a study of memory and stress. We found that primacy, but not recency, was associated with higher salivary cortisol levels. In addition, participants who showed a reduced primacy had higher salivary cortisol levels than those with a normal serial position curve. Results suggest that there may be value to examining both serial position curves and changes to cortisol patterns over time as potential predictors of cognitive decline in healthy older adults.

  4. Convergent validity and sex differences in healthy elderly adults for performance on 3D virtual reality navigation learning and 2D hidden maze tasks.

    PubMed

    Tippett, William J; Lee, Jang-Han; Mraz, Richard; Zakzanis, Konstantine K; Snyder, Peter J; Black, Sandra E; Graham, Simon J

    2009-04-01

    This study assessed the convergent validity of a virtual environment (VE) navigation learning task, the Groton Maze Learning Test (GMLT), and selected traditional neuropsychological tests performed in a group of healthy elderly adults (n = 24). The cohort was divided equally between males and females to explore performance variability due to sex differences, which were subsequently characterized and reported as part of the analysis. To facilitate performance comparisons, specific "efficiency" scores were created for both the VE navigation task and the GMLT. Men reached peak performance more rapidly than women during VE navigation and on the GMLT and significantly outperformed women on the first learning trial in the VE. Results suggest reasonable convergent validity across the VE task, GMLT, and selected neuropsychological tests for assessment of spatial memory.

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Robust Multi-Task Feature Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Pinghua; Ye, Jieping; Zhang, Changshui

    2013-01-01

    Multi-task learning (MTL) aims to improve the performance of multiple related tasks by exploiting the intrinsic relationships among them. Recently, multi-task feature learning algorithms have received increasing attention and they have been successfully applied to many applications involving high-dimensional data. However, they assume that all tasks share a common set of features, which is too restrictive and may not hold in real-world applications, since outlier tasks often exist. In this paper, we propose a Robust MultiTask Feature Learning algorithm (rMTFL) which simultaneously captures a common set of features among relevant tasks and identifies outlier tasks. Specifically, we decompose the weight (model) matrix for all tasks into two components. We impose the well-known group Lasso penalty on row groups of the first component for capturing the shared features among relevant tasks. To simultaneously identify the outlier tasks, we impose the same group Lasso penalty but on column groups of the second component. We propose to employ the accelerated gradient descent to efficiently solve the optimization problem in rMTFL, and show that the proposed algorithm is scalable to large-size problems. In addition, we provide a detailed theoretical analysis on the proposed rMTFL formulation. Specifically, we present a theoretical bound to measure how well our proposed rMTFL approximates the true evaluation, and provide bounds to measure the error between the estimated weights of rMTFL and the underlying true weights. Moreover, by assuming that the underlying true weights are above the noise level, we present a sound theoretical result to show how to obtain the underlying true shared features and outlier tasks (sparsity patterns). Empirical studies on both synthetic and real-world data demonstrate that our proposed rMTFL is capable of simultaneously capturing shared features among tasks and identifying outlier tasks. PMID:24078896

  8. Is Adaptation to Task Complexity Really Beneficial for Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pieschl, Stephanie; Stahl, Elmar; Murray, Tom; Bromme, Rainer

    2012-01-01

    Theories of self-regulated learning assume that learners flexibly adapt their learning process to external task demands and that this is positively related to performance. In this study, university students (n = 119) solved three tasks that greatly differed in complexity. Their learning processes were captured in detail by task-specific…

  9. 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.

  10. The Effects of Cognitive Training on Private Speech and Task Performance during Problem Solving among Learning Disabled and Normally Achieving Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Karen R.

    To investigate task performance and the use of private speech and to examine the effects of a cognitive training approach, 30 learning disabled (LD) and 30 nonLD Ss (7 to 8 years old) were given a 17 piece wooden puzzle rigged so that it could not be completed correctly. Six variables were measured: (1) proportion of private speech that was task…

  11. 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…

  12. Influence of Response-Effect Feedback on Learning and Performance of a Complex Key-Pressing Task: Morin and Grant (1955) Revisited.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing; Proctor, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    Response effects, also called action effects, are events produced as a consequence of a response. Morin and Grant (1955) conducted an 8-choice task in which, when one of the response keys was pressed, a feedback light (i.e., response effect) was lit in a row below the stimulus lights. Across participants, stimulus-response and response-effect mappings varied in compatibility, ranging from perfectly corresponding, to random, to perfectly mirror-reversed mapping. After several practice sessions, the feedback lights were removed in a transfer session, and response times increased greatly, particularly for the mappings without much structure, indicating reliance on the feedback during practice. We revisited this paradigm by means of 2 experiments that examined the influence on acquisition and transfer performance of task instruction, reliability of the visual feedback, and task difficulty. Lower task difficulty and unreliable visual feedback resulted in superior performance in the transfer session, indicating better learning of the stimulus-response mapping and less reliance on the feedback during learning. Task instructions that emphasized learning of the mapping or indicated that there would be a later test without the feedback lights did not influence participants' performance in the transfer session. These findings are discussed in relation to several of Healy and colleagues' principles of skill acquisition and transfer and in the context of contemporary research on response-effect associations.

  13. The Effects of Sensor Performance as Modeled by Signal Detection Theory on the Performance of Reinforcement Learning in a Target Acquisition Task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quirion, Nate

    Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) today are fulfilling more roles than ever before. There is a general push to have these systems feature more advanced autonomous capabilities in the near future. To achieve autonomous behavior requires some unique approaches to control and decision making. More advanced versions of these approaches are able to adapt their own behavior and examine their past experiences to increase their future mission performance. To achieve adaptive behavior and decision making capabilities this study used Reinforcement Learning algorithms. In this research the effects of sensor performance, as modeled through Signal Detection Theory (SDT), on the ability of RL algorithms to accomplish a target localization task are examined. Three levels of sensor sensitivity are simulated and compared to the results of the same system using a perfect sensor. To accomplish the target localization task, a hierarchical architecture used two distinct agents. A simulated human operator is assumed to be a perfect decision maker, and is used in the system feedback. An evaluation of the system is performed using multiple metrics, including episodic reward curves and the time taken to locate all targets. Statistical analyses are employed to detect significant differences in the comparison of steady-state behavior of different systems.

  14. 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

  15. Imagery May Arise from Associations Formed through Sensory Experience: A Network of Spiking Neurons Controlling a Robot Learns Visual Sequences in Order to Perform a Mental Rotation Task

    PubMed Central

    McKinstry, Jeffrey L.; Fleischer, Jason G.; Chen, Yanqing; Gall, W. Einar; Edelman, Gerald M.

    2016-01-01

    Mental imagery occurs “when a representation of the type created during the initial phases of perception is present but the stimulus is not actually being perceived.” How does the capability to perform mental imagery arise? Extending the idea that imagery arises from learned associations, we propose that mental rotation, a specific form of imagery, could arise through the mechanism of sequence learning–that is, by learning to regenerate the sequence of mental images perceived while passively observing a rotating object. To demonstrate the feasibility of this proposal, we constructed a simulated nervous system and embedded it within a behaving humanoid robot. By observing a rotating object, the system learns the sequence of neural activity patterns generated by the visual system in response to the object. After learning, it can internally regenerate a similar sequence of neural activations upon briefly viewing the static object. This system learns to perform a mental rotation task in which the subject must determine whether two objects are identical despite differences in orientation. As with human subjects, the time taken to respond is proportional to the angular difference between the two stimuli. Moreover, as reported in humans, the system fills in intermediate angles during the task, and this putative mental rotation activates the same pathways that are activated when the system views physical rotation. This work supports the proposal that mental rotation arises through sequence learning and the idea that mental imagery aids perception through learned associations, and suggests testable predictions for biological experiments. PMID:27653977

  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. The influence of attention on learning and performance: pre-movement time and accuracy in an isometric force production task.

    PubMed

    Lohse, Keith R

    2012-02-01

    Lohse, Sherwood, and Healy (2010) found that an external focus of attention (FOA) improved performance in a dart-throwing task and reduced the time taken between throws, but using the time between trials as a measure of preparation time is relatively crude. Thus, the current experiment analyzed how FOA affects accuracy and pre-movement time in an isometric force production task, to study how FOA affected motor planning. In the current experiment, training with an external focus improved the accuracy of the isometric force production task during training and during retention and transfer testing. During training, an external FOA also significantly reduced pre-movement time in early trials. These findings are interpreted as reduced explicit control of movement as a function of an external FOA, and help to integrate FOA research with other motor control phenomena and neuropsychological theories of motor control.

  18. 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.

  19. Performance- and task-dependent effects of the dopamine D1/D5 receptor agonist SKF 38393 on learning and memory in the rat.

    PubMed

    Amico, Francesco; Spowart-Manning, Laura; Anwyl, Roger; Rowan, Michael J

    2007-12-22

    Dopamine D(1)/D(5) receptor agonists may enhance cognition by mimicking dopamine's neurophysiological actions on the processes underlying learning and memory. The present study examined the task- and performance- dependence of the cognitive effects of a partial agonist at dopamine D(1)/D(5) receptors, SKF 38393 [(+/-)-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-(1H)-3-benzazepine-7,8-diol hydrobromide], in rats. Spatial working memory was assessed in a T-maze, spatial reference memory in a water maze and habituation learning in a novel environment, a hole board. The muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist scopolamine (1.5 mg/kg, i.p.) was used to cause an impairment of performance of these learning tasks. Administration of SKF 38393 (6 mg/kg, i.p.) alone had no significant effect on spontaneous alternation in the T-maze, latency to escape to a hidden platform in the water maze or the habituation of spontaneous behaviour in the hole board. In contrast, in scopolamine-treated rats, whereas SKF 38393 prevented the scopolamine-induced deficit in the T-maze, it exacerbated the impairment in the water maze and did not significantly alter the disruption of habituation. These results suggest that dopamine D(1)/D(5) receptor activation has performance- and task-dependent effects on cognitive function.

  20. Effects of Psychoactive Drugs or Stress on Learning, Memory, and Performance as Assessed Using a Novel Water Maze Task

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-01-01

    tool for the evaluation of new thera- maze not filled with water to reach a food reward (10). By peutic compounds that might prevent performance...hanging cages with mia caused by fluid replacements that did not carry sufficient food and water freely available in a light-controlled animal oxygen...attenuate with experience in this know the number of perserverative errors in door choices. task (unpublished data). Therefore, we do not believe diaze

  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. 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…

  3. Toward a Model of Work Task Learning in the Home.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munson, Harold L.; Manzi, Peter A.

    1982-01-01

    Using a four-level sequential model of work task mastery, proposes a process task approach to task learning involving watching and listening, assisting, participating, and performing. Identifies the social, cognitive, and self-concept components contributing to the development of traits, attitudes, and values that undergird work behavior. (RC)

  4. 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.

  5. The Effect of Focus on Form and Task Complexity on L2 Learners' Oral Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salimi, Asghar

    2015-01-01

    Second Language learners' oral task performance has been one of interesting and research generating areas of investigations in the field of second language acquisition specially, task-based language teaching and learning. The main purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of focus on form and task complexity on L2 learners' oral…

  6. Learning redundant motor tasks with and without overlapping dimensions: facilitation and interference effects.

    PubMed

    Ranganathan, Rajiv; Wieser, Jon; Mosier, Kristine M; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A; Scheidt, Robert A

    2014-06-11

    Prior learning of a motor skill creates motor memories that can facilitate or interfere with learning of new, but related, motor skills. One hypothesis of motor learning posits that for a sensorimotor task with redundant degrees of freedom, the nervous system learns the geometric structure of the task and improves performance by selectively operating within that task space. We tested this hypothesis by examining if transfer of learning between two tasks depends on shared dimensionality between their respective task spaces. Human participants wore a data glove and learned to manipulate a computer cursor by moving their fingers. Separate groups of participants learned two tasks: a prior task that was unique to each group and a criterion task that was common to all groups. We manipulated the mapping between finger motions and cursor positions in the prior task to define task spaces that either shared or did not share the task space dimensions (x-y axes) of the criterion task. We found that if the prior task shared task dimensions with the criterion task, there was an initial facilitation in criterion task performance. However, if the prior task did not share task dimensions with the criterion task, there was prolonged interference in learning the criterion task due to participants finding inefficient task solutions. These results show that the nervous system learns the task space through practice, and that the degree of shared task space dimensionality influences the extent to which prior experience transfers to subsequent learning of related motor skills.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. Task-Appropriate Visualizations: Can the Very Same Visualization Format Either Promote or Hinder Learning Depending on the Task Requirements?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soemer, Alexander; Schwan, Stephan

    2016-01-01

    In a series of experiments, we tested a recently proposed hypothesis stating that the degree of alignment between the form of a mental representation resulting from learning with a particular visualization format and the specific requirements of a learning task determines learning performance (task-appropriateness). Groups of participants were…

  11. Inhibitory avoidance learning in zebrafish (Danio rerio): effects of shock intensity and unraveling differences in task performance.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  12. Paired Associate Learning Tasks and their Contribution to Reading Skills

    PubMed Central

    Mourgues, Catalina; Tan, Mei; Hein, Sascha; Ojanen, Emma; Reich, Jodi; Lyytinen, Heikki; Grigorenko, Elena L.

    2014-01-01

    Associative learning has been identified as one of several non-linguistic processes involved in reading acquisition. However, it has not been established whether it is an independent process that contributes to reading performance on its own or whether it is a process that is embedded in other linguistic skills (e.g., phonological awareness or phonological memory) and, therefore, contributing to reading performance indirectly. Research has shown that performance on tasks assessing associative learning, e.g., paired-associate learning (PAL) tasks, is lower in children with specific reading difficulties compared to typical readers. We explored the differential associations of two distinct verbal-visual PAL tasks (the Bala Bbala Graphogame, BBG, and a Foreign Language Learning Task, FLLT) with reading skills (word reading and pseudo-word decoding), controlling for phonological awareness, rapid naming, and letter and digit span in children at risk for reading disabilities and their typically developing peers. Our study sample consisted of 110 children living in rural Zambia, ranging in age from 7 to 18 years old (48.1% female). Multivariate analyses of covariance were used to explore the group differences in reading performance. Repeated-measures ANCOVA was used to examine children’s learning across the PAL tasks. The differential relationships between both PAL tasks and reading performance were explored via structural equation modeling. The main result was that the children at risk for reading difficulties had lower performance on both PAL tasks. The BBG was a significant predictor for both word reading and pseudo-word decoding, whereas the FLLT—only for word reading. Performance on the FLLT partially mediated the association between phonological awareness and word reading. These results illustrate the partial independence of associative learning from other reading-related skills; the specifics of this relationship vary based on the type of PAL task administered

  13. Remote Operator Performance Comparing Mono and Stereo TV Displays: the Effects of Visibility, Learning and Task Factors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-02-01

    FACTORS DC Smith Naval Ocean Systems Center L RE ColeCf University of Hawaii II• Facor JO Merritt Human Factors Research, Inc. RL Pepper[ Naval Ocean...salvage operations, he compared performanct between a stereo and a mono display. Pesch concluded that the advantages given by a stereo, display is task...practical and 15 theoretical consequences. Pesch (1967). for example, reports a mono-stereo difference that "washed out" on the second day’s testing

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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…

  16. Task-irrelevant emotion facilitates face discrimination learning.

    PubMed

    Lorenzino, Martina; Caudek, Corrado

    2015-03-01

    We understand poorly how the ability to discriminate faces from one another is shaped by visual experience. The purpose of the present study is to determine whether face discrimination learning can be facilitated by facial emotions. To answer this question, we used a task-irrelevant perceptual learning paradigm because it closely mimics the learning processes that, in daily life, occur without a conscious intention to learn and without an attentional focus on specific facial features. We measured face discrimination thresholds before and after training. During the training phase (4 days), participants performed a contrast discrimination task on face images. They were not informed that we introduced (task-irrelevant) subtle variations in the face images from trial to trial. For the Identity group, the task-irrelevant features were variations along a morphing continuum of facial identity. For the Emotion group, the task-irrelevant features were variations along an emotional expression morphing continuum. The Control group did not undergo contrast discrimination learning and only performed the pre-training and post-training tests, with the same temporal gap between them as the other two groups. Results indicate that face discrimination improved, but only for the Emotion group. Participants in the Emotion group, moreover, showed face discrimination improvements also for stimulus variations along the facial identity dimension, even if these (task-irrelevant) stimulus features had not been presented during training. The present results highlight the importance of emotions for face discrimination learning.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

  20. Task Dependent Differences and Individual Differences in Dual Task Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-10-01

    conversation with the flight instructor, with the skilled pilot who can easily excercise flight control, and converse in par- allel. A difference...The subjects tested were 35 twelve-year olds , who performed tasks singly first then two dual task pairs and then each singly again. McQueen’s results...conducted by Sverko (1977) on adults in an effort to find evidence for a general factor of time-sharing skill. This study was conducted in order to

  1. Workshift and Antihistamine Effects on Task Performance.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-12-01

    chlorpheniramine maleate), and time on task accompanying three successive drug doses spaced every four hours. Five performance tasks, two work sample tasks, and...four subjective scales were included in the study. In summary, chlorpheniramine maleate alone had a strong negative influence on a wide range of task...Day Shift tended to get better and during the Mid shift tended to get worse. No evidence was found that chlorpheniramine maleate and work shift combine to produce a multiplicative effect.

  2. Multi-Stage Multi-Task Feature Learning*

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Pinghua; Ye, Jieping; Zhang, Changshui

    2013-01-01

    Multi-task sparse feature learning aims to improve the generalization performance by exploiting the shared features among tasks. It has been successfully applied to many applications including computer vision and biomedical informatics. Most of the existing multi-task sparse feature learning algorithms are formulated as a convex sparse regularization problem, which is usually suboptimal, due to its looseness for approximating an ℓ0-type regularizer. In this paper, we propose a non-convex formulation for multi-task sparse feature learning based on a novel regularizer. To solve the non-convex optimization problem, we propose a Multi-Stage Multi-Task Feature Learning (MSMTFL) algorithm. Moreover, we present a detailed theoretical analysis showing that MSMTFL achieves a better parameter estimation error bound than the convex formulation. Empirical studies on both synthetic and real-world data sets demonstrate the effectiveness of MSMTFL in comparison with the state of the art multi-task sparse feature learning algorithms. PMID:24431924

  3. Reward-based learning of a redundant task.

    PubMed

    Tamagnone, Irene; Casadio, Maura; Sanguineti, Vittorio

    2013-06-01

    Motor skill learning has different components. When we acquire a new motor skill we have both to learn a reliable action-value map to select a highly rewarded action (task model) and to develop an internal representation of the novel dynamics of the task environment, in order to execute properly the action previously selected (internal model). Here we focus on a 'pure' motor skill learning task, in which adaptation to a novel dynamical environment is negligible and the problem is reduced to the acquisition of an action-value map, only based on knowledge of results. Subjects performed point-to-point movement, in which start and target positions were fixed and visible, but the score provided at the end of the movement depended on the distance of the trajectory from a hidden viapoint. Subjects did not have clues on the correct movement other than the score value. The task is highly redundant, as infinite trajectories are compatible with the maximum score. Our aim was to capture the strategies subjects use in the exploration of the task space and in the exploitation of the task redundancy during learning. The main findings were that (i) subjects did not converge to a unique solution; rather, their final trajectories are determined by subject-specific history of exploration. (ii) with learning, subjects reduced the trajectory's overall variability, but the point of minimum variability gradually shifted toward the portion of the trajectory closer to the hidden via-point.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-22

    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.

  6. Task parallelism and high-performance languages

    SciTech Connect

    Foster, I.

    1996-03-01

    The definition of High Performance Fortran (HPF) is a significant event in the maturation of parallel computing: it represents the first parallel language that has gained widespread support from vendors and users. The subject of this paper is to incorporate support for task parallelism. The term task parallelism refers to the explicit creation of multiple threads of control, or tasks, which synchronize and communicate under programmer control. Task and data parallelism are complementary rather than competing programming models. While task parallelism is more general and can be used to implement algorithms that are not amenable to data-parallel solutions, many problems can benefit from a mixed approach, with for example a task-parallel coordination layer integrating multiple data-parallel computations. Other problems admit to both data- and task-parallel solutions, with the better solution depending on machine characteristics, compiler performance, or personal taste. For these reasons, we believe that a general-purpose high-performance language should integrate both task- and data-parallel constructs. The challenge is to do so in a way that provides the expressivity needed for applications, while preserving the flexibility and portability of a high-level language. In this paper, we examine and illustrate the considerations that motivate the use of task parallelism. We also describe one particular approach to task parallelism in Fortran, namely the Fortran M extensions. Finally, we contrast Fortran M with other proposed approaches and discuss the implications of this work for task parallelism and high-performance languages.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.…

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Incidental sequence learning in a motion coherence discrimination task: How response learning affects perception.

    PubMed

    Laubrock, Jochen; Kinder, Annette

    2014-10-01

    The serial reaction time task (SRTT) is a standard task used to investigate incidental sequence learning. Whereas incidental learning of motor sequences is well-established, few and disputed results support learning of perceptual sequences. Here we adapt a motion coherence discrimination task (Newsome & Paré, 1988) to the sequence learning paradigm. The new task has 2 advantages: (a) the stimulus is presented at fixation, thereby obviating overt eye movements, and (b) by varying coherence a perceptual threshold measure is available in addition to the performance measure of RT. Results from 3 experiments show that action relevance of the sequence is necessary for sequence learning to occur, that the amount of sequence knowledge varies with the ease of encoding the motor sequence, and that sequence knowledge, once acquired, has the ability to modify perceptual thresholds.

  12. Covert Operant Reinforcement of Remedial Reading Learning Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmickley, Verne G.

    The effects of covert operant reinforcement upon remedial reading learning tasks were investigated. Forty junior high school students were taught to imagine either neutral scenes (control) or positive scenes (treatment) upon cue while reading. It was hypothesized that positive covert reinforcement would enhance performance on several measures of…

  13. Enhancing Automaticity through Task-Based Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Ridder, Isabelle; Vangehuchten, Lieve; Gomez, Marta Sesena

    2007-01-01

    In general terms automaticity could be defined as the subconscious condition wherein "we perform a complex series of tasks very quickly and efficiently, without having to think about the various components and subcomponents of action involved" (DeKeyser 2001: 125). For language learning, Segalowitz (2003) characterised automaticity as a…

  14. Secondary-Task Effects on Learning with Multimedia: An Investigation through Eye-Movement Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acarturk, Cengiz; Ozcelik, Erol

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates secondary-task interference on eye movements through learning with multimedia. We focus on the relationship between the influence of the secondary task on the eye movements of learners, and the learning outcomes as measured by retention, matching, and transfer. Half of the participants performed a spatial tapping task while…

  15. 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…

  16. Human performance on the temporal bisection task.

    PubMed

    Kopec, Charles D; Brody, Carlos D

    2010-12-01

    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, which requires subjects to compare temporal stimuli to durations held in memory, is perfectly suited to address these questions. Here we perform a meta-analysis of human performance on the temporal bisection task collected from 148 experiments spread across 18 independent studies. With this expanded data set we are able to show that human performance on this task contains a number of significant peculiarities, which in total no single model yet proposed has been able to explain. Here we present a simple 2-step decision model that is capable of explaining all the idiosyncrasies seen in the data.

  17. Map learning and the alignment effect in young and older adults: how do they gain from having a map available while performing pointing tasks?

    PubMed

    Borella, Erika; Meneghetti, Chiara; Muffato, Veronica; De Beni, Rossana

    2015-01-01

    Two studies were conducted to investigate age-related differences between young and older adults in the impact of a map being available or not while performing aligned and counter-aligned pointing tasks. In the first study, 19 young adults (aged 20-30) and 19 young-old adults (aged 65-74) studied a map and performed a pointing task. In the second, three groups of adults, 19 of them young (aged 20-30), 19 young-old (aged 65-74), and 19 old-old (aged 75-84), studied a map and performed a pointing task, first with the map available, and then without it. The results of both studies showed that young and older adults' performance was similar in aligned pointing, while the young performed better than the older adults in counter-aligned pointing. Analyzing the types of error, results showed that older adults made more counter-aligned pointing errors than young adults, both with and without the map. Having the map available improved all participants' performance, however. Finally, visuo-spatial working memory was found to sustain pointing performance in all age groups and map conditions. Overall, these findings suggest that older adults are specifically susceptible to the alignment effect-making more counter-aligned errors-regardless of whether or not they have a map available while performing pointing tasks.

  18. The minimum entropy principle and task performance.

    PubMed

    Guastello, Stephen J; Gorin, Hillary; Huschen, Samuel; Peters, Natalie E; Fabisch, Megan; Poston, Kirsten; Weinberger, Kelsey

    2013-07-01

    According to the minimum entropy principle, efficient cognitive performance is produced with a neurocognitive strategy that involves a minimum of degrees of freedom. Although high performance is often regarded as consistent performance as well, some variability in performance still remains which allows the person to adapt to changing goal conditions or fatigue. The present study investigated the connection between performance, entropy in performance, and four task-switching strategies. Fifty-one undergraduates performed 7 different computer-based cognitive tasks producing sets of 49 responses under instructional conditions requiring task quotas or no quotas. The temporal patterns of performance were analyzed using orbital decomposition to extract pattern types and lengths, which were then compared with regard to Shannon entropy, topological entropy, and overall performance. Task switching strategies from a previous study were available for the same participants as well. Results indicated that both topological entropy and Shannon entropy were negatively correlated with performance. Some task-switching strategies produced lower entropy in performance than others. Stepwise regression showed that the top three predictors of performance were Shannon entropy and arithmetic and spatial abilities. Additional implications for the prediction of work performance with cognitive ability measurements and the applicability of the minimum entropy principle to multidimensional performance criteria and team work are discussed.

  19. Performance of Children With Developmental Dyslexia on Two Skill Learning Tasks-Serial Reaction Time and Tower of Hanoi Puzzle: A Test of the Specific Procedural Learning Difficulties Theory.

    PubMed

    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 research on automaticity and DD has exhibited methodological issues such as a failure to test a range of skills. The current study broadens previous findings by delineating various reading skills correlated with several aspects of skill acquisition. Furthermore, the study utilizes two nonverbal tasks that reflect distinct types of skills: Serial Reaction Time (SRT) and the Tower of Hanoi Puzzle (TOHP). A total of 53 children aged 11 to 13 participated in the study, of whom 23 were children with DD and 30 were controls. Participants completed a test battery that consisted of reading tests, the SRT, and the TOHP. Results show no differences in learning rate between individuals with or without DD, although individuals with DD performed both tasks at a slower rate. Correlations were identified between a number of reading measures and measures of skill acquisition, expressed primarily in individuals with DD. Implications are examined in the discussion.

  20. 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.

  1. Normative feedback effects on learning a timing task.

    PubMed

    Wulf, Gabriele; Chiviacowsky, Suzete; Lewthwaite, Rebecca

    2010-12-01

    This study investigated the influence of normative feedback on learning a sequential timing task. In addition to feedback about their performance per trial, two groups of participants received bogus normative feedback about a peer group's average block-to-block improvement after each block of 10 trials. Scores indicated either greater (better group) or less (worse group) than the average improvement, respectively. On the transfer test 1 day later which required producing novel absolute movement times, the better group demonstrated more effective learning than the worse group. These findings add to the mounting evidence that motivational factors affect motor skill learning.

  2. 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

  3. Knowledge Modelling to Support Inquiry Learning Tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolff, Annika; Mulholland, Paul; Zdrahal, Zdenek; Blasko, Miroslav

    In this paper we describe the SILVER toolkit, which is designed for tasks in which a user learns by analysing and interpreting a set of resources. The user categorises each resource according to the set of properties that they identify as being applicable to it. Due to the large amount of data generated by this type of task, the user may find it hard to identify patterns in their classification and tagging, to recognise their own inconsistencies or make comparisons between themselves and others. In the first SILVER task described, the ID3 decision tree algorithm is applied to the user's data to identify patterns and generate different types of feedback. Principles of spatial hypertext are used to produce an interactive visualization of the summarized data. As the user interacts with the resources, they can see their progress and changing perspective on the task. In the second SILVER task described, a conceptual model is used to provide explanations of the model underlying the user's classification of resources.

  4. 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…

  5. Effects of Goal Relations on Self-Regulated Learning in Multiple Goal Pursuits: Performance, the Self-Regulatory Process, and Task Enjoyment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hyunjoo

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of goal relations on self-regulation in the pursuit of multiple goals, focusing on self-regulated performance, the self-regulatory process, and task enjoyment. The effect of multiple goal relations on self-regulation was explored in a set of three studies. Goal relations were divided into…

  6. Physical Activity Predicts Performance in an Unpracticed Bimanual Coordination Task

    PubMed Central

    Boisgontier, Matthieu P.; Serbruyns, Leen; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2017-01-01

    Practice of a given physical activity is known to improve the motor skills related to this activity. However, whether unrelated skills are also improved is still unclear. To test the impact of physical activity on an unpracticed motor task, 26 young adults completed the international physical activity questionnaire and performed a bimanual coordination task they had never practiced before. Results showed that higher total physical activity predicted higher performance in the bimanual task, controlling for multiple factors such as age, physical inactivity, music practice, and computer games practice. Linear mixed models allowed this effect of physical activity to be generalized to a large population of bimanual coordination conditions. This finding runs counter to the notion that generalized motor abilities do not exist and supports the existence of a “learning to learn” skill that could be improved through physical activity and that impacts performance in tasks that are not necessarily related to the practiced activity. PMID:28265253

  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. Integrating Learning and Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1998

    This document contains four papers from a symposium on integrating learning and performance in human resource development (HRD). "Action Imperatives that Impact Knowledge Performance and Financial Performance in the Learning Organization: An Exploratory Model" (Gary L. Selden, Karen E. Watkins, Thomas Valentine, Victoria J. Marsick)…

  9. 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.

  10. Task-specific transfer of perceptual learning across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    McGovern, David P; Astle, Andrew T; Clavin, Sarah L; Newell, Fiona N

    2016-01-11

    It is now widely accepted that primary cortical areas of the brain that were once thought to be sensory-specific undergo significant functional reorganisation following sensory deprivation. For instance, loss of vision or audition leads to the brain areas normally associated with these senses being recruited by the remaining sensory modalities [1]. Despite this, little is known about the rules governing crossmodal plasticity in people who experience typical sensory development, or the potential behavioural consequences. Here, we used a novel perceptual learning paradigm to assess whether the benefits associated with training on a task in one sense transfer to another sense. Participants were randomly assigned to a spatial or temporal task that could be performed visually or aurally, which they practiced for five days; before and after training, we measured discrimination thresholds on all four conditions and calculated the extent of transfer between them. Our results show a clear transfer of learning between sensory modalities; however, generalisation was limited to particular conditions. Specifically, learned improvements on the spatial task transferred from the visual domain to the auditory domain, but not vice versa. Conversely, benefits derived from training on the temporal task transferred from the auditory domain to visual domain, but not vice versa. These results suggest a unidirectional transfer of perceptual learning from dominant to non-dominant sensory modalities and place important constraints on models of multisensory processing and plasticity.

