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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. Task complexity, student perceptions of vocabulary learning in EFL, and task performance.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    The study deepened our understanding of how students' self-efficacy beliefs contribute to the context of teaching English as a foreign language in the framework of cognitive mediational paradigm at a fine-tuned task-specific level. The aim was to examine the relationship among task complexity, self-efficacy beliefs, domain-related prior knowledge, learning strategy use, and task performance as they were applied to English vocabulary learning from reading tasks. Participants were 120 second-year university students (mean age 21) from a Chinese university. This experiment had two conditions (simple/complex). A vocabulary level test was first conducted to measure participants' prior knowledge of English vocabulary. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of the learning tasks. Participants were administered task booklets together with the self-efficacy scales, measures of learning strategy use, and post-tests. Data obtained were submitted to multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and path analysis. Results from the MANOVA model showed a significant effect of vocabulary level on self-efficacy beliefs, learning strategy use, and task performance. Task complexity showed no significant effect; however, an interaction effect between vocabulary level and task complexity emerged. Results from the path analysis showed self-efficacy beliefs had an indirect effect on performance. Our results highlighted the mediating role of self-efficacy beliefs and learning strategy use. Our findings indicate that students' prior knowledge plays a crucial role on both self-efficacy beliefs and task performance, and the predictive power of self-efficacy on task performance may lie in its association with learning strategy use. © 2011 The British Psychological Society.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Musicians' Online Performance during Auditory and Visual Statistical Learning Tasks.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Motor learning in children with spina bifida: intact learning and performance on a ballistic task.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Maureen; Jewell, Derryn; Edelstein, Kim; Brandt, Michael E; Hetherington, Ross; Blaser, Susan E; Fletcher, Jack M

    2006-09-01

    Learning and performance on a ballistic task were investigated in children with spina bifida meningomyelocele (SBM), with either upper level spinal lesions (n = 21) or lower level spinal lesions (n = 81), and in typically developing controls (n = 35). Participants completed three phases (20 trials each) of an elbow goniometer task that required a ballistic arm movement to move a cursor to one of two target positions on a screen, including (1) an initial learning phase, (2) an adaptation phase with a gain change such that recalibration of the ballistic arm movement was required, and (3) a learning reactivation phase under the original gain condition. Initial error rate, asymptotic error rate, and learning rate did not differ significantly between the SBM and control groups. Relative to controls, the SBM group had reduced volumes in the cerebellar hemispheres and pericallosal gray matter (the region including the basal ganglia), although only the pericallosal gray matter was significantly correlated with motor adaptation. Congenital cerebellar dysmorphology is associated with preserved motor skill learning on voluntary, nonreflexive tasks in children with SBM, in whom the relative roles of the cerebellum and basal ganglia may differ from those in the adult brain.

  12. 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.

  13. High variability impairs motor learning regardless of whether it affects task performance.

    PubMed

    Cardis, Marco; Casadio, Maura; Ranganathan, Rajiv

    2017-09-27

    Motor variability plays an important role in motor learning, although the exact mechanisms of how variability affects learning is not well understood. Recent evidence suggests that motor variability may have different effects on learning in redundant tasks, depending on whether it is present in the task space (where it affects task performance), or in the null space (where it has no effect on task performance). Here we examined the effect of directly introducing null and task space variability using a manipulandum during the learning of a motor task. Participants learned a bimanual shuffleboard task for 2 days, where their goal was to slide a virtual puck as close as possible towards a target. Critically, the distance traveled by the puck was determined by the sum of the left and right hand velocities, which meant that there was redundancy in the task. Participants were divided into five groups - based on both the dimension in which the variability was introduced and the amount of variability that was introduced during training. Results showed that although all groups were able to reduce error with practice, learning was affected more by the amount of variability introduced rather than the dimension in which variability was introduced. Specifically, groups with higher movement variability during practice showed larger errors at the end of practice compared to groups that had low variability during learning. These results suggest that although introducing variability can increase exploration of new solutions, this may adversely affect the ability to retain the learned solution. Copyright © 2017, Journal of Neurophysiology.

  14. 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,…

  15. Task-Level Robot Learning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-08-01

    Number) We are investigating how to program robots so that they learn from experience. Our goal is to develop principled methods of learning that can...juggling. We have developed one method of learning, task-level learning, that successfully improves a robot’s performance of both a ball-throwing and a...dramatically improves. Task-level learning is a general method of improving a robot’s performance of complex dynamic tasks. Task-level learning serves

  16. 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.

  17. Analysis of Time-on-Task, Behavior Experiences, and Performance in Two Online Courses with Different Authentic Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Sanghoon

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports the findings of a comparative analysis of online learner behavioral interactions, time-on-task, attendance, and performance at different points throughout a semester (beginning, during, and end) based on two online courses: one course offering authentic discussion-based learning activities and the other course offering authentic…

  18. The Impact of Students' Temporal Perspectives on Time-on-Task and Learning Performance in Game Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romero, Margarida; Usart, Mireia

    2013-01-01

    The use of games for educational purposes has been considered as a learning methodology that attracts the students' attention and may allow focusing individuals on the learning activity through the [serious games] SG game dynamic. Based on the hypothesis that students' Temporal Perspective has an impact on learning performance and time-on-task,…

  19. 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.

  20. Learning Opportunities: Adding Learning Value to Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crabbe, David

    2007-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. Enhancing Learning Performance and Adaptability for Complex Tasks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-03-30

    example , research indicates that trainees under learner control conditions exhibit a tendency to terminate instruction prematurely, negatively affecting...Old Discrepancy - New Discrepancy x 100 Old Discrepancy To be concrete, consider the example in Figure 3. Assume that initial performance on trial 1...performance gains are relatively small. Figure 3. Example of a Negatively Accelerated Curve 70 60 E50- 40 *30 a. 20 10 0 I I 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Trial Thus

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Analogy versus explicit learning of a modified basketball shooting task: performance and kinematic outcomes.

    PubMed

    Lam, W K; Maxwell, J P; Masters, R S W

    2009-01-15

    The effects of differential instructional sets on motor skill acquisition were investigated using performance outcome and kinematic measures. Participants were provided with a single analogical instruction (analogy learning), a set of eight explicit (technical) instructions (explicit learning), or were not instructed (control). During a learning phase, participants (n=9 for each condition) performed a modified basketball shooting task over 3 days (160 trials per day). On the fourth day, participants performed a test phase consisting of two 40-trial retention tests, separated by a 40-trial secondary task transfer test, and completed a verbal protocol describing in detail the techniques that they had used to perform the task. No performance differences were found during the two retention tests, indicating similar amounts of learning for all groups. During the transfer test, performance deteriorated for both the explicit and control conditions, but not for the analogy condition. Participants in the analogy condition reported significantly fewer technical rules. Although no group differences were reported for kinematic variables, identification of movement components supported the claim that explicit learners exert conscious control over their movements, whereas analogy learners use a more implicit (unconscious or automatic) mode of movement control.

  6. Learning one task by interleaving practice with another task

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Cognitive Replay of Visuomotor Learning at Sleep Onset: Temporal Dynamics and Relationship to Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Wamsley, Erin J.; Perry, Karen; Djonlagic, Ina; Babkes Reaven, Laura; Stickgold, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Study Objectives: Studies of neural activity in animals and humans suggest that experiences are “replayed” in cortical and hippocampal networks during NREM sleep. Here, we examine whether memory reactivation in sleeping humans might also be evident within reports of concomitant subjective experience (i.e., dreaming). Design: Participants were trained on an engaging visuomotor learning task across a period of one or more days, and sleep onset mentation was collected at variable intervals using the “Nightcap” home-monitoring device. Verbal reports of sleep onset mentation were obtained either at the beginning of the night, or following 2 h of initial sleep. Setting: Data were collected in participants' home environments, via the Nightcap monitoring system, and at The Center for Sleep and Cognition, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston MA. Participants: 43 healthy, medication-free college students (16 males, age 18-25 years). Interventions: N/A Measurements and Results: The learning task exerted a powerful, direct effect on verbal reports of mentation during light NREM sleep (stages 1 and 2). On post-training nights, a full 30% of all verbal reports were related to the task. The nature of this cognitive “replay” effect was altered with increasing durations of sleep, becoming more abstracted from the original experience as time into sleep increased. Conclusions: These observations are interpreted in light of memory consolidation theory, and demonstrate that introspective reports can provide a valuable window on cognitive processing in the sleeping brain. Citation: Wamsley EJ; Perry K; Djonlagic I; Babkes Reaven L; Stickgold R. Cognitive replay of visuomotor learning at sleep onset: temporal dynamics and relationship to task performance. SLEEP 2010;33(1):59-68. PMID:20120621

  15. Procedural instructions, principles, and examples: how to structure instructions for procedural tasks to enhance performance, learning, and transfer.