  11. Electroencephalographic Coherence and Learning: Distinct Patterns of Change during Word Learning and Figure Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Peter; Hogan, Michael; Kilmartin, Liam; Keane, Michael; Kaiser, Jochen; Fischer, Kurt

    2010-01-01

    One likely mechanism in learning new skills is change in synchronous connections between distributed neural networks, which can be measured by coherence analysis of electroencephalographic patterns. This study examined coherence changes during the learning of two tasks, a word association task and a figure association task. Although learning…

  12. Not all choices are created equal: Task-relevant choices enhance motor learning compared to task-irrelevant choices.

    PubMed

    Carter, Michael J; Ste-Marie, Diane M

    2017-02-21

    Lewthwaite et al. (2015) reported that the learning benefits of exercising choice (i.e., their self-controlled condition) are not restricted to task-relevant features (e.g., feedback). They found that choosing one's golf ball color (Exp. 1) or choosing which of two tasks to perform at a later time plus which of two artworks to hang (Exp. 2) resulted in better retention than did being denied these same choices (i.e., yoked condition). The researchers concluded that the learning benefits derived from choice, whether irrelevant or relevant to the to-be-learned task, are predominantly motivational because choice is intrinsically rewarding and satisfies basic psychological needs. However, the absence of a group that made task-relevant choices and the lack of psychological measures significantly weakened their conclusions. Here, we investigated how task-relevant and task-irrelevant choices affect motor-skill learning. Participants practiced a spatiotemporal motor task in either a task-relevant group (choice over feedback schedule), a task-irrelevant group (choice over the color of an arm-wrap plus game selection), or a no-choice group. The results showed significantly greater learning in the task-relevant group than in both the task-irrelevant and no-choice groups, who did not differ significantly. Critically, these learning differences were not attributed to differences in perceptions of competence or autonomy, but instead to superior error-estimation abilities. These results challenge the perspective that motivational influences are the root cause of self-controlled learning advantages. Instead, the findings add to the growing evidence highlighting that the informational value gained from task-relevant choices makes a greater relative contribution to these advantages than motivational influences do.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. A Neurophysiological examination of quality of learning in a feedback-based learning task.

    PubMed

    Arbel, Yael; Wu, Hao

    2016-12-01

    The efficiency with which one processes external feedback contributes to the speed and quality of one's learning. Previous findings that the feedback related negativity (FRN) event related potential (ERP) is modulated by learning outcomes suggested that this ERP reflects the extent to which feedback is used by the learner to improve performance. To further test this suggestion, we measured whether the FRN and the fronto-central positivity (FCP) that follows it are modulated by learning slopes, and as a function of individual differences in learning outcomes. Participants were tasked with learning names (non-words) of 42 novel objects in a two-choice feedback-based visual learning task. The items were divided into three sets of 14 items, each presented in five learning blocks and a sixth test block. Individual learning slopes based on performance on the task, as well as FRN and FCP slopes based on positive and negative feedback related activation in each block were created for 53 participants. Our data pointed to an interaction between slopes of the FRN elicited by negative feedback and learning slopes, such that a sharper decrease in the amplitude of the FRN to negative feedback was associated with sharper learning slopes. We further examined the predictive power of the FRN and FCP elicited in the training blocks on the learning outcomes as measured by performance on the test blocks. We found that small FRN to negative feedback, large FRN to positive feedback, and large FCP to negative feedback in the first training block predicted better learning outcomes. These results add to the growing evidence that the processes giving rise to the FRN and FCP are sensitive to individual differences in the extent to which feedback is used for learning.

  17. Flexible explicit but rigid implicit learning in a visuomotor adaptation task.

    PubMed

    Bond, Krista M; Taylor, Jordan A

    2015-06-01

    There is mounting evidence for the idea that performance in a visuomotor rotation task can be supported by both implicit and explicit forms of learning. The implicit component of learning has been well characterized in previous experiments and is thought to arise from the adaptation of an internal model driven by sensorimotor prediction errors. However, the role of explicit learning is less clear, and previous investigations aimed at characterizing the explicit component have relied on indirect measures such as dual-task manipulations, posttests, and descriptive computational models. To address this problem, we developed a new method for directly assaying explicit learning by having participants verbally report their intended aiming direction on each trial. While our previous research employing this method has demonstrated the possibility of measuring explicit learning over the course of training, it was only tested over a limited scope of manipulations common to visuomotor rotation tasks. In the present study, we sought to better characterize explicit and implicit learning over a wider range of task conditions. We tested how explicit and implicit learning change as a function of the specific visual landmarks used to probe explicit learning, the number of training targets, and the size of the rotation. We found that explicit learning was remarkably flexible, responding appropriately to task demands. In contrast, implicit learning was strikingly rigid, with each task condition producing a similar degree of implicit learning. These results suggest that explicit learning is a fundamental component of motor learning and has been overlooked or conflated in previous visuomotor tasks.

  18. 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

  19. Ergonomic factors on task performance in laparoscopic surgery training.

    PubMed

    Xiao, D J; Jakimowicz, Jack J; Albayrak, A; Goossens, R H M

    2012-05-01

    This paper evaluates the effect of ergonomic factors on task performance and trainee posture during laparoscopic surgery training. Twenty subjects without laparoscopic experience were allotted into 2 groups. Group 1 was trained under the optimal ergonomic simulation setting according to current ergonomic guidelines (Condition A). Group 2 was trained under non-optimal ergonomic simulation setting that can often be observed during training in a skills lab (Condition B). Posture analysis showed that the subjects held a much more neutral posture under Condition A than under Condition B (p<0.001). The subjects had less joint excursion and experienced less discomfort in their neck, shoulders, and arms under Condition A. Significant difference in task performance between Conditions A and B (p<0.05) was found. This study shows that the optimal ergonomic simulation setting leads to better task performance. In addition, no significant differences of task performance, for Groups 1 and 2 using the same test setting were found. However, better performance was observed for Group 1. It can be concluded that the optimal and non-optimal training setting have different learning effects on trainees' skill learning.

  20. Sleep promotes offline enhancement of an explicitly learned discrete but not an explicitly learned continuous task

    PubMed Central

    Siengsukon, Catherine F; Al-Sharman, Alham

    2011-01-01

    Background Healthy young individuals benefit from sleep to promote offline enhancement of a variety of explicitly learned discrete motor tasks. It remains unknown if sleep will promote learning of other types of explicit tasks. The purpose of this study is to verify the role of sleep in learning an explicitly instructed discrete motor task and to determine if participants who practice an explicitly instructed continuous tracking task demonstrate sleep-dependent offline learning of this task. Methods In experiment 1, 28 healthy young adults (mean age 25.6 ± 3.8 years) practiced a serial reaction time (SRT) task at either 8 am (SRT no-sleep group) or 8 pm (SRT sleep group) and underwent retention testing 12 ± 1 hours later. In experiment 2, 20 healthy young individuals (mean age 25.6 ± 3.3 years) practiced a continuous tracking task and were similarly divided into a no-sleep (continuous tracking no-sleep group) or sleep group (continuous tracking sleep group). Individuals in both experiments were provided with explicit instruction on the presence of a sequence in their respective task prior to practice. Results Individuals in the SRT sleep group demonstrated a significant offline reduction in reaction time whereas the SRT no-sleep group did not. Results for experiment 1 provide concurrent evidence that explicitly learned discrete tasks undergo sleep-dependent offline enhancement. Individuals in the continuous tracking sleep group failed to demonstrate a significant offline reduction in tracking error. However, the continuous tracking no-sleep group did demonstrate a significant offline improvement in performance. Results for experiment 2 indicate that sleep is not critical for offline enhancement of an explicit learned continuous task. Conclusion The findings that individuals who practiced an explicitly instructed discrete task experienced sleep-dependent offline learning while those individuals who practiced an explicitly instructed continuous task did not may be

  1. Backwards Fading to Speed Task Learning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-01

    Schaefer: 14. ABSTRACT (Maximum 200 words): In Backwards Fading (BF), a learner is provided with an initial, complete demonstration of a multi ...promise for effective/efficient training, but the utility of BF in Army settings and with Army tasks needs to be empirically evaluated. To that end...accelerated BF resulted in poorer performance than gradual BF (Experiment 2). Recommendations for utilizing BF in Army settings are provided. 15

  2. Distinguishing the contributions of implicit and explicit processes to performance of the weather prediction task.

    PubMed

    Price, Amanda L

    2009-03-01

    Examinations of the cognitive neuroscience of category learning frequently rely on probabilistic classification-learning tasks-namely, the weather prediction task (WPT)-to study the neural mechanisms of implicit learning. Accumulating evidence suggests that the task also depends on explicit-learning processes. The present investigation manipulated the WPT to assess the specific contributions of implicit- and explicit-learning processes to performance, with a particular focus on how the contributions of these processes change as the task progresses. In Experiment 1, a manipulation designed to disrupt implicit-learning processes had no effect on classification accuracy or the distribution of individual response strategies. In Experiment 2, by contrast, a manipulation designed to disrupt explicit-learning processes substantially reduced classification accuracy and reduced the number of participants who relied on a correct response strategy. The present findings suggest that WPT learning is not an effective tool for investigating nondeclarative learning processes.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Task-Irrelevant Auditory Feedback Facilitates Motor Performance in Musicians

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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,…

  7. 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.

  8. Gradations of awareness in a modified sequence learning task.

    PubMed

    Norman, Elisabeth; Price, Mark C; Duff, Simon C; Mentzoni, Rune A

    2007-12-01

    We argue performance in the serial reaction time (SRT) task is associated with gradations of awareness that provide examples of fringe consciousness [Mangan, B. (1993b). Taking phenomenology seriously: the "fringe" and its implications for cognitive research. Consciousness and Cognition, 2, 89-108, Mangan, B. (2003). The conscious "fringe": Bringing William James up to date. In B. J. Baars, W. P. Banks & J. B. Newman (Eds.), Essential sources in the scientific study of consciousness (pp. 741-759). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.], and address limitations of the traditional SRT procedure, including criticism of exclusion generation tasks. Two experiments are conducted with a modified SRT procedure where irrelevant stimulus attributes obscure the sequence rule. Our modified paradigm, which includes a novel exclusion task, makes it easier to demonstrate a previously controversial influence of response stimulus interval (RSI) on awareness. It also allows identification of participants showing fringe consciousness rather than explicit sequence knowledge, as reflected by dissociations between different awareness measures. The NEO-PI-R variable Openness to Feelings influenced the diversity of subjective feelings reported during two awareness measures, but not the degree of learning and awareness as previously found with traditional SRT tasks [Norman, E., Price, M. C., & Duff, S. C. (2006). Fringe consciousness in sequence learning: the influence of individual differences. Consciousness and Cognition, 15(4), 723-760.]. This suggests possible distinctions between two components of fringe consciousness.

  9. Learning Rate Differences for Knowledge, Comprehension and Application Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyon, Mark A.

    Many previous studies have documented the importance of time needed for learning and time spent in learning as parameters of educational achievement. However, most of this research has not considered the different types of tasks students are asked to learn. This study examined differences in student learning rates, amount of information acquired,…

  10. Inflight Medical/Nursing Task Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-12-01

    was to evaluate and compare the ability of aeromedical evacuation crew members (AECMs) to perform certain specific inflight medical and nursing care tasks...medical and nursing care procedures in conventional war scenarios has been well demonstrated in the past during actual aeromedical evacuation...same medical and nursing care procedures under chemical threat conditions during aeromedical evacuation operations is not as well documented. Low

  11. Performing behavioral tasks in subjects with intracranial electrodes.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew A; Thompson, Susan; Gonzalez-Martinez, Jorge; Park, Hyun-Joo; Bulacio, Juan; Najm, Imad; Kahn, Kevin; Kerr, Matthew; Sarma, Sridevi V; Gale, John T

    2014-10-02

    Patients having stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) electrode, subdural grid or depth electrode implants have a multitude of electrodes implanted in different areas of their brain for the localization of their seizure focus and eloquent areas. After implantation, the patient must remain in the hospital until the pathological area of brain is found and possibly resected. During this time, these patients offer a unique opportunity to the research community because any number of behavioral paradigms can be performed to uncover the neural correlates that guide behavior. Here we present a method for recording brain activity from intracranial implants as subjects perform a behavioral task designed to assess decision-making and reward encoding. All electrophysiological data from the intracranial electrodes are recorded during the behavioral task, allowing for the examination of the many brain areas involved in a single function at time scales relevant to behavior. Moreover, and unlike animal studies, human patients can learn a wide variety of behavioral tasks quickly, allowing for the ability to perform more than one task in the same subject or for performing controls. Despite the many advantages of this technique for understanding human brain function, there are also methodological limitations that we discuss, including environmental factors, analgesic effects, time constraints and recordings from diseased tissue. This method may be easily implemented by any institution that performs intracranial assessments; providing the opportunity to directly examine human brain function during behavior.

  12. The Influence of Task Involvement on the Use of Learning Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolen, Susan Bobbitt

    The relationship between goal orientation and the use of learning strategies and their effects on learning outcomes were investigated. The three goal orientations considered were: (1) task orientation, which involves learning for its own sake; (2) ego orientation, which involves a desire to perform better than others; and (3) work avoidance, which…

  13. Age difference in dual-task interference effects on procedural learning in children.

    PubMed

    Lejeune, Caroline; Desmottes, Lise; Catale, Corinne; Meulemans, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    The current study aimed to investigate the role played by explicit mechanisms during procedural learning in two age groups of children (7 and 10 years) using a dual-task paradigm. To do this, we explored the effect of an interference task during the early and late phases of a mirror tracing learning task. The results showed a differential impact of the secondary task on the two age groups, but only during the first learning phase; the performance of 10-year-olds was affected by the second task, whereas in 7-year-olds no performance difference was found between the single- and dual-task conditions. Overall, our study suggests that there are differences in the amount of effortful processing in which 7- and 10-year-olds engage at the beginning of the learning process; procedural learning in young children is mainly implicit, as attested by its lesser sensitivity to an interference task, whereas high-level explicit mechanisms seem to contribute to the procedural performance of 10-year-olds. However, these explicit mechanisms, even if they have an effect on performance, might not have an impact on the learning curve given that no difference in rate of acquisition was found between age groups. These findings are discussed in the light of classical conceptions of procedural learning.

  14. Effect of Generic Advance Instructions on Learning a Classification Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, John A.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    This study investigated whether giving students generic advance instructions about how to learn classification tasks was effective in facilitating learning of a specific classification task. Results showed that the instruction group and adjunct-questions group did equally well on classifying new and old instances of U.S. Navy call signs.…

  15. 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…

  16. Biologically plausible learning in recurrent neural networks reproduces neural dynamics observed during cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Miconi, Thomas

    2017-02-23

    Neural activity during cognitive tasks exhibits complex dynamics that flexibly encode task-relevant variables. Chaotic recurrent networks, which spontaneously generate rich dynamics, have been proposed as a model of cortical computation during cognitive tasks. However, existing methods for training these networks are either biologically implausible, and/or require a continuous, real-time error signal to guide learning. Here we show that a biologically plausible learning rule can train such recurrent networks, guided solely by delayed, phasic rewards at the end of each trial. Networks endowed with this learning rule can successfully learn nontrivial tasks requiring flexible (context-dependent) associations, memory maintenance, nonlinear mixed selectivities, and coordination among multiple outputs. The resulting networks replicate complex dynamics previously observed in animal cortex, such as dynamic encoding of task features and selective integration of sensory inputs. We conclude that recurrent neural networks offer a plausible model of cortical dynamics during both learning and performance of flexible behavior.

  17. 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…

  18. Exploring Open-Ended Tasks as Teacher Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Peter; Griffioen, Mel; Gray, Hayley; Powers, Chris

    2009-01-01

    The Task Types and Mathematics Learning project is investigating the opportunities and constraints that teachers experience when using particular types of mathematics tasks. Some assumptions underlying this aspect of the project are: (1) that teachers seeking a balanced curriculum choose to use a mix of types of tasks; (2) open-ended questions…

  19. Learning a Novel Myoelectric-Controlled Interface Task

    PubMed Central

    Radhakrishnan, Saritha M.; Baker, Stuart N.; Jackson, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    Control of myoelectric prostheses and brain–machine interfaces requires learning abstract neuromotor transformations. To investigate the mechanisms underlying this ability, we trained subjects to move a two-dimensional cursor using a myoelectric-controlled interface. With the upper limb immobilized, an electromyogram from multiple hand and arm muscles moved the cursor in directions that were either intuitive or nonintuitive and with high or low variability. We found that subjects could learn even nonintuitive arrangements to a high level of performance. Muscle-tuning functions were cosine shaped and modulated so as to reduce cursor variability. Subjects exhibited an additional preference for using hand muscles over arm muscles, which resulted from a greater capacity of these to form novel, task-specific synergies. In a second experiment, nonvisual feedback from the hand was degraded with amplitude- and frequency-modulated vibration. Although vibration impaired task performance, it did not affect the rate at which learning occurred. We therefore conclude that the motor system can acquire internal models of novel, abstract neuromotor mappings even in the absence of overt movements or accurate proprioceptive signals, but that the distal motor system may be better suited to provide flexible control signals for neuromotor prostheses than structures related to the arm. PMID:18667540

  20. Transfer in Rule-Based Category Learning Depends on the Training Task

    PubMed Central

    Kattner, Florian; Cox, Christopher R.; Green, C. Shawn

    2016-01-01

    While learning is often highly specific to the exact stimuli and tasks used during training, there are cases where training results in learning that generalizes more broadly. It has been previously argued that the degree of specificity can be predicted based upon the learning solution(s) dictated by the particular demands of the training task. Here we applied this logic in the domain of rule-based categorization learning. Participants were presented with stimuli corresponding to four different categories and were asked to perform either a category discrimination task (which permits learning specific rule to discriminate two categories) or a category identification task (which does not permit learning a specific discrimination rule). In a subsequent transfer stage, all participants were asked to discriminate stimuli belonging to two of the categories which they had seen, but had never directly discriminated before (i.e., this particular discrimination was omitted from training). As predicted, learning in the category-discrimination tasks tended to be specific, while the category-identification task produced learning that transferred to the transfer discrimination task. These results suggest that the discrimination and identification tasks fostered the acquisition of different category representations which were more or less generalizable. PMID:27764221

  1. Effects of a no-go Task 2 on Task 1 performance in dual - tasking: From benefits to costs.

    PubMed

    Janczyk, Markus; Huestegge, Lynn

    2017-04-01

    When two tasks are combined in a dual-task experiment, characteristics of Task 2 can influence Task 1 performance, a phenomenon termed the backward crosstalk effect (BCE). Besides instances depending on the (spatial) compatibility of both responses, a particularly interesting example was introduced by Miller (2006): If Task 2 was a no-go task (i.e., one not requiring any action at all), responses were slowed in Task 1. Subsequent work, however, also reported the opposite result-that is, faster Task 1 responses in cases of no-go Task 2 trials. We report three experiments aiming to more precisely identify the conditions under which a no-go Task 2 facilitates or impedes Task 1 performance. The results suggest that an adverse no-go BCE is only observed when the Task 2 response(s) are sufficiently prepared in advance, yielding strong inhibitory control demands for Task 2 that eventually hamper Task 1 processing as well (i.e., inhibitory costs). If this is not the case, encountering a no-go Task 2 trial facilitates Task 1 performance, suggesting that the underlying task representation is reduced to a single - task. These results are discussed in the context of other recent work on BCEs and of recently suggested accounts of the no-go BCE.

  2. The influence of task demand and learning on the psychophysiological response.

    PubMed

    Fairclough, Stephen H; Venables, Louise; Tattersall, Andrew

    2005-05-01

    The level of expertise of an operator may significantly influence his/her psychophysiological response to high task demand. A naive individual may invest considerable mental effort during performance of a difficult task and psychophysiological reactivity will be high compared to the psychophysiological response of a highly skilled operator. A study on multitasking performance was conducted to investigate the interaction between learning and task demand on psychophysiological reactivity. Thirty naive participants performed high and low demand versions of the Multi-attribute Task Battery (MATB) over a learning period of 64 min. High and low task demand setting were preset via a pilot study. Psychophysiological variables were collected from four channels of EEG (Cz, P3, P4, Pz), ECG, EOG and respiration rate to measure the impact of task demand and learning. Several variables were sensitive to the task demand manipulation but not time-on-task, e.g., heart rate, Theta activity at parietal sites. The sensitivity of certain variables to high demand was compromised by skill acquisition, e.g., respiration rate, suppression of alpha activity. A sustained learning effect was observed during the high demand condition only; multiple regression analyses revealed that specific psychophysiological variables predicted learning at different stages on the learning curve. The implications for the sensitivity of psychophysiological variables are discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Van Nuland, Sonya E; Rogers, Kem A

    2016-01-01

    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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Individual Differences in Learning a Novel Discrete Motor Task

    PubMed Central

    Golenia, Laura; Schoemaker, Marina M.; Mouton, Leonora J.; Bongers, Raoul M.

    2014-01-01

    Many motor learning studies focus on average performance while it is known from everyday life experience that humans differ in their way of learning new motor tasks. This study emphasises the importance of recognizing individual differences in motor learning. We studied individual tool grasping profiles of individuals who learned to pick up objects with a novel tool, a pair of pliers. The pair of pliers was attached to the thumb and the index finger so that the tip of the thumb and the tip of the index finger were displaced to the beaks of the pair of pliers. The grasp component was manipulated by varying the location of the hinge of the pair of pliers, which resulted in different relations between beak opening and closing and finger opening and closing. The Wider Beak group had the hinge at 7 cm, the Same Beak group had the hinge at 10 cm (i.e., in the middle), and the Smaller Beak group had the hinge at 13 cm from the digits. Each group consisted of ten right-handed participants who picked up an object with one of the pairs of pliers 200 times on two subsequent days. Hand opening, plateau phase, hand closing, grasping time and maximum aperture were analyzed. To characterize individual changes over practice time, a log function was fitted on these dependent variables and the ratio of improvement was determined. Results showed that at the beginning stage of tool use learning the characteristic grasping profile consisted of three phases; hand opening, plateau phase and hand closing. Over practicing individual participants differed in the number of phases that changed, the amount of change in a phase and/or the direction of change. Moreover, with different pliers different learning paths were found. The importance of recognizing individual differences in motor learning is discussed. PMID:25386708

  9. A Comparison of Reinforcement Learning Models for the Iowa Gambling Task Using Parameter Space Partitioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steingroever, Helen; Wetzels, Ruud; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan

    2013-01-01

    The Iowa gambling task (IGT) is one of the most popular tasks used to study decision-making deficits in clinical populations. In order to decompose performance on the IGT in its constituent psychological processes, several cognitive models have been proposed (e.g., the Expectancy Valence (EV) and Prospect Valence Learning (PVL) models). Here we…

  10. The Effects of Material and Task Variations on a Brief Cognitive Learning Strategies Training Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinstein, Claire E.; And Others

    Two studies were performed to investigate the effects of material and task variations in the acquisition of cognitive learning strategies. Groups of undergraduate students were taught to use mental imagery, meaningful elaboration, and grouping. The type of training task or the order of training and test materials differed for each of the…

  11. Recollective performance advantages for implicit memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Sheldon, Signy A M; Moscovitch, Morris

    2010-10-01

    A commonly held assumption is that processes underlying explicit and implicit memory are distinct. Recent evidence, however, suggests that they may interact more than previously believed. Using the remember-know procedure the current study examines the relation between recollection, a process thought to be exclusive to explicit memory, and performance on two implicit memory tasks, lexical decision and word stem completion. We found that, for both implicit tasks, words that were recollected were associated with greater priming effects than were words given a subsequent familiarity rating or words that had been studied but were not recognised (misses). Broadly, our results suggest that non-voluntary processes underlying explicit memory also benefit priming, a measure of implicit memory. More specifically, given that this benefit was due to a particular aspect of explicit memory (recollection), these results are consistent with some strength models of memory and with Moscovitch's (2008) proposal that recollection is a two-stage process, one rapid and unconscious and the other more effortful and conscious.

  12. Preschoolers Learn Cognitive Tasks in Groups.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cahoon, Owen W.

    The present study was designed to assess the effectiveness of certain cognitive training tasks on children in group settings under natural preschool conditions. Thirty-five children, aged 47-63 months, were divided into six experimental groups and received various cognitive tasks. Results indicated that most children experienced at least moderate…

  13. Fostering the Reading Comprehension of Secondary School Students through Peer-Assisted Learning: Effects on Strategy Knowledge, Strategy Use, and Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sporer, Nadine; Brunstein, Joachim C.

    2009-01-01

    Based on the work of Fuchs and Fuchs [Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (2001). Peer-assisted learning strategies in reading: Extensions for Kindergarten, first grade and high school. "Remedial & Special Education," 22, 15-21], this study examined the effects of a peer-assisted learning strategies (PALS) program on the reading comprehension of 7th-grade…

  14. Perceptual learning of basic visual features remains task specific with Training-Plus-Exposure (TPE) training.

    PubMed

    Cong, Lin-Juan; Wang, Ru-Jie; Yu, Cong; Zhang, Jun-Yun

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning is known to be specific to the trained retinal location, feature, and task. However, location and feature specificity can be eliminated by double-training or TPE training protocols, in which observers receive additional exposure to the transfer location or feature dimension via an irrelevant task besides the primary learning task Here we tested whether these new training protocols could even make learning transfer across different tasks involving discrimination of basic visual features (e.g., orientation and contrast). Observers practiced a near-threshold orientation (or contrast) discrimination task. Following a TPE training protocol, they also received exposure to the transfer task via performing suprathreshold contrast (or orientation) discrimination in alternating blocks of trials in the same sessions. The results showed no evidence for significant learning transfer to the untrained near-threshold contrast (or orientation) discrimination task after discounting the pretest effects and the suprathreshold practice effects. These results thus do not support a hypothetical task-independent component in perceptual learning of basic visual features. They also set the boundary of the new training protocols in their capability to enable learning transfer.

  15. 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…

  16. A Blended Learning Study on Implementing Video Recorded Speaking Tasks in Task-Based Classroom Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirkgoz, Yasemin

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates designing and implementing a speaking course in which face-to-face instruction informed by the principles of Task-Based Learning is blended with the use of technology, the video, for the first-year student teachers of English in Turkish higher education. The study consisted of three hours of task-based classroom…

  17. Children's construction task performance and spatial ability: controlling task complexity and predicting mathematics performance.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Miles; Hunt, Thomas E; Richardson, Cassandra

    2014-12-01

    This paper presents a methodology to control construction task complexity and examined the relationships between construction performance and spatial and mathematical abilities in children. The study included three groups of children (N = 96); ages 7-8, 10-11, and 13-14 years. Each group constructed seven pre-specified objects. The study replicated and extended previous findings that indicated that the extent of component symmetry and variety, and the number of components for each object and available for selection, significantly predicted construction task difficulty. Results showed that this methodology is a valid and reliable technique for assessing and predicting construction play task difficulty. Furthermore, construction play performance predicted mathematical attainment independently of spatial ability.

  18. Are people successful at learning sequences of actions on a perceptual matching task?

    PubMed

    Yakushijin, Reiko; Jacobs, Robert A

    2011-07-01

    We report the results of an experiment in which human subjects were trained to perform a perceptual matching task. Subjects were asked to manipulate comparison objects until they matched target objects using the fewest manipulations possible. An unusual feature of the experimental task is that efficient performance requires an understanding of the hidden or latent causal structure governing the relationships between actions and perceptual outcomes. We use two benchmarks to evaluate the quality of subjects' learning. One benchmark is based on optimal performance as calculated by a dynamic programming procedure. The other is based on an adaptive computational agent that uses a reinforcement-learning method known as Q-learning to learn to perform the task. Our analyses suggest that subjects were successful learners. In particular, they learned to perform the perceptual matching task in a near-optimal manner (i.e., using a small number of manipulations) at the end of training. Subjects were able to achieve near-optimal performance because they learned, at least partially, the causal structure underlying the task. In addition, subjects' performances were broadly consistent with those of model-based reinforcement-learning agents that built and used internal models of how their actions influenced the external environment. We hypothesize that people will achieve near-optimal performances on tasks requiring sequences of action-especially sensorimotor tasks with underlying latent causal structures-when they can detect the effects of their actions on the environment, and when they can represent and reason about these effects using an internal mental model.

  19. Gradual training reduces practice difficulty while preserving motor learning of a novel locomotor task.

    PubMed

    Sawers, Andrew; Hahn, Michael E

    2013-08-01

    Motor learning strategies that increase practice difficulty and the size of movement errors are thought to facilitate motor learning. In contrast to this, gradual training minimizes movement errors and reduces practice difficulty by incrementally introducing task requirements, yet remains as effective as sudden training and its large movement errors for learning novel reaching tasks. While attractive as a locomotor rehabilitation strategy, it remains unknown whether the efficacy of gradual training extends to learning locomotor tasks and their unique requirements. The influence of gradual vs. sudden training on learning a locomotor task, asymmetric split belt treadmill walking, was examined by assessing whole body sagittal plane kinematics during 24 hour retention and transfer performance following either gradual or sudden training. Despite less difficult and less specific practice for the gradual cohort on day 1, gradual training resulted in equivalent motor learning of the novel locomotor task as sudden training when assessed by retention and transfer a day later. This suggests that large movement errors and increased practice difficulty may not be necessary for learning novel locomotor tasks. Further, gradual training may present a viable locomotor rehabilitation strategy avoiding large movement errors that could limit or impair improvements in locomotor performance.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Cognitive Principles Underlying Task-Centred Foreign Language Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Littlewood, William

    A discussion of the task-based approach to second language learning looks at different interpretations of "task" and defines it in terms of two basic dimensions: (1) degree of learner involvement in purposeful work, and (2) a continuum from focus on linguistic form to focus on message. It is proposed that these dimensions can be understood better…

  6. 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…

  7. 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"…

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. Task-Space Iterative Learning for Redundant Robotic Systems: Existence of a Task-Space Control and Convergence of Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arimoto, Suguru; Sekimoto, Masahiro; Kawamura, Sadao

    This paper presents a feasibility study of iterative learning control for a class of redundant multi-joint robotic systems when a desired motion trajectory is specified in task-space with less dimension than that of joint space. First, it is shown that if the desired trajectory described in task-space for a time interval t ∈ [0,T] is twice continuously differentiable then a unique control signal describable in task-space exists despite of the system joint-redundancy. Second, a learning control update law is constructed through transpose of the Jacobian matrix of task-space coordinates with respect to joint coordinates by using measured data of motion trajectories in task-space. Third, the convergence of trajectory trackings through iterative learning is proved theoretically on the basis of original nonlinear robot dynamics in joint space.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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:…

  15. Task-based Learning (TBL) in Undergraduate Medical Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Virjo, Irma; Holmberg-Marttila, Doris; Mattila, Kari

    2001-01-01

    Describes task-based learning (TBL), a study module for fourth-year medical students (n=85), and experiences with implementing it at the University of Tampere in Finland. Indicates that this method works and that it leads to learning. Students evaluate their skills connected with a general practitioner's work in health center hospitals as better…

  16. Preferred Learning Modalities and Differentiated Presentation of Reading Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cullinan, Bernice E.; And Others

    An exploratory study to discover the relationships between preferred learning modalities and differentiated presentations of reading tasks was conducted in a low socioeconomic, predominantly Puerto Rican public school in New York City, with 106 first-grade children as subjects. Preferred learning modality (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic) was…

  17. "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…

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. Optimal performance in a countermanding saccade task

    PubMed Central

    Wong-Lin, KongFatt; Eckhoff, Philip; Holmes, Philip; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2010-01-01

    Countermanding an action is a fundamental form of cognitive control. In a saccade-countermanding task, subjects are instructed that, if a stop signal appears shortly after a target, they are to maintain fixation rather than to make a saccade to the target. In recent years, recordings in the frontal eye fields and superior colliculus of behaving non-human primates have found correlates of such countermanding behavior in movement and fixation neurons. In this work, we extend a previous neural network model of countermanding to account for the high pre-target activity of fixation neurons. We propose that this activity reflects the functioning of control mechanisms responsible for optimizing performance. We demonstrate, using computer simulations and mathematical analysis, that pre-target fixation neuronal activity supports countermanding behavior that maximizes reward rate as a function of the stop signal delay, fraction of stop signal trials, intertrial interval, duration of timeout, and relative reward value. We propose experiments to test these predictions regarding optimal behavior. PMID:20034481

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Using Tasks to Assess Spanish Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herrera Mosquera, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The methodology of Task-based teaching (TBT) has been positively regarded by many researchers and language teachers around the world. Yet, this language teaching methodology has been mainly implemented in English as a second language (ESL) classrooms and in English for specific purpose (ESP) courses; and more specifically with advanced-level…

  4. Modeling User Behavior in Computer Learning Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mantei, Marilyn M.

    Model building techniques from Artifical Intelligence and Information-Processing Psychology are applied to human-computer interface tasks to evaluate existing interfaces and suggest new and better ones. The model is in the form of an augmented transition network (ATN) grammar which is built by applying grammar induction heuristics on a sequential…

  5. 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.