    PubMed

    Eiriksdottir, Elsa; Catrambone, Richard

    2011-12-01

    The goal of this article is to investigate how instructions can be constructed to enhance performance and learning of procedural tasks. Important determinants of the effectiveness of instructions are type of instructions (procedural information, principles, and examples) and pedagogical goal (initial performance, learning, and transfer). Procedural instructions describe how to complete tasks in a stepwise manner, principles describe rules governing the tasks, and examples demonstrate how instances of the task are carried out. The authors review the research literature associated with each type of instruction to identify factors determining effectiveness for different pedagogical goals. The results suggest a trade-off between usability and learnability. Specific instructions help initial performance, whereas more general instructions, requiring problem solving, help learning and transfer. Learning from instructions takes cognitive effort, and research suggests that learners typically opt for low effort. However, it is possible to meet both goals of good initial performance and learning with methods such as fading and by combining different types of instructions. How instructions are constructed influences their effectiveness for the goals of good initial performance, learning, and transfer, and it is therefore important for researchers and practitioners alike to define the pedagogical goal of instructions. If the goal is good initial performance, then instructions should highly resemble the task at hand (e.g., in the form of detailed procedural instructions and examples), but if the goal is good learning and transfer, then instructions should be more abstract, inducing learners to expend the necessary cognitive effort for learning.

  16. 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.

  17. An operant serial implicit learning task (SILT) in rats: task acquisition, performance and the effects of striatal lesions.

    PubMed

    Jay, Julia R; Dunnett, Stephen B

    2007-07-30

    We describe the serial implicit learning task (SILT), a novel test for assessing implicit and procedural learning in rodents, and have used the task to test whether striatal lesions disrupt the speed and accuracy of responding to stimulus-response (S-R) sequences that may be either predictable or unpredictable. In this task, the rats must learn to respond to two consecutive stimulus lights, S1 and S2, which may occur on each trial in any of five alternative response locations, for food reward. For two of the S1 locations, the location of the subsequent S2 is predictable, whereas for the other three S1 locations, the location of S2 is unpredictable and can appear with equal probability in any of the other four locations (i.e. any open hole other than S1 itself). All rats learned to make the serial responses rapidly and accurately. Effective implicit learning was demonstrated by there being a significant advantage in both speed and accuracy in responding to predictable than to unpredictable S2 stimuli. Following quinolinic acid lesions of the medial or lateral striatum, the lesioned rats showed significantly reduced accuracy and increased latencies in responding to both S1 and S2, although (contrary to initial hypothesis) the benefits of predictability of S2 were retained. These data establish a novel and efficient operant test for implicit learning in the rat.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-13

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Baseline performance and learning rate of conceptual and perceptual skill-learning tasks: the effect of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Vakil, Eli; Lev-Ran Galon, Carmit

    2014-01-01

    Existing literature presents a complex and inconsistent picture of the specific deficiencies involved in skill learning following traumatic brain injury (TBI). In an attempt to address this difficulty, individuals with moderate to severe TBI (n = 29) and a control group (n = 29) were tested with two different skill-learning tasks: conceptual (i.e., Tower of Hanoi Puzzle, TOHP) and perceptual (i.e., mirror reading, MR). Based on previous studies of the effect of divided attention on these tasks and findings regarding the effect of TBI on conceptual and perceptual priming tasks, it was predicted that the group with TBI would show impaired baseline performance compared to controls in the TOHP task though their learning rate would be maintained, while both baseline performance and learning rate on the MR task would be maintained. Consistent with our predictions, overall baseline performance of the group with TBI was impaired in the TOHP test, while the learning rate was not. The learning rate on the MR task was preserved but, contrary to our prediction, response time of the group with TBI was slower than that of controls. The pattern of results observed in the present study was interpreted to possibly reflect an impairment of both the frontal lobes as well as that of diffuse axonal injury, which is well documented as being affected by TBI. The former impairment affects baseline performance of the conceptual learning skill, while the latter affects the overall slower performance of the perceptual learning skill.

  5. 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…

  6. Does physical activity benefit motor performance and learning of upper extremity tasks in older adults? - A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Hübner, Lena; Voelcker-Rehage, Claudia

    2017-01-01

    Upper extremity motor performance declines with increasing age. However, older adults need to maintain, learn new and relearn known motor tasks. Research with young adults indicated that regular and acute physical activity might facilitate motor performance and motor learning processes. Therefore, this review aimed to examine the association between chronic physical activity and acute bouts of exercise on motor performance and motor learning in upper extremity motor tasks in older adults. Literature was searched via Cochrane library, PubMED, PsycINFO and Scopus and 27 studies met all inclusion criteria. All studies dealt with the influence of chronic physical activity on motor performance or motor learning, no appropriate study examining the influence of an acute bout of exercise in older adults was found. Results concerning the association of chronic physical activity and motor performance are mixed and seem to be influenced by the study design, kind of exercise, motor task, and exercise intensity. Regarding motor learning, a high physical activity or cardiovascular fitness level seems to boost the initial phase of motor learning; results differ with respect to motor retention. Overall, (motor-coordinative) intervention studies seem to be more promising than cross-sectional studies.

  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. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Witt, Arnaud; Puspitawati, Ira; Vinter, Annie

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Tristan E.; Lee, Youngmin

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Cognitive replay of visuomotor learning at sleep onset: temporal dynamics and relationship to task performance.

    PubMed

    Wamsley, Erin J; Perry, Karen; Djonlagic, Ina; Reaven, Laura Babkes; Stickgold, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Studies of neural activity in animals and humans suggest that experiences are "replayed" in cortical and hippocampal networks during NREM sleep. Here, we examine whether memory reactivation in sleeping humans might also be evident within reports of concomitant subjective experience (i.e., dreaming). Participants were trained on an engaging visuomotor learning task across a period of one or more days, and sleep onset mentation was collected at variable intervals using the "Nightcap" home-monitoring device. Verbal reports of sleep onset mentation were obtained either at the beginning of the night, or following 2 h of initial sleep. Data were collected in participants' home environments, via the Nightcap monitoring system, and at The Center for Sleep and Cognition, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston MA. 43 healthy, medication-free college students (16 males, age 18-25 years). N/A. The learning task exerted a powerful, direct effect on verbal reports of mentation during light NREM sleep (stages 1 and 2). On post-training nights, a full 30% of all verbal reports were related to the task. The nature of this cognitive "replay" effect was altered with increasing durations of sleep, becoming more abstracted from the original experience as time into sleep increased. These observations are interpreted in light of memory consolidation theory, and demonstrate that introspective reports can provide a valuable window on cognitive processing in the sleeping brain.

  15. Tower of Hanoi Disk-Transfer Task: Influences of Strategy Knowledge and Learning on Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Welsh, Marilyn C.; Huizinga, Mariette

    2005-01-01

    Tower of Hanoi has become a popular tool in cognitive and neuropsychology to assess a set of behaviors collectively referred to as executive functions. Substantial variability in performance on the Tower of Hanoi (TOH) disk-transfer task among normally functioning young adults, and potential contributions to these individual differences, were…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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,…

  8. Neural correlates of a decision variable before learning to perform a Match/Nonmatch task

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Xue-Lian; Meyer, Travis; Stanford, Terrence R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2012-01-01

    The lateral prefrontal cortex plays an important role in working memory and decision making though little is known about how neural correlates of these functions are shaped by learning. To understand the effect of learning on the neuronal representation of decision making, we recorded single neurons from the lateral prefrontal cortex of monkeys before and after they were trained to judge whether two stimuli appeared at matching spatial locations. After training, and in agreement to prior studies, a population of neurons exhibited activity that was modulated depending on whether the second stimulus constituted a match or not, which had predictive ability for the monkey’s choice. However, even prior to training prefrontal neurons displayed modulation depending on the match or nonmatch status of a stimulus, with approximately equal percentages of neurons preferring a match or a nonmatch. The difference in firing rate and discriminability for match and nonmatch stimuli prior to training was of comparable magnitude as that after training. Changes observed after training involved an increase in the percentage of neurons exhibiting this effect, a greater proportion of neurons preferring nonmatch stimuli, and a greater percentage of neurons representing information about the first stimulus during the presentation of the second stimulus. Our results suggest that the neuronal activity representing some match/nonmatch judgments is present in the lateral prefrontal cortex even when subjects are not required to perform a comparison and prior to any training. PMID:22553022

  9. Longitudinal analyses of operant performance on the serial implicit learning task (SILT) in the YAC128 Huntington's disease mouse line.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Simon P; Jones, Lesley; Dunnett, Stephen B

    2012-06-01

    Huntington's disease is a genetic disorder characterised by progressive striatal and cortical neurodegeneration, resulting in a broad range of motor, cognitive and behavioural abnormalities. The disease is caused by a single mutation in the gene responsible for the protein huntingtin, increasing the number of polyQ repeats and conferring a toxic gain of function to the mutant protein, which ultimately induces cell death. Several mouse models of HD are available. The YAC128 mouse model carries 128 CAG repeats and is known to develop several HD-like symptoms. This model has been well characterised on the FVB/N background strain, a strain that develops severe retinal degeneration. We have therefore sought to characterise YAC128 deficit in mice backcrossed onto the C57BL/6j background strain which is free of visual deficits and therefore more amenable to behavioural testing. In a parallel study (this special issue) we have provided a longitudinal characterisation of the emergence of a motor phenotype in the YAC128/C57BL mice. In the present paper, we have undertaken a more detailed characterisation of cognitive impairment in this mouse line at 6, 12, and 18 months of age using the operant serial implicit learning task (SILT), a task that was first designed to assess impairments in mice similar to the implicit serial learning impairments in HD patients task, and which has subsequently been shown to be highly sensitive to cortico-striatal disruption in mice. On the SILT task, the mouse must attain rewards by correctly nose-poking to 2 stimulus lights (S1 and S2) presented randomly and sequentially in 5 holes (deemed A-E) on a light array. Performance is measured by accuracy and speed of response to the S1 and S2 stimuli. Embedded within the random sequences, was a predictable sequence whereby an S1 in hole B is always followed by the S2 in hole D, which constitutes an implicit learning probe. The YAC128 carriers were less accurate in their responses to both S1 and S2

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  13. A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE PERFORMANCE OF MENTALLY HANDICAPPED AND INTELLECTUALLY NORMAL BOYS ON SELECTED TASKS INVOLVING LEARNING AND TRANSFER, DECEMBER 1, 1956 - NOVEMBER 30, 1957.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    BLAKE, KATHRYN A.; CRUICKSHANK, WILLIAM M.

    THE RESPONSES OF EDUCABLE MENTALLY RETARDED CHILDREN AND INTELLECTUALLY NORMAL CHILDREN OF SIMILAR MENTAL AGES TO TASKS INVOLVING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF LEARNING AND TRANSFER OF THAT LEARNING WERE STUDIED. THE MAJOR OBJECTIVE WAS TO TEST THE HYPOTHESIS THAT DIFFERENCES IN ACHIEVEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE TEST PERFORMANCES BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS TESTED ARE…

  14. 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.

  15. Synchronous Tandem Language Learning in a MOOC Context: A Study on Task Design and Learner Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fondo Garcia, Marta; Appel, Christine

    2016-01-01

    In the context of a Language Massive Open Online Course (LMOOC), teacher interventions have to be designed into the course, since personalized teacher feedback actions are impossible due to the large number of participants. Learner autonomy, peer-feedback and task design are crucial in this course design. This paper presents a study on the task…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Performance Tasks and the Pedagogy of Broadway

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chun, Marc

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Task-Based Learning: The Interaction between Tasks and Learners.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Jacky

    2003-01-01

    Investigates the relationship between tasks and learners in task-based learning. Findings suggest that manipulation of task characteristics and conditions may not achieve the intended pedagogic outcomes, and that new ways are needed to focus learners' attention of form without sacrificing the meaning-driven principles of task-based learning.…

  3. 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…

  4. Structure Learning in a Sensorimotor Association Task

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Structure learning in a sensorimotor association task.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-29

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

  6. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mansi, Gary R.

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Task-driven dictionary learning.

    PubMed

    Mairal, Julien; Bach, Francis; Ponce, Jean

    2012-04-01

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

  10. 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…

  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. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    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.

  15. Performance in Dual Tasks.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-02-29

    Continue on reverse aide it neceeay and identify by block nualtber) Problem solving, attention , computer simulation, choice reaction time ...construct a single theoretical framework for the analysis of problem solving and real time 4attention and performance’ behavior. Such a model has been...the "production system * approach. The program has been used to simulate results from choice reaction time , stimulus repetition, dual channel

  16. Task Demands in OSCEs Influence Learning Strategies.

    PubMed

    Lafleur, Alexandre; Laflamme, Jonathan; Leppink, Jimmie; Côté, Luc

    2017-01-01

    Models on pre-assessment learning effects confirmed that task demands stand out among the factors assessors can modify in an assessment to influence learning. However, little is known about which tasks in objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) improve students' cognitive and metacognitive processes. Research is needed to support OSCE designs that benefit students' metacognitive strategies when they are studying, reinforcing a hypothesis-driven approach. With that intent, hypothesis-driven physical examination (HDPE) assessments ask students to elicit and interpret findings of the physical exam to reach a diagnosis ("Examine this patient with a painful shoulder to reach a diagnosis"). When studying for HDPE, students will dedicate more time to hypothesis-driven discussions and practice than when studying for a part-task OSCE ("Perform the shoulder exam"). It is expected that the whole-task nature of HDPE will lead to a hypothesis-oriented use of the learning resources, a frequent use of adjustment strategies, and persistence with learning. In a mixed-methods study, 40 medical students were randomly paired and filmed while studying together for two hypothetical OSCE stations. Each 25-min study period began with video cues asking to study for either a part-task OSCE or an HDPE. In a crossover design, sequences were randomized for OSCEs and contents (shoulder or spine). Time-on-task for discussions or practice were categorized as "hypothesis-driven" or "sequence of signs and maneuvers." Content analysis of focus group interviews summarized students' perception of learning resources, adjustment strategies, and persistence with learning. When studying for HDPE, students allocate significantly more time for hypothesis-driven discussions and practice. Students use resources contrasting diagnoses and report persistence with learning. When studying for part-task OSCEs, time-on-task is reversed, spent on rehearsing a sequence of signs and maneuvers. OSCEs with

  17. 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

  18. Leadership for Learning: Tasks of Learning Culture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corrigan, Joe

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Learning to Model Task-Oriented Attention.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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,…

  9. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verpoorten, Dominique; Westera, Wim

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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,…

  12. 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…

  13. An Automated Home-Cage System to Assess Learning and Performance of a Skilled Motor Task in a Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