  6. Investigating Student Choices in Performing Higher-Level Comprehension Tasks Using TED

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bianchi, Francesca; Marenzi, Ivana

    2016-01-01

    The current paper describes a first experiment in the use of TED talks and open tagging exercises to train higher-level comprehension skills, and of automatic logging of the student's actions to investigate the student choices while performing analytical tasks. The experiment took advantage of an interactive learning platform--LearnWeb--that…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Aligning Task Control with Desire for Control: Implications for Performance

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Alex T.; Etcheverry, Paul E.

    2015-01-01

    The current study examined whether matches between task control and participants' desire for control over their environment lead to better task performance than mismatches. Work control and desire for control were manipulated, and participants engaged in timed tasks. As predicted, performance was higher in cases of match, even when task control and desire for control were low. Task control and desire for control may predict work performance in combination, highlighting the importance of Person-Environment Fit theory for both selection and work design. By manipulating desire for control, our research also explores the potentially state-dependent quality of this individual difference variable. PMID:26045630

  10. Aligning Task Control with Desire for Control: Implications for Performance.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Alex T; Etcheverry, Paul E

    The current study examined whether matches between task control and participants' desire for control over their environment lead to better task performance than mismatches. Work control and desire for control were manipulated, and participants engaged in timed tasks. As predicted, performance was higher in cases of match, even when task control and desire for control were low. Task control and desire for control may predict work performance in combination, highlighting the importance of Person-Environment Fit theory for both selection and work design. By manipulating desire for control, our research also explores the potentially state-dependent quality of this individual difference variable.

  11. Using dual-task methodology to dissociate automatic from nonautomatic processes involved in artificial grammar learning.

    PubMed

    Hendricks, Michelle A; Conway, Christopher M; Kellogg, Ronald T

    2013-09-01

    Previous studies have suggested that both automatic and intentional processes contribute to the learning of grammar and fragment knowledge in artificial grammar learning (AGL) tasks. To explore the relative contribution of automatic and intentional processes to knowledge gained in AGL, we utilized dual-task methodology to dissociate automatic and intentional grammar- and fragment-based knowledge in AGL at both acquisition and at test. Both experiments used a balanced chunk strength grammar to assure an equal proportion of fragment cues (i.e., chunks) in grammatical and nongrammatical test items. In Experiment 1, participants engaged in a working memory dual-task either during acquisition, test, or both acquisition and test. The results showed that participants performing the dual-task during acquisition learned the artificial grammar as well as the single-task group, presumably by relying on automatic learning mechanisms. A working memory dual-task at test resulted in attenuated grammar performance, suggesting a role for intentional processes for the expression of grammatical learning at test. Experiment 2 explored the importance of perceptual cues by changing letters between the acquisition and test phase; unlike Experiment 1, there was no significant learning of grammatical information for participants under dual-task conditions in Experiment 2, suggesting that intentional processing is necessary for successful acquisition and expression of grammar-based knowledge under transfer conditions. In sum, it appears that some aspects of learning in AGL are indeed relatively automatic, although the expression of grammatical information and the learning of grammatical patterns when perceptual similarity is eliminated both appear to require explicit resources.

  12. Adding the goal to learn strengthens learning in an unintentional learning task.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, James R; De Houwer, Jan

    2012-08-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that contingency learning can take place in the absence of the intention to learn. For instance, in the color-word contingency learning task, each distracting word is presented most often in a given target color (e.g., "month" in red and "plate" in green), and less often in the other colors. Participants respond more quickly and accurately when the word is presented in the expected rather than an unexpected color, even though there is no reason why they would have the intention to learn the contingencies between the words and the colors. It remains to be determined, however, whether learning in such situations would benefit or suffer from adding the goal to learn contingencies. In the reported experiment, half of the participants were informed that each word was presented most often in a certain color, and they were instructed to try to learn these contingencies. The other half of the participants were not informed that contingencies would be present. The participants given the learning goal produced a larger response time contingency effect than did the control participants. In contrast to some results from other learning paradigms, these results suggest that intentional learning adds to, rather than interferes with, unintentional learning, and we propose an explanation for some of the conflicting results.

  13. Facilitation of learning induced by both random and gradual visuomotor task variation.

    PubMed

    Turnham, Edward J A; Braun, Daniel A; Wolpert, Daniel M

    2012-02-01

    Motor task variation has been shown to be a key ingredient in skill transfer, retention, and structural learning. However, many studies only compare training of randomly varying tasks to either blocked or null training, and it is not clear how experiencing different nonrandom temporal orderings of tasks might affect the learning process. Here we study learning in human subjects who experience the same set of visuomotor rotations, evenly spaced between -60° and +60°, either in a random order or in an order in which the rotation angle changed gradually. We compared subsequent learning of three test blocks of +30°→-30°→+30° rotations. The groups that underwent either random or gradual training showed significant (P < 0.01) facilitation of learning in the test blocks compared with a control group who had not experienced any visuomotor rotations before. We also found that movement initiation times in the random group during the test blocks were significantly (P < 0.05) lower than for the gradual or the control group. When we fit a state-space model with fast and slow learning processes to our data, we found that the differences in performance in the test block were consistent with the gradual or random task variation changing the learning and retention rates of only the fast learning process. Such adaptation of learning rates may be a key feature of ongoing meta-learning processes. Our results therefore suggest that both gradual and random task variation can induce meta-learning and that random learning has an advantage in terms of shorter initiation times, suggesting less reliance on cognitive processes.

  14. Anticipation measures of sequence learning: manual versus oculomotor versions of the serial reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Vakil, Eli; Bloch, Ayala; Cohen, Haggar

    2017-03-01

    The serial reaction time (SRT) task has generated a very large amount of research. Nevertheless the debate continues as to the exact cognitive processes underlying implicit sequence learning. Thus, the first goal of this study is to elucidate the underlying cognitive processes enabling sequence acquisition. We therefore compared reaction time (RT) in sequence learning in a standard manual activated (MA) to that in an ocular activated (OA) version of the task, within a single experimental setting. The second goal is to use eye movement measures to compare anticipation, as an additional indication of sequence learning, between the two versions of the SRT. Performance of the group given the MA version of the task (n = 29) was compared with that of the group given the OA version (n = 30). The results showed that although overall, RT was faster for the OA group, the rate of sequence learning was similar to that of the MA group performing the standard version of the SRT. Because the stimulus-response association is automatic and exists prior to training in the OA task, the decreased reaction time in this version of the task reflects a purer measure of the sequence learning that occurs in the SRT task. The results of this study show that eye tracking anticipation can be measured directly and can serve as a direct measure of sequence learning. Finally, using the OA version of the SRT to study sequence learning presents a significant methodological contribution by making sequence learning studies possible among populations that struggle to perform manual responses.

  15. 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.

  16. [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.

  17. Effects of Variations in Task Design on Mathematics Teachers' Learning Experiences: A Case of a Sorting Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koichu, Boris; Zaslavsky, Orit; Dolev, Lea

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the study presented in this article was to examine how variations in task design may affect mathematics teachers' learning experiences. The study focuses on sorting tasks, i.e., learning tasks that require grouping a given set of mathematical items, in as many ways as possible, according to different criteria suggested by the learners.…

  18. Dynamic Sensor Tasking for Space Situational Awareness via Reinforcement Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linares, R.; Furfaro, R.

    2016-09-01

    This paper studies the Sensor Management (SM) problem for optical Space Object (SO) tracking. The tasking problem is formulated as a Markov Decision Process (MDP) and solved using Reinforcement Learning (RL). The RL problem is solved using the actor-critic policy gradient approach. The actor provides a policy which is random over actions and given by a parametric probability density function (pdf). The critic evaluates the policy by calculating the estimated total reward or the value function for the problem. The parameters of the policy action pdf are optimized using gradients with respect to the reward function. Both the critic and the actor are modeled using deep neural networks (multi-layer neural networks). The policy neural network takes the current state as input and outputs probabilities for each possible action. This policy is random, and can be evaluated by sampling random actions using the probabilities determined by the policy neural network's outputs. The critic approximates the total reward using a neural network. The estimated total reward is used to approximate the gradient of the policy network with respect to the network parameters. This approach is used to find the non-myopic optimal policy for tasking optical sensors to estimate SO orbits. The reward function is based on reducing the uncertainty for the overall catalog to below a user specified uncertainty threshold. This work uses a 30 km total position error for the uncertainty threshold. This work provides the RL method with a negative reward as long as any SO has a total position error above the uncertainty threshold. This penalizes policies that take longer to achieve the desired accuracy. A positive reward is provided when all SOs are below the catalog uncertainty threshold. An optimal policy is sought that takes actions to achieve the desired catalog uncertainty in minimum time. This work trains the policy in simulation by letting it task a single sensor to "learn" from its performance

  19. 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…

  20. Reinforcement learning can account for associative and perceptual learning on a visual-decision task.

    PubMed

    Law, Chi-Tat; Gold, Joshua I

    2009-05-01

    We recently showed that improved perceptual performance on a visual motion direction-discrimination task corresponds to changes in how an unmodified sensory representation in the brain is interpreted to form a decision that guides behavior. Here we found that these changes can be accounted for using a reinforcement-learning rule to shape functional connectivity between the sensory and decision neurons. We modeled performance on the basis of the readout of simulated responses of direction-selective sensory neurons in the middle temporal area (MT) of monkey cortex. A reward prediction error guided changes in connections between these sensory neurons and the decision process, first establishing the association between motion direction and response direction, and then gradually improving perceptual sensitivity by selectively strengthening the connections from the most sensitive neurons in the sensory population. The results suggest a common, feedback-driven mechanism for some forms of associative and perceptual learning.

  1. Doing gesture promotes learning a mental transformation task better than seeing gesture

    PubMed Central

    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 relevant to the task; half were asked to produce a Point gesture. The children also observed the experimenter producing either a Move or Point gesture. Children who produced a Move gesture improved more than children who observed the Move gesture. Neither producing nor observing the Point gesture facilitated learning. Doing gesture promotes learning better than seeing gesture, as long as the gesture conveys information that could help solve the task. PMID:23106741

  2. Appraisal, Coping, Task Performance, and Cardiovascular Responses during the Evaluated Speaking Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baggett, H. Lane; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Appraisal, coping, task performance, and cardiovascular responses were examined among men high and low in speech anxiety who prepared and performed a speech under evaluative conditions. Speech-anxious men saw the task as more threatening. They were more stressed, anxious, distracted, and aware of their emotions, focused on the passage of time, and…

  3. 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

  4. AEA/USA Task Force on Voluntary Learning. Task Force Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heaney, Thomas W., Ed.

    The use of law, force, social pressure, and other forms of compulsion to "encourage" lifelong learning and to expand the market for adult education has been a growing concern for many adult educators. Because of the proliferation of requirements for mandatory continuing education (MCE), a task force was formed to study MCE, and to mobilize opinion…

  5. 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

  6. 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''.

  7. Card Perseveration Task performance and post-task feeling states: relationship to drug use in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Martin, C A; Rayens, M K; Kelly, T; Hartung, C; Leukefeld, C; Haigler, E

    2000-05-01

    This study examined whether performance on the Card Perseveration Task (Card Task) and self-report of feeling state after the task are related to self-report of drug use. The evaluation was of 64 adolescents from an adolescent psychiatric outpatient clinic (40 males, aged 15.5 years, SD = 1.6; 24 females aged 16.9 years, SD = 1.5). Drug use histories were obtained using a substance dependence symptom checklist based on DSM-III-R. The Card Task was administered, and after completion, a Post-Task Self-Report (PTSR) was administered. A factor analysis with varimax rotation grouped the 28 items of the PTSR into Distress, Happy, Satisfied, and Wanting to Win subscales. Correlations of drug use with performance on the Card Task and the PTSR subscales were obtained. Cards Played on the Card Task were correlated with alcohol (cc = .31, p < or = .01); marijuana (cc = .35, p < or = .01) and polydrug (cc = .26, p < or = .05) dependence symptoms. Money Won on the Card Task was correlated negatively with nicotine (cc = -.26, p < or = .05) and marijuana (cc = -.27, p < or = .05) dependence symptoms. The PTSR Distress subscale correlated with nicotine (cc = .49, p < or = .001), alcohol (cc = .37, p < or = .01), marijuana (cc = .39, p < or = .01), and polydrug (cc = .49, p < or = .001) dependence symptoms. These findings provide evidence that both the Card Task and feeling states associated with task performance are related to self-reports of drug use.

  8. Improving older adults' memory performance using prior task success.

    PubMed

    Geraci, Lisa; Miller, Tyler M

    2013-06-01

    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.

  9. 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

    2016-04-08

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Self-control of task difficulty during training enhances motor learning of a complex coincidence-anticipation task.

    PubMed

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Danna, Jérémy; Thon, Bernard

    2012-03-01

    The aim of the present work was to analyze the influence of self-controlled task difficulty on motor learning. Participants had to intercept three targets falling at different velocities by displacing a stylus above a digitizer Task difficulty corresponded to racquet width. Half the participants (self-control condition) could choose the racquet width at the beginning of each trial. Each was paired with a participant from the yoked group. The self-control condition resulted in better performances and accuracy during immediate and delayed retention tests. These results confirm the advantage of a self-control condition on motor learning. They are discussed with reference to the challenge point hypothesis (Guadagnoli & Lee, 2004).

  12. The association between media multitasking, task-switching, and dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Alzahabi, Reem; Becker, Mark W

    2013-10-01

    The recent rise in media use has prompted researchers to investigate its influence on users' basic cognitive processes, such as attention and cognitive control. However, most of these investigations have failed to consider that the rise in media use has been accompanied by an even more dramatic rise in media multitasking (engaging with multiple forms of media simultaneously). Here we investigate how one's ability to switch between 2 tasks and to perform 2 tasks simultaneously is associated with media multitasking experience. Participants saw displays comprised of a number-letter pair and classified the number as odd or even and/or the letter as a consonant or vowel. In task-switching blocks, a cue indicated which classification to perform on each trial. In dual-task blocks, participants performed both classifications. Heavy and light media multitaskers showed comparable performance in the dual-task. Across 2 experiments, heavy media multitaskers were better able to switch between tasks in the task-switching paradigm. Thus, while media multitasking was not associated with increased ability to process 2 tasks in parallel, it was associated with an increased ability to shift between discrete tasks.

  13. Multisensory perceptual learning is dependent upon task difficulty.

    PubMed

    De Niear, Matthew A; Koo, Bonhwang; Wallace, Mark T

    2016-11-01

    There has been a growing interest in developing behavioral tasks to enhance temporal acuity as recent findings have demonstrated changes in temporal processing in a number of clinical conditions. Prior research has demonstrated that perceptual training can enhance temporal acuity both within and across different sensory modalities. Although certain forms of unisensory perceptual learning have been shown to be dependent upon task difficulty, this relationship has not been explored for multisensory learning. The present study sought to determine the effects of task difficulty on multisensory perceptual learning. Prior to and following a single training session, participants completed a simultaneity judgment (SJ) task, which required them to judge whether a visual stimulus (flash) and auditory stimulus (beep) presented in synchrony or at various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) occurred synchronously or asynchronously. During the training session, participants completed the same SJ task but received feedback regarding the accuracy of their responses. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three levels of difficulty during training: easy, moderate, and hard, which were distinguished based on the SOAs used during training. We report that only the most difficult (i.e., hard) training protocol enhanced temporal acuity. We conclude that perceptual training protocols for enhancing multisensory temporal acuity may be optimized by employing audiovisual stimuli for which it is difficult to discriminate temporal synchrony from asynchrony.

  14. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Douglas; Frey, Nancy

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Preservice Teachers' Learning to Plan Intellectually Challenging Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kang, Hosun

    2017-01-01

    This study explores how and under which conditions preservice secondary science teachers (PSTs) engage in effective planning practices that incorporate intellectually challenging tasks into lessons. Drawing upon a situative perspective on learning, eight PSTs' trajectories of participation in communities of practice are examined with a focus on…

  17. Positive versus Negative Communication Strategies in Task-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohani, Siti

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed at describing how the implementation of Task-Based Learning (TBL) would shape or change students' use of oral communication strategies. Students' problems and strategies to solve the problems during the implementation of TBL were also explored. The study was a mixed method, employing both quantitative and qualitative analysis…

  18. 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…

  19. Effects of Antihistamine, Age, And Gender on Task Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-07-01

    This investigation was designed to study the effects of the antihistamine, chlorpheniramine maleate, as well as the influence of age and gender...singly and in combination with chlorpheniramine maleate, on selected types of performance tasks. It was hypothesized that chiorpheniramine maleate would... chlorpheniramine maleate on any dependent measure for any performance task. However, several interactions of age and gender with chlorpheniramine maleate

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Performance management in healthcare: performance indicator development, task uncertainty, and types of performance indicators.

    PubMed

    van der Geer, Eric; van Tuijl, Harrie F J M; Rutte, Christel G

    2009-11-01

    In healthcare, performance indicators are increasingly used to measure and control quality and efficiency of care-providing teams. This article demonstrates that when controllability is emphasized during indicator development, the level of task uncertainty influences the type of resulting performance indicators. We report findings from a field study in a medical rehabilitation centre in The Netherlands, where four low task uncertain teams ('hand trauma', 'heart failure', 'amputation', 'chronic pain'), and four high task uncertain teams ('children with developmental coordination disorders (DCD)', 'parkinson's disease', 'young children (0-4 years) with developmental disorders', and 'acquired brain injuries') participated in the development of performance indicators using the Productivity Measurement and Enhancement System (ProMES) method. Results show that teams higher on task uncertainty developed relatively more process indicators compared to outcome indicators, whereas the reverse was true for teams lower on task uncertainty. Additionally, process indicators developed by high task uncertain teams were more of a problem solving nature than process indicators developed by low task uncertain teams, which had a more procedural character. The study expands existing knowledge by providing a framework which explicates the task processes to be executed under different levels of task uncertainty, and in line with that appropriate performance indicators for healthcare teams.

  3. [The effect of reading tasks on learning from multiple texts].

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Keiichi

    2014-06-01

    This study examined the effect of reading tasks on the integration of content and source information from multiple texts. Undergraduate students (N = 102) read five newspaper articles about a fictitious incident in either a summarization task condition or an evaluation task condition. Then, they performed an integration test and a source choice test, which assessed their understanding of a situation described in the texts and memory for the sources of text information. The results indicated that the summarization and evaluation task groups were not significantly different in situational understanding. However, the summarization task group significantly surpassed the evaluation task group for source memory. No significant correlation between the situational understanding and the source memory was found for the summarization group, whereas a significant positive correlation was found for the evaluation group. The results are discussed in terms of the documents model framework.

  4. 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.

  5. Social learning of an associative foraging task in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Thinking About a Task Is Associated with Increased Connectivity in Regions Activated by Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Michael D; Robertson, Edwin M; Manoach, Dara S; Stickgold, Robert

    2016-03-01

    We investigated whether functional neuroimaging of quiet "rest" can reveal the neural correlates of conscious thought. Using resting-state functional MRI, we measured functional connectivity during a resting scan that immediately followed performance of a finger tapping motor sequence task. Self-reports of the amount of time spent thinking about the task during the resting scan correlated with connectivity between regions of the motor network activated during task performance. Thus, thinking about a task is associated with coordinated activity in brain regions responsible for that task's performance. More generally, this study demonstrates the feasibility of using the combination of functional connectivity MRI and self-reports to examine the neural correlates of thought.

  7. 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…

  8. Thinking about the weather: How display salience and knowledge affect performance in a graphic inference task.

    PubMed

    Hegarty, Mary; Canham, Matt S; Fabrikant, Sara I

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments examined how bottom-up and top-down processes interact when people view and make inferences from complex visual displays (weather maps). Bottom-up effects of display design were investigated by manipulating the relative visual salience of task-relevant and task-irrelevant information across different maps. Top-down effects of domain knowledge were investigated by examining performance and eye fixations before and after participants learned relevant meteorological principles. Map design and knowledge interacted such that salience had no effect on performance before participants learned the meteorological principles; however, after learning, participants were more accurate if they viewed maps that made task-relevant information more visually salient. Effects of display design on task performance were somewhat dissociated from effects of display design on eye fixations. The results support a model in which eye fixations are directed primarily by top-down factors (task and domain knowledge). They suggest that good display design facilitates performance not just by guiding where viewers look in a complex display but also by facilitating processing of the visual features that represent task-relevant information at a given display location. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. The curvilinear relationship between state neuroticism and momentary task performance.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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,…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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,…

  17. Detection of Auditory Signals in Quiet and Noisy Backgrounds while Performing a Visuo-spatial Task

    PubMed Central

    Rawool, Vishakha W.

    2016-01-01

    Context: The ability to detect important auditory signals while performing visual tasks may be further compounded by background chatter. Thus, it is important to know how task performance may interact with background chatter to hinder signal detection. Aim: To examine any interactive effects of speech spectrum noise and task performance on the ability to detect signals. Settings and Design: The setting was a sound-treated booth. A repeated measures design was used. Materials and Methods: Auditory thresholds of 20 normal adults were determined at 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kHz in the following conditions presented in a random order: (1) quiet with attention; (2) quiet with a visuo-spatial task or puzzle (distraction); (3) noise with attention and (4) noise with task. Statistical Analysis: Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) with three repeated factors (quiet versus noise, visuo-spatial task versus no task, signal frequency). Results: MANOVA revealed significant main effects for noise and signal frequency and significant noise–frequency and task–frequency interactions. Distraction caused by performing the task worsened the thresholds for tones presented at the beginning of the experiment and had no effect on tones presented in the middle. At the end of the experiment, thresholds (4 kHz) were better while performing the task than those obtained without performing the task. These effects were similar across the quiet and noise conditions. Conclusion: Detection of auditory signals is difficult at the beginning of a distracting visuo-spatial task but over time, task learning and auditory training effects can nullify the effect of distraction and may improve detection of high frequency sounds. PMID:27991458

  18. Effect of Redundant Haptic Information on Task Performance during Visuo-Tactile Task Interruption and Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Hee-Seung; Baek, Jongsoo; Seo, Jiwon

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed that interruption induces disruptive influences on the performance of cognitive tasks. While much research has focused on the use of multimodal channels to reduce the cost of interruption, few studies have utilized haptic information as more than an associative cue. In the present study, we utilized a multimodal task interruption scenario involving the simultaneous presentation of visual information and haptic stimuli in order to investigate how the combined stimuli affect performance on the primary task (cost of interruption). Participants were asked to perform a two-back visuo-tactile task, in which visual and haptic stimuli were presented simultaneously, which was interrupted by a secondary task that also utilized visual and haptic stimuli. Four experimental conditions were evaluated: (1) paired information (visual stimulus + paired haptic stimulus) with interruption; (2) paired information without interruption; (3) non-paired information (visual stimulus + non-paired haptic stimulus) with interruption; and (4) non-paired information without interruption. Our findings indicate that, within a visuo-tactile task environment, redundant haptic information may not only increase accuracy on the primary task but also reduce the cost of interruption in terms of accuracy. These results suggest a new way of understanding the task recovery process within a multimodal environment. PMID:28008321

  19. Effect of Redundant Haptic Information on Task Performance during Visuo-Tactile Task Interruption and Recovery.

    PubMed

    Moon, Hee-Seung; Baek, Jongsoo; Seo, Jiwon

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed that interruption induces disruptive influences on the performance of cognitive tasks. While much research has focused on the use of multimodal channels to reduce the cost of interruption, few studies have utilized haptic information as more than an associative cue. In the present study, we utilized a multimodal task interruption scenario involving the simultaneous presentation of visual information and haptic stimuli in order to investigate how the combined stimuli affect performance on the primary task (cost of interruption). Participants were asked to perform a two-back visuo-tactile task, in which visual and haptic stimuli were presented simultaneously, which was interrupted by a secondary task that also utilized visual and haptic stimuli. Four experimental conditions were evaluated: (1) paired information (visual stimulus + paired haptic stimulus) with interruption; (2) paired information without interruption; (3) non-paired information (visual stimulus + non-paired haptic stimulus) with interruption; and (4) non-paired information without interruption. Our findings indicate that, within a visuo-tactile task environment, redundant haptic information may not only increase accuracy on the primary task but also reduce the cost of interruption in terms of accuracy. These results suggest a new way of understanding the task recovery process within a multimodal environment.

  20. Automation, task difficulty, and aircrew performance.

    PubMed

    Bowers, C; Thornton, C; Braun, C; Morgan, B B; Salas, E

    1998-01-01

    The effects of an automated system on team processes and performance were assessed in a laboratory simulation. Two-person crews were required to fly a complex emergency-response scenario under conditions of low and high workload. These flights were completed with or without the aid of an autopilot. The results indicated that the autopilot was effective in reducing subjective workload. However, the automation was associated with improved performance on only 1 of 4 performance measures. Furthermore, it was observed that problem-solving performance was worse in the autopilot condition during the high-workload flights. Investigation of crew process data indicated that workload savings afforded by the autopilot might have been invested in more explicit coordination. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for military aviators' performance, system design, and team training.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Karnik, Indraneel; Gerlai, Robert

    2012-08-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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;…

  8. Job Task Systems Management: A Performance Technology Success Story.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeWeaver, Mary J.; Huettner, Charles H.

    1988-01-01

    Description of a management strategy for assessing performance goals called Job Task Systems Management (JTSM) focuses on a study of inspector jobs at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The adaptation of business planning strategies to the government sector is discussed, and a job and task analysis is described. (LRW)

  9. The Factor Structure of Test Task Characteristics and Examinee Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Nathan T.

    2006-01-01

    The present study focuses on the task characteristics of reading passages and key sentences in a test of second language reading. Using a new methodological approach to describe variation in test task characteristics and explore how differences in these characteristics might relate to examinee performance, it posed the two following research…

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of a Coactor's Focus of Attention on Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bockler, Anne; Knoblich, Gunther; Sebanz, Natalie

    2012-01-01

    Coactors take into account certain aspects of each other's tasks even when this is not required to perform their own task. The present experiments investigated whether the way a coactor allocates attention affects one's own attentional relation to stimuli that are attended jointly (Experiment 1), individually (Experiment 2), or in parallel…

  12. Learners' Performance in Doing Task with and without Teacher's Presence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rahimpour, Massoud; Zakeri, Elham

    2011-01-01

    Recently task-based language teaching has attracted many researchers', testers' and syllabus designers' attention and consequently a lot of studies are carried out in this field. This study was conducted in the task-based realm too. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of teacher's presence on learners' performance in doing…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Semantics boosts syntax in artificial grammar learning tasks with recursion.

    PubMed

    Fedor, Anna; Varga, Máté; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2012-05-01

    Center-embedded recursion (CER) in natural language is exemplified by sentences such as "The malt that the rat ate lay in the house." Parsing center-embedded structures is in the focus of attention because this could be one of the cognitive capacities that make humans distinct from all other animals. The ability to parse CER is usually tested by means of artificial grammar learning (AGL) tasks, during which participants have to infer the rule from a set of artificial sentences. One of the surprising results of previous AGL experiments is that learning CER is not as easy as had been thought. We hypothesized that because artificial sentences lack semantic content, semantics could help humans learn the syntax of center-embedded sentences. To test this, we composed sentences from 4 vocabularies of different degrees of semantic content due to 3 factors (familiarity, meaning of words, and semantic relationship between words). According to our results, these factors have no effect one by one but they make learning significantly faster when combined. This leads to the assumption that there were different mechanisms at work when CER was parsed in natural and in artificial languages. This finding questions the suitability of AGL tasks with artificial vocabularies for studying the learning and processing of linguistic CER.

  16. Learning an Operant Conditioning Task Differentially Induces Gliogenesis in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Neurogenesis in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Rapanelli, Maximiliano; Frick, Luciana Romina; Zanutto, Bonifacio Silvano

    2011-01-01

    Circuit modification associated with learning and memory involves multiple events, including the addition and remotion of newborn cells trough adulthood. Adult neurogenesis and gliogenesis were mainly described in models of voluntary exercise, enriched environments, spatial learning and memory task; nevertheless, it is unknown whether it is a common mechanism among different learning paradigms, like reward dependent tasks. Therefore, we evaluated cell proliferation, neurogenesis, astrogliogenesis, survival and neuronal maturation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the hippocampus (HIPP) during learning an operant conditioning task. This was performed by using endogenous markers of cell proliferation, and a bromodeoxiuridine (BrdU) injection schedule in two different phases of learning. Learning an operant conditioning is divided in two phases: a first phase when animals were considered incompletely trained (IT, animals that were learning the task) when they performed between 50% and 65% of the responses, and a second phase when animals were considered trained (Tr, animals that completely learned the task) when they reached 100% of the responses with a latency time lower than 5 seconds. We found that learning an operant conditioning task promoted cell proliferation in both phases of learning in the mPFC and HIPP. Additionally, the results presented showed that astrogliogenesis was induced in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in both phases, however, the first phase promoted survival of these new born astrocytes. On the other hand, an increased number of new born immature neurons was observed in the HIPP only in the first phase of learning, whereas, decreased values were observed in the second phase. Finally, we found that neuronal maturation was induced only during the first phase. This study shows for the first time that learning a reward-dependent task, like the operant conditioning, promotes neurogenesis, astrogliogenesis, survival and neuronal

  17. Performativity and Enjoyable Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Humberstone, Barbara; Beard, Colin; Clayton, Ben

    2013-01-01

    This paper takes critical lenses to interpret what students find enjoyable in their learning in specific "subject" environments within the prevailing socio-economic climate in higher education. It considers student dispositions that emerged from dialogues with two groups of students attending a non-traditional university and taking…

  18. Impact of task design on task performance and injury risk: case study of a simulated drilling task.

    PubMed

    Alabdulkarim, Saad; Nussbaum, Maury A; Rashedi, Ehsan; Kim, Sunwook; Agnew, Michael; Gardner, Richard

    2016-08-31

    Existing evidence is limited regarding the influence of task design on performance and ergonomic risk, or the association between these two outcomes. In a controlled experiment, we constructed a mock fuselage to simulate a drilling task common in aircraft manufacturing, and examined the effect of three levels of workstation adjustability on performance as measured by productivity (e.g. fuselage completion time) and quality (e.g. fuselage defective holes), and ergonomic risk as quantified using two common methods (rapid upper limb assessment and the strain index). The primary finding was that both productivity and quality significantly improved with increased adjustability, yet this occurred only when that adjustability succeeded in reducing ergonomic risk. Supporting the inverse association between ergonomic risk and performance, the condition with highest adjustability created the lowest ergonomic risk and the best performance while there was not a substantial difference in ergonomic risk between the other two conditions, in which performance was also comparable. Practitioner Summary: Findings of this study supported a causal relationship between task design and both ergonomic risk and performance, and that ergonomic risk and performance are inversely associated. While future work is needed under more realistic conditions and a broader population, these results may be useful for task (re)design and to help cost-justify some ergonomic interventions.

  19. Role of human premotor dorsal region in learning a conditional visuomotor task.

    PubMed

    Parikh, Pranav J; Santello, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Conditional learning is an important component of our everyday activities (e.g., handling a phone or sorting work files) and requires identification of the arbitrary stimulus, accurate selection of the motor response, monitoring of the response, and storing in memory of the stimulus-response association for future recall. Learning this type of conditional visuomotor task appears to engage the premotor dorsal region (PMd). However, the extent to which PMd might be involved in specific or all processes of conditional learning is not well understood. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we demonstrate the role of human PMd in specific stages of learning of a novel conditional visuomotor task that required subjects to identify object center of mass using a color cue and to apply appropriate torque on the object at lift onset to minimize tilt. TMS over PMd, but not vertex, increased error in torque exerted on the object during the learning trials. Analyses of digit position and forces further revealed that the slowing in conditional visuomotor learning resulted from impaired monitoring of the object orientation during lift, rather than stimulus identification, thus compromising the ability to accurately reduce performance error across trials. Importantly, TMS over PMd did not alter production of torque based on the recall of learned color-torque associations. We conclude that the role of PMd for conditional learning is highly sensitive to the stage of learning visuomotor associations.

  20. Circadian Effects on Simple Components of Complex Task Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clegg, Benjamin A.; Wickens, Christopher D.; Vieane, Alex Z.; Gutzwiller, Robert S.; Sebok, Angelia L.