    PubMed

    Woodard, Cameron L; Bolaños, Federico; Boyd, James D; Silasi, Gergely; Murphy, Timothy H; Raymond, Lynn A

    2017-01-01

    Behavioral testing is a critical step in assessing the validity of rodent models of neurodegenerative disease, as well as evaluating the efficacy of pharmacological interventions. In models of Huntington's disease (HD), a gradual progression of impairments is observed across ages, increasing the need for sensitive, high-throughput and longitudinal assessments. Recently, a number of automated systems have been developed to perform behavioral profiling of animals within their own home-cage, allowing for 24-h monitoring and minimizing experimenter interaction. However, as of yet, few of these have had functionality for the assessment of skilled motor learning, a relevant behavior for movement disorders such as HD. To address this, we assess a lever positioning task within the mouse home-cage. Animals first acquire a simple operant response, before moving to a second phase where they must learn to hold the lever for progressively longer in a rewarded position range. Testing with this paradigm has revealed the presence of distinct phenotypes in the YAC128 mouse model of HD at three early symptomatic time points. YAC128 mice at two months old, but not older, had a motor learning deficit when required to adapt their response to changes in task requirements. In contrast, six-month-old YAC128 mice had disruptions of normal circadian activity and displayed kinematic abnormalities during performance of the task, suggesting an impairment in motor control. This system holds promise for facilitating high throughput behavioral assessment of HD mouse models for preclinical therapeutic screening.

  14. Transfer of perceptual learning between different visual tasks

    PubMed Central

    McGovern, David P.; Webb, Ben S.; Peirce, Jonathan W.

    2012-01-01

    Practice in most sensory tasks substantially improves perceptual performance. A hallmark of this ‘perceptual learning' is its specificity for the basic attributes of the trained stimulus and task. Recent studies have challenged the specificity of learned improvements, although transfer between substantially different tasks has yet to be demonstrated. Here, we measure the degree of transfer between three distinct perceptual tasks. Participants trained on an orientation discrimination, a curvature discrimination, or a ‘global form' task, all using stimuli comprised of multiple oriented elements. Before and after training they were tested on all three and a contrast discrimination control task. A clear transfer of learning was observed, in a pattern predicted by the relative complexity of the stimuli in the training and test tasks. Our results suggest that sensory improvements derived from perceptual learning can transfer between very different visual tasks. PMID:23048211

  15. 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…

  16. What Is Task-Centered Learning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francom, Gregory M.; Gardner, Joel

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Performance variability during a multitrial list-learning task as a predictor of future cognitive decline in healthy elders.

    PubMed

    Sugarman, Michael A; Woodard, John L; Nielson, Kristy A; Smith, J Carson; Seidenberg, Michael; Durgerian, Sally; Norman, Andria L; Hantke, Nathan C; Rao, Stephen M

    2014-01-01

    In clinical settings, neuropsychological test performance is traditionally evaluated with total summary scores (TSS). However, recent studies demonstrated that indices of intraindividual variability (IIV) yielded unique information complementing TSS. This 18-month longitudinal study sought to determine whether IIV indices derived from a multitrial list-learning test (the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test) provided incremental utility in predicting cognitive decline in older adults compared to TSS. Ninety-nine cognitively intact older adults (aged 65 to 89 years) underwent neuropsychological testing (including the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test) at baseline and 18-month follow-up. Participants were classified as cognitively stable (n = 65) or declining (n = 34) based on changes in their neuropsychological test performance. Logistic regression modeling tested the ability of baseline TSS indices (sum of Trials 1-5, immediate recall, and delayed recall) and IIV indices (lost access and gained access) to discriminate between stable and declining individuals. Higher values of both lost access and gained access at baseline were associated with an increased risk for decline at 18-month follow-up. Further, the IIV indices provided predictive utility above and beyond the TSS indices. These results highlight the value of analyzing IIV in addition to TSS during neuropsychological evaluation in older adults. High levels of IIV may reflect impairment in anterograde memory systems and/or executive dysfunction that may serve as a prognostic indicator of cognitive decline.

  19. 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)

  20. Motor Task Variation Induces Structural Learning

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. The relationship between vocabulary, grammar, and false belief task performance in children with autistic spectrum disorders and children with moderate learning difficulties.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Naomi; Happé, Francesca; Dunn, Judy

    2005-04-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between language and theory of mind in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and children with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). Previous studies have found a strong association between language and theory of mind in a range of groups, but mostly have not included measures of both grammar and vocabulary; including these enables us to speculate about the causal direction of the relationship. Fifty-eight children with ASD and 118 children with MLD were given standardised assessments of vocabulary and grammar, along with standard theory of mind tasks. The relationship between language and theory of mind was more evident in children with ASD than in those with MLD, and grammar was a particularly strong predictor of theory of mind performance in children with ASD. Children with MLD performed better on false belief (FB) tasks than did children with ASD, and their performance was more predictable across the different theory of mind tasks. Language, in particular grammar, and theory of mind appear to be more strongly related in children with ASD than in those with MLD. We speculate that this relationship may be causal, with some grammatical understanding being a precursor of theory of mind. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to possible routes for compensatory strategies for mentalising in children with ASD.

  2. Dual-task practice enhances motor learning: a preliminary investigation.

    PubMed

    Goh, Hui-Ting; Sullivan, Katherine J; Gordon, James; Wulf, Gabriele; Winstein, Carolee J

    2012-10-01

    Practicing a motor task under dual-task conditions can be beneficial to motor learning when the secondary task is difficult (Roche et al. in Percept Psychophys 69(4):513-522, 2007) or when it engages similar processes as the primary motor task (Hemond et al. in J Neurosci 30(2):650-654, 2010). The purpose of this pilot study was to determine which factor, difficulty level or engaged processes, of a secondary task is more critical in determining dual-task benefit. Participants practiced a discrete arm task in conjunction with an audio-vocal reaction time (RT) task. We presented two different RT tasks that differed in difficulty, simple versus choice (i.e., more difficult), at two different arm task phases that differed in engaged processes, preparation versus execution, resulting in four dual-task conditions. A simple RT task is thought to predominantly engage motor execution processes, therefore would engage similar processes as the arm movement task when it is presented during the execution phase, while a choice RT task is thought to engage planning processes and therefore would engage similar processes too when it is presented during the preparation phase. Enhanced motor learning was found in those who engaged similar process as the primary task during dual-tasking (i.e., choice RT presented during preparation and simple RT presented during execution). Moreover, those who showed enhanced learning also demonstrated high dual-task cost (poor RT task performance) during practice, indicating that both tasks were taxing the same resource pool possibly due to engaging similar cognitive processes. To further test the relation between dual-task cost and enhanced learning, we delayed the presentation timing of the choice RT task during the preparation phase and the simple RT task during the execution phase in two control experiments. Dual-task cost was reduced in these delayed timing conditions, and the enhanced learning effect was attenuated. Together, our preliminary

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Assisting Main Task Learning by Heterogeneous Auxiliary Tasks with Applications to Skin Cancer Screening.

    PubMed

    Situ, Ning; Yuan, Xiaojing; Zouridakis, George

    2011-01-01

    In typical classification problems, high level concept features provided by a domain expert are usually available during classifier training but not during its deployment. We address this problem from a multitask learning (MTL) perspective by treating these features as auxiliary learning tasks. Previous efforts in MTL have mostly assumed that all tasks have the same input space. However, auxiliary tasks can have different input spaces, since their learning targets are different. Thus, to handle cases with heterogeneous input, in this paper we present a newly developed model using heterogeneous auxiliary tasks to help main task learning. First, we formulate a convex optimization problem for the proposed model, and then, we analyze its hypothesis class and derive true risk bounds. Finally, we compare the proposed model with other relevant methods when applied to the problem of skin cancer screening and public datasets. Our results show that the performance of the proposed method is highly competitive compared to other relevant methods.