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to advance understanding and prediction of the impact of circadian rhythm on aspects of complex task performance during unexpected automation failures, and subsequent fault management. Participants trained on two tasks: a process control simulation, featuring automated support; and a multi-tasking platform. Participants then completed one task in a very early morning (circadian night) session, and the other during a late afternoon (circadian day) session. Small effects of time of day were seen on simple components of task performance, but impacts on more demanding components, such as those that occur following an automation failure, were muted relative to previous studies where circadian rhythm was compounded with sleep deprivation and fatigue. Circadian low participants engaged in compensatory strategies, rather than passively monitoring the automation. The findings and implications are discussed in the context of a model that includes the effects of sleep and fatigue factors.

  1. Cognitive correlates of hemispheric performance on dichotic tasks.

    PubMed

    Johnson, R C; Green, P; Ahern, F M; Cole, R E

    Older (age 50+) adults were tested twice on three measures of dichotic memory and once on three measures of cognition. Internal consistencies of all three measures generally were adequate. However, test-retest reliabilities, by ear of presentation, were comparatively low for the three dichotic measures. A measure of vocabulary (a left hemisphere dominant cognitive ability) was related to performance on most dichotic tasks. Years of education (an index of left hemisphere mediated crystallized intelligence) was related to performance on left but not right hemisphere function on two of three dichotic tasks. Performance on tests of spatial ability was related to performance on left ear/right hemisphere but not right ear/left hemisphere function on two of three dichotic memory tasks. Individual differences in accuracy of recall and recognition of stimuli presented via dichotic tasks to the right ear/left hemisphere and the left ear/right hemisphere appear to have different cognitive correlates. Right hemisphere performance on dichotic tasks generally shows a significant negative association with age, as did performance on right hemisphere dominant cognitive tasks. On the other hand, most measures of left hemisphere performance showed no decline associated with age.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Kevin P.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Uniform task level definitions for robotic system performance comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Charles; Tesar, Delbert

    1989-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  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. The cortisol awakening response is associated with performance of a serial sequence reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Hodyl, Nicolette A; Schneider, Luke; Vallence, Ann-Maree; Clow, Angela; Ridding, Michael C; Pitcher, Julia B

    2016-02-01

    There is emerging evidence of a relationship between the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. The aim of this study was to determine whether the CAR is associated with acquisition, retention and overnight consolidation or improvement of a serial sequence reaction time task. Salivary samples were collected at 0, 15, 30 and 45 min after awakening in 39 healthy adults on 2 consecutive days. The serial sequence reaction time task was repeated each afternoon. Participants completed the perceived stress scale and provided salivary samples prior to testing for cortisol assessment. While the magnitude of the CAR (Z score) was not associated with either baseline performance or the timed improvement during task acquisition of the serial sequence task, a positive correlation was observed with reaction times during the stable performance phase on day 1 (r=0.373, p=0.019). Residuals derived from the relationship between baseline and stable phase reaction times on day 1 were used as a surrogate for the degree of learning: these residuals were also correlated with the CAR mean increase on day 1 (r=0.357, p=0.048). Task performance on day 2 was not associated with the CAR obtained on this same day. No association was observed between the perceived stress score, cortisol at testing or task performance. These data indicate that a smaller CAR in healthy adults is associated with a greater degree of learning and faster performance of a serial sequence reaction time task. These results support recognition of the CAR as an important factor contributing to cognitive performance throughout the day.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  9. Habitual routines in task-performing groups

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  10. The Role of Tasks in Promoting Intercultural Learning in Electronic Learning Networks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muller-Hartmann, Andreas

    2000-01-01

    Examines the role of tasks in promoting intercultural learning in learning networks by looking at research from three e-mail projects between English as a foreign language (EFL) high school classes in Germany, and English and social studies classes in the United States and Canada. Joint reading of literary texts formed the basis for discussion on…

  11. 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…

  12. Social Environment Influences Performance in a Cognitive Task in Natural Variants of the Foraging Gene

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Celine; Burns, James G.; Sokolowski, Marla B.; Mery, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, natural genetic variation in the foraging gene affects the foraging behaviour of larval and adult flies, larval reward learning, adult visual learning, and adult aversive training tasks. Sitters (fors) are more sedentary and aggregate within food patches whereas rovers (forR) have greater movement within and between food patches, suggesting that these natural variants are likely to experience different social environments. We hypothesized that social context would differentially influence rover and sitter behaviour in a cognitive task. We measured adult rover and sitter performance in a classical olfactory training test in groups and alone. All flies were reared in groups, but fly training and testing were done alone and in groups. Sitters trained and tested in a group had significantly higher learning performances compared to sitters trained and tested alone. Rovers performed similarly when trained and tested alone and in a group. In other words, rovers learning ability is independent of group training and testing. This suggests that sitters may be more sensitive to the social context than rovers. These differences in learning performance can be altered by pharmacological manipulations of PKG activity levels, the foraging (for) gene's gene product. Learning and memory is also affected by the type of social interaction (being in a group of the same strain or in a group of a different strain) in rovers, but not in sitters. These results suggest that for mediates social learning and memory in D. melanogaster. PMID:24349049

  13. Task difficulty and the time scales of warm-up and motor learning.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Morina E; King, Adam C; Newell, Karl M

    2013-01-01

    The authors investigated the influence of task difficulty on warm-up decrement and learning across practice sessions. Three groups of participants practiced a star-tracing task over 3 consecutive days with different levels (e.g., easy, medium, hard) of task difficulty. The performance data were modeled with a 2 time scale function that represented the transient, fast time scale process of warm-up decrement superimposed with the persistent, slow time scale process of learning. Movement time decreased as a function of practice with the most difficult condition exhibiting the greatest reduction though still the longest movement time. The 2 time scale model provided a better fit to the data than an exponential or power law function and showed that the 3 difficulty conditions exhibited similar rates of change for the respective slow (i.e., learning) and fast (i.e., warm-up decrement) time scale processes that varied by an order of magnitude. Task difficulty was inversely related to the initial level of warm-up decrement but not the rate of performance recovery early in a practice session. The findings support the postulation that there is a persistent learned component to the initial conditions in subsequent practice sessions but that there is a common time scale of accommodating the transient process of warm-up decrement.

  14. Accommodation in Astigmatic Children During Visual Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Rate and Level of Learning as Functions af Information-Processing Characteristics of the Learner and the Task.

    PubMed

    Temple, I G; Williams, H G

    1977-09-01

    This study examined relationships among information-processing characteristics of the learner, dominant information-processing component of tasks, and the rate and level of mastery of selected motor tasks. Sixth grade children (n=60) were classified as high, moderate, or low visual and/or proprioceptive information processors and asked to learn a fine perceptual-motor task and one of two gross perceptual-motor tasks that differed in the relative importance of visual and proprioceptive components. When visual and proprioceptive demands of a task were equivalent, high information processors showed higher levels of task mastery than low information processors; when proprioceptive tasks demands were dominant, results were equivocal. If processing demands were high, high proprioceptive information processors exhibited higher performance than did low subjects. When demands were less, performance level was not significantly affected. Rate of task mastery was never affected by these factors.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longman, Richard W.; Chang, Chi-Kuang

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking

    PubMed Central

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y. C.

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on “what might have been”) has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining “what might be if…”) may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic. PMID:27942041

  2. Transfer of learning between unimanual and bimanual rhythmic movement coordination: transfer is a function of the task dynamic.

    PubMed

    Snapp-Childs, Winona; Wilson, Andrew D; Bingham, Geoffrey P

    2015-07-01

    Under certain conditions, learning can transfer from a trained task to an untrained version of that same task. However, it is as yet unclear what those certain conditions are or why learning transfers when it does. Coordinated rhythmic movement is a valuable model system for investigating transfer because we have a model of the underlying task dynamic that includes perceptual coupling between the limbs being coordinated. The model predicts that (1) coordinated rhythmic movements, both bimanual and unimanual, are organised with respect to relative motion information for relative phase in the coupling function, (2) unimanual is less stable than bimanual coordination because the coupling is unidirectional rather than bidirectional, and (3) learning a new coordination is primarily about learning to perceive and use the relevant information which, with equal perceptual improvement due to training, yields equal transfer of learning from bimanual to unimanual coordination and vice versa [but, given prediction (2), the resulting performance is also conditioned by the intrinsic stability of each task]. In the present study, two groups were trained to produce 90° either unimanually or bimanually, respectively, and tested in respect to learning (namely improved performance in the trained 90° coordination task and improved visual discrimination of 90°) and transfer of learning (to the other, untrained 90° coordination task). Both groups improved in the task condition in which they were trained and in their ability to visually discriminate 90°, and this learning transferred to the untrained condition. When scaled by the relative intrinsic stability of each task, transfer levels were found to be equal. The results are discussed in the context of the perception-action approach to learning and performance.

  3. Estimating endogenous changes in task performance from EEG

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Sensitivity of modified Biel-maze task, compared with Y-maze task, to measure spatial learning and memory deficits of ethanol teratogenicity in the guinea pig.

    PubMed

    Dobson, Christine C; Mongillo, Daniel L; Poklewska-Koziell, Margo; Winterborn, Andrew; Brien, James F; Reynolds, James N

    2012-07-15

    Ethanol consumption during pregnancy can produce a variety of teratogenic effects in offspring, termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The most debilitating and permanent consequence of chronic prenatal ethanol exposure (CPEE) is neurobehavioral teratogenicity, which often manifests as cognitive and behavioral impairments, including deficits in spatial learning and memory. This study tested the hypothesis that a modified dry-land version of the multi-choice Biel-maze task is more sensitive than the rewarded-alternation Y-maze task for the determination of spatial learning and memory deficits of ethanol teratogenicity. Pregnant guinea pigs received ethanol (4 g/kg maternal body weight/day) or isocaloric-sucrose/pair-feeding (control) for 5days/week throughout gestation. CPEE resulted in ethanol neurobehavioral teratogenicity in offspring, as demonstrated by increased spontaneous locomotor activity at postnatal day (PD) 10 and decreased brain weight at euthanasia (PD 150-200). On PD 21, offspring were randomly assigned to one of two tasks to assess spatial learning and memory performance: a dry-land version of the Biel maze or a rewarded-alternation Y-maze. Animals were habituated to the environment of their assigned task and performance of each CPEE or control offspring was measured. In the modified Biel maze, CPEE and control offspring were not different for percent completed trials or time to complete a trial. However, CPEE offspring made more errors (reversals and entering dead ends) in the Biel maze, demonstrating impaired spatial learning and memory. In contrast, CPEE offspring did not have impaired performance of the rewarded-alternation Y-maze task. Therefore, the modified dry-land version of the Biel-maze task, which measures cognitive performance using a complex multi-choice design, is more sensitive in demonstrating CPEE-induced spatial learning and memory deficits compared with a simple, rewarded-alternation Y-maze task.

  5. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

  7. Performance Pressure Enhances Speech Learning

    PubMed Central

    Maddox, W. Todd; Koslov, Seth; Yi, Han-Gyol; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2015-01-01

    Real-world speech learning often occurs in high pressure situations such as trying to communicate in a foreign country. However, the impact of pressure on speech learning success is largely unexplored. In this study, adult, native speakers of English learned non-native speech categories under pressure or no-pressure conditions. In the pressure conditions, participants were informed that they were paired with a (fictitious) partner, and that each had to independently exceed a performance criterion for both to receive a monetary bonus. They were then informed that their partner had exceeded the bonus and the fate of both bonuses depended upon the participant’s performance. Our results demonstrate that pressure significantly enhanced speech learning success. In addition, neurobiologically-inspired computational modeling revealed that the performance advantage was due to faster and more frequent use of procedural learning strategies. These results integrate two well-studied research domains and suggest a facilitatory role of motivational factors in speech learning performance that may not be captured in traditional training paradigms. PMID:28077883

  8. Social learning of migratory performance.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-30

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

  9. Social learning of migratory performance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Moore, Alex M; Ashcraft, Mark H

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-06

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Compensatory mechanisms underlie intact task-switching performance in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Jamadar, S; Michie, P; Karayanidis, F

    2010-04-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia tend to perform poorly on many measures of cognitive control. However, recent task-switching studies suggest that they show intact task-switching performance, despite the fact that the regions involved in task-switching are known to be structurally and functionally impaired in the disorder. Behavioral, event-related potential (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures were used to compare the temporal and spatial dynamics of task-switching performance in individuals with schizophrenia and controls. Consistent with previous studies, reaction time (RT) switch cost and its reduction with anticipatory preparation did not differ between groups. There were also no group differences on cue-locked ERP components associated with anticipatory preparation processes. However, both stimulus- and response-locked ERPs were significantly disrupted in schizophrenia, suggesting difficulty with task-set implementation. fMRI analyses indicated that individuals with schizophrenia showed hyperactivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex. RT-fMRI and ERP-fMRI associations suggested that individuals with schizophrenia employ compensatory mechanisms to overcome difficulties in task-set implementation and thereby achieve the same behavioral outcomes as controls.

  16. Place avoidance tasks as tools in the behavioral neuroscience of learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Stuchlík, A; Petrásek, T; Prokopová, I; Holubová, K; Hatalová, H; Valeš, K; Kubík, S; Dockery, C; Wesierska, M

    2013-01-01

    Spatial navigation comprises a widely-studied complex of animal behaviors. Its study offers many methodological advantages over other approaches, enabling assessment of a variety of experimental questions and the possibility to compare the results across different species. Spatial navigation in laboratory animals is often considered a model of higher human cognitive functions including declarative memory. Almost fifteen years ago, a novel dry-arena task for rodents was designed in our laboratory, originally named the place avoidance task, and later a modification of this approach was established and called active place avoidance task. It employs a continuously rotating arena, upon which animals are trained to avoid a stable sector defined according to room-frame coordinates. This review describes the development of the place avoidance tasks, evaluates the cognitive processes associated with performance and explores the application of place avoidance in the testing of spatial learning after neuropharmacological, lesion and other experimental manipulations.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiley, Llewellyn N.; Hahn, Clifford P.

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

  18. Task-Related and Social Regulation during Online Collaborative Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janssen, Jeroen; Erkens, Gijsbert; Kirschner, Paul A.; Kanselaar, Gellof

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated how students collaborate in a CSCL environment and how this collaboration affects group performance. To answer these questions, the collaborative process of 101 groups of secondary education students when working on a historical inquiry task was analyzed. Our analyses show that group members devote most of their efforts to…

  19. Learning to be lazy: exploiting redundancy in a novel task to minimize movement-related effort.

    PubMed

    Ranganathan, Rajiv; Adewuyi, Adenike; Mussa-Ivaldi, Ferdinando A

    2013-02-13

    A key issue in motor control is to understand how the motor system chooses a solution from the multiple solutions that exist to achieve any particular task goal. One hypothesis is that redundancy may be resolved by minimizing movement-related costs. However, testing this prediction in motor learning has been problematic in simple laboratory tasks, like reaching, because the motor system already has extensive prior knowledge about redundancy in these tasks. Here, we used a novel task where healthy human participants performed finger movements to guide a computer cursor to different targets on the screen. Through training, all participants learned to perform successful goal-directed movements. Our findings showed that subjects did not develop a single inverse map from target to hand posture. Instead, they learned to use distinct hand postures to get to a single target, using a strategy in which the final hand posture at the target depended on the starting hand posture. Furthermore, postures chosen also depended upon the information content of visual feedback, with precise visual feedback resulting in postures that minimized movement-related costs. These results reinforce the idea that redundancy is exploited to minimize movement-related costs and that feedback plays a critical role in modulating this ability to effectively take advantage of the abundance of degrees of freedom.

  20. Acquisition of a visual discrimination and reversal learning task by Labrador retrievers.

    PubMed

    Lazarowski, Lucia; Foster, Melanie L; Gruen, Margaret E; Sherman, Barbara L; Case, Beth C; Fish, Richard E; Milgram, Norton W; Dorman, David C

    2014-05-01

    Optimal cognitive ability is likely important for military working dogs (MWD) trained to detect explosives. An assessment of a dog's ability to rapidly learn discriminations might be useful in the MWD selection process. In this study, visual discrimination and reversal tasks were used to assess cognitive performance in Labrador retrievers selected for an explosives detection program using a modified version of the Toronto General Testing Apparatus (TGTA), a system developed for assessing performance in a battery of neuropsychological tests in canines. The results of the current study revealed that, as previously found with beagles tested using the TGTA, Labrador retrievers (N = 16) readily acquired both tasks and learned the discrimination task significantly faster than the reversal task. The present study confirmed that the modified TGTA system is suitable for cognitive evaluations in Labrador retriever MWDs and can be used to further explore effects of sex, phenotype, age, and other factors in relation to canine cognition and learning, and may provide an additional screening tool for MWD selection.

  1. Effects of instructed focus and task difficulty on concurrent walking and cognitive task performance in healthy young adults.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Valerie E; Janke, Alexis A; Shumway-Cook, Anne

    2010-11-01

    Dual task paradigms can be used to examine the interactions between cognition and the control of posture and gait. Measuring and interpreting changes in dual task performance is challenging, however, because many factors can influence performance. This study examined the effects of instructed focus and walking task difficulty, and the interaction between these factors, on dual task performance in healthy young adults. Fifteen participants performed a cognitive task while walking with either a usual base or a narrow base of support. Participants were instructed to focus on either the cognitive task or walking. Trade-offs both within and between tasks were assessed using the modified attention allocation index and the performance operating characteristic. Instructed focus influenced both the cognitive task and walking. Performance on the cognitive task was faster with instructions to focus on the cognitive task, and walking was faster (and more accurate in the narrow-base condition) with instructions to focus on walking. Walking task difficulty did not affect cognitive performance but did affect walking, with faster walking in the usual-base versus narrow-base condition. There was evidence of an interaction, with greater effects of instructed focus on the cognitive task during usual versus narrow-base walking. These results support the idea that the ability to flexibly shift attention allocation and task performance in response to instructions depends on the difficulty of the postural control task. The modified attention allocation index and the performance operating characteristic were instrumental in fully characterizing trade-offs between and within tasks in order to understand dual task performance changes. A clearer understanding of the factors that affect dual task walking and the interactions between these factors has important implications for the assessment of dual task performance in both clinical and research settings.

  2. Pavlovian to instrumental transfer of control in a human learning task.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ma, R; Kaber, D B

    2007-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Striatal lesions in the mouse disrupt acquisition and retention, but not implicit learning, in the SILT procedural motor learning task.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Simon P; Trueman, Rebecca C; Dunnett, Stephen B

    2007-12-14

    People with Huntington's disease (HD) have been found to have an implicit learning deficit whereby they are typically unable to detect repeated sequences embedded within randomly presented stimuli. The operant serial implicit learning task (SILT) was designed to probe animal models of HD for implicit learning deficits using the 9-hole box apparatus. The present study used mice to determine whether "early" striatal lesions would prevent SILT acquisition and to confirm previous findings that post-training "late lesions" would impair the retention of task performance. The SILT is a two-phase task whereby an initial stimulus light (S1) presentation was presented in one of five possible locations. A correct nose-poke response to the S1 resulted in this light being extinguished and a second, apparently random light presentation (S2). A correct nose-poke to S2 resulted in a reward. Within the apparently random stimulus light presentations, a predictable S1/S2 combination was embedded. Both lesion groups ("early" pre-acquisition and "late" post-acquisition lesions) demonstrated increased reaction times to S1, with the late-lesion group also recording reduced task accuracy when compared with the sham control group. The early-lesion group also demonstrated increased response latencies for the S2 stimuli during task acquisition, this was also true for task retention in the late-lesion group. No difference between the control group and early-lesion group was found for the S2 response accuracy during the acquisition period. After the lesioning of the late-lesion group, both lesion groups demonstrated reduced accuracy to the S2 stimuli as the control group improved their performance throughout the test period, while the accuracy of both lesion groups remained stable at a lower performance level. All three experimental groups were able to utilize the embedded predictable information. The present data suggest that the striatum is important for the acquisition and retention of

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  9. Lessons Learned from Deploying an Analytical Task Management Database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Effects of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Santiago; Zador, Anthony M

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Danna, Jeremy; Thon, Bernard

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Learning a nonmediated route for response selection in task switching.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Darryl W; Logan, Gordon D

    2015-08-01

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

  16. Effect of donepezil on reversal learning in a touch screen-based operant task.

    PubMed

    Chen, Woei-Shin; Wong, Fong-Kuan; Chapman, Paul F; Pemberton, Darrel J

    2009-10-01

    Impairments in reversal learning, which are commonly observed in patients with psychiatric disorders, remain difficult to treat. There is still a debate over the beneficial effects of cholinergic enhancers on improving behavioural flexibility. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, donepezil, on the performance of a rodent Probabilistic Reversal Learning task. Lister-Hooded rats were trained to retrieve food rewards by discriminating two computer-generated stimuli in an automated touch screen-based operant task. When a steady performance was achieved, the stimulus-reward rule was reversed. Each rat was given a 30-min training session daily for 24 days and donepezil was administered 30 min before each training session. Systemic treatment with donepezil had no effect on trial accuracy of the two-stimulus discrimination training. However, the donepezil group showed enhanced performance in the reversal learning. Our result showed that treatment with donepezil significantly enhanced Probabilistic Reversal Learning performance in healthy animals. On the basis of this finding, the inhibition of the central acetylcholinesterase would seem to be a potential therapeutic approach to treat behavioural inflexibility.

  17. Computer-mediated communication: task performance and satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Simon, Andrew F

    2006-06-01

    The author assessed satisfaction and performance on 3 tasks (idea generation, intellective, judgment) among 75 dyads (N = 150) working through 1 of 3 modes of communication (instant messaging, videoconferencing, face to face). The author based predictions on the Media Naturalness Theory (N. Kock, 2001, 2002) and on findings from past researchers (e.g., D. M. DeRosa, C. Smith, & D. A. Hantula, in press) of the interaction between tasks and media. The present author did not identify task performance differences, although satisfaction with the medium was lower among those dyads communicating through an instant-messaging system than among those interacting face to face or through videoconferencing. The findings support the Media Naturalness Theory. The author discussed them in relation to the participants' frequent use of instant messaging and their familiarity with new communication media.

  18. The effects of instructions on dual-task walking and cognitive task performance in people with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Valerie E; Eusterbrock, Alexis J; Shumway-Cook, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Gait impairments are prevalent among people with Parkinson's disease (PD). Instructions to focus on walking can improve walking in PD, but the use of such a cognitive strategy may be limited under dual-task walking conditions, when walking is performed simultaneously with concurrent cognitive or motor tasks. This study examined how dual-task performance of walking and a concurrent cognitive task was affected by instructions in people with PD compared to healthy young and older individuals. Dual-task walking and cognitive task performance was characterized under two sets of instructions as follows: (1) focus on walking and (2) focus on the cognitive task. People with PD and healthy adults walked faster when instructed to focus on walking. However, when focused on walking, people with PD and young adults demonstrated declines in the cognitive task. This suggests that dual-task performance is flexible and can be modified by instructions in people with PD, but walking improvements may come at a cost to cognitive task performance. The ability to modify dual-task performance in response to instructions or other task and environmental factors is critical to mobility in daily life. Future research should continue to examine factors that influence dual-task performance among people with PD.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gal, Eran; Nachmias, Rafi

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Buckhalt, Joseph A

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Dynamic Task Performance, Cohesion, and Communications in Human Groups.

    PubMed

    Giraldo, Luis Felipe; Passino, Kevin M

    2016-10-01

    In the study of the behavior of human groups, it has been observed that there is a strong interaction between the cohesiveness of the group, its performance when the group has to solve a task, and the patterns of communication between the members of the group. Developing mathematical and computational tools for the analysis and design of task-solving groups that are not only cohesive but also perform well is of importance in social sciences, organizational management, and engineering. In this paper, we model a human group as a dynamical system whose behavior is driven by a task optimization process and the interaction between subsystems that represent the members of the group interconnected according to a given communication network. These interactions are described as attractions and repulsions among members. We show that the dynamics characterized by the proposed mathematical model are qualitatively consistent with those observed in real-human groups, where the key aspect is that the attraction patterns in the group and the commitment to solve the task are not static but change over time. Through a theoretical analysis of the system we provide conditions on the parameters that allow the group to have cohesive behaviors, and Monte Carlo simulations are used to study group dynamics for different sets of parameters, communication topologies, and tasks to solve.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abrams, Alvin J.; Cook, Richard L.

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

  4. Performance on Nonlinguistic Visual Tasks by Children with Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Windsor, Jennifer; Kohnert, Kathryn; Loxtercamp, Amanda L.; Kan, Pui-Fong

    2008-01-01

    The performance of 8- to 13-year-old monolingual English-speaking children with language impairment (LI) on seven nonlinguistic tasks was compared with two groups of typically developing children, monolingual English-speaking children, and proficient Spanish-English sequential bilingual children. Group differences were apparent, with a key finding…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rauscher, Frances H.; And Others

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

  6. Analytic versus Holistic Scoring of Science Performance Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1998-01-01

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

  7. Computer-Aided Performance Training for Diagnostic and Procedural Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rigney, Joseph W.; And Others

    Two computer programs for computer-assisted performance training were developed to give the students the opportunity for concentrated practice of troubleshooting and procedural tasks in naval electronics. In contrast to the usual approach taken in computer-assisted instruction (CAI), these programs simulate essential aspects of devices and tasks…

  8. The Relation of Task to Performance in Testing Verbs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gradman, Harry L.; Hanania, Edith

    A study investigated the variability of language performance on different types of testing task, global versus discrete-focus. Three tests (cloze, multiple-choice, and fill-in-the-blank) were developed to measure learners' knowledge of five verb forms. The tests, containing corresponding items designed to elicit equivalent structures, were…

  9. Rules and Development in Triad Classification Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raijmakers, Maartje E. J.; Jansen, Brenda R. J.; van der Maas, Han L. J.

    2004-01-01

    Rule use in perceptual classification was investigated in adults and in 4- to 12-year-old children. Two studies of performance on triad classification tasks with large samples (N=226 and N=328) are presented to (a) contrast theoretical predictions from the holistic-to-analytic-shift theory (Smith & Kemler, 1977) and the differential-sensitivity…

  10. Attention Style and Performance in a Coincident Anticipation Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettleton, Brian

    1982-01-01

    Students were ranked in ability to anticipate the arrival of a relatively fast moving stimulus at a certain point along a trackway and compared with "narrow attentional focus," a measure of attentional style. An association between an individual's field independence and performance on an anticipation task was shown. (Author/CM)

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitmer, Melvin

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Effects of caffeine on performance of low intensity tasks.

    PubMed

    Scott, William H; Coyne, Karen M; Johnson, Monique M; Lausted, Christopher G; Sahota, Manjit; Johnson, Arthur T

    2002-04-01

    31 college age men and women who consume less than three caffeinated beverages per week agreed to participate as subjects in research on the effects of acute caffeine intake on low intensity task performance. All subjects performed two randomly administered test conditions: (1) caffeine (5 mg/kg) and (2) placebo on separate visits following an initial 1-hr. orientation visit. Subjects were administered the beverage 30 min. prior to performing 12 separate tests assessing basic mathematics, simple response, logical reasoning, hand-eye coordination, and spatial and assembly skills. The Spielberger State Anxiety test was administered immediately after consuming the test beverage and once again at posttest. Analysis showed that caffeine did not significantly affect performance on all tests with the exception of the peripheral awareness (hand-eye coordination) test on which performance was higher after ingesting caffeine. The placebo treatment produced no effect on state anxiety, which contrasted with a significant rise in anxiety after caffeine consumption. State anxiety values were significantly greater after caffeine treatment relative to the placebo at pretest, and this difference persisted at posttest. These results demonstrated that the dose of caffeine increased scores on state anxiety for individuals who consumed less than three caffeinated beverages weekly but had very little effect on performance of low intensity tasks, except for a hand-eye coordination test involving peripheral awareness. Perhaps longer continuous performance of more demanding tasks would be more sensitive.

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

    PubMed

    Buac, Milijana; Gross, Megan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Does Not Facilitate Dynamic Balance Task Learning in Healthy Old Adults.

    PubMed

    Kaminski, Elisabeth; Hoff, Maike; Rjosk, Viola; Steele, Christopher J; Gundlach, Christopher; Sehm, Bernhard; Villringer, Arno; Ragert, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    Older adults frequently experience a decrease in balance control that leads to increased numbers of falls, injuries and hospitalization. Therefore, evaluating older adults' ability to maintain balance and examining new approaches to counteract age-related decline in balance control is of great importance for fall prevention and healthy aging. Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have been shown to beneficially influence motor behavior and motor learning. In the present study, we investigated the influence of tDCS applied over the leg area of the primary motor cortex (M1) on balance task learning of healthy elderly in a dynamic balance task (DBT). In total, 30 older adults were enrolled in a cross-sectional, randomized design including two consecutive DBT training sessions. Only during the first DBT session, either 20 min of anodal tDCS (a-tDCS) or sham tDCS (s-tDCS) were applied and learning improvement was compared between the two groups. Our data showed that both groups successfully learned to perform the DBT on both training sessions. Interestingly, between-group analyses revealed no difference between the a-tDCS and the s-tDCS group regarding their level of task learning. These results indicate that the concurrent application of tDCS over M1 leg area did not elicit DBT learning enhancement in our study cohort. However, a regression analysis revealed that DBT performance can be predicted by the kinematic profile of the movement, a finding that may provide new insights for individualized approaches of treating balance and gait disorders.

  17. Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Does Not Facilitate Dynamic Balance Task Learning in Healthy Old Adults

    PubMed Central

    Kaminski, Elisabeth; Hoff, Maike; Rjosk, Viola; Steele, Christopher J.; Gundlach, Christopher; Sehm, Bernhard; Villringer, Arno; Ragert, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    Older adults frequently experience a decrease in balance control that leads to increased numbers of falls, injuries and hospitalization. Therefore, evaluating older adults’ ability to maintain balance and examining new approaches to counteract age-related decline in balance control is of great importance for fall prevention and healthy aging. Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have been shown to beneficially influence motor behavior and motor learning. In the present study, we investigated the influence of tDCS applied over the leg area of the primary motor cortex (M1) on balance task learning of healthy elderly in a dynamic balance task (DBT). In total, 30 older adults were enrolled in a cross-sectional, randomized design including two consecutive DBT training sessions. Only during the first DBT session, either 20 min of anodal tDCS (a-tDCS) or sham tDCS (s-tDCS) were applied and learning improvement was compared between the two groups. Our data showed that both groups successfully learned to perform the DBT on both training sessions. Interestingly, between-group analyses revealed no difference between the a-tDCS and the s-tDCS group regarding their level of task learning. These results indicate that the concurrent application of tDCS over M1 leg area did not elicit DBT learning enhancement in our study cohort. However, a regression analysis revealed that DBT performance can be predicted by the kinematic profile of the movement, a finding that may provide new insights for individualized approaches of treating balance and gait disorders. PMID:28197085

  18. Does complexity matter? Meta-analysis of learner performance in artificial grammar tasks.

    PubMed

    Schiff, Rachel; Katan, Pesia

    2014-01-01

    Complexity has been shown to affect performance on artificial grammar learning (AGL) tasks (categorization of test items as grammatical/ungrammatical according to the implicitly trained grammar rules). However, previously published AGL experiments did not utilize consistent measures to investigate the comprehensive effect of grammar complexity on task performance. The present study focused on computerizing Bollt and Jones's (2000) technique of calculating topological entropy (TE), a quantitative measure of AGL charts' complexity, with the aim of examining associations between grammar systems' TE and learners' AGL task performance. We surveyed the literature and identified 56 previous AGL experiments based on 10 different grammars that met the sampling criteria. Using the automated matrix-lift-action method, we assigned a TE value for each of these 10 previously used AGL systems and examined its correlation with learners' task performance. The meta-regression analysis showed a significant correlation, demonstrating that the complexity effect transcended the different settings and conditions in which the categorization task was performed. The results reinforced the importance of using this new automated tool to uniformly measure grammar systems' complexity when experimenting with and evaluating the findings of AGL studies.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Pat; Lorenzo, Francisco

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Aging affects motor skill learning when the task requires inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Brosseau, Julie; Potvin, Marie-Julie; Rouleau, Isabelle

    2007-01-01

    Few studies have examined the influence of aging on motor skill learning (MSL) tasks involving different skills and conditions. Two tasks, each including two different conditions (repeated and nonrepeated), were used: (a) the Mirror Tracing task, requiring the inhibition of an overlearned response and the learning of a new visuomotor association, and (b) the Pursuit Tracking task, mainly requiring the processing of visuospatial stimuli. We hypothesized that older participants would benefit as much as younger participants from the stimuli repetition and that they would exhibit a slower learning rate exclusively on the Mirror Tracing task. As expected, older and younger participants' MSL were not differentially affected by task conditions. They also showed a similar learning rate on the Pursuit Tracking task and a subgroup of older participants exhibited MSL difficulties on the Mirror Tracing task. Problems in the inhibitory control of competing motor memories could explain these age-related MSL difficulties.

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

    PubMed Central

    Macedonia, Manuela; Mueller, Karsten

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Hippocampal SWR Activity Predicts Correct Decisions during the Initial Learning of an Alternation Task

    PubMed Central

    Singer, Annabelle C.; Carr, Margaret F.; Karlsson, Mattias P.; Frank, Loren M.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY The hippocampus frequently replays memories of past experiences during sharp-wave ripple (SWR) events. These events can represent spatial trajectories extending from the animal’s current location to distant locations, suggesting a role in the evaluation of upcoming choices. While SWRs have been linked to learning and memory, the specific role of awake replay remains unclear. Here we show that there is greater coordinated neural activity during SWRs preceding correct, as compared to incorrect, trials in a spatial alternation task. As a result, the proportion of cell pairs coactive during SWRs was predictive of subsequent correct or incorrect responses on a trial-by-trial basis. This effect was seen specifically during early learning, when the hippocampus is essential for task performance. SWR activity preceding correct trials represented multiple trajectories that included both correct and incorrect options. These results suggest that reactivation during awake SWRs contributes to the evaluation of possible choices during memory-guided decision making. PMID:23522050

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonnis, Dorothy Ann

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

  7. Integration of Teaching Processes and Learning Assessment in the Prefrontal Cortex during a Video Game Teaching-learning Task.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Naoyuki; Mori, Takayuki; Suzukamo, Yoshimi; Izumi, Shin-Ichi

    2016-01-01

    Human teaching is a social interaction that supports reciprocal and dynamical feedback between the teacher and the student. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a region of particular interest due to its demonstrated role in social interaction. In the present study, we evaluated the PFC activity simultaneously in two individuals playing the role of a teacher and student in a video game teaching-learning task. For that, we used two wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) devices in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive interactions between teachers and students. Fifteen teacher-student pairs in total (N = 30) participated in this study. Each teacher was instructed to teach the video game to their student partner, without speaking. The PFC activity was simultaneously evaluated in both participants using a wearable 16-channel NIRS system during the video game teaching-learning task. Two sessions, each including a triplet of a 30-s teaching-learning task, were performed in order to evaluate changes in PFC activity after advancement of teaching-learning state. Changes in the teachers' left PFC activity between the first and second session positively correlated with those observed in students (r = 0.694, p = 0.004). Moreover, among teachers, multiple regression analysis revealed a correlation between the left PFC activity and the assessment gap between one's own teaching and the student's understanding (β = 0.649, p = 0.009). Activity in the left PFC changed synchronously in both teachers and students after advancement of the teaching-learning state. The left PFC of teachers may be involved in integrating information regarding one's own teaching process and the student's learning state. The present observations indicate that simultaneous recording and analysis of brain activity data during teacher-student interactions may be useful in the field of educational neuroscience.

  8. Integration of Teaching Processes and Learning Assessment in the Prefrontal Cortex during a Video Game Teaching–learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Naoyuki; Mori, Takayuki; Suzukamo, Yoshimi; Izumi, Shin-Ichi

    2017-01-01

    Human teaching is a social interaction that supports reciprocal and dynamical feedback between the teacher and the student. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a region of particular interest due to its demonstrated role in social interaction. In the present study, we evaluated the PFC activity simultaneously in two individuals playing the role of a teacher and student in a video game teaching–learning task. For that, we used two wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) devices in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive interactions between teachers and students. Fifteen teacher–student pairs in total (N = 30) participated in this study. Each teacher was instructed to teach the video game to their student partner, without speaking. The PFC activity was simultaneously evaluated in both participants using a wearable 16-channel NIRS system during the video game teaching–learning task. Two sessions, each including a triplet of a 30-s teaching–learning task, were performed in order to evaluate changes in PFC activity after advancement of teaching–learning state. Changes in the teachers’ left PFC activity between the first and second session positively correlated with those observed in students (r = 0.694, p = 0.004). Moreover, among teachers, multiple regression analysis revealed a correlation between the left PFC activity and the assessment gap between one’s own teaching and the student’s understanding (β = 0.649, p = 0.009). Activity in the left PFC changed synchronously in both teachers and students after advancement of the teaching–learning state. The left PFC of teachers may be involved in integrating information regarding one’s own teaching process and the student’s learning state. The present observations indicate that simultaneous recording and analysis of brain activity data during teacher–student interactions may be useful in the field of educational neuroscience. PMID:28119650

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

    PubMed Central

    Kaspar, Kai; Vennekötter, Alina

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krall, Joseph; Menzies, Tim; Davies, Misty

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  12. Acquisition and performance of delayed-response tasks: a neural network model.

    PubMed

    Gisiger, Thomas; Kerszberg, Michel; Changeux, Jean-Pierre

    2005-05-01

    We study the time evolution of a neural network model as it learns the three stages of a visual delayed-matching-to-sample (DMS) task: identification of the sample, retention during delay, and matching of sample and target, ignoring distractors. We introduce a neurobiologically plausible, uncommitted architecture, comprising an "executive" subnetwork gating connections to and from a "working" layer. The network learns DMS by reinforcement: reward-dependent synaptic plasticity generates task-dependent behaviour. During learning, working layer cells exhibit stimulus specialization and increased tuning of their firing. The emergence of top-down activity is observed, reproducing aspects of prefrontal cortex control on activity in the visual areas of inferior temporal cortex. We observe a lability of neural systems during learning, with a tendency to encode spurious associations. Executive areas are instrumental during learning to prevent such associations; they are also fundamental for the "mature" network to keep passing DMS. In the mature model, the working layer functions as a short-term memory. The mature system is remarkably robust against cell damage and its performance degrades gracefully as damage increases. The model underlines that executive systems, which regulate the flow of information between working memory and sensory areas, are required for passing tests such as DMS. At the behavioural level, the model makes testable predictions about the errors expected from subjects learning the DMS.

  13. Influence of haptic guidance in learning a novel visuomotor task.

    PubMed

    van Asseldonk, Edwin H F; Wessels, Martijn; Stienen, Arno H A; van der Helm, Frans C T; van der Kooij, Herman

    2009-01-01

    In (re)learning of movements, haptic guidance can be used to direct the needed adaptations in motor control. Haptic guidance influences the main driving factors of motor adaptation, execution error, and control effort in different ways. Human-control effort is dissipated in the interactions that occur during haptic guidance. Minimizing the control effort would reduce the interaction forces and result in adaptation. However, guidance also decreases the magnitude of the execution errors, which could inhibit motor adaptation. The aim of this study was to assess how different types of haptic guidance affect kinematic adaptation in a novel visuomotor task. Five groups of subjects adapted to a reaching task in which the visual representation of the hand was rotated 30 degrees. Each group was guided by a different force field. The force fields differed in magnitude and direction in order to discern the adaptation based on execution errors and control effort. The results demonstrated that the execution error did indeed play a key role in adaptation. The more the guiding forces restricted the occurrence of execution errors, the smaller the amount and rate of adaptation. However, the force field that enlarged the execution errors did not result in an increased rate of adaptation. The presence of a small amount of adaptation in the groups who did not experience execution errors during training suggested that adaptation could be driven on a much slower rate and on the basis of minimization of control effort as was evidenced by a gradual decrease of the interaction forces during training. Remarkably, also in the group in which the subjects were passive and completely guided, a small but significant adaptation occurred. The conclusion is that both minimization of execution errors and control effort drives kinematic adaptation in a novel visuomotor task, but the latter at a much slower rate.

  14. Is dual-task performance necessarily impaired in space?

    PubMed

    Fowler, B; Bock, O; Comfort, D

    2000-01-01

    Recent single-subject experiments in space have reported impaired dual-task performance that could result from either a direct effect of microgravity on the central nervous system or from the multistressor environment. We sought to distinguish between these hypotheses using 6 astronauts in the 16-day NASA Neurolab mission, testing them at intervals with a dual task consisting of primary pursuit tracking without vision of the hand and secondary reaction time (RT). The participants were highly trained, instructed to maintain a fixed attention strategy, and restrained in the apparatus. The results showed that absolute and variable tracking error, as well as correct RT and the standard deviation of RT, were unimpaired. However, RT errors became more variable, an effect attributed to a decrease in strategic control. We conclude that the impairments observed in previous dual-task space experiments can be attributed to stressors rather than to microgravity and that performance deficits are probably not a necessary concomitant of space flight if attention is paid to task design and astronaut training.

  15. Cue Utilization and Cognitive Load in Novel Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Comparison of Task Repetition and Task Sequencing in Terms of Their Effects on L2 Students' Oral Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Richard Cheng Ching

    2017-01-01

    Task-based teaching is a popular topic in education field, since there is an increasing numbers of learners trying to learn their second language. However, by using the traditional drill practice, learners can only learn the rules, rather than using the language in the reality. Therefore some scholars have come up with a more communicative and…

  20. Cue use by foals (Equus caballus) in a discrimination learning task.

    PubMed

    Hothersall, B; Gale, E V; Harris, P; Nicol, C J

    2010-01-01

    Discrimination learning studies suggest that horses learn more easily using spatial than visible object-specific (OS) cues. However, spatial cues have generally confounded intra-array, distal and/or egocentric spatial information. It is also unclear whether conflicting cues compete for association or are redundantly encoded, and furthermore, the influence of prior experiences or training has not been quantified so far. We examined the effect of cue modality on unweaned foals' performance in a discrimination learning task. After a pilot study confirmed that horses could perform the required OS cue discrimination, nine foals learnt to find food in one of three covered buckets, in any of four positions within a test arena. In Stage 1 the rewarded bucket was signified both by OS cues (pattern) and by relative spatial cues (position). On reaching criterion, cues were separated and foals had to ignore the inappropriate cue (Stage 2). Foals assigned to follow spatial cues (n = 5) completed Stage 2 faster than foals for whom OS cues remained consistent (n = 4). Spatial group foals all reached criterion without delay; no foal in the OS group reached criterion within the testing period. OS group foals initially persisted in responding to the previously correct position, adopting spatially-based strategies when this proved unsuccessful. The findings show for the first time that, even in the absence of distal spatial information, intra-array spatial cues were more salient than OS cues for foals in a food-finding task and learning appeared rather inflexible.

  1. The Anatomy of Action Systems: Task Differentiation When Learning an EMG Controlled Game.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, Ludger; Heerschop, Anniek; van der Sluis, Corry K; Bongers, Raoul M

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to determine to what extent the task for an action system in its initial development relies on functional and anatomical components. Fifty-two able-bodied participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups or to a control group. As a pre- and post-test all groups performed a computer game with the same goal and using the same musculature. One experimental group also trained to perform this test, while the other two experimental groups learned to perform a game that differed either in its goal or in the musculature used. The observed change in accuracy indicated that retaining the goal of the task or the musculature used equally increased transfer performance relative to controls. Conversely, changing either the goal or the musculature equally decreased transfer relative to training the test. These results suggest that in the initial development of an action system, the task to which the system pertains is not specified solely by either the goal of the task or the anatomical structures involved. It is suggested that functional specificity and anatomical dependence might equally be outcomes of continuously differentiating activity.

  2. The Anatomy of Action Systems: Task Differentiation When Learning an EMG Controlled Game

    PubMed Central

    van Dijk, Ludger; Heerschop, Anniek; van der Sluis, Corry K.; Bongers, Raoul M.

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to determine to what extent the task for an action system in its initial development relies on functional and anatomical components. Fifty-two able-bodied participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups or to a control group. As a pre- and post-test all groups performed a computer game with the same goal and using the same musculature. One experimental group also trained to perform this test, while the other two experimental groups learned to perform a game that differed either in its goal or in the musculature used. The observed change in accuracy indicated that retaining the goal of the task or the musculature used equally increased transfer performance relative to controls. Conversely, changing either the goal or the musculature equally decreased transfer relative to training the test. These results suggest that in the initial development of an action system, the task to which the system pertains is not specified solely by either the goal of the task or the anatomical structures involved. It is suggested that functional specificity and anatomical dependence might equally be outcomes of continuously differentiating activity. PMID:28018278

  3. Effect of Color and Monochrome Versions of a Film on Incidental and Task Relevant Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chute, Alan G.

    1980-01-01

    This study found that color in a film helped fourth- and fifth-grade students of all ability levels learn incidental information, but affected learning of task-relevant information differently depending on ability level. (Author/JEG)

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

    PubMed

    Cussen, Victoria A; Mench, Joy A

    2014-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, C.L.

    1995-10-01

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

  6. Non-linguistic learning and aphasia: Evidence from a paired associate and feedback-based task

    PubMed Central

    Vallila-Rohter, Sofia; Kiran, Swathi

    2013-01-01

    Though aphasia is primarily characterized by impairments in the comprehension and/or expression of language, research has shown that patients with aphasia also show deficits in cognitive-linguistic domains such as attention, executive function, concept knowledge and memory (Helm-Estabrooks, 2002 for review). Research in aphasia suggests that cognitive impairments can impact the online construction of language, new verbal learning, and transactional success (Freedman & Martin, 2001; Hula & McNeil, 2008; Ramsberger, 2005). In our research, we extend this hypothesis to suggest that general cognitive deficits influence progress with therapy. The aim of our study is to explore learning, a cognitive process that is integral to relearning language, yet underexplored in the field of aphasia rehabilitation. We examine non-linguistic category learning in patients with aphasia (n=19) and in healthy controls (n=12), comparing feedback and non-feedback based instruction. Participants complete two computer-based learning tasks that require them to categorize novel animals based on the percentage of features shared with one of two prototypes. As hypothesized, healthy controls showed successful category learning following both methods of instruction. In contrast, only 60% of our patient population demonstrated successful non-linguistic category learning. Patient performance was not predictable by standardized measures of cognitive ability. Results suggest that general learning is affected in aphasia and is a unique, important factor to consider in the field of aphasia rehabilitation. PMID:23127795

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

    PubMed

    Zambrano-Vazquez, Laura; Allen, John J B

    2014-08-01

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

  8. CANTAB delayed matching to sample task performance in juvenile baboons.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Jesse S; Zürcher, Nicole R; Bartlett, Thad Q; Nathanielsz, Peter W; Nijland, Mark J

    2011-03-30

    This study reports the administration of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery system's delayed matching to sample (DMTS) task to juvenile baboons. Nine subjects (female=5, male=4) were trained with delay intervals ranging from 0 to 80s. Trial unique stimuli were utilized in combination with matching to sample, in contrast to non-matching to sample, to more accurately assess components of medial temporal lobe (hippocampal formation) mediated working memory. These parameters force subjects to rely on recognition for matching stimuli and overcome their innate tendency to choose novel stimuli (non-matching), thus increasing task difficulty. Testing with delays intervals of 0-2, 4, 8, and 16s revealed decreased percent correct responding as delay intervals increased. An effect of 1 vs. 3 distractor stimuli on accuracy was also noted. Increasing the number of distractors resulted in decreased observing response latencies. The increase in choice response latency seen with increasing delay interval was independent of number of distractor stimuli presented. There were no sex differences in task performance. Our laboratory is focused on understanding the functional consequences of suboptimal conditions during pregnancy and early postnatal life in offspring. The ability of juvenile baboons to perform the DMTS task demonstrates the utility of this non-human primate model in examining pre- and post-natal conditions that impact the development of working memory. Evaluation of causes and consequences of impaired working memory in a variety of human diseases will be assisted by the use of this task in nonhuman primate models of human health and disease.

  9. Effects of multitasking on operator performance using computational and auditory tasks.

    PubMed

    Fasanya, Bankole K

    2016-09-01

    This study investigated the effects of multiple cognitive tasks on human performance. Twenty-four students at North Carolina A&T State University participated in the study. The primary task was auditory signal change perception and the secondary task was a computational task. Results showed that participants' performance in a single task was statistically significantly different from their performance in combined tasks: (a) algebra problems (algebra problem primary and auditory perception secondary); (b) auditory perception tasks (auditory perception primary and algebra problems secondary); and (c) mean false-alarm score in auditory perception (auditory detection primary and algebra problems secondary). Using signal detection theory (SDT), participants' performance measured in terms of sensitivity was calculated as -0.54 for combined tasks (algebra problems the primary task) and -0.53 auditory perceptions the primary task. During auditory perception tasks alone, SDT was found to be 2.51. Performance was 83% in a single task compared to 17% when combined tasks.

  10. [Evaluation of mental workload of short-term memory task by secondary task performance and frontal midline theta rhythm].

    PubMed

    Nakashima, K; Sato, H

    1992-03-01

    The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the mental workload of short-term memory task by two objective measures, the secondary task performance and the frontal midline theta rhythm (Fm theta) of the electroencephalogram (EEG). First, to choose Fm theta appearance subjects EEGs were recorded for 18 male students during performing additional task. On Fm theta appearance subjects (8 males) a series of short-term memory task with changed number of memorable figures was imposed as the primary task, and tracking task as the secondary task. The task that presents seven numbers will be over the subjects' limits of short-term memory, and it was the threshold that the subjects' mental workload will be increased.

  11. An analysis of physiological signals as a measure of task engagement in a multi-limb-coordination motor-learning task.

    PubMed

    Murray, Spencer A; Goldfarb, Michael

    2015-01-01

    There is widespread agreement in the physical rehabilitation community that task engagement is essential to effective neuromuscular recovery. Despite this, there are no clear measures of such task engagement. This paper assesses the extent to which certain physiological measurements might provide a measure of task engagement. In previous studies, correlations between mental focus and certain physiological measurements have been observed in subjects performing tasks requiring mental effort. In this study, the authors analyzed whether these signals showed similar correlation when subjects performed a multi-limb-coordination motor-learning task. Subjects played a video game which required the use of both arms and one leg to play a simplified electronic drum set with varying difficulty. Heart rate (HR), skin conductance level (SCL), and facial electromyogram (EMG) were recorded while the subjects played. Analysis of the recordings showed statistically significant correlations relating task difficulty to SCL, HR and EMG amplitude in corrugator supercilii. No statistically significant correlation was observed between task difficulty and EMG in frontalis.

  12. Competitive Learning Neural Network Ensemble Weighted by Predicted Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ye, Qiang

    2010-01-01

    Ensemble approaches have been shown to enhance classification by combining the outputs from a set of voting classifiers. Diversity in error patterns among base classifiers promotes ensemble performance. Multi-task learning is an important characteristic for Neural Network classifiers. Introducing a secondary output unit that receives different…

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

    PubMed Central

    Malangré, Andreas; Blischke, Klaus

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Comparisons of population subgroups performance on a keyboard psychomotor task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stapleford, R. L.

    1973-01-01

    Response time and pass/fail data were obtained from 163 subjects performing a psychomotor task. The basic task comprised a random five digit number briefly displayed to the subject at the start of each trail, and the keyboard on which the subject was to enter the number as fast as he could accurately do so after the display was extinguished. Some tests were run with the addition of a secondary task which required the subject to respond to a displayed light appearing at a random time. Matched pairs of subjects were selected from the group to analyze the effects of age, sex, intelligence, prior keyboard skill, and drinking habits. There was little or no effect due to age or drinking habits. Differences in response time were: average IQ subjects faster than low IQ subjects by 0.5 to 0.6 sec; subjects with prior keyboard skill faster by 0.4 to 0.5 sec; and female subjects faster by 0.2 to 0.3 sec. These effects were generally insensitive to the presence of the secondary task.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kee, Ying Hwa; Liu, Yeou-Teh

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redford, Joshua S.

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Line bisection task performance and resting EEG alpha power.

    PubMed

    Ciçek, Metehan; Nalçaci, Erhan; Kalaycioglu, Canan

    2003-06-01

    Neurologically normal subjects generally err to the left of veridical center when performing a line bisection task, a phenomenon termed "pseudoneglect." We hypothesized that resting electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha oscillations may show relationships with attentional mechanisms and give some clues about the underlying mechanisms of pseudoneglect. We recorded resting EEGs of 41 subjects and tested them with a paper-pencil line bisection task. Our results showed that line bisection scores of men (n=18) were less biased and their performance was higher compared to those of women (n=20), but these differences only approached significance. The eyes open resting EEG alpha power of women was significantly and positively correlated with their line bisection performance. In general, significant relationships were related to the left hand performance when the lines were presented in the left hemispace. Greater resting alpha power was correlated with lower absolute bisection score or, in other words, higher bisection performance. Greater alpha power also correlated with diminished leftward bisection bias (or reduced pseudo-neglect). The resting EEG alpha of men was weakly associated with bisection performance. Results discussed in terms of Kinsbourne's activation-orientation theory and Basar's view on brain oscillations.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Musical training, bilingualism, and executive function: a closer look at task switching and dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician) were matched on age and socioeconomic status and administered task switching and dual-task paradigms. Results demonstrated reduced global and local switch costs in musicians compared with non-musicians, suggesting that musical training can contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On dual-task performance, musicians also outperformed non-musicians. There was neither a cognitive advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, nor an interaction between music and language to suggest additive effects of both types of experience. These findings demonstrate that long-term musical training is associated with improvements in task switching and dual-task performance.

  20. Stress before extinction learning enhances and generalizes extinction memory in a predictive learning task.

    PubMed

    Meir Drexler, Shira; Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Wolf, Oliver T

    2017-04-08

    In extinction learning, the individual learns that a previously acquired association (e.g. between a threat and its predictor) is no longer valid. This learning is the principle underlying many cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic treatments, e.g. 'exposure therapy'. However, extinction is often highly-context dependent, leading to renewal (relapse of extinguished conditioned response following context change). We have previously shown that post-extinction stress leads to a more context-dependent extinction memory in a predictive learning task. Yet as stress prior to learning can impair the integration of contextual cues, here we aim to create a more generalized extinction memory by inducing stress prior to extinction. Forty-nine men and women learned the associations between stimuli and outcomes in a predictive learning task (day 1), extinguished them shortly after an exposure to a stress/control condition (day 2), and were tested for renewal (day 3). No group differences were seen in acquisition and extinction learning, and a renewal effect was present in both groups. However, the groups differed in the strength and context-dependency of the extinction memory. Compared to the control group, the stress group showed an overall reduced recovery of responding to the extinguished stimuli, in particular in the acquisition context. These results, together with our previous findings, demonstrate that the effects of stress exposure on extinction memory depend on its timing. While post-extinction stress makes the memory more context-bound, pre-extinction stress strengthens its consolidation for the acquisition context as well, making it potentially more resistant to relapse. These results have implications for the use of glucocorticoids as extinction-enhancers in exposure therapy.

  1. Perseveration on a reversal-learning task correlates with rates of self-directed behavior in nonhuman primates.

    PubMed

    Judge, Peter G; Evans, David W; Schroepfer, Kara K; Gross, Alyssa C

    2011-09-12

    In humans and several nonhuman animals, repetitive behavior is associated with deficits on executive function tasks involving response inhibition. We tested for this relationship in nonhuman primates by correlating rates of normative behavior to performance on a reversal-learning task in which animals were required to inhibit a previously learned rule. We focused on rates of self-directed behavior (scratch, autogroom, self touch and manipulation) because these responses are known indicators of arousal or anxiety in primates, however, we also examined rates of other categories of behavior (e.g., locomotion). Behavior rates were obtained from 14 animals representing three nonhuman primate species (Macaca silenus, Saimiri sciureus, Cebus apella) living in separate social groups. The same animals were tested on a reversal-learning task in which they were presented with a black and a grey square on a touch screen and were trained to touch the black square. Once animals learned to select the black square, reward contingencies were reversed and animals were rewarded for selecting the grey square. Performance on the reversal-learning task was positively correlated to self-directed behavior in that animals that exhibited higher rates of self-directed behavior required more trials to achieve reversal. Reversal learning was not correlated to rates of any other category of behavior. Results indicate that rates of behavior associated with anxiety and arousal provide an indicator of executive function in nonhuman primates. The relationship suggests continuity between nonhuman primates and humans in the link between executive functioning and repetitive behavior.

  2. Dynamic functional changes associated with cognitive skill learning of an adapted version of the Tower of London task.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, M H; Dagher, A; Aston, J A D; Doyon, J

    2003-11-01

    In this study, we used a modified version of the Tower of London (TOL) planning task, in conjunction with positron emission tomography, to examine the neural substrates mediating cognitive skill learning. Twelve healthy, right-handed participants solved a total of 90 different TOL problems. They were scanned on four occasions during the fast learning stage as well as in a condition designed to control for internally guided movements. Practice of the TOL task resulted in a significant decrease in planning, execution, and total time taken to solve the problems. Consistent with the results of previous studies, early performance of the TOL task was associated with increased blood flow activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal, orbitofrontal, and parietal cortices on the left, as well as in the caudate nucleus, cerebellum, and premotor cortex, bilaterally. Interestingly, however, activity in the left caudate nucleus was maintained from the beginning to the end of the learning process, suggesting that this structure plays a role in this type of cognitive skill learning. In addition, correlational analyses revealed that improved performance on the TOL task was associated with a significant decrease of activity in the medial orbitofrontal and frontopolar cortices over the course of learning, areas thought to be involved in decision making, guessing, and monitoring of feedback information. In sum, the results lend further support to the idea that the learning of cognitive skills requiring planning and working memory capacities is mediated through a fronto-striatal network.

  3. Proactive and retroactive transfer of middle age adults in a sequential motor learning task.

    PubMed

    Verneau, Marion; van der Kamp, John; Savelsbergh, Geert J P; de Looze, Michiel P

    2015-03-01

    We assessed the effects of aging in the transfer of motor learning in a sequential manual assembly task that is representative for real working conditions. On two different days, young (18-30 years) and middle-aged adults (50-65 years) practiced to build two products that consisted of the same six components but which had to be assembled in a partly different order. Assembly accuracy and movement time during tests, which were performed before and after the practice sessions, were compared to determine proactive and retroactive transfer. The results showed proactive facilitation (i.e., benefits from having learned the first product on learning the second one) in terms of an overall shortening of movement time in both age-groups. In addition, only the middle-aged adults were found to show sequence-specific proactive facilitation, in which the shortening of movement time was limited to components that had the same the order in the two products. Most likely, however, the sequence-specific transfer was an epiphenomenon of the comparatively low rate of learning among the middle-aged adults. The results, however, did reveal genuine differences between the groups for retroactive transfer (i.e., effects from learning the second product on performance of the first). Middle-aged adults tended to show more pronounced retroactive interference in terms of a general decrease in accuracy, while younger adults showed sequence-specific retroactive facilitation (i.e., shortening of movement times for components that had the same order in the two products), but only when they were fully accurate. Together this suggests that in the learning of sequential motor tasks the effects of age are more marked for retroactive transfer than for proactive transfer.

  4. Visual Motor and Perceptual Task Performance in Astigmatic Students.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Erin M; Twelker, J Daniel; Miller, Joseph M; Leonard-Green, Tina K; Mohan, Kathleen M; Davis, Amy L; Campus, Irene

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. To determine if spectacle corrected and uncorrected astigmats show reduced performance on visual motor and perceptual tasks. Methods. Third through 8th grade students were assigned to the low refractive error control group (astigmatism < 1.00 D, myopia < 0.75 D, hyperopia < 2.50 D, and anisometropia < 1.50 D) or bilateral astigmatism group (right and left eye ≥ 1.00 D) based on cycloplegic refraction. Students completed the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and Visual Perception (VMIp). Astigmats were randomly assigned to testing with/without correction and control group was tested uncorrected. Analyses compared VMI and VMIp scores for corrected and uncorrected astigmats to the control group. Results. The sample included 333 students (control group 170, astigmats tested with correction 75, and astigmats tested uncorrected 88). Mean VMI score in corrected astigmats did not differ from the control group (p = 0.829). Uncorrected astigmats had lower VMI scores than the control group (p = 0.038) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.007). Mean VMIp scores for uncorrected (p = 0.209) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.124) did not differ from the control group. Uncorrected astigmats had lower mean scores than the corrected astigmats (p = 0.003). Conclusions. Uncorrected astigmatism influences visual motor and perceptual task performance. Previously spectacle treated astigmats do not show developmental deficits on visual motor or perceptual tasks when tested with correction.

  5. Visual Motor and Perceptual Task Performance in Astigmatic Students

    PubMed Central

    Twelker, J. Daniel; Miller, Joseph M.; Mohan, Kathleen M.; Campus, Irene

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. To determine if spectacle corrected and uncorrected astigmats show reduced performance on visual motor and perceptual tasks. Methods. Third through 8th grade students were assigned to the low refractive error control group (astigmatism < 1.00 D, myopia < 0.75 D, hyperopia < 2.50 D, and anisometropia < 1.50 D) or bilateral astigmatism group (right and left eye ≥ 1.00 D) based on cycloplegic refraction. Students completed the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and Visual Perception (VMIp). Astigmats were randomly assigned to testing with/without correction and control group was tested uncorrected. Analyses compared VMI and VMIp scores for corrected and uncorrected astigmats to the control group. Results. The sample included 333 students (control group 170, astigmats tested with correction 75, and astigmats tested uncorrected 88). Mean VMI score in corrected astigmats did not differ from the control group (p = 0.829). Uncorrected astigmats had lower VMI scores than the control group (p = 0.038) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.007). Mean VMIp scores for uncorrected (p = 0.209) and corrected astigmats (p = 0.124) did not differ from the control group. Uncorrected astigmats had lower mean scores than the corrected astigmats (p = 0.003). Conclusions. Uncorrected astigmatism influences visual motor and perceptual task performance. Previously spectacle treated astigmats do not show developmental deficits on visual motor or perceptual tasks when tested with correction. PMID:28293434

  6. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance

    PubMed Central

    Limongi, Roberto; Silva, Angélica M.; Góngora-Costa, Begoña

    2015-01-01

    We have previously shown that temporal prediction errors (PEs, the differences between the expected and the actual stimulus’ onset times) modulate the effective connectivity between the anterior cingulate cortex and the right anterior insular cortex (rAI), causing the activity of the rAI to decrease. The activity of the rAI is associated with efficient performance under uncertainty (e.g., changing a prepared behavior when a change demand is not expected), which leads to hypothesize that temporal PEs might disrupt behavior-change performance under uncertainty. This hypothesis has not been tested at a behavioral level. In this work, we evaluated this hypothesis within the context of task switching and concurrent temporal predictions. Our participants performed temporal predictions while observing one moving ball striking a stationary ball which bounced off with a variable temporal gap. Simultaneously, they performed a simple color comparison task. In some trials, a change signal made the participants change their behaviors. Performance accuracy decreased as a function of both the temporal PE and the delay. Explaining these results without appealing to ad hoc concepts such as “executive control” is a challenge for cognitive neuroscience. We provide a predictive coding explanation. We hypothesize that exteroceptive and proprioceptive minimization of PEs would converge in a fronto-basal ganglia network which would include the rAI. Both temporal gaps (or uncertainty) and temporal PEs would drive and modulate this network respectively. Whereas the temporal gaps would drive the activity of the rAI, the temporal PEs would modulate the endogenous excitatory connections of the fronto-striatal network. We conclude that in the context of perceptual uncertainty, the system is not able to minimize perceptual PE, causing the ongoing behavior to finalize and, in consequence, disrupting task switching. PMID:26379568

  7. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance.