  6. 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…

  7. Performance comparison of deep learning and segmentation-based radiomic methods in the task of distinguishing benign and malignant breast lesions on DCE-MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antropova, Natasha; Huynh, Benjamin; Giger, Maryellen

    2017-03-01

    Intuitive segmentation-based CADx/radiomic features, calculated from the lesion segmentations of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance images (DCE-MRIs) have been utilized in the task of distinguishing between malignant and benign lesions. Additionally, transfer learning with pre-trained deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) allows for an alternative method of radiomics extraction, where the features are derived directly from the image data. However, the comparison of computer-extracted segmentation-based and CNN features in MRI breast lesion characterization has not yet been conducted. In our study, we used a DCE-MRI database of 640 breast cases - 191 benign and 449 malignant. Thirty-eight segmentation-based features were extracted automatically using our quantitative radiomics workstation. Also, 2D ROIs were selected around each lesion on the DCE-MRIs and directly input into a pre-trained CNN AlexNet, yielding CNN features. Each method was investigated separately and in combination in terms of performance in the task of distinguishing between benign and malignant lesions. Area under the ROC curve (AUC) served as the figure of merit. Both methods yielded promising classification performance with round-robin cross-validated AUC values of 0.88 (se =0.01) and 0.76 (se=0.02) for segmentationbased and deep learning methods, respectively. Combination of the two methods enhanced the performance in malignancy assessment resulting in an AUC value of 0.91 (se=0.01), a statistically significant improvement over the performance of the CNN method alone.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  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. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    PubMed

    Smirmaul, B P; Dos Santos, R V; Da Silva Neto, L V

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pre-task music on swimming performance and other psychological variables. A randomized counterbalanced within-subjects (experimental and control condition) design was employed. Eighteen regional level male swimmers performed two 200-m freestyle swimming time trials. Participants were exposed to either 5 minutes of self-selected music (pre-task music condition) or 5 minutes of silence (control condition) and, after 1 minute, performed the swimming task. Swimming time was significantly shorter (-1.44%) in the pre-task music condition. Listening to pre-task music increased motivation to perform the swimming task, while arousal remained unchanged. While fatigue increased after the swimming task in both conditions, vigor, ratings of perceived exertion and affective valence were unaltered. It is concluded, for the first time, that pre-task music improves swimming performance.

  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. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. DIFFERENTIALLY STRUCTURED INTRODUCTORY LEARNING MATERIALS AND LEARNING TASKS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    GROTELUESCHEN, ARDEN

    AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE TO ASSESS THE EFFECTS ON ADULT LEARNING OF DIFFERENTIALLY STRUCTURED INTRODUCTORY COGNITIVE LEARNING TASKS AND MATERIALS, AND THE INTERACTION OF INTELLIGENCE WITH THE EXPERIMENTALLY MANIPULATED MATERIAL AND TASK CATEGORIES. ABOUT 96 ADULTS WHO WERE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE CONCEPT OF NUMBER BASES WERE CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO A 4X3X4…

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

    PubMed

    Scheiter, Katharina; Gerjets, Peter; Heise, Elke

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-02-01

    As background for the effects of video display parameters on visual performance, the excellent and extensive review by Biberman (1973) covers a host...performance variables, such as instructions, practice, fatigue, etc. An extensive analysis of the visual perceptual cues is contained in an earlier portion...of a dark area. Mertens (1970) provides an excellent and extensive treatment of the various component MTi- b w!.’ch cascade to produce the final

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Negative Effects of Chronic Oral Chlorpromazine and Olanzapine Treatment on the Performance of Tasks Designed to Assess Spatial Learning and Working Memory in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Terry, Alvin V.; Warner, Samantha E.; Vandenhuerk, Leah; Pillai, Anilkumar; Mahadik, Sahebarao P.; Zhang, Guodong; Bartlett, Michael G.

    2008-01-01

    Learning potential and memory capacity are factors that strongly predict the level of rehabilitation and the long-term functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia. Unfortunately, however, the effects of antipsychotic drugs (i.e., the primary treatments for schizophrenia) on these components of cognition are unclear, particularly when they are administered chronically (i.e., a standard clinical practice). In this rodent study we evaluated the effects of different time periods (ranging from two weeks to six months) of oral treatment with the first generation antipsychotic chlorpromazine (10.0 mg/kg/day), or the second generation antipsychotic olanzapine (10.0 mg/kg/day) on the repeated acquisition of a water maze task (i.e., a method of assessing spatial learning potential in a repeated testing format). We assessed locomotor function (in an open field) and employed a radial arm maze (RAM) task to assess antipsychotic effects (5.0 and 10.0 mg/kg/day doses) on spatial working memory during the treatment period between fifteen days and two months. Finally, we conducted experiments using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to evaluate the therapeutic relevance of our method of drug delivery (oral administration in drinking water). In the water maze experiments, both antipsychotics were associated with impairments in acquisition in the earlier test sessions that could eventually be overcome with repeated testing while olanzapine also impaired retention in probe trials. Both antipsychotics were also associated with impairments in delayed non-match-to-position trials in the RAM and some impairments of motor function (especially in the case of olanzapine) as indicated by slightly reduced swim speeds in the water maze and decreased activity in some components of the open field assessment. Finally, LC-MS/MS studies indicated that the method of antipsychotic administration generated clinically relevant plasma levels in the rat. These animal data

  5. Negative effects of chronic oral chlorpromazine and olanzapine treatment on the performance of tasks designed to assess spatial learning and working memory in rats.

    PubMed

    Terry, A V; Warner, S E; Vandenhuerk, L; Pillai, A; Mahadik, S P; Zhang, G; Bartlett, M G

    2008-10-28

    Learning potential and memory capacity are factors that strongly predict the level of rehabilitation and the long-term functional outcome in patients with schizophrenia. Unfortunately, however, the effects of antipsychotic drugs (i.e. the primary treatments for schizophrenia) on these components of cognition are unclear, particularly when they are administered chronically (i.e. a standard clinical practice). In this rodent study we evaluated the effects of different time periods (ranging from 2 weeks to 6 months) of oral treatment with the first generation antipsychotic chlorpromazine (10.0 mg/kg/day), or the second generation antipsychotic olanzapine (10.0 mg/kg/day) on the repeated acquisition of a water maze task (i.e. a method of assessing spatial learning potential in a repeated testing format). We assessed locomotor function (in an open field) and employed a radial arm maze (RAM) task to assess antipsychotic effects (5.0 and 10.0 mg/kg/day doses) on spatial working memory during the treatment period between 15 days and 2 months. Finally, we conducted experiments using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to evaluate the therapeutic relevance of our method of drug delivery (oral administration in drinking water). In the water maze experiments, both antipsychotics were associated with impairments in acquisition in the earlier test sessions that could eventually be overcome with repeated testing while olanzapine also impaired retention in probe trials. Both antipsychotics were also associated with impairments in delayed non-match-to-position trials in the RAM and some impairments of motor function (especially in the case of olanzapine) as indicated by slightly reduced swim speeds in the water maze and decreased activity in some components of the open field assessment. Finally, LC-MS/MS studies indicated that the method of antipsychotic administration generated clinically relevant plasma levels in the rat. These animal data indicate that

  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. 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. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/348289-11$15.00/0.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.…

  10. 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.…

  11. Implicit sequence learning in a continuous pursuit-tracking task.

    PubMed

    Lang, Alexandre; Gapenne, Olivier; Aubert, Dominique; Ferrel-Chapus, Carole

    2013-09-01

    Assessing implicit learning in the continuous pursuit-tracking task usually concerns a repeated segment of target displacements masked by two random segments, as referred to as Pew's paradigm. Evidence for segment learning in this paradigm is scanty and contrasts with robust sequence learning in discrete tracking tasks. The present study investigates this issue with two experiments in which participants (N = 56) performed a continuous tracking task. Contrary to Pew's paradigm, participants were presented with a training sequence that was continuously cycled during 14 blocks of practice, but Block 12 in which a transfer sequence was introduced. Results demonstrate sequence learning in several conditions except in the condition that was obviously the most similar to previous studies failing to induce segment learning. Specifically, it is shown here that a target moving too slowly combined with variable time at which target reversal occurs prevents sequence learning. In addition, data from a post-experimental recognition test indicate that sequence learning was associated with explicit perceptual knowledge about the repetitive structure. We propose that learning repetition in a continuous tracking task is conditional on its capacity to (1) allow participants to detect the repeated regularities and (2) restrict feedback-based tracking strategies.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. An Investigation of Factors Affecting Multi-Task Performance in an Immersive Environment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-12-01

    performance task in each of three conditions. The three conditions were counterbalanced to minimize learning and order effects (appendix I). In...lessons learned and therefore will not incorporate the polychronicity questionnaire into future studies associated with this line of research. When the...research efforts to determine strategies that individuals employ while performing cognitively competing tasks. Information gained and lessons learned

  17. 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.

  18. Students' Performance on a Symmetry Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Siew Yin; Logan, Tracy

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes Singapore and Australian Grade 6 students' (n=1,187) performance on a symmetry task in a recently developed Mathematics Processing Instrument (MPI). The MPI comprised tasks sourced from Australia and Singapore's national assessments, NAPLAN and PSLE. Only half of the cohort solved the item successfully. It is possible that…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. Normative Feedback Effects on Learning a Timing Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wulf, Gabriele; Chiviacowsky, Suzete; Lewthwaite, Rebecca

    2010-01-01

    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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Self-regulated learning processes of medical students during an academic learning task.

    PubMed

    Gandomkar, Roghayeh; Mirzazadeh, Azim; Jalili, Mohammad; Yazdani, Kamran; Fata, Ladan; Sandars, John

    2016-10-01

    This study was designed to identify the self-regulated learning (SRL) processes of medical students during a biomedical science learning task and to examine the associations of the SRL processes with previous performance in biomedical science examinations and subsequent performance on a learning task. A sample of 76 Year 1 medical students were recruited based on their performance in biomedical science examinations and stratified into previous high and low performers. Participants were asked to complete a biomedical science learning task. Participants' SRL processes were assessed before (self-efficacy, goal setting and strategic planning), during (metacognitive monitoring) and after (causal attributions and adaptive inferences) their completion of the task using an SRL microanalytic interview. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the means and frequencies of SRL processes. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations of SRL processes with previous examination performance and the learning task performance. Most participants (from 88.2% to 43.4%) reported task-specific processes for SRL measures. Students who exhibited higher self-efficacy (odds ratio [OR] 1.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-1.90) and reported task-specific processes for metacognitive monitoring (OR 6.61, 95% CI 1.68-25.93) and causal attributions (OR 6.75, 95% CI 2.05-22.25) measures were more likely to be high previous performers. Multiple analysis revealed that similar SRL measures were associated with previous performance. The use of task-specific processes for causal attributions (OR 23.00, 95% CI 4.57-115.76) and adaptive inferences (OR 27.00, 95% CI 3.39-214.95) measures were associated with being a high learning task performer. In multiple analysis, only the causal attributions measure was associated with high learning task performance. Self-efficacy, metacognitive monitoring and causal attributions measures were associated

  13. Task performance in astronomical adaptive optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Multimodal Task-Driven Dictionary Learning for Image Classification.

    PubMed

    Bahrampour, Soheil; Nasrabadi, Nasser M; Ray, Asok; Jenkins, William Kenneth

    2016-01-01

    Dictionary learning algorithms have been successfully used for both reconstructive and discriminative tasks, where an input signal is represented with a sparse linear combination of dictionary atoms. While these methods are mostly developed for single-modality scenarios, recent studies have demonstrated the advantages of feature-level fusion based on the joint sparse representation of the multimodal inputs. In this paper, we propose a multimodal task-driven dictionary learning algorithm under the joint sparsity constraint (prior) to enforce collaborations among multiple homogeneous/heterogeneous sources of information. In this task-driven formulation, the multimodal dictionaries are learned simultaneously with their corresponding classifiers. The resulting multimodal dictionaries can generate discriminative latent features (sparse codes) from the data that are optimized for a given task such as binary or multiclass classification. Moreover, we present an extension of the proposed formulation using a mixed joint and independent sparsity prior, which facilitates more flexible fusion of the modalities at feature level. The efficacy of the proposed algorithms for multimodal classification is illustrated on four different applications--multimodal face recognition, multi-view face recognition, multi-view action recognition, and multimodal biometric recognition. It is also shown that, compared with the counterpart reconstructive-based dictionary learning algorithms, the task-driven formulations are more computationally efficient in the sense that they can be equipped with more compact dictionaries and still achieve superior performance.

  20. 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…

  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. 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

  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. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Semi-supervised Learning for Phenotyping Tasks.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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)…

  10. 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)…

  11. A shift in task routines during the learning of a motor skill: group-averaged data may mask critical phases in the individuals' acquisition of skilled performance.

    PubMed

    Adi-Japha, Esther; Karni, Avi; Parnes, Ariel; Loewenschuss, Iris; Vakil, Eli

    2008-11-01

    The authors describe a transient phase during training on a movement sequence wherein, after an initial improvement in speed and decrease in variability, individual participants' performance showed a significant increase in variability without change in mean performance speed. Subsequent to this phase, as practice continued, variability again decreased, performance significantly exceeded the gains predicted by extrapolation of the initial learning curve, the type of errors committed changed, and performance became more coherent. The transient phase of increased variability may reflect a mixture of 2 (or more) performance routines before the more effective one is set and mastered, presumably the setting up of a sequence-specific representation. Both group and individual analyses indicated a departure from the single process (e.g., power-law) model of learning. However, although similar phases appeared in the mean group data, there was little correspondence to individual participants' time courses, and the individuals' gains in the second low-variability phase were masked.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Eveleth, Daniel M; Pillutla, Arun

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Effect of chunk strength on the performance of children with developmental dyslexia on artificial grammar learning task may be related to complexity.

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-13

    There's a long held view that chunks play a crucial role in artificial grammar learning performance. We compared chunk strength influences on performance, in high and low topological entropy (a measure of complexity) grammar systems, with dyslexic children, age-matched and reading-level-matched control participants. Findings show that age-matched control participants' performance reflected equivalent influence of chunk strength in the two topological entropy conditions, as typically found in artificial grammar learning experiments. By contrast, dyslexic children and reading-level-matched controls' performance reflected knowledge of chunk strength only under the low topological entropy condition. In the low topological entropy grammar system, they appeared completely unable to utilize chunk strength to make appropriate test item selections. In line with previous research, this study suggests that for typically developing children, it is the chunks that are attended during artificial grammar learning and create a foundation on which implicit associative learning mechanisms operate, and these chunks are unitized to different strengths. However, for children with dyslexia, it is complexity that may influence the subsequent memorability of chunks, independently of their strength.

  16. Mental and psychomotor task performance in noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. Astronaut Walter Cunningham photographed performing flight tasks

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1968-10-20

    AS07-04-1586 (20 Oct. 1968) --- Astronaut Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 lunar module pilot, writes with space pen as he is photographed performing flight tasks on the ninth day of the Apollo 7 mission. Note the 70mm Hasselblad camera film magazine just above Cunningham's right hand floating in the weightless (zero gravity) environment of the spacecraft.