    PubMed

    Limongi, Roberto; Silva, Angélica M; Góngora-Costa, Begoña

    2015-01-01

    We have previously shown that temporal prediction errors (PEs, the differences between the expected and the actual stimulus' onset times) modulate the effective connectivity between the anterior cingulate cortex and the right anterior insular cortex (rAI), causing the activity of the rAI to decrease. The activity of the rAI is associated with efficient performance under uncertainty (e.g., changing a prepared behavior when a change demand is not expected), which leads to hypothesize that temporal PEs might disrupt behavior-change performance under uncertainty. This hypothesis has not been tested at a behavioral level. In this work, we evaluated this hypothesis within the context of task switching and concurrent temporal predictions. Our participants performed temporal predictions while observing one moving ball striking a stationary ball which bounced off with a variable temporal gap. Simultaneously, they performed a simple color comparison task. In some trials, a change signal made the participants change their behaviors. Performance accuracy decreased as a function of both the temporal PE and the delay. Explaining these results without appealing to ad hoc concepts such as "executive control" is a challenge for cognitive neuroscience. We provide a predictive coding explanation. We hypothesize that exteroceptive and proprioceptive minimization of PEs would converge in a fronto-basal ganglia network which would include the rAI. Both temporal gaps (or uncertainty) and temporal PEs would drive and modulate this network respectively. Whereas the temporal gaps would drive the activity of the rAI, the temporal PEs would modulate the endogenous excitatory connections of the fronto-striatal network. We conclude that in the context of perceptual uncertainty, the system is not able to minimize perceptual PE, causing the ongoing behavior to finalize and, in consequence, disrupting task switching.

  8. Humans deploy diverse strategies in learning same-different discrimination tasks.

    PubMed

    Castro, Leyre; Wasserman, Edward A

    2013-02-01

    Prior research suggests that variability discrimination is basic to same-different conceptualization (Young and Wasserman, 2001). In that research, people were trained with 16-item arrays; this training might have encouraged people to use perceptual variability to solve the task. Here, two groups of participants were trained with either 2- or 16-item Same and Different arrays (Groups 2 and 16, respectively). Participants had to learn which of two arbitrary responses was correct for the arrays without being told about the "sameness" or "differentness" of the stimuli. Surprisingly, 52% of participants in Group 2 did not learn the discrimination compared to only 21% of participants in Group 16; also, learners in Group 16 reached higher accuracy levels sooner and their choice responding was faster than learners in Group 2. A large disparity in the variability (measured by entropy) between the Same and Different arrays evidently helped participants to learn the same-different task. As well, in Group 16, we found the same two patterns of performance-Categorical and Continuous-as in prior research (Castro et al., 2006; Young and Wasserman, 2001). In Group 2, we again found the Categorical cluster, but we lost the genuine Continuous cluster and we observed a novel strategy: some participants developed a highly inclusive notion of "sameness" that applied to any array containing at least two identical icons. These findings indicate that individuals may deploy a multiplicity of possible strategies when learning a seemingly simple same-different discrimination.

  9. Blind insight: metacognitive discrimination despite chance task performance.

    PubMed

    Scott, Ryan B; Dienes, Zoltan; Barrett, Adam B; Bor, Daniel; Seth, Anil K

    2014-12-01

    Blindsight and other examples of unconscious knowledge and perception demonstrate dissociations between judgment accuracy and metacognition: Studies reveal that participants' judgment accuracy can be above chance while their confidence ratings fail to discriminate right from wrong answers. Here, we demonstrated the opposite dissociation: a reliable relationship between confidence and judgment accuracy (demonstrating metacognition) despite judgment accuracy being no better than chance. We evaluated the judgments of 450 participants who completed an AGL task. For each trial, participants decided whether a stimulus conformed to a given set of rules and rated their confidence in that judgment. We identified participants who performed at chance on the discrimination task, utilizing a subset of their responses, and then assessed the accuracy and the confidence-accuracy relationship of their remaining responses. Analyses revealed above-chance metacognition among participants who did not exhibit decision accuracy. This important new phenomenon, which we term blind insight, poses critical challenges to prevailing models of metacognition grounded in signal detection theory.

  10. Deep sparse multi-task learning for feature selection in Alzheimer's disease diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Suk, Heung-Il; Lee, Seong-Whan; Shen, Dinggang

    2016-06-01

    Recently, neuroimaging-based Alzheimer's disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosis has attracted researchers in the field, due to the increasing prevalence of the diseases. Unfortunately, the unfavorable high-dimensional nature of neuroimaging data, but a limited small number of samples available, makes it challenging to build a robust computer-aided diagnosis system. Machine learning techniques have been considered as a useful tool in this respect and, among various methods, sparse regression has shown its validity in the literature. However, to our best knowledge, the existing sparse regression methods mostly try to select features based on the optimal regression coefficients in one step. We argue that since the training feature vectors are composed of both informative and uninformative or less informative features, the resulting optimal regression coefficients are inevidently affected by the uninformative or less informative features. To this end, we first propose a novel deep architecture to recursively discard uninformative features by performing sparse multi-task learning in a hierarchical fashion. We further hypothesize that the optimal regression coefficients reflect the relative importance of features in representing the target response variables. In this regard, we use the optimal regression coefficients learned in one hierarchy as feature weighting factors in the following hierarchy, and formulate a weighted sparse multi-task learning method. Lastly, we also take into account the distributional characteristics of samples per class and use clustering-induced subclass label vectors as target response values in our sparse regression model. In our experiments on the ADNI cohort, we performed both binary and multi-class classification tasks in AD/MCI diagnosis and showed the superiority of the proposed method by comparing with the state-of-the-art methods.

  11. Deep sparse multi-task learning for feature selection in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Suk, Heung-Il; Lee, Seong-Whan; Shen, Dinggang

    2016-01-01

    Recently, neuroimaging-based Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosis has attracted researchers in the field, due to the increasing prevalence of the diseases. Unfortunately, the unfavorable high-dimensional nature of neuroimaging data, but a limited small number of samples available, makes it challenging to build a robust computer-aided diagnosis system. Machine learning techniques have been considered as a useful tool in this respect and, among various methods, sparse regression has shown its validity in the literature. However, to our best knowledge, the existing sparse regression methods mostly try to select features based on the optimal regression coefficients in one step. We argue that since the training feature vectors are composed of both informative and uninformative or less informative features, the resulting optimal regression coefficients are inevidently affected by the uninformative or less informative features. To this end, we first propose a novel deep architecture to recursively discard uninformative features by performing sparse multi-task learning in a hierarchical fashion. We further hypothesize that the optimal regression coefficients reflect the relative importance of features in representing the target response variables. In this regard, we use the optimal regression co-efficients learned in one hierarchy as feature weighting factors in the following hierarchy, and formulate a weighted sparse multi-task learning method. Lastly, we also take into account the distributional characteristics of samples per class and use clustering-induced subclass label vectors as target response values in our sparse regression model. In our experiments on the ADNI cohort, we performed both binary and multi-class classification tasks in AD/MCI diagnosis and showed the superiority of the proposed method by comparing with the state-of-the-art methods. PMID:25993900

  12. Adaptation of task difficulty in rehabilitation exercises based on the user's motor performance and physiological responses.

    PubMed

    Shirzad, Navid; Van der Loos, H F Machiel

    2013-06-01

    Although robot-assisted rehabilitation regimens are as effective, functionally, as conventional therapies, they still lack features to increase patients' engagement in the regimen. Providing rehabilitation tasks at a "desirable difficulty" is one of the ways to address this issue and increase the motivation of a patient to continue with the therapy program. Then the problem is to design a system that is capable of estimating the user's desirable difficulty, and ultimately, modifying the task based on this prediction. In this paper we compared the performance of three machine learning algorithms in predicting a user's desirable difficulty during a typical reaching motion rehabilitation task. Different levels of error amplification were used as different levels of task difficulty. We explored the usefulness of using participants' motor performance and physiological signals during the reaching task in prediction of their desirable difficulties. Results showed that a Neural Network approach gives higher prediction accuracy in comparison with models based on k-Nearest Neighbor and Discriminant Analysis methods.

  13. Impact of Static Graphics, Animated Graphics and Mental Imagery on a Complex Learning Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Feng-Qi; Newby, Timothy J.

    2012-01-01

    The present study compared the impact of different categories of graphics used within a complex learning task. One hundred eighty five native English speaking undergraduates participated in a task that required learning 18 Chinese radicals and their English equivalent translations. A post-test only control group design compared performance…

  14. Task-Oriented Internet Assisted English Teaching and Learning in Colleges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Juwu

    2014-01-01

    Task-Oriented Internet Assisted English Teaching and Learning (TIAETL) is a new English teaching and learning model which integrates the Internet-assisted and task-oriented teaching. This article analyzed the worldwide tendency of English teaching and prerequisites for TIAETL in colleges. The TIAETL has the following advantages:…

  15. Opportunity-to-Learn Context-Based Tasks Provided by Mathematics Textbooks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wijaya, Ariyadi; van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, Marja; Doorman, Michiel

    2015-01-01

    Based on the findings of an error analysis revealing that Indonesian ninth- and tenth-graders had difficulties in solving context-based tasks, we investigated the opportunity-to-learn offered by Indonesian textbooks for solving context-based mathematics tasks and the relation of this opportunity-to-learn to students' difficulties in solving these…

  16. Using Dual-Task Methodology to Dissociate Automatic from Nonautomatic Processes Involved in Artificial Grammar Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hendricks, Michelle A.; Conway, Christopher M.; Kellogg, Ronald T.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that both automatic and intentional processes contribute to the learning of grammar and fragment knowledge in artificial grammar learning (AGL) tasks. To explore the relative contribution of automatic and intentional processes to knowledge gained in AGL, we utilized dual-task methodology to dissociate automatic and…

  17. Task-Based Learning and Language Proficiency in a Business University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newsom-Ray, Amelia Chloe Caroline; Rutter, Sarah Jane

    2016-01-01

    This project adds to the growing body of empirical research focusing on the effects of task-based learning (TBL) on second language acquisition. Through the design and implementation of two business English case studies, in which learning was scaffolded through a sequence of tasks, the authors argue that a TBL approach to language teaching more…

  18. Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching: An Action-Research Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calvert, Megan; Sheen, Younghee

    2015-01-01

    The creation, implementation, and evaluation of language learning tasks remain a challenge for many teachers, especially those with limited experience with using tasks in their teaching. This action-research study reports on one teacher's experience of developing, implementing, critically reflecting on, and modifying a language learning task…

  19. Accuracy Feedback Improves Word Learning from Context: Evidence from a Meaning-Generation Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frishkoff, Gwen A.; Collins-Thompson, Kevyn; Hodges, Leslie; Crossley, Scott

    2016-01-01

    The present study asked whether accuracy feedback on a meaning generation task would lead to improved contextual word learning (CWL). Active generation can facilitate learning by increasing task engagement and memory retrieval, which strengthens new word representations. However, forced generation results in increased errors, which can be…

  20. Autonomous Learning through Task-Based Instruction in Fully Online Language Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Lina

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the affordances for autonomous learning in a fully online learning environment involving the implementation of task-based instruction in conjunction with Web 2.0 technologies. To that end, four-skill-integrated tasks and digital tools were incorporated into the coursework. Data were collected using midterm reflections,…

  1. BALB/c Mice Can Learn Touchscreen Visual Discrimination and Reversal Tasks Faster than C57BL/6 Mice.

    PubMed

    Turner, Karly M; Simpson, Christopher G; Burne, Thomas H J

    2017-01-01

    Touchscreen technology is increasingly being used to characterize cognitive performance in rodent models of neuropsychiatric disorders. Researchers are attracted to the automated system and translational potential for touchscreen-based tasks. However, training time is extensive and some mouse strains have struggled to learn touchscreen tasks. Here we compared the performance of commonly used C57BL/6 mice against the BALB/c mice, which are considered a poor performing strain, using a touchscreen task. BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were trained to operate the touchscreens before learning a visual discrimination (VD) and reversal task. Following touchscreen testing, these strains were assessed for differences in locomotion and learned helplessness. BALB/c mice finished training in nearly half the number of sessions taken by C57BL/6 mice. Following training, mice learned a VD task where BALB/c mice again reached criteria in fewer than half the sessions required for C57BL/6 mice. Once acquired, there were no strain differences in % correct responses, correction trials or response latency. BALB/c mice also learnt the reversal task in significantly fewer sessions than C57BL/6 mice. On the open field test C57BL/6 mice traveled further and spent more time in the center, and spent less time immobile than BALB/c mice on the forced swim test (FST). After touchscreen testing, strains exhibited well-established behavioral traits demonstrating the extensive training and handling from touchscreen testing did not alter their behavioral phenotype. These results suggest that BALB/c mice can be examined using touchscreen tasks and that task adaptations may improve feasibility for researchers using different strains.

  2. BALB/c Mice Can Learn Touchscreen Visual Discrimination and Reversal Tasks Faster than C57BL/6 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Karly M.; Simpson, Christopher G.; Burne, Thomas H. J.

    2017-01-01

    Touchscreen technology is increasingly being used to characterize cognitive performance in rodent models of neuropsychiatric disorders. Researchers are attracted to the automated system and translational potential for touchscreen-based tasks. However, training time is extensive and some mouse strains have struggled to learn touchscreen tasks. Here we compared the performance of commonly used C57BL/6 mice against the BALB/c mice, which are considered a poor performing strain, using a touchscreen task. BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice were trained to operate the touchscreens before learning a visual discrimination (VD) and reversal task. Following touchscreen testing, these strains were assessed for differences in locomotion and learned helplessness. BALB/c mice finished training in nearly half the number of sessions taken by C57BL/6 mice. Following training, mice learned a VD task where BALB/c mice again reached criteria in fewer than half the sessions required for C57BL/6 mice. Once acquired, there were no strain differences in % correct responses, correction trials or response latency. BALB/c mice also learnt the reversal task in significantly fewer sessions than C57BL/6 mice. On the open field test C57BL/6 mice traveled further and spent more time in the center, and spent less time immobile than BALB/c mice on the forced swim test (FST). After touchscreen testing, strains exhibited well-established behavioral traits demonstrating the extensive training and handling from touchscreen testing did not alter their behavioral phenotype. These results suggest that BALB/c mice can be examined using touchscreen tasks and that task adaptations may improve feasibility for researchers using different strains. PMID:28197083

  3. Immunodepression reduces learning performance in male laboratory mice (Mus musculus).

    PubMed

    Barnard, C J; Collins, S A; Daisley, J N; Behnke, J M

    2009-02-16

    Several theoretical and empirical studies have suggested that immunocompetence may act as a constraint on learning, due to a trade-off in investment in the two processes. Here we tested whether experimentally depressing immune responsiveness of male BKW mice using antithymocyte serum (ATS) would lead to reduced learning performance in a radial maze task. Correct choices in the maze were indicated by the presence of familiar odours, incorrect choices by unfamiliar odours. We showed that temporarily depressing cellular immunity led to a reduction in performance in terms of a reduced proportion of correct choices. We also found a positive relationship between the proportion of correct entries over the period of testing and haemagglutination titre, indicating that mice showing greater immune responsiveness performed better in the maze. We conclude that depressing the immune system reduces learning performance in a combined odour/spatial learning task, and that some individuals are better able to compensate for the experimental immunodepression. In contrast to previous studies, there was no evidence that the effect of ATS was mediated by associated changes in corticosterone or testosterone secretion. There were no significant effects of the presence of female odour on learning performance, and therefore no evidence that the down regulation of learning in relation to immune depression was influenced by apparent reproductive opportunity.

  4. The ergonomics of learning: educational design and learning performance.

    PubMed

    Smith, T J

    2007-10-01

    The application of ergonomics/human factors (E/HF) principles and practices, and the implementation of ergonomics programmes, have achieved proven success in improving performance, productivity, competitiveness, and safety and health in most occupational sectors. However, the benefits that the application of E/HF science might bring to promoting student learning have yet to be widely recognized. This paper deals with the fundamental purpose of education - student learning - and with the question of how the ergonomic design of the learning environment influences learning performance. The underlying premise, embodied in the quote below, is that student learning performance to a substantial degree is context specific - influenced and specialized in relation to specific design factors in the learning environment. The basic scientific question confronting learning ergonomics is which design characteristics in the learning environment have the greatest influence on variability in learning performance. Practically, the basic challenge is to apply this scientific understanding to ergonomic interventions directed at design improvements of learning environments to benefit learning. This paper expands upon these themes by addressing the origins and scope of learning ergonomics, differing perspectives on the nature of learning, evidence for context specificity in learning and conclusions and research implications regarding an ergonomics perspective on learning.

  5. The Effect of a Workload-Preview on Task-Prioritization and Task-Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minotra, Dev

    2012-01-01

    With increased volume and sophistication of cyber attacks in recent years, maintaining situation awareness and effective task-prioritization strategy is critical to the task of cybersecurity analysts. However, high levels of mental-workload associated with the task of cybersecurity analyst's limits their ability to prioritize tasks.…

  6. Studying Mathematics Teacher Education: Analysing the Process of Task Variation on Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bragg, Leicha A.

    2015-01-01

    Self-study of variations to task design offers a way of analysing how learning takes place. Over several years, variations were made to improve an assessment task completed by final-year teacher candidates in a primary mathematics teacher education subject. This article describes how alterations to a task informed on-going developments in…

  7. Second Language Learning with the Story Maze Task: Examining the Training Effect of Weaving through Stories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enkin, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The maze task is a psycholinguistic experimental procedure that measures real-time incremental sentence processing. The task has recently been tested as a language learning tool with promising results. Therefore, the present study examines the merits of a contextualized version of this task: the story maze. The findings are consistent with…

  8. Sex Differences in Performance on Piagetian Spatial Tasks: Differences in Competence or Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liben, Lynn S.; Golbeck, Susan L.

    1980-01-01

    Results indicate that the performance factors examined do, in part, account for subjects' difficulties on standard Piagetian horizontality and verticality tasks but that they cannot fully account for the overall sex differences. (RH)

  9. Integrating Knowledge, Performance, and Learning Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaffer, Scott P.; Douglas, Ian

    2004-01-01

    A methodological framework for the delivery of knowledge, performance, and learning (KPL) systems is presented. The role of the KPL system is currently taken by learning management systems or learning and content management systems, and many of these systems facilitate the technical aspects of learning objects. However, they are still rooted in…

  10. Action observation versus motor imagery in learning a complex motor task: a short review of literature and a kinematics study.

    PubMed

    Gatti, R; Tettamanti, A; Gough, P M; Riboldi, E; Marinoni, L; Buccino, G

    2013-04-12

    Both motor imagery and action observation have been shown to play a role in learning or re-learning complex motor tasks. According to a well accepted view they share a common neurophysiological basis in the mirror neuron system. Neurons within this system discharge when individuals perform a specific action and when they look at another individual performing the same or a motorically related action. In the present paper, after a short review of literature on the role of action observation and motor imagery in motor learning, we report the results of a kinematics study where we directly compared motor imagery and action observation in learning a novel complex motor task. This involved movement of the right hand and foot in the same angular direction (in-phase movement), while at the same time moving the left hand and foot in an opposite angular direction (anti-phase movement), all at a frequency of 1Hz. Motor learning was assessed through kinematics recording of wrists and ankles. The results showed that action observation is better than motor imagery as a strategy for learning a novel complex motor task, at least in the fast early phase of motor learning. We forward that these results may have important implications in educational activities, sport training and neurorehabilitation.

  11. Changes in P3b Latency and Amplitude Reflect Expertise Acquisition in a Football Visuomotor Learning Task

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Kyle K.; Luu, Phan; Tucker, Don M.

    2016-01-01

    Learning is not a unitary phenomenon. Rather, learning progresses through stages, with the stages reflecting different challenges that require the support of specific cognitive processes that reflect the functions of different brain networks. A theory of general learning proposes that learning can be divided into early and late stages controlled by corticolimbic networks located in frontal and posterior brain regions, respectively. Recent human studies using dense-array EEG (dEEG) support these results by showing progressive increases in P3b amplitude (an Event Related Potential with estimated sources in posterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus) as participants acquire a new visuomotor skill. In the present study, the P3b was used to track the learning and performance of participants as they identify defensive football formations and make an appropriate response. Participants acquired the task over three days, and P3b latency and amplitude significantly changed when participants learned the task. As participants demonstrated further proficiency with extensive training, amplitude and latency changes in the P3b continued to closely mirror performance improvements. Source localization results across all days suggest that an important source generator of the P3b is located in the posterior cingulate cortex. Results from the study support prior findings and further suggest that the careful analysis of covert learning mechanisms and their underlying electrical signatures are a robust index of task competency. PMID:27111898

  12. Analogy learning and the performance of motor skills under pressure.

    PubMed

    Lam, Wing Kai; Maxwell, Jon P; Masters, Richard

    2009-06-01

    The efficacy of analogical instruction, relative to explicit instruction, for the acquisition of a complex motor skill and subsequent performance under pressure was investigated using a modified (seated) basketball shooting task. Differences in attentional resource allocation associated with analogy and explicit learning were also examined using probe reaction times (PRT). Access to task-relevant explicit (declarative) knowledge was assessed. The analogy and explicit learning groups performed equally well during learning and delayed retention tests. The explicit group experienced a drop in performance during a pressured transfer test, relative to their performance during a preceding retention test. However, the analogy group's performance was unaffected by the pressure manipulation. Results from PRTs suggested that both groups allocated equal amounts of attentional resources to the task throughout learning and test trials. Analogy learners had significantly less access to rules about the mechanics of their movements, relative to explicit learners. The results are interpreted in the context of Eysenck and Calvo's (1992) processing efficiency theory and Masters's (1992) theory of reinvestment.

  13. tDCS over left M1 or DLPFC does not improve learning of a bimanual coordination task

    PubMed Central

    Vancleef, Kathleen; Meesen, Raf; Swinnen, Stephan P.; Fujiyama, Hakuei

    2016-01-01

    Previously, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the primary motor cortex (M1) has resulted in improved performance in simple motor tasks. For a complex bimanual movement, studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation indicated the involvement of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as well as left M1. Here we investigated the relative effect of up-regulating the cortical function in left DLPFC and left M1 with tDCS. Participants practised a complex bimanual task over four days while receiving either of five stimulation protocols: anodal tDCS applied over M1, anodal tDCS over DLPFC, sham tDCS over M1, sham tDCS over DLPFC, or no stimulation. Performance was measured at the start and end of each training day to make a distinction between acquisition and consolidation. Although task performance improved over days, no significant difference between stimulation protocols was observed, suggesting that anodal tDCS had little effect on learning the bimanual task regardless of the stimulation sites and learning phase (acquisition or consolidation). Interestingly, cognitive performance as well as corticomotor excitability did not change following stimulation. Accordingly, we found no evidence for behavioural or neurophysiological changes following tDCS over left M1 or left DLPFC in learning a complex bimanual task. PMID:27779192

  14. The Word Decoding Strategies of Hebrew Readers with and without Hearing Impairments: Some Insight from an Associative Learning Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to elucidate the word decoding strategies of Hebrew readers with pre-lingually-acquired, severe hearing impairments as opposed to regular Hebrew readers, and to determine their efficiency. The research paradigm used to clarify these issues asked participants to perform a sequence of three learning tasks, calling for the…

  15. Demonstration of Nondeclarative Sequence Learning in Mice: Development of an Animal Analog of the Human Serial Reaction Time Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christie, Michael A.; Hersch, Steven M.

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, we demonstrate nondeclarative sequence learning in mice using an animal analog of the human serial reaction time task (SRT) that uses a within-group comparison of behavior in response to a repeating sequence versus a random sequence. Ten female B6CBA mice performed eleven 96-trial sessions containing 24 repetitions of a 4-trial…

  16. Transfer of Short-Term Motor Learning across the Lower Limbs as a Function of Task Conception and Practice Order

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stockel, Tino; Wang, Jinsung

    2011-01-01

    Interlimb transfer of motor learning, indicating an improvement in performance with one limb following training with the other, often occurs asymmetrically (i.e., from non-dominant to dominant limb or vice versa, but not both). In the present study, we examined whether interlimb transfer of the same motor task could occur asymmetrically and in…

  17. Distribution of Practice and Metacognition in Learning and Long-Term Retention of a Discrete Motor Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dail, Teresa K.; Christina, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    This study examined judgments of learning and the long-term retention of a discrete motor task (golf putting) as a function of practice distribution. The results indicated that participants in the distributed practice group performed more proficiently than those in the massed practice group during both acquisition and retention phases. No…

  18. Category learning in older adulthood: A study of the Shepard, Hovland, and Jenkins (1961) tasks.

    PubMed

    Rabi, Rahel; Minda, John Paul

    2016-03-01

    Shepard, Hovland, and Jenkins (1961) examined the categorization abilities of younger adults using tasks involving single-dimensional rule learning, disjunctive rule learning, and family resemblance learning. The current study examined category learning in older adults using this well-known category set. Older adults, like younger adults, found category tasks with a single relevant dimension the easiest to learn. In contrast to younger adults, older adults found complex disjunctive rule-based categories harder to learn than family resemblance based categories. Disjunctive rule-based category learning appeared to be the most difficult for older adults to learn because this category set placed the heaviest demands on working memory, which is known to be a cognitive function that declines with normal aging. The authors discuss why complex rule-based category learning is considered more difficult for older adults to learn relative to younger adults, drawing parallels to developmental research.

  19. [Social participation processes, task-oriented participation and learning as antecedents of group cohesion. A longitudinal perspective].

    PubMed

    Picazo Lahiguera, Carmen; Zornoza Abad, Ana; Peiró Silla, José M

    2009-05-01

    The aim of this paper is to analyze the effect of changes in social participation and task- and learning-oriented processes on the development of cohesion (social and task-focused) in new groups. Cohesion has been considered one of the most important constructs in small groups, and its influence on team performance and efficacy has been highlighted. However, there are few papers that analyze the processes and the variables that precede the construct and that affect its evolution. Results of the longitudinal study show the importance of changes in participation processes on the development of task cohesion and social cohesion.

  20. Evidence for the Usefulness of Task Performance, Job Dedication, and Interpersonal Facilitation as Components of Overall Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-08-01

    Rev 2-89) Author: James R. Van Scotter, Major, USAF Title: Evidence for the Usefulness of Task Performance, Job Dedication, and Interpersonal ...task performance, job dedication, interpersonal facilitation, and overall performance had acceptable reliability. Another group of supervisors provided...independent ratings of the task performance, job dedication, interpersonal facilitation, and overall performance of 760 Air Force mechanics in a second

  1. Human problem solving performance in a fault diagnosis task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouse, W. B.

    1978-01-01

    It is proposed that humans in automated systems will be asked to assume the role of troubleshooter or problem solver and that the problems which they will be asked to solve in such systems will not be amenable to rote solution. The design of visual displays for problem solving in such situations is considered, and the results of two experimental investigations of human problem solving performance in the diagnosis of faults in graphically displayed network problems are discussed. The effects of problem size, forced-pacing, computer aiding, and training are considered. Results indicate that human performance deviates from optimality as problem size increases. Forced-pacing appears to cause the human to adopt fairly brute force strategies, as compared to those adopted in self-paced situations. Computer aiding substantially lessens the number of mistaken diagnoses by performing the bookkeeping portions of the task.

  2. High-definition television evaluation for remote handling task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Fujita, Y.; Omori, E.; Hayashi, S.; Draper, J.V.; Herndon, J.N.

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes experiments designed to evaluate the impact of HDTV on the performance of typical remote tasks. The experiments described in this paper compared the performance of four operators using HDTV with their performance while using other television systems. The experiments included four television systems: (1) high-definition color television, (2) high-definition monochromatic television, (3) standard-resolution monochromatic television, and (4) standard-resolution stereoscopic monochromatic television. The stereo system accomplished stereoscopy by displaying two cross-polarized images, one reflected by a half-silvered mirror and one seen through the mirror. Observers wore a pair of glasses with cross-polarized lenses so that the left eye received only the view from the left camera and the right eye received only the view from the right camera.

  3. Examining associations between psychosis risk, social anhedonia, and performance of striatum-related behavioral tasks.

    PubMed

    Karcher, Nicole R; Martin, Elizabeth A; Kerns, John G

    2015-08-01

    Both psychosis and anhedonia have been associated to some extent with striatal functioning. The current study examined whether either psychosis risk or social anhedonia was associated with performance on 3 tasks related to striatal functioning. Psychosis risk participants had extremely elevated Perceptual Aberration/Magical Ideation (PerMag) scores (n = 69), with 43% of psychosis risk participants also having semistructured interview-assessed psychotic-like experiences which further heightens their risk of psychotic disorder (Chapman, Chapman, Kwapil, Eckblad, & Zinser, 1994). Compared with both extremely elevated social anhedonia (n = 60) and control (n = 68) groups, the PerMag group exhibited poorer performance on 2 of the striatum-related tasks, the Weather Prediction Task (WPT) and the Learned Irrelevance Paradigm, but not on Finger Tapping. In addition, PerMag participants with psychotic-like experiences were especially impaired on the WPT. Overall, this study arguably provides the first evidence that psychosis risk but not social anhedonia is associated with performance on the WPT, a task thought to be strongly associated with activation in the associative striatum, and also suggests that the WPT might be especially useful as a behavioral measure of psychosis risk.

  4. Primary School Teachers Learning Experiences in Child- and Adulthood and the Pedagogical Task of Teaching to Learn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barabási, Tünde

    2013-01-01

    One of the most important tasks of the elementary (and not only) education we can find the teaching pupils to learn. The main topic of this paper is the presentation of the effects of teacher's experiences gotten in their own learning process as students or adults on the development of children's learning strategies. As the research was made in…

  5. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task.

    PubMed

    Kuschpel, Maxim S; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game "Angry Birds" before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the "Angry Birds" video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity.

  6. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    PubMed Central

    Kuschpel, Maxim S.; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J.; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game “Angry Birds” before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the “Angry Birds” video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity. PMID:26579055

  7. New paradigm for task switching strategies while performing multiple tasks: entropy and symbolic dynamics analysis of voluntary patterns.

    PubMed

    Guastello, Stephen J; Gorin, Hillary; Huschen, Samuel; Peters, Natalie E; Fabisch, Megan; Poston, Kirsten

    2012-10-01

    It has become well established in laboratory experiments that switching tasks, perhaps due to interruptions at work, incur costs in response time to complete the next task. Conditions are also known that exaggerate or lessen the switching costs. Although switching costs can contribute to fatigue, task switching can also be an adaptive response to fatigue. The present study introduces a new research paradigm for studying the emergence of voluntary task switching regimes, self-organizing processes therein, and the possibly conflicting roles of switching costs and minimum entropy. Fifty-four undergraduates performed 7 different computer-based cognitive tasks producing sets of 49 responses under instructional conditions requiring task quotas or no quotas. The sequences of task choices were analyzed using orbital decomposition to extract pattern types and lengths, which were then classified and compared with regard to Shannon entropy, topological entropy, number of task switches involved, and overall performance. Results indicated that similar but different patterns were generated under the two instructional conditions, and better performance was associated with lower topological entropy. Both entropy metrics were associated with the amount of voluntary task switching. Future research should explore conditions affecting the trade-off between switching costs and entropy, levels of automaticity between task elements, and the role of voluntary switching regimes on fatigue.

  8. Effect of augmented sensorimotor input on learning verbal and nonverbal tasks among children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Latham, Susan O; Stockman, Ida J

    2014-06-01

    Thirty-four children, with autism spectrum disorders, ages 4-14 years, were matched and randomly assigned to one of two conditions for learning a novel juice-making task and producing two novel words about the event. Seventeen sighted children were manually guided to perform the task and tactually prompted during imitated productions of novel words for the event. Their matched controls heard the novel words and watched the juice-making task being performed. Performances on four verbal and two nonverbal measures right after instruction and at 24-48 h post-instruction, revealed higher scores for the ‘‘hands-on’’, participation than observation group on both verbal and nonverbal tasks. This study offers a paradigm for exploring the instructional advantage of enhanced participatory experience.