  2. Inflight Medical/Nursing Task Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-12-01

    the [patient’s] gear." "My problem is feeling claustrophobic in the gear." "The gear disabled me to accomplish many of the needed tasks as an...stirrups when giving care." "A large clock should be mounted in the aircraft. In chemical gear, you are unable to see watches to measure time...difficult to communicate with both crewmembers and patients." "Would it be feasible for aircrews to learn basic sign language? You cannot talk at all

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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,…

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Critical Task Characteristics in Problem-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Otting, Hans; Zwaal, Wichard

    2006-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Task Design in Videoconferencing-Supported Distance Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Yuping

    2007-01-01

    This article addresses a pervasive need in the area of videoconference-supported distance language learning: task design. On the basis of Chapelle's (2001) criteria for CALL task appropriateness, this article proposes a set of criteria for evaluating videoconferencing-based tasks which examine such aspects of a task as practicality,…

  13. Incidental orthographic learning during a color detection task.

    PubMed

    Protopapas, Athanassios; Mitsi, Anna; Koustoumbardis, Miltiadis; Tsitsopoulou, Sofia M; Leventi, Marianna; Seitz, Aaron R

    2017-09-01

    Orthographic learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge about specific spelling patterns forming words and about general biases and constraints on letter sequences. It is thought to occur by strengthening simultaneously activated visual and phonological representations during reading. Here we demonstrate that a visual perceptual learning procedure that leaves no time for articulation can result in orthographic learning evidenced in improved reading and spelling performance. We employed task-irrelevant perceptual learning (TIPL), in which the stimuli to be learned are paired with an easy task target. Assorted line drawings and difficult-to-spell words were presented in red color among sequences of other black-colored words and images presented in rapid succession, constituting a fast-TIPL procedure with color detection being the explicit task. In five experiments, Greek children in Grades 4-5 showed increased recognition of words and images that had appeared in red, both during and after the training procedure, regardless of within-training testing, and also when targets appeared in blue instead of red. Significant transfer to reading and spelling emerged only after increased training intensity. In a sixth experiment, children in Grades 2-3 showed generalization to words not presented during training that carried the same derivational affixes as in the training set. We suggest that reinforcement signals related to detection of the target stimuli contribute to the strengthening of orthography-phonology connections beyond earlier levels of visually-based orthographic representation learning. These results highlight the potential of perceptual learning procedures for the reinforcement of higher-level orthographic representations. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Promising High Monetary Rewards for Future Task Performance Increases Intermediate Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Zedelius, Claire M.; Veling, Harm; Bijleveld, Erik; Aarts, Henk

    2012-01-01

    In everyday life contexts and work settings, monetary rewards are often contingent on future performance. Based on research showing that the anticipation of rewards causes improved task performance through enhanced task preparation, the present study tested the hypothesis that the promise of monetary rewards for future performance would not only increase future performance, but also performance on an unrewarded intermediate task. Participants performed an auditory Simon task in which they responded to two consecutive tones. While participants could earn high vs. low monetary rewards for fast responses to every second tone, their responses to the first tone were not rewarded. Moreover, we compared performance under conditions in which reward information could prompt strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented for a relatively long duration) to conditions preventing strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented very briefly). Results showed that high (vs. low) rewards sped up both rewarded and intermediate, unrewarded responses, and the effect was independent of the duration of reward presentation. Moreover, long presentation led to a speed-accuracy trade-off for both rewarded and unrewarded tones, whereas short presentation sped up responses to rewarded and unrewarded tones without this trade-off. These results suggest that high rewards for future performance boost intermediate performance due to enhanced task preparation, and they do so regardless whether people respond to rewards in a strategic or non-strategic manner. PMID:22905145

  17. Integrating Learning and Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1999

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Effect of workload history on task performance.

    PubMed

    Cox-Fuenzalida, Luz-Eugenia

    2007-04-01

    This study investigated the effects of workload history (specifically, sudden shifts in workload) on performance. In 1993 the National Research Council identified workload transition as an important concern for human factors researchers. The study of workload history suggests that what an individual has been doing prior to a point in time has an effect on subsequent performance. One trend emerging from workload history studies is that a general decrement in performance is most likely to occur following a decrease in task demand. The 198 participants were randomly assigned to a high-to-low or low-to-high condition. Participants performed a version of the Bakan Vigilance Task while correct responses, response times, and total errors were recorded. Results supported previous research suggesting a workload decrease results in a performance decrement. More importantly, this study reports that either a sudden increase or decrease could lead to a loss in accuracy and a slowing of response time in a longer time course. An explanation of the decrement is offered in terms of adaptation models. In addition, a follow-up study suggested that the decrement is a result of something inherent in the workload shift rather than an effect of fatigue. Workload history (more specifically, a workload shift) has significant implications for many work environments. These implications are particularly salient in occupations where individuals are confronted with varying levels of workload demand, especially safety-sensitive occupations.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Errorless learning of everyday tasks in people with dementia

    PubMed Central

    de Werd, Maartje Me; Boelen, Daniëlle; Rikkert, Marcel GM Olde; Kessels, Roy PC

    2013-01-01

    Errorless learning (EL) is a principle used to teach new information or skills to people with cognitive impairment. In people with dementia, EL principles have mostly been studied in laboratory tasks that have little practical relevance for the participants concerned, yet show positive effects. This is the first paper to exclusively review the literature concerning the effects of EL on the performance of useful everyday tasks in people with dementia. The role of factors such as type of dementia, type of task, training intensity, EL elements, outcome measures, quality of experimental design, and follow-up are discussed. The results indicate that, compared with errorful learning (EF) or no treatment, EL is more effective in teaching adults with dementia a variety of meaningful daily tasks or skills, with gains being generally maintained at follow-up. The effectiveness of EL is highly relevant for clinical practice because it shows that individuals with dementia are still able to acquire meaningful skills and engage in worthwhile activities, which may potentially increase their autonomy and independence, and ultimately their quality of life, as well as reduce caregiver burden and professional dependency. Suggestions for future research are given, along with recommendations for effective EL-based training programs, with the aim of developing a clinical manual for professionals working in dementia care. PMID:24049443

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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,…

  7. Emotional Priming Effects during Stroop Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Hart, Sarah J.; Green, Steven R.; Casp, Michael; Belger, Aysenil

    2009-01-01

    The ability to make decisions within an emotional context requires a balance between two functionally integrated neural systems that primarily support executive control and affective processing. Several studies have demonstrated effects of emotional interference presented during an ongoing cognitive task, but it is unclear how activating the emotional circuitry prior to a cognitive task may enhance or disrupt the executive system. In this study we used fMRI to examine the effects of emotional priming on executive processing during a number Stroop task. Our results indicated that during trials with less executive requirements, there was a greater aversive emotional attenuation effect in a network of regions including the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), insula and cingulate gyrus. This attenuation effect was counteracted during trials with increased executive demand, suggesting that while pre-activation of the emotional system may lead to an automatic attenuation of activity in multiple regions, requirements for executive function may override the aversive emotional attenuation effect. Furthermore, this override effect was found to be associated with faster reaction times during executive processing. These findings demonstrate that activity in the vlPFC, cingulate and insula is dynamically adjusted in order to optimize performance, and illustrate the importance of the timing of each system’s engagement in determining how competing cognitive and emotional information is processed. PMID:19883772

  8. EEG correlates of task engagement and mental workload in vigilance, learning, and memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Berka, Chris; Levendowski, Daniel J; Lumicao, Michelle N; Yau, Alan; Davis, Gene; Zivkovic, Vladimir T; Olmstead, Richard E; Tremoulet, Patrice D; Craven, Patrick L

    2007-05-01

    The ability to continuously and unobtrusively monitor levels of task engagement and mental workload in an operational environment could be useful in identifying more accurate and efficient methods for humans to interact with technology. This information could also be used to optimize the design of safer, more efficient work environments that increase motivation and productivity. The present study explored the feasibility of monitoring electroencephalo-graphic (EEG) indices of engagement and workload acquired unobtrusively and quantified during performance of cognitive tests. EEG was acquired from 80 healthy participants with a wireless sensor headset (F3-F4,C3-C4,Cz-POz,F3-Cz,Fz-C3,Fz-POz) during tasks including: multi-level forward/backward-digit-span, grid-recall, trails, mental-addition, 20-min 3-Choice Vigilance, and image-learning and memory tests. EEG metrics for engagement and workload were calculated for each 1 -s of EEG. Across participants, engagement but not workload decreased over the 20-min vigilance test. Engagement and workload were significantly increased during the encoding period of verbal and image-learning and memory tests when compared with the recognition/ recall period. Workload but not engagement increased linearly as level of difficulty increased in forward and backward-digit-span, grid-recall, and mental-addition tests. EEG measures correlated with both subjective and objective performance metrics. These data in combination with previous studies suggest that EEG engagement reflects information-gathering, visual processing, and allocation of attention. EEG workload increases with increasing working memory load and during problem solving, integration of information, analytical reasoning, and may be more reflective of executive functions. Inspection of EEG on a second-by-second timescale revealed associations between workload and engagement levels when aligned with specific task events providing preliminary evidence that second

  9. Does Learning a Complex Task Have To Be Complex?: A Study in Learning Decomposition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Frank J.; Anderson, John R.