  9. Spatial learning in a virtual reality-based task is altered in very preterm children.

    PubMed

    Cimadevilla, José M; Roldán, Lola; París, María; Arnedo, Marisa; Roldán, Susana

    2014-01-01

    Very preterm births prevent a complete development of the nervous system. The hippocampus is especially vulnerable in this population since the perinatal period is critical for its growth and development. Learning and memory abilities, like spatial memory, depend on the hippocampal integrity. In this study we applied virtual-reality-based tasks to assess spatial memory in a sample of 20 very preterm children of 7 and 8 years of age. Two different conditions of difficulty were used. Very preterm children performed poorly in the task in comparison with the control group. They committed more errors than controls searching for the rewarded positions. However, no significant differences were observed in the mean speed, an index of the motor abilities and joystick handling. These results suggest that the hippocampal function is affected in this sample. Nevertheless, other variables to consider are discussed.

  10. Probabilistic Category Learning in Developmental Dyslexia: Evidence from Feedback and Paired-Associate Weather Prediction Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gabay, Yafit; Vakil, Eli; Schiff, Rachel; Holt, Lori L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Developmental dyslexia is presumed to arise from specific phonological impairments. However, an emerging theoretical framework suggests that phonological impairments may be symptoms stemming from an underlying dysfunction of procedural learning. Method We tested procedural learning in adults with dyslexia (n=15) and matched-controls (n=15) using two versions of the Weather Prediction Task: Feedback (FB) and Paired-associate (PA). In the FB-based task, participants learned associations between cues and outcomes initially by guessing and subsequently through feedback indicating the correctness of response. In the PA-based learning task, participants viewed the cue and its associated outcome simultaneously without overt response or feedback. In both versions, participants trained across 150 trials. Learning was assessed in a subsequent test without presentation of the outcome, or corrective feedback. Results The Dyslexia group exhibited impaired learning compared with the Control group on both the FB and PA versions of the weather prediction task. Conclusions The results indicate that the ability to learn by feedback is not selectively impaired in dyslexia. Rather it seems that the probabilistic nature of the task, shared by the FB and PA versions of the weather prediction task, hampers learning in those with dyslexia. Results are discussed in light of procedural learning impairments among participants with dyslexia. PMID:25730732

  11. The lognormal handwriter: learning, performing, and declining

    PubMed Central

    Plamondon, Réjean; O'Reilly, Christian; Rémi, Céline; Duval, Thérésa

    2013-01-01

    The generation of handwriting is a complex neuromotor skill requiring the interaction of many cognitive processes. It aims at producing a message to be imprinted as an ink trace left on a writing medium. The generated trajectory of the pen tip is made up of strokes superimposed over time. The Kinematic Theory of rapid human movements and its family of lognormal models provide analytical representations of these strokes, often considered as the basic unit of handwriting. This paradigm has not only been experimentally confirmed in numerous predictive and physiologically significant tests but it has also been shown to be the ideal mathematical description for the impulse response of a neuromuscular system. This latter demonstration suggests that the lognormality of the velocity patterns can be interpreted as reflecting the behavior of subjects who are in perfect control of their movements. To illustrate this interpretation, we present a short overview of the main concepts behind the Kinematic Theory and briefly describe how its models can be exploited, using various software tools, to investigate these ideal lognormal behaviors. We emphasize that the parameters extracted during various tasks can be used to analyze some underlying processes associated with their realization. To investigate the operational convergence hypothesis, we report on two original studies. First, we focus on the early steps of the motor learning process as seen as a converging behavior toward the production of more precise lognormal patterns as young children practicing handwriting start to become more fluent writers. Second, we illustrate how aging affects handwriting by pointing out the increasing departure from the ideal lognormal behavior as the control of the fine motricity begins to decline. Overall, the paper highlights this developmental process of merging toward a lognormal behavior with learning, mastering this behavior to succeed in performing a given task, and then gradually

  12. Effects of stress, corticosterone, and epinephrine administration on learning in place and response tasks.

    PubMed

    Sadowski, Renee N; Jackson, Gloria R; Wieczorek, Lindsay; Gold, Paul E

    2009-12-14

    These experiments examined the effects of prior stress, corticosterone, or epinephrine on learning in mazes that can be solved efficiently using either place or response strategies. In a repeated stress condition, rats received restraint stress for 6h/day for 21 days, ending 24h before food-motivated maze training. In two single stress conditions, rats received a 1-h episode of restraint stress ending 30 min or 24h prior to training. Single stress ending 30 min prior to training resulted in a significant interaction of stress and learning on the two tasks, with significant enhancement of learning in the response task and non-significant impairment in the place task. Neither acute nor chronic stress significantly altered learning in either task when the stress ended 24h before training. Thus, the anterograde effects of stress on maze learning ended within a single day. Two stress-related hormones, corticosterone and epinephrine, were tested for effects on learning parallel to those of acute stress. When administered 30 min prior to training, a corticosterone dose (40 mg/kg) that enhanced memory on a spontaneous alternation task did not significantly enhance or impair learning in either task. Two doses of epinephrine that modulate memory in other settings were used to test the effects of epinephrine on learning. Pre-training injections of 0.03 mg/kg epinephrine impaired place learning, while 0.1mg/kg epinephrine impaired response learning. The epinephrine results mimicked those seen with acute stress on the place task, but were opposite those seen after acute stress on the response task. Thus, corticosterone does not appear to be a major factor mediating the effects of acute stress on place and response learning and epinephrine is, at most, a partial contributor to these effects.

  13. Low Cognitive Impulsivity Is Associated with Better Gain and Loss Learning in a Probabilistic Decision-Making Task

    PubMed Central

    Cáceres, Pablo; San Martín, René

    2017-01-01

    Many advances have been made over the last decades in describing, on the one hand, the link between reward-based learning and decision-making, and on the other hand, the link between impulsivity and decision-making. However, the association between reward-based learning and impulsivity remains poorly understood. In this study, we evaluated the association between individual differences in loss-minimizing and gain-maximizing behavior in a learning-based probabilistic decision-making task and individual differences in cognitive impulsivity. We found that low cognitive impulsivity was associated both with a better performance minimizing losses and maximizing gains during the task. These associations remained significant after controlling for mathematical skills and gender as potential confounders. We discuss potential mechanisms through which cognitive impulsivity might interact with reward-based learning and decision-making. PMID:28261137

  14. Low Cognitive Impulsivity Is Associated with Better Gain and Loss Learning in a Probabilistic Decision-Making Task.

    PubMed

    Cáceres, Pablo; San Martín, René

    2017-01-01

    Many advances have been made over the last decades in describing, on the one hand, the link between reward-based learning and decision-making, and on the other hand, the link between impulsivity and decision-making. However, the association between reward-based learning and impulsivity remains poorly understood. In this study, we evaluated the association between individual differences in loss-minimizing and gain-maximizing behavior in a learning-based probabilistic decision-making task and individual differences in cognitive impulsivity. We found that low cognitive impulsivity was associated both with a better performance minimizing losses and maximizing gains during the task. These associations remained significant after controlling for mathematical skills and gender as potential confounders. We discuss potential mechanisms through which cognitive impulsivity might interact with reward-based learning and decision-making.

  15. Does Time-on-Task Estimation Matter? Implications for the Validity of Learning Analytics Findings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kovanovic, Vitomir; Gaševic, Dragan; Dawson, Shane; Joksimovic, Srecko; Baker, Ryan S.; Hatala, Marek

    2015-01-01

    With\twidespread adoption of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and other learning technology, large amounts of data--commonly known as trace data--are readily accessible to researchers. Trace data has been extensively used to calculate time that students spend on different learning activities--typically referred to as time-on-task. These measures…

  16. Motor planning flexibly optimizes performance under uncertainty about task goals

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Aaron L.; Haith, Adrian M.

    2017-01-01

    In an environment full of potential goals, how does the brain determine which movement to execute? Existing theories posit that the motor system prepares for all potential goals by generating several motor plans in parallel. One major line of evidence for such theories is that presenting two competing goals often results in a movement intermediate between them. These intermediate movements are thought to reflect an unintentional averaging of the competing plans. However, normative theories suggest instead that intermediate movements might actually be deliberate, generated because they improve task performance over a random guessing strategy. To test this hypothesis, we vary the benefit of making an intermediate movement by changing movement speed. We find that participants generate intermediate movements only at (slower) speeds where they measurably improve performance. Our findings support the normative view that the motor system selects only a single, flexible motor plan, optimized for uncertain goals. PMID:28256513

  17. Wearable Sensors for eLearning of Manual Tasks: Using Forearm EMG in Hand Hygiene Training.

    PubMed

    Kutafina, Ekaterina; Laukamp, David; Bettermann, Ralf; Schroeder, Ulrik; Jonas, Stephan M

    2016-08-03

    In this paper, we propose a novel approach to eLearning that makes use of smart wearable sensors. Traditional eLearning supports the remote and mobile learning of mostly theoretical knowledge. Here we discuss the possibilities of eLearning to support the training of manual skills. We employ forearm armbands with inertial measurement units and surface electromyography sensors to detect and analyse the user's hand motions and evaluate their performance. Hand hygiene is chosen as the example activity, as it is a highly standardized manual task that is often not properly executed. The World Health Organization guidelines on hand hygiene are taken as a model of the optimal hygiene procedure, due to their algorithmic structure. Gesture recognition procedures based on artificial neural networks and hidden Markov modeling were developed, achieving recognition rates of 98 . 30 % ( ± 1 . 26 % ) for individual gestures. Our approach is shown to be promising for further research and application in the mobile eLearning of manual skills.

  18. Wearable Sensors for eLearning of Manual Tasks: Using Forearm EMG in Hand Hygiene Training

    PubMed Central

    Kutafina, Ekaterina; Laukamp, David; Bettermann, Ralf; Schroeder, Ulrik; Jonas, Stephan M.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel approach to eLearning that makes use of smart wearable sensors. Traditional eLearning supports the remote and mobile learning of mostly theoretical knowledge. Here we discuss the possibilities of eLearning to support the training of manual skills. We employ forearm armbands with inertial measurement units and surface electromyography sensors to detect and analyse the user’s hand motions and evaluate their performance. Hand hygiene is chosen as the example activity, as it is a highly standardized manual task that is often not properly executed. The World Health Organization guidelines on hand hygiene are taken as a model of the optimal hygiene procedure, due to their algorithmic structure. Gesture recognition procedures based on artificial neural networks and hidden Markov modeling were developed, achieving recognition rates of 98.30% (±1.26%) for individual gestures. Our approach is shown to be promising for further research and application in the mobile eLearning of manual skills. PMID:27527167

  19. A sequence learning impairment in dyslexia? It depends on the task.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Lisa M; Warmington, Meesha

    2017-01-01

    Language acquisition is argued to be dependent upon an individuals' sensitivity to serial-order regularities in the environment (sequential learning), and impairments in reading and spelling in dyslexia have recently been attributed to a deficit in sequential learning. The present study examined the learning and consolidation of sequential knowledge in 30 adults with dyslexia and 29 typical adults matched on age and nonverbal ability using two tasks previously reported to be sensitive to a sequence learning deficit. Both groups showed evidence of sequential learning and consolidation on a serial response time (SRT) task (i.e., faster and more accurate responses to sequenced spatial locations than randomly ordered spatial locations during training that persisted one week later). Whilst typical adults showed evidence of sequential learning on a Hebb repetition task (i.e., more accurate serial recall of repetitive sequences of nonwords versus randomly ordered sequences), adults with dyslexia showed initial advantages for repetitive versus randomly ordered sequences in the first half of training trials, but this effect disappeared in the second half of trials. This Hebb repetition effect was positively correlated with spelling in the dyslexic group; however, there was no correlation between sequential learning on the two tasks, placing doubt over whether sequential learning in different modalities represents a single capacity. These data suggest that sequential learning difficulties in adults with dyslexia are not ubiquitous, and when present may be a consequence of task demands rather than sequence learning per se.

  20. Neural Control of a Tracking Task via Attention-Gated Reinforcement Learning for Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Fang; Xu, Kai; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Zhang, Shaomin; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2015-05-01

    Reinforcement learning (RL)-based brain machine interfaces (BMIs) enable the user to learn from the environment through interactions to complete the task without desired signals, which is promising for clinical applications. Previous studies exploited Q-learning techniques to discriminate neural states into simple directional actions providing the trial initial timing. However, the movements in BMI applications can be quite complicated, and the action timing explicitly shows the intention when to move. The rich actions and the corresponding neural states form a large state-action space, imposing generalization difficulty on Q-learning. In this paper, we propose to adopt attention-gated reinforcement learning (AGREL) as a new learning scheme for BMIs to adaptively decode high-dimensional neural activities into seven distinct movements (directional moves, holdings and resting) due to the efficient weight-updating. We apply AGREL on neural data recorded from M1 of a monkey to directly predict a seven-action set in a time sequence to reconstruct the trajectory of a center-out task. Compared to Q-learning techniques, AGREL could improve the target acquisition rate to 90.16% in average with faster convergence and more stability to follow neural activity over multiple days, indicating the potential to achieve better online decoding performance for more complicated BMI tasks.

  1. Involvement of Working Memory in College Students' Sequential Pattern Learning and Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kundey, Shannon M. A.; De Los Reyes, Andres; Rowan, James D.; Lee, Bern; Delise, Justin; Molina, Sabrina; Cogdill, Lindsay

    2013-01-01

    When learning highly organized sequential patterns of information, humans and nonhuman animals learn rules regarding the hierarchical structures of these sequences. In three experiments, we explored the role of working memory in college students' sequential pattern learning and performance in a computerized task involving a sequential…

  2. The effects of practice on the concurrent performance of a speech and postural task in persons with Parkinson disease and healthy controls.

    PubMed

    Foreman, K Bo; Sondrup, Stuart; Dromey, Christopher; Jarvis, Eon; Nissen, Shawn; Dibble, Leland E

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. Persons with Parkinson disease (PD) demonstrate deficits in motor learning as well as bidirectional interference (the performance of one task concurrently interferes with the performance of another task) during dual-task performance. Few studies have examined the practice dosages necessary for behavioral change in rehabilitation relevant tasks. Therefore, to compare the effects of age and PD on motor learning during dual-task performance, this pilot study examined persons with PD as well as neurologically healthy participants during concurrent performance of postural and speaking tasks. Methods. Seven persons with PD and 7 healthy age-matched and 10 healthy young control subjects were tested in a motion capture facility. Task performances were performed concurrently and recorded during 3 time periods (acquisition (beginning and ending), 48-hour retention, and 1-week retention). Postural control and speech articulatory acoustic variables were measured. Results. Healthy young participants consistently performed better than other groups on all measured postural and speech variables. Healthy young participants showed decreased variability at retention, while persons with PD and healthy age-matched controls were unable to consistently improve their performance as a result of practice. No changes were noted in the speech variables. Conclusion. The lack of consistent changes in motor performance in any of the tasks, except in the healthy young group, suggests a decreased efficiency of motor learning in the age-matched and PD groups and argues for increased practice dosages during balance training.

  3. The Effects of Practice on the Concurrent Performance of a Speech and Postural Task in Persons with Parkinson Disease and Healthy Controls

    PubMed Central

    Foreman, K. Bo; Sondrup, Stuart; Dromey, Christopher; Jarvis, Eon; Nissen, Shawn; Dibble, Leland E.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. Persons with Parkinson disease (PD) demonstrate deficits in motor learning as well as bidirectional interference (the performance of one task concurrently interferes with the performance of another task) during dual-task performance. Few studies have examined the practice dosages necessary for behavioral change in rehabilitation relevant tasks. Therefore, to compare the effects of age and PD on motor learning during dual-task performance, this pilot study examined persons with PD as well as neurologically healthy participants during concurrent performance of postural and speaking tasks. Methods. Seven persons with PD and 7 healthy age-matched and 10 healthy young control subjects were tested in a motion capture facility. Task performances were performed concurrently and recorded during 3 time periods (acquisition (beginning and ending), 48-hour retention, and 1-week retention). Postural control and speech articulatory acoustic variables were measured. Results. Healthy young participants consistently performed better than other groups on all measured postural and speech variables. Healthy young participants showed decreased variability at retention, while persons with PD and healthy age-matched controls were unable to consistently improve their performance as a result of practice. No changes were noted in the speech variables. Conclusion. The lack of consistent changes in motor performance in any of the tasks, except in the healthy young group, suggests a decreased efficiency of motor learning in the age-matched and PD groups and argues for increased practice dosages during balance training. PMID:23841022

  4. Effect of Mild Thyrotoxicosis on Performance and Brain Activations in a Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Göbel, Anna; Heldmann, Marcus; Göttlich, Martin; Dirk, Anna-Luise; Brabant, Georg; Münte, Thomas F.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Disturbed levels of thyroid hormones are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including memory impairments. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of mild induced thyrotoxicosis on working memory and its neural correlates. Methods Twenty-nine healthy, male subjects with normal thyroid state participated in the study. Functional MRI was acquired during a working memory task (n-back task) before and after ingesting 250 μg L-thyroxin per day for a period of eight weeks. In addition, neuropsychological tests were performed. Results In the hyperthyroid condition the subjects showed slower reaction times, but a higher accuracy in the 0-back version of the memory tasks. Fewer differences between euthyroid and hyperthyroid state were seen for the more difficult conditions of the n-back task. FMRI revealed effects of difficulty in the parahippocampal gyrus, supplementary motor area, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cerebellum, rolandic operculum and insula (p<0.05, FWE corrected). When comparing euthyroid and hyperthyroid condition in relation to task-induced activation, differences of activation were found in the right prefrontal cortex as well as in the right parahippocampal area. In the psychological assessment, the alerting effect in the Attention Network Task (ANT) and four out of five parameters of the auditory verbal learning test (AVLT) showed an increase from euthyroid to hyperthyroid state. Conclusions It can be concluded that even a short-term intake of thyroid hormones leads to an activation of brain areas associated with working memory and to an improvement of accuracy of working memory tasks. PMID:27536945

  5. The performance of rooks in a cooperative task depends on their temperament.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Christelle; Noë, Ronald

    2010-05-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of studies demonstrated the existence of consistent individual differences in behaviour, often referred to as differences in temperament or personality, in a wide range of animal species. There notably is a growing body of evidence showing that individuals differ in their propensity for risk taking or reacting to stressful situations. This variation has been related to differences in learning abilities or performance in cognitive tasks. In the present study, we examined the consequences of inter-individual variation in boldness on performance in a cooperative task in rooks (Corvus frugilegus). Birds were tested individually to measure a number of behavioural parameters related to boldness. The level of a stress-related hormone, corticosterone, in the faeces of each bird was measured under control conditions and after a stress-provoking event. In parallel, we conducted a cooperative string pulling task in which birds were tested in dyads. Successful cooperation depended to a large extent on the temperament of the two partners involved. Temperament, in turn, correlated well with corticosterone levels under stress. Bolder individuals appeared to be more willing to participate in the task, whereas shyer individuals were more influenced by the behaviour of their partner. These findings suggest that a rook's temperament can limit its options of forming successfully cooperating partnerships under stressful conditions.

  6. Transferring control demands across incidental learning tasks - stronger sequence usage in serial reaction task after shortcut option in letter string checking.

    PubMed

    Gaschler, Robert; Marewski, Julian N; Wenke, Dorit; Frensch, Peter A

    2014-01-01

    After incidentally learning about a hidden regularity, participants can either continue to solve the task as instructed or, alternatively, apply a shortcut. Past research suggests that the amount of conflict implied by adopting a shortcut seems to bias the decision for vs. against continuing instruction-coherent task processing. We explored whether this decision might transfer from one incidental learning task to the next. Theories that conceptualize strategy change in incidental learning as a learning-plus-decision phenomenon suggest that high demands to adhere to instruction-coherent task processing in Task 1 will impede shortcut usage in Task 2, whereas low control demands will foster it. We sequentially applied two established incidental learning tasks differing in stimuli, responses and hidden regularity (the alphabet verification task followed by the serial reaction task, SRT). While some participants experienced a complete redundancy in the task material of the alphabet verification task (low demands to adhere to instructions), for others the redundancy was only partial. Thus, shortcut application would have led to errors (high demands to follow instructions). The low control demand condition showed the strongest usage of the fixed and repeating sequence of responses in the SRT. The transfer results are in line with the learning-plus-decision view of strategy change in incidental learning, rather than with resource theories of self-control.

  7. The Network Operations Control Center upgrade task: Lessons learned

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sherif, J. S.; Tran, T.-L.; Lee, S.

    1994-01-01

    This article synthesizes and describes the lessons learned from the Network Operations Control Center (NOCC) upgrade project, from the requirements phase through development and test and transfer. At the outset, the NOCC upgrade was being performed simultaneously with two other interfacing and dependent upgrades at the Signal Processing Center (SPC) and Ground Communications Facility (GCF), thereby adding a significant measure of complexity to the management and overall coordination of the development and transfer-to-operations (DTO) effort. Like other success stories, this project carried with it the traditional elements of top management support and exceptional dedication of cognizant personnel. Additionally, there were several NOCC-specific reasons for success, such as end-to-end system engineering, adoption of open-system architecture, thorough requirements management, and use of appropriate off-the-shelf technologies. On the other hand, there were several difficulties, such as ill-defined external interfaces, transition issues caused by new communications protocols, ambivalent use of two sets of policies and standards, and mistailoring of the new JPL management standard (due to the lack of practical guidelines). This article highlights the key lessons learned, as a means of constructive suggestions for the benefit of future projects.

  8. Evaluation of linearly solvable Markov decision process with dynamic model learning in a mobile robot navigation task.

    PubMed

    Kinjo, Ken; Uchibe, Eiji; Doya, Kenji

    2013-01-01

    Linearly solvable Markov Decision Process (LMDP) is a class of optimal control problem in which the Bellman's equation can be converted into a linear equation by an exponential transformation of the state value function (Todorov, 2009b). In an LMDP, the optimal value function and the corresponding control policy are obtained by solving an eigenvalue problem in a discrete state space or an eigenfunction problem in a continuous state using the knowledge of the system dynamics and the action, state, and terminal cost functions. In this study, we evaluate the effectiveness of the LMDP framework in real robot control, in which the dynamics of the body and the environment have to be learned from experience. We first perform a simulation study of a pole swing-up task to evaluate the effect of the accuracy of the learned dynamics model on the derived the action policy. The result shows that a crude linear approximation of the non-linear dynamics can still allow solution of the task, despite with a higher total cost. We then perform real robot experiments of a battery-catching task using our Spring Dog mobile robot platform. The state is given by the position and the size of a battery in its camera view and two neck joint angles. The action is the velocities of two wheels, while the neck joints were controlled by a visual servo controller. We test linear and bilinear dynamic models in tasks with quadratic and Guassian state cost functions. In the quadratic cost task, the LMDP controller derived from a learned linear dynamics model performed equivalently with the optimal linear quadratic regulator (LQR). In the non-quadratic task, the LMDP controller with a linear dynamics model showed the best performance. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the LMDP framework in real robot control even when simple linear models are used for dynamics learning.

  9. Enhancement of Declarative Memory Performance Following a Daytime Nap Is Contingent on Strength of Initial Task Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Matthew A.; Fishbein, William

    2008-01-01

    Study Objectives: In this study we examined the benefit of a daytime nap containing only NREM sleep on the performance of three declarative memory tasks: unrelated paired associates, maze learning, and the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure. Additionally, we explored the impact of factors related to task acquisition on sleep-related memory processing. To this end, we examined whether testing of paired associates during training leads to sleep-related enhancement of memory compared to simply learning the word pairs without test. We also examined whether strength of task acquisition modulates sleep-related processing for each of the three tasks. Subjects and Procedure: Subjects (11 male, 22 female) arrived at 11:30, were trained on each of the declarative memory tasks at 12:15, and at 13:00 either took a nap or remained awake in the sleep lab. After the nap period, all subjects remained in the lab until retest at 16:00. Results: Compared to subjects who stayed awake during the training-retest interval, subjects who took a NREM nap demonstrated enhanced performance for word pairs that were tested during training, but not for untested word pairs. For each of the three declarative memory tasks, we observed a sleep-dependent performance benefit only for subjects that most strongly acquired the tasks during the training session. Conclusions: NREM sleep obtained during a daytime nap benefits declarative memory performance, with these benefits being intimately tied to how well subjects acquire the tasks and the way in which the information is acquired. Citation: Tucker MA; Fishbein W. Enhancement of declarative memory performance following a daytime nap is contingent on strength of initial task acquisition. SLEEP 2008;31(2):197–203. PMID:18274266

  10. Experience Playing a Musical Instrument and Overnight Sleep Enhance Performance on a Sequential Typing Task

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Matthew A.; Nguyen, Nam; Stickgold, Robert

    2016-01-01

    The smooth, coordinated fine motor movements required to play a musical instrument are not only highly valued in our society; they also predict academic success in areas that generalize beyond the motor domain, including reading and math readiness, and verbal abilities. Interestingly, motor skills that overlap with those required to play a musical instrument (e.g., sequential finger tapping) markedly improve (get faster) over a night of sleep, but not after a day spent awake. Here we studied whether individuals who play musical instruments that require fine finger motor skill are better able to learn and consolidate a simple motor skill task compared to those who do not play an instrument, and whether sleep-specific motor skill benefits interact with those imparted by musical experience. We used the motor sequence task (MST), which taps into a core skill learned and used by musicians, namely, the repetition of learned sequences of key presses. Not surprisingly, we found that musicians were faster than non-musicians throughout the learning session, typing more correct sequences per 30-sec trial. In the 12hrs that followed learning we found that sleep and musical experience both led to greater improvement in performance. Surprisingly, musicians retested after a day of wake performed slightly better than non-musicians who had slept between training and retest, suggesting that musicians have the capacity to consolidate a motor skill across waking hours, while non-musicians appear to lack this capacity. These findings suggest that the musically trained brain is optimized for motor skill consolidation across both wake and sleep, and that sleep may simply promote a more effective use of this machinery. In sum, there may be something special about musicians, perhaps a neurophysiological advantage, that leads to both the expected—greater motor speed at learning—and the surprising—greater motor skill improvement over time. PMID:27472398

  11. Learning and Reaction Time Performance in Older Veterans: Relationship to Attitudes and Life Satisfaction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milligan, W. L.; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Younger (age 20-35) veterans showed better performance on learning and psychomotor tasks than did older (age 55-70) veterans. Positive attitudes toward aging, and greater life satisfaction were associated with better performance on the behavioral tasks in the older group. Results suggest age-related behavior may be related to psychosocial…

  12. Musical Training, Bilingualism, and Executive Function: A Closer Look at Task Switching and Dual-Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician)…

  13. Co-Constructional Task Analysis: Moving beyond Adult-Based Models to Assess Young Children's Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of young children's thinking competence in task performances has typically followed the novice-to-expert regimen involving models of strategies that adults use when engaged in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making. Socio-constructivists argue for a balanced pedagogical approach between the adult and child that…

  14. Foraging Ecology Predicts Learning Performance in Insectivorous Bats

    PubMed Central

    Clarin, Theresa M. A.; Ruczyński, Ireneusz; Page, Rachel A.

    2013-01-01

    Bats are unusual among mammals in showing great ecological diversity even among closely related species and are thus well suited for studies of adaptation to the ecological background. Here we investigate whether behavioral flexibility and simple- and complex-rule learning performance can be predicted by foraging ecology. We predict faster learning and higher flexibility in animals hunting in more complex, variable environments than in animals hunting in more simple, stable environments. To test this hypothesis, we studied three closely related insectivorous European bat species of the genus Myotis that belong to three different functional groups based on foraging habitats: M. capaccinii, an open water forager, M. myotis, a passive listening gleaner, and M. emarginatus, a clutter specialist. We predicted that M. capaccinii would show the least flexibility and slowest learning reflecting its relatively unstructured foraging habitat and the stereotypy of its natural foraging behavior, while the other two species would show greater flexibility and more rapid learning reflecting the complexity of their natural foraging tasks. We used a purposefully unnatural and thus species-fair crawling maze to test simple- and complex-rule learning, flexibility and re-learning performance. We found that M. capaccinii learned a simple rule as fast as the other species, but was slower in complex rule learning and was less flexible in response to changes in reward location. We found no differences in re-learning ability among species. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that animals’ cognitive skills reflect the demands of their ecological niche. PMID:23755146

  15. Foraging ecology predicts learning performance in insectivorous bats.

    PubMed

    Clarin, Theresa M A; Ruczyński, Ireneusz; Page, Rachel A; Siemers, Björn M

    2013-01-01

    Bats are unusual among mammals in showing great ecological diversity even among closely related species and are thus well suited for studies of adaptation to the ecological background. Here we investigate whether behavioral flexibility and simple- and complex-rule learning performance can be predicted by foraging ecology. We predict faster learning and higher flexibility in animals hunting in more complex, variable environments than in animals hunting in more simple, stable environments. To test this hypothesis, we studied three closely related insectivorous European bat species of the genus Myotis that belong to three different functional groups based on foraging habitats: M. capaccinii, an open water forager, M. myotis, a passive listening gleaner, and M. emarginatus, a clutter specialist. We predicted that M. capaccinii would show the least flexibility and slowest learning reflecting its relatively unstructured foraging habitat and the stereotypy of its natural foraging behavior, while the other two species would show greater flexibility and more rapid learning reflecting the complexity of their natural foraging tasks. We used a purposefully unnatural and thus species-fair crawling maze to test simple- and complex-rule learning, flexibility and re-learning performance. We found that M. capaccinii learned a simple rule as fast as the other species, but was slower in complex rule learning and was less flexible in response to changes in reward location. We found no differences in re-learning ability among species. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that animals' cognitive skills reflect the demands of their ecological niche.

  16. Learning versus performance: an integrative review.

    PubMed

    Soderstrom, Nicholas C; Bjork, Robert A

    2015-03-01

    The primary goal of instruction should be to facilitate long-term learning-that is, to create relatively permanent changes in comprehension, understanding, and skills of the types that will support long-term retention and transfer. During the instruction or training process, however, what we can observe and measure is performance, which is often an unreliable index of whether the relatively long-term changes that constitute learning have taken place. The time-honored distinction between learning and performance dates back decades, spurred by early animal and motor-skills research that revealed that learning can occur even when no discernible changes in performance are observed. More recently, the converse has also been shown-specifically, that improvements in performance can fail to yield significant learning-and, in fact, that certain manipulations can have opposite effects on learning and performance. We review the extant literature in the motor- and verbal-learning domains that necessitates the distinction between learning and performance. In addition, we examine research in metacognition that suggests that people often mistakenly interpret their performance during acquisition as a reliable guide to long-term learning. These and other considerations suggest that the learning-performance distinction is critical and has vast practical and theoretical implications.

  17. Boon and Bane of Being Sure: The Effect of Performance Certainty and Expectancy on Task Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schindler, Simon; Reinhard, Marc-André; Dickhäuser, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has suggested certainty to be an important factor when investigating effects of level of expectancies on future behavior. With the present study, we addressed the interplay of expectancy certainty and level of expectancies regarding task performance. We assumed that certain performance expectancies provide a better basis for the…

  18. The Role of Subjective Task Value in Service-Learning Engagement among Chinese College Students

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yulan; Guo, Fangfang; Yao, Meilin; Wang, Cong; Yan, Wenfan

    2016-01-01

    Most service-learning studies in higher education focused on its effects on students’ development. The dynamic processes and mechanisms of students’ development during service-learning, however, have not been explored thoroughly. Student engagement in service-learning may affect service-learning outcomes and be affected by subjective task value at the same time. The present study aimed to explore the effect of subjective task value on Chinese college student engagement during service-learning. Fifty-four Chinese college students participated in a 9-weeks service-learning program of interacting with children with special needs. Students’ engagement and subjective task value were assessed via self-report questionnaires and 433 weekly reflective journals. The results indicated that the cognitive, emotional and behavioral engagement of Chinese college students demonstrated different developmental trends during service-learning process. Subjective task value played an essential role in student engagement in service-learning activities. However, the role of subjective task value varied with different stages. Finally, the implications for implementing service-learning in Chinese education were discussed. PMID:27445919

  19. The Role of Subjective Task Value in Service-Learning Engagement among Chinese College Students.

    PubMed

    Li, Yulan; Guo, Fangfang; Yao, Meilin; Wang, Cong; Yan, Wenfan

    2016-01-01

    Most service-learning studies in higher education focused on its effects on students' development. The dynamic processes and mechanisms of students' development during service-learning, however, have not been explored thoroughly. Student engagement in service-learning may affect service-learning outcomes and be affected by subjective task value at the same time. The present study aimed to explore the effect of subjective task value on Chinese college student engagement during service-learning. Fifty-four Chinese college students participated in a 9-weeks service-learning program of interacting with children with special needs. Students' engagement and subjective task value were assessed via self-report questionnaires and 433 weekly reflective journals. The results indicated that the cognitive, emotional and behavioral engagement of Chinese college students demonstrated different developmental trends during service-learning process. Subjective task value played an essential role in student engagement in service-learning activities. However, the role of subjective task value varied with different stages. Finally, the implications for implementing service-learning in Chinese education were discussed.

  20. FMRQ-A Multiagent Reinforcement Learning Algorithm for Fully Cooperative Tasks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhen; Zhao, Dongbin; Gao, Junwei; Wang, Dongqing; Dai, Yujie

    2016-04-14

    In this paper, we propose a multiagent reinforcement learning algorithm dealing with fully cooperative tasks. The algorithm is called frequency of the maximum reward Q-learning (FMRQ). FMRQ aims to achieve one of the optimal Nash equilibria so as to optimize the performance index in multiagent systems. The frequency of obtaining the highest global immediate reward instead of immediate reward is used as the reinforcement signal. With FMRQ each agent does not need the observation of the other agents' actions and only shares its state and reward at each step. We validate FMRQ through case studies of repeated games: four cases of two-player two-action and one case of three-player two-action. It is demonstrated that FMRQ can converge to one of the optimal Nash equilibria in these cases. Moreover, comparison experiments on tasks with multiple states and finite steps are conducted. One is box-pushing and the other one is distributed sensor network problem. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms others with higher performance.

  1. Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults. The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vella, Jane

    This book examines an approach to teaching adults, in which teaching and learning are integrated and where the learning task is the overall design, incorporating the lecture or input along with practice. In 12 chapters, the book challenges the reader to describe the difference between teaching tasks and learning tasks and to examine both the…

  2. Effect of bandwidth knowledge of results on the learning of a grip force control task.

    PubMed

    Ugrinowitsch, Herbert; Ugrinowitsch, Alessandra Aguilar Coca; Benda, Rodolfo Novellino; Tertuliano, Ivan Wallan

    2010-12-01

    An experiment was conducted to investigate the persistence of the effect of "bandwidth knowledge of results (KR)" manipulated during the learning phase of performing a manual force-control task. The experiment consisted of two phases, an acquisition phase with the goal of maintaining 60% maximum force in 30 trials, and a second phase with the objective of maintaining 40% of maximum force in 20 further trials. There were four bandwidths of KR: when performance error exceeded 5, 10, or 15% of the target, and a control group (0% bandwidth). Analysis showed that 5, 10, and 15% bandwidth led to better performance than 0% bandwidth KR at the beginning of the second phase and persisted during the extended trials.

  3. Person re-identification over camera networks using multi-task distance metric learning.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lianyang; Yang, Xiaokang; Tao, Dacheng

    2014-08-01

    Person reidentification in a camera network is a valuable yet challenging problem to solve. Existing methods learn a common Mahalanobis distance metric by using the data collected from different cameras and then exploit the learned metric for identifying people in the images. However, the cameras in a camera network have different settings and the recorded images are seriously affected by variability in illumination conditions, camera viewing angles, and background clutter. Using a common metric to conduct person reidentification tasks on different camera pairs overlooks the differences in camera settings; however, it is very time-consuming to label people manually in images from surveillance videos. For example, in most existing person reidentification data sets, only one image of a person is collected from each of only two cameras; therefore, directly learning a unique Mahalanobis distance metric for each camera pair is susceptible to over-fitting by using insufficiently labeled data. In this paper, we reformulate person reidentification in a camera network as a multitask distance metric learning problem. The proposed method designs multiple Mahalanobis distance metrics to cope with the complicated conditions that exist in typical camera networks. We address the fact that these Mahalanobis distance metrics are different but related, and learned by adding joint regularization to alleviate over-fitting. Furthermore, by extending, we present a novel multitask maximally collapsing metric learning (MtMCML) model for person reidentification in a camera network. Experimental results demonstrate that formulating person reidentification over camera networks as multitask distance metric learning problem can improve performance, and our proposed MtMCML works substantially better than other current state-of-the-art person reidentification methods.

  4. Sex differences in performance on a cognitive bias task in Norway rats.

    PubMed

    Brown, Gillian R; Cullum, Philippa; Martin, Stacey; Healy, Susan D

    2016-12-01

    Cognitive biases, which are defined as distortions in cognitive processes that are influenced by a background emotional state, can provide information about an individual's affective state. For instance, negative cognitive biases, where individuals assess ambiguous situations as unrewarding, are commonly found in humans suffering from anxiety disorders. Cognitive biases are also increasingly used as indicators of affective state in animals. As it is not clear whether female and male animals differ in performance on cognitive bias tasks, we used a spatial location task to examine cognitive bias in female and male adult Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). We trained the rats to distinguish between reward and unrewarded locations, and then provided food pots at ambiguous, intermediate positions. We found that, during testing, females were slowest to approach the unrewarded location, while they approached ambiguous and rewarded locations similarly quickly. In contrast, the males approached all locations quickly. This sex difference is consistent with previous evidence that male rats are quicker than females to extinguish previously learned associations. Cognitive bias tasks could therefore be used to examine sex differences in learning strategies, as well as providing opportunities to test predictions about sex differences in welfare requirements.

  5. Incidental Learning in a Paired-Associate Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shelton, Dennis; Newhouse, Robert C.

    1981-01-01

    Differences in recall and number of trials to criterion between incidental learning groups and control groups of undergraduate students when memorizing CVC trigrams of high or low intralist similarity were investigated in this study. Results indicate that incidental learning did occur and suggest that incidental learning facilitates intentional…

  6. CSCL in Teacher Training: What Learning Tasks Lead to Collaboration?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lockhorst, Ditte; Admiraal, Wilfried; Pilot, Albert

    2010-01-01

    Professional teacher communities appear to be positively related to student learning, teacher learning, teacher practice and school culture. Teacher collaboration is a significant element of these communities. In initial teacher training as well as in-service training and other initiatives for teacher learning, collaborative skills should be…

  7. Multimedia Design Principles in the Psychomotor Domain: The Effect of Multimedia and Spatial Contiguity on Students' Learning of Basic Life Support with Task Cards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iserbyt, Peter; Mols, Liesbet; Elen, Jan; Behets, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    This study adds to the literature by introducing multimedia research in the psychomotor area. In this study, 87 freshman students in pedagogy used task cards to learn Basic Life Support (BLS), a psychomotor skill consisting of nine lifesaving actions to be performed in a specific order. Task cards are printed materials and are often implemented…

  8. Task Complexity, Learning Opportunities, and Korean EFL Learners' Question Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, YouJin

    2012-01-01

    Building on the cognitive and interactive perspectives of task research, the cognition hypothesis states that increasing task complexity promotes greater interaction and feedback and thus facilitates second language (L2) development (Robinson, 2001b, 2007a). To date, very little research has explored this claim during learner-learner interactions…

  9. Source Evaluation, Comprehension, and Learning in Internet Science Inquiry Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiley, Jennifer; Goldman, Susan R.; Graesser, Arthur C.; Sanchez, Christopher A.; Ash, Ivan K.; Hemmerich, Joshua A.

    2009-01-01

    In two experiments, undergraduates' evaluation and use of multiple Internet sources during a science inquiry task were examined. In Experiment 1, undergraduates had the task of explaining what caused the eruption of Mt. St. Helens using the results of an Internet search. Multiple regression analyses indicated that source evaluation significantly…

  10. The Impact of Assessment Tasks on Subsequent Examination Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Gaal, Frank; De Ridder, Annemieke

    2013-01-01

    In this article, the impact of assessment tasks on examination result (measured by examination grades) is investigated. Although many describe the advantages of electronic assessment tasks, few studies have been undertaken which compare a traditional approach using a classical examination with a new approach using assessment tasks. The main…

  11. Instructional Cues Modify Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balodis, Iris M.; MacDonald, Tara K.; Olmstead, Mary C.

    2006-01-01

    The current study investigated whether acute alcohol intoxication produces impaired decision-making on tasks assessing ventromedial prefrontal (VMF) cortex functioning and impulsive responding. Participants completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a decision-making test targeting the VMF, and the Newman Perseveration Task (NT), a measure of…

  12. The effect of negative performance stereotypes on learning.

    PubMed

    Rydell, Robert J; Rydell, Michael T; Boucher, Kathryn L

    2010-12-01

    Stereotype threat (ST) research has focused exclusively on how negative group stereotypes reduce performance. The present work examines if pejorative stereotypes about women in math inhibit their ability to learn the mathematical rules and operations necessary to solve math problems. In Experiment 1, women experiencing ST had difficulty encoding math-related information into memory and, therefore, learned fewer mathematical rules and showed poorer math performance than did controls. In Experiment 2, women experiencing ST while learning modular arithmetic (MA) performed more poorly than did controls on easy MA problems; this effect was due to reduced learning of the mathematical operations underlying MA. In Experiment 3, ST reduced women's, but not men's, ability to learn abstract mathematical rules and to transfer these rules to a second, isomorphic task. This work provides the first evidence that negative stereotypes about women in math reduce their level of mathematical learning and demonstrates that reduced learning due to stereotype threat can lead to poorer performance in negatively stereotyped domains.

  13. Rule learning by zebra finches in an artificial grammar learning task: which rule?

    PubMed

    van Heijningen, Caroline A A; Chen, Jiani; van Laatum, Irene; van der Hulst, Bonnie; ten Cate, Carel

    2013-03-01

    A hallmark of the human language faculty is the use of syntactic rules. The natural vocalizations of animals are syntactically simple, but several studies indicate that animals can detect and discriminate more complex structures in acoustic stimuli. However, how they discriminate such structures is often not clear. Using an artificial grammar learning paradigm, zebra finches were tested in a Go/No-go experiment for their ability to distinguish structurally different three-element sound sequences. In Experiment 1, zebra finches learned to discriminate ABA and BAB from ABB, AAB, BBA, and ABB sequences. Tests with probe sounds consisting of four elements suggested that the discrimination was based on attending to the presence or absence of repeated A- and B-elements. One bird generalized the discrimination to a new element type. In Experiment 2, we continued the training by adding four-element songs following a 'first and last identical versus different' rule that could not be solved by attending to repetitions. Only two out of five birds learned the overall discrimination. Testing with novel probes demonstrated that discrimination was not based on using the 'first and last identical' rule, but on attending to the presence or absence of the individual training stimuli. The two birds differed in the strategies used. Our results thus demonstrate only a limited degree of abstract rule learning but highlight the need for extensive and critical probe testing to examine the rules that animals (and humans) use to solve artificial grammar learning tasks. They also underline that rule learning strategies may differ between individuals.

  14. The Effectiveness of Project-Based Learning on Pupils with Learning Difficulties Regarding Academic Performance, Group Work and Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filippatou, Diamanto; Kaldi, Stavroula

    2010-01-01

    This study focuses upon the effectiveness of project-based learning on primary school pupils with learning difficulties regarding their academic performance and attitudes towards self efficacy, task value, group work and teaching methods applied. The present study is a part of a larger one that included six Greek fourth-grade primary school…

  15. Pfiesteria toxin and learning performance.

    PubMed

    Levin, E D; Simon, B B; Schmechel, D E; Glasgow, H B; Deamer-Melia, N J; Burkholder, J M; Moser, V C; Jensen, K; Harry, G J

    1999-01-01

    Pfiesteria piscicida is an estuarine dinoflagellate involved with fish kills along the east coast of the United States. We previously documented a radial-arm maze learning deficit in rats exposed to Pfiesteria that may be related to cognitive deficits seen in humans after accidental Pfiesteria exposure. The current study elucidated important behavioral parameters of this deficit. There were six dose groups. Forty (10/group) adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were injected (s.c.) with a single dose of Pfiesteria taken from aquarium-cultured Pfiesteria (35,600, 106,800, or 320,400 Pfiesteria cells/kg of rat body weight or a cell-free filtrate of the 106,800 cells/kg dose). One control group (N = 10) was injected with saline and one (N = 10) with aquarium water not containing Pfiesteria. Half of the rats in each group were tested on an 8-arm radial maze in a standard test room, and the other half were tested on the radial maze in a sound-attenuating chamber. In the standard maze room, there was a significant effect of Pfiesteria (p < 0.05) impairing choice accuracy improvement over the first six sessions of training among rats administered 106,800, 320,400, and the 106,800 cells/kg filtered sample. In contrast, there was no indication of an effect of Pfiesteria when the rats were tested on the same configuration radial maze in the sound-attenuating chamber. After 18 sessions of training in one room, the rats were switched for six sessions of testing in the other room and finally were switched back to their original room for three sessions. There was a significant Pfiesteria-induced deficit when the rats were tested in the standard test room but not when they were tested in the sound-attenuating chamber. When the Pfiesteria-exposed rats were initially switched from the sound-attenuating chamber to the standard test room they performed significantly worse than controls, whereas Pfiesteria-treated rats switched from the standard test room to the sound-attenuating chamber

  16. A Nonverbal False Belief Task: The Performance of Children and Great Apes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Call, Josep; Tomasello, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Compared performance of preschool children, chimpanzees, and orangutans on nonverbal task of false-belief understanding and tested children's performance on a verbal version of the same task. Found that children's performance on verbal and nonverbal tasks were highly correlated, and no chimp or orangutan succeeded in the nonverbal false-belief…

  17. Influence of gender on psychomotor vigilance task performance by adolescents.

    PubMed

    Beijamini, F; Silva, A G T; Peixoto, C A T; Louzada, F M

    2008-08-01

    During adolescence, the sleep phase delay associated with early school times increases daytime sleepiness and reduces psychomotor performance. Some studies have shown an effect of gender on psychomotor performance in adults and children. Males present faster reaction times (RT) compared with females. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of gender on Palm psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) performance in adolescents. Thirty-four adolescents (19 girls, 13 to 16 years old) attending morning school classes of a public school in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, participated in the study. Sleep patterns were measured using actigraphy and sleepiness data were accessed with the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS). KSS and PVT measurements were collected at two times in the morning (8:00 and 11:00 h). The data were compared using one-way ANOVA, considering gender as a factor. ANOVA indicated that gender did not affect sleep patterns and subjective somnolence; however, a statistically significant effect of gender was detected for PVT performance. Boys presented faster RT (RT-PVT1: 345.51 ms, F = 6.08, P < 0.05; RT-PVT2: 343.30 ms, F = 6.35, P < 0.05) and fewer lapses (lapses-PVT1: 8.71, F = 4.45, P < 0.05; lapses-PVT2: 7.82, F = 7.06, P < 0.05) compared with girls (RT-PVT1: 402.96; RT-PVT2: 415.70; lapses-PVT1: 16.33; lapses-PVT2: 17.80). These results showed that this effect of gender, already reported in adults and children, is also observed in adolescents. The influence of gender should be taken into account in studies that use Palm PVT to evaluate psychomotor performance in this age range.

  18. Helping Reasoners Succeed in the Wason Selection Task: When Executive Learning Discourages Heuristic Response but Does Not Necessarily Encourage Logic

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Sandrine; Cassotti, Mathieu; Moutier, Sylvain; Delcroix, Nicolas; Houdé, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Reasoners make systematic logical errors by giving heuristic responses that reflect deviations from the logical norm. Influential studies have suggested first that our reasoning is often biased because we minimize cognitive effort to surpass a cognitive conflict between heuristic response from system 1 and analytic response from system 2 thinking. Additionally, cognitive control processes might be necessary to inhibit system 1 responses to activate a system 2 response. Previous studies have shown a significant effect of executive learning (EL) on adults who have transferred knowledge acquired on the Wason selection task (WST) to another isomorphic task, the rule falsification task (RFT). The original paradigm consisted of teaching participants to inhibit a classical matching heuristic that sufficed the first problem and led to significant EL transfer on the second problem. Interestingly, the reasoning tasks differed in inhibiting-heuristic metacognitive cost. Success on the WST requires half-suppression of the matching elements. In contrast, the RFT necessitates a global rejection of the matching elements for a correct answer. Therefore, metacognitive learning difficulty most likely differs depending on whether one uses the first or second task during the learning phase. We aimed to investigate this difficulty and various matching-bias inhibition effects in a new (reversed) paradigm. In this case, the transfer effect from the RFT to the WST could be more difficult because the reasoner learns to reject all matching elements in the first task. We observed that the EL leads to a significant reduction in matching selections on the WST without increasing logical performances. Interestingly, the acquired metacognitive knowledge was too “strictly” transferred and discouraged matching rather than encouraging logic. This finding underlines the complexity of learning transfer and adds new evidence to the pedagogy of reasoning. PMID:25849555

  19. Helping reasoners succeed in the Wason selection task: when executive learning discourages heuristic response but does not necessarily encourage logic.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Sandrine; Cassotti, Mathieu; Moutier, Sylvain; Delcroix, Nicolas; Houdé, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Reasoners make systematic logical errors by giving heuristic responses that reflect deviations from the logical norm. Influential studies have suggested first that our reasoning is often biased because we minimize cognitive effort to surpass a cognitive conflict between heuristic response from system 1 and analytic response from system 2 thinking. Additionally, cognitive control processes might be necessary to inhibit system 1 responses to activate a system 2 response. Previous studies have shown a significant effect of executive learning (EL) on adults who have transferred knowledge acquired on the Wason selection task (WST) to another isomorphic task, the rule falsification task (RFT). The original paradigm consisted of teaching participants to inhibit a classical matching heuristic that sufficed the first problem and led to significant EL transfer on the second problem. Interestingly, the reasoning tasks differed in inhibiting-heuristic metacognitive cost. Success on the WST requires half-suppression of the matching elements. In contrast, the RFT necessitates a global rejection of the matching elements for a correct answer. Therefore, metacognitive learning difficulty most likely differs depending on whether one uses the first or second task during the learning phase. We aimed to investigate this difficulty and various matching-bias inhibition effects in a new (reversed) paradigm. In this case, the transfer effect from the RFT to the WST could be more difficult because the reasoner learns to reject all matching elements in the first task. We observed that the EL leads to a significant reduction in matching selections on the WST without increasing logical performances. Interestingly, the acquired metacognitive knowledge was too "strictly" transferred and discouraged matching rather than encouraging logic. This finding underlines the complexity of learning transfer and adds new evidence to the pedagogy of reasoning.

  20. Summary document of tasks performed on the Shuttle-C/NLS contract

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    During FY92, USBI performed many programmatic related tasks. These programmatic tasks have been categorized as follows: (1) acquisition; (2) project engineering/program planning; and (3) cost. The reports associated with these tasks follow in paragraphs 1.1.1 through 1.3.3. Proceeding each task report is a brief description of the contents contained within.

  1. Exploring the Effect of Red and Blue on Cognitive Task Performances

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Tiansheng; Song, Lu; Wang, Ting T.; Tan, Ling; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies on the effect of color on cognitive task performances and have led to two different views. Some researchers think that the influence of red and blue on cognitive tasks is modulated by the difficulty of the task, and other researchers suggest that the influence mainly depends on the type of task. The current study combined these factors to investigate the effect of color on cognitive task performance. In Experiment 1, we manipulated the difficulty of the task to investigate the effect of red and blue on detail-oriented task performance (the proofreading task), whereas in Experiment 2 we manipulated task difficulty to explore the effect of red and blue on creative task performance (the Remote Associates Test). The results showed that red enhanced the performance on a simple detail-oriented task. However, blue improved the performance on a difficult detail-oriented task as well as on both simple and difficult creative tasks. The results of the current study indicate that the type and difficulty of the task together modulate the effect of color on cognitive performances. PMID:27303343

  2. Task-independent effects are potential confounders in longitudinal imaging studies of learning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Korostil, Michele; Fatima, Zainab; Kovacevic, Natasha; Menon, Mahesh; McIntosh, Anthony Randal

    2016-01-01

    Learning impairment is a core deficit in schizophrenia that impacts on real-world functioning and yet, elucidating its underlying neural basis remains a challenge. A key issue when interpreting learning-task experiments is that task-independent changes may confound interpretation of task-related signal changes in neuroimaging studies. The nature of these task-independent changes in schizophrenia is unknown. Therefore, we examined task-independent "time effects" in a group of participants with schizophrenia contrasted with healthy participants in a longitudinal fMRI learning-experiment designed to allow for examination of non-specific effects of time. Flanking the learning portions of the experiment with a task-of-no-interest allowed us to extract task-independent BOLD changes. Task-independent effects occurred in both groups, but were more robust in the schizophrenia group. There was a significant interaction effect between group and time in a distributed activity pattern that included inferior and superior temporal regions, frontal areas (left anterior insula and superior medial gyri), and parietal areas (posterior cingulate cortices and precuneus). This pattern showed task-independent linear decrease in BOLD amplitude over the two scanning sessions for the schizophrenia group, but showed either opposite effect or no activity changes for the control group. There was a trend towards a correlation between task-independent effects and the presence of more negative symptoms in the schizophrenia group. The strong interaction between group and time suggests that both the scanning experience as a whole and the transition between task-types evokes a different response in persons with schizophrenia and may confound interpretation of learning-related longitudinal imaging experiments if not explicitly considered.

  3. Individual differences in working memory capacity determine the effects of oculomotor task load on concurrent word recall performance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun-Ju; Kwon, Gusang; Lee, Aekyoung; Ghajar, Jamshid; Suh, Minah

    2011-07-05

    In this study, the interaction between individual differences in working memory capacity, which were assessed by the Korean version of the California Verbal Learning Test (K-CVLT), and the effects of oculomotor task load on word recall performance are examined in a dual-task experiment. We hypothesized that varying levels of oculomotor task load should result in different demands on cognitive resources. The verbal working memory task used in this study involved a brief exposure to seven words to be remembered, followed by a 30-second delay during which the subject carried out an oculomotor task. Then, memory performance was assessed by having the subjects recall as many words as possible. Forty healthy normal subjects with no vision-related problems carried out four separate dual-tasks over four consecutive days of participation, wherein word recall performances were tested under unpredictable random SPEM (smooth pursuit eye movement), predictive SPEM, fixation, and eyes-closed conditions. The word recall performance of subjects with low K-CVLT scores was significantly enhanced under predictive SPEM conditions as opposed to the fixation and eyes-closed conditions, but performance was reduced under the random SPEM condition, thus reflecting an inverted-U relationship between the oculomotor task load and word recall performance. Subjects with high K-CVLT scores evidenced steady word recall performances, regardless of the type of oculomotor task performed. The concurrent oculomotor performance measured by velocity error did not differ significantly among the K-CVLT groups. However, the high-scoring subjects evidenced smaller phase errors under predictive SPEM conditions than did the low-scoring subjects; this suggests that different resource allocation strategies may be adopted, depending on individuals' working memory capacity.

  4. Cardiac data increase association between self-report and both expert ratings of task load and task performance in flight simulator tasks: An exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Lehrer, Paul; Karavidas, Maria; Lu, Shou-En; Vaschillo, Evgeny; Vaschillo, Bronya; Cheng, Andrew

    2010-05-01

    Seven professional airplane pilots participated in a one-session test in a Boeing 737-800 simulator. Mental workload for 18 flight tasks was rated by experienced test pilots (hereinafter called "expert ratings") and by study participants' self-report on NASA's Task Load Index (TLX) scale. Pilot performance was rated by a check pilot. The standard deviation of R-R intervals (SDNN) significantly added 3.7% improvement over the TLX in distinguishing high from moderate-load tasks and 2.3% improvement in distinguishing high from combined moderate and low-load tasks. Minimum RRI in the task significantly discriminated high- from medium- and low-load tasks, but did not add significant predictive variance to the TLX. The low-frequency/high-frequency (LF:HF) RRI ratio based on spectral analysis of R-R intervals, and ventricular relaxation time were each negatively related to pilot performance ratings independently of TLX values, while minimum and average RRI were positively related, showing added contribution of these cardiac measures for predicting performance. Cardiac results were not affected by controlling either for respiration rate or motor activity assessed by accelerometry. The results suggest that cardiac assessment can be a useful addition to self-report measures for determining flight task mental workload and risk for performance decrements. Replication on a larger sample is needed to confirm and extend the results.

  5. Gender Effects When Learning Manipulative Tasks from Instructional Animations and Static Presentations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wong, Mona; Castro-Alonso, Juan C.; Ayres, Paul; Paas, Fred

    2015-01-01

    Humans have an evolved embodied cognition that equips them to deal easily with the natural movements of object manipulations. Hence, learning a manipulative task is generally more effective when watching animations that show natural motions of the task, rather than equivalent static pictures. The present study was completed to explore this…

  6. The Role of CLEAR Thinking in Learning Science from Multiple-Document Inquiry Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffin, Thomas D.; Wiley, Jennifer; Britt, M. Anne; Salas, Carlos R.

    2012-01-01

    The main goal for the current study was to investigate whether individual differences in domain-general thinking dispositions might affect learning from multiple-document inquiry tasks in science. Middle school students were given a set of documents and were tasked with understanding how and why recent patterns in global temperature might be…

  7. Task-Oriented Spoken Dialog System for Second-Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kwon, Oh-Woog; Kim, Young-Kil; Lee, Yunkeun

    2016-01-01

    This paper introduces a Dialog-Based Computer Assisted second-Language Learning (DB-CALL) system using task-oriented dialogue processing technology. The system promotes dialogue with a second-language learner for a specific task, such as purchasing tour tickets, ordering food, passing through immigration, etc. The dialog system plays a role of a…

  8. Pattern of Non-Task Interactions in Asynchronous Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abedin, Babak; Daneshgar, Farhad; D'Ambra, John

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of the non-task interactions in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments as emphasized in the literature, few studies have investigated online behavior of people in the CSCL environments. This paper studies the pattern of non-task interactions among postgraduate students in an Australian university. The…

  9. The Effectiveness of the Continuation Task on Second Language Learning of English Articles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jiang, Lin

    2015-01-01

    This article aims to uncover how alignment in the continuation task affects second language (L2) learning of English articles. Two classes of 47 Chinese students participated in the study which employed a pretest-treatment-posttest research design and lasted for a period of 20 weeks. One class received the continuation task treatment, during which…

  10. Task Card Instruction: The Effect of Different Cue Sequences on Students' Learning in Tennis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iserbyt, Peter; Madou, Bob; Elen, Jan; Behets, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    In physical education, task cards are often used in student-centred learning models. Consequently, a better understanding of how to deliver effective instructions by means of task cards would make a contribution to the literature. In this study, 80 right-handed university students in kinesiology were randomized across three experimental conditions…

  11. Incidental Learning of S-R Contingencies in the Masked Prime Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlaghecken, Friederike; Blagrove, Elisabeth; Maylor, Elizabeth A.

    2007-01-01

    Subliminal motor priming effects in the masked prime paradigm can only be obtained when primes are part of the task set. In 2 experiments, the authors investigated whether the relevant task set feature needs to be explicitly instructed or could be extracted automatically in an incidental learning paradigm. Primes and targets were symmetrical…

  12. Advanced Marketing 8130. Instructional Areas. Duties and Tasks. Learning Activities. Referenced Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Virginia State Dept. of Education, Richmond.

    This resource handbook, which is designed for use by instructors of courses in advanced marketing, consists of a duty/task list with referenced resources, a duty/task list with learning activities, and a list of resources. Included in each list are materials dealing with the following topics: communication in marketing, economics in marketing,…

  13. Children's Self-Regulated Learning Profile in Language and Mathematics: The Role of Task Value Beliefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metallidou, Panayiota; Vlachou, Anastasia

    2010-01-01

    This study explored the self-regulated learning (SRL) profile of upper elementary (fifth and sixth grade) school children who were differentiated in their task value beliefs (low and high) in language and mathematics. Students' SRL profile involved their teachers' ratings of achievement outcomes and SRL behaviors. The subscale of task value…

  14. A Six-Tier Cake: An Experiment with Self-Selected Learning Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kraus-Srebric, Eva; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Describes experiment in self-directed learning using Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to establish six levels of cognitive ability. Children in four classes in a Belgrade school selected the task they felt most appropriate and completed it with others who had chosen the same task. (Author/BK)

  15. The Effects of Inspecting and Constructing Part-Task-Specific Visualizations on Team and Individual Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slof, Bert; Erkens, Gijsbert; Kirschner, Paul A.; Helms-Lorenz, Michelle

    2013-01-01

    This study examined whether inspecting and constructing different part-task-specific visualizations differentially affects learning. To this end, a complex business-economics problem was structured into three phase-related part-tasks: (1) determining core concepts, (2) proposing multiple solutions, and (3) coming to a single solution. Each phase…

  16. Balancing Classroom Management with Mathematical Learning: Using Practice-Based Task Design in Mathematics Teacher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biza, Irene; Nardi, Elena; Joel, Gareth

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we present the results from a study in which 21 mathematics trainee teachers engage with two practice-based tasks in which classroom management interferes with mathematical learning. We investigate the trainees' considerations when they make decisions in classroom situations and how these tasks can trigger their reflections on the…

  17. Attitudes toward Task-Based Language Learning: A Study of College Korean Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pyun, Danielle Ooyoung

    2013-01-01

    This study explores second/foreign language (L2) learners' attitudes toward task-based language learning (TBLL) and how these attitudes relate to selected learner variables, namely anxiety, integrated motivation, instrumental motivation, and self-efficacy. Ninety-one college students of Korean as a foreign language, who received task-based…

  18. Student Practices, Learning, and Attitudes When Using Computerized Ranking Tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

    Ranking Tasks are a novel type of conceptual exercise based on a technique called rule assessment. Ranking Tasks present students with a series of four to eight icons that describe slightly different variations of a basic physical situation. Students are then asked to identify the order, or ranking, of the various situations based on some physical outcome or result. The structure of Ranking Tasks makes it difficult for students to rely strictly on memorized answers and mechanical substitution of formulae. In addition, by changing the presentation of the different scenarios (e.g., photographs, line diagrams, graphs, tables, etc.) we find that Ranking Tasks require students to develop mental schema that are more flexible and robust. Ranking tasks may be implemented on the computer which requires students to order the icons through drag-and-drop. Computer implementation allows the incorporation of background material, grading with feedback, and providing additional similar versions of the task through randomization so that students can build expertise through practice. This poster will summarize the results of a study of student usage of computerized ranking tasks. We will investigate 1) student practices (How do they make use of these tools?), 2) knowledge and skill building (Do student scores improve with iteration and are there diminishing returns?), and 3) student attitudes toward using computerized Ranking Tasks (Do they like using them?). This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  19. Modeling How, When, and What Is Learned in a Simple Fault-Finding Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritter, Frank E.; Bibby, Peter A.

    2008-01-01

    We have developed a process model that learns in multiple ways while finding faults in a simple control panel device. The model predicts human participants' learning through its own learning. The model's performance was systematically compared to human learning data, including the time course and specific sequence of learned behaviors. These…

  20. Learning the Lane Change Task: comparing different training regimes in semi-paced and continuous secondary tasks.

    PubMed

    Huemer, Anja Katharina; Vollrath, Mark

    2012-09-01

    For road safety it is paramount that distraction by in-vehicle systems is limited. To reach this aim the Lane Change Task (LCT; Mattes, 2003) was developed. It is used as a test procedure to measure distraction due to secondary tasks in driving. The LCT is implemented as an ISO standard (ISO 26022: 2010) with the aim to provide an objective criterion for designing human-machine interactions (HMI) in a way which is not detrimental to driving. As different baseline performance in the LCT could not be sufficiently explained in recent studies, comparisons of different training regimes were conducted in order to examine training influences on LCT performance. Discriminable performance improvements in LCT were found depending on the secondary task used. A training regime of at least ten runs of LCT in single-task mode is recommended for effective training. This training should be supplemented by a training of the secondary tasks examined. An additional exploration of a dual-task situation is recommended.