    2001-01-01

    Decomposed the learning in the Kanfer-Ackerman Air-Traffic Controller Task (P. Ackerman, 1988) down to learning at the keyboard level. Reanalyzed the Ackerman data to show that learning in this complex task reflects learning at the keystroke level. Conducted an eye-tracking experiment with 10 adults that showed that learning at the key stroke…

  10. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monaco, Nanci M.; Gentile, J. Ronald

    1987-01-01

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

  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. Observation learning of a motor task: who and when?

    PubMed

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Proteau, Luc

    2013-08-01

    Observation contributes to motor learning. It was recently demonstrated that the observation of both a novice and an expert model (mixed observation) resulted in better learning of a complex spatiotemporal task than the observation of either a novice or an expert model. In experiment 1, we aimed to determine whether mixed observation better promotes learning due to the information that can be gained from two models who exhibit different skill levels or simply because multiple models, regardless of their level of expertise, better promote learning than would a single model. The results revealed that the observation of both an expert and a novice model resulted in better short-term retention than the observation of either two novice or two expert models. In experiment 2, we wanted to determine whether these benefits would last longer if physical practice trials were interspersed with observation. Mixed and (to some extent) expert observations resulted in better long-term retention than observation of a novice model. We suggest that alternating mixed/expert observation with physical practice trials makes one's error more salient than when all observation trials are completed before one first starts performing the experimental task, which increases activation of the action observation network.

  15. Learning a locomotor task: with or without errors?

    PubMed

    Marchal-Crespo, Laura; Schneider, Jasmin; Jaeger, Lukas; Riener, Robert

    2014-03-04

    Robotic haptic guidance is the most commonly used robotic training strategy to reduce performance errors while training. However, research on motor learning has emphasized that errors are a fundamental neural signal that drive motor adaptation. Thus, researchers have proposed robotic therapy algorithms that amplify movement errors rather than decrease them. However, to date, no study has analyzed with precision which training strategy is the most appropriate to learn an especially simple task. In this study, the impact of robotic training strategies that amplify or reduce errors on muscle activation and motor learning of a simple locomotor task was investigated in twenty two healthy subjects. The experiment was conducted with the MAgnetic Resonance COmpatible Stepper (MARCOS) a special robotic device developed for investigations in the MR scanner. The robot moved the dominant leg passively and the subject was requested to actively synchronize the non-dominant leg to achieve an alternating stepping-like movement. Learning with four different training strategies that reduce or amplify errors was evaluated: (i) Haptic guidance: errors were eliminated by passively moving the limbs, (ii) No guidance: no robot disturbances were presented, (iii) Error amplification: existing errors were amplified with repulsive forces, (iv) Noise disturbance: errors were evoked intentionally with a randomly-varying force disturbance on top of the no guidance strategy. Additionally, the activation of four lower limb muscles was measured by the means of surface electromyography (EMG). Strategies that reduce or do not amplify errors limit muscle activation during training and result in poor learning gains. Adding random disturbing forces during training seems to increase attention, and therefore improve motor learning. Error amplification seems to be the most suitable strategy for initially less skilled subjects, perhaps because subjects could better detect their errors and correct them

  16. 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.…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. Improving Job Performance: Workplace Learning Is the First Step

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daryoush, Younes; Silong, Abu Daud; Omar, Zohara; Othman, Jamilah

    2013-01-01

    The present study aims to contribute new knowledge to the existing literature on workplace learning and job performance. Particularly, the study analyzes contemporary literature on workplace learning and job performance, specifically formal and informal learning as well as employee task performance and contextual performance. The study…

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Multi-task learning for pKa prediction.

    PubMed

    Skolidis, Grigorios; Hansen, Katja; Sanguinetti, Guido; Rupp, Matthias

    2012-07-01

    Many compound properties depend directly on the dissociation constants of its acidic and basic groups. Significant effort has been invested in computational models to predict these constants. For linear regression models, compounds are often divided into chemically motivated classes, with a separate model for each class. However, sometimes too few measurements are available for a class to build a reasonable model, e.g., when investigating a new compound series. If data for related classes are available, we show that multi-task learning can be used to improve predictions by utilizing data from these other classes. We investigate performance of linear Gaussian process regression models (single task, pooling, and multi-task models) in the low sample size regime, using a published data set (n = 698, mostly monoprotic, in aqueous solution) divided beforehand into 15 classes. A multi-task regression model using the intrinsic model of co-regionalization and incomplete Cholesky decomposition performed best in 85% of all experiments. The presented approach can be applied to estimate other molecular properties where few measurements are available.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Passive perceptual learning versus active searching in a novel stimuli vigilance task.

    PubMed

    Head, James; Helton, William S

    2015-05-01

    A criticism of laboratory vigilance or sustained attention research is the employment of static monotonous tasks with repetitive targets as opposed to the use of dynamic tasks with novel target stimuli. Unfortunately dynamic tasks employing novel stimuli may result in the mixture of two cognitive processes: active sustained attention search and passive perceptual learning. Moreover, the relative engagement of these two processes may depend on individual differences. In the present study, we examined this by having participants perform a dynamic auditory vigilance task with rare novel targets. In addition, some participants performed this task while also performing a secondary motor tracking task, a dual-task scenario. In the dual-task scenario, participants who failed to accurately detect the first target stimuli showed improvements in their tracking performance with time-on-task, suggesting reserves of attention. This improvement in tracking performance was not evident for those who accurately detected the first target stimuli, as their attention was likely actively engaged (searching). In addition, participants in the dual-task scenario who accurately detected the first target stimuli reported high workload and increased post-task tense arousal, results characteristic of participants performing static vigilance tasks. These results indicate the possibility that in a dynamic vigilance task with novel target stimuli participants may diverge in how they approach the task. Some participants will actively monitor the display for targets (search), whereas others will passively learn the target stimuli. Thus, these tasks may pose significant challenges to researchers who wish to examine vigilance in isolation from perceptual learning.

  11. The harder the task, the more inconsistent the performance: a PPT analysis on task difficulty.

    PubMed

    Rice, Stephen; Geels, Kasha; Hackett, Holly Raye; Trafimow, David; McCarley, Jason S; Schwark, Jeremy; Hunt, Gayle

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that as task difficulty increases, task performance subsequently decreases. These decrements in task performance as difficulty increases have been attributed to the processes individuals use to complete tasks. Over a series of three experiments, Potential Performance Theory (PPT; Trafimow & Rice, 2008 ; 2009), was used to test the hypothesis that decreases in task performance are, in part, due to inconsistency rather than only systematic factors. Task difficulty was manipulated in three visual search tasks by increasing set size (Experiment 1), decreasing contrast (Experiment 2), and increasing background distracters (Experiment 3). Findings over the three studies indicated that decreases in observed task performance as task difficulty increases are primarily due to a decrease of consistency rather than systematic factors. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. Completion task force improves well stimulation performance

    SciTech Connect

    Nagel, N.B.; Arnold, W.T. III; Scott, S.L. ); Thrasher, T.S. ); McCoy, M.W. )

    1994-11-01

    In 1987, Phillips Petroleum Co. identified well stimulation as an area where costs were high and efficiency could be improved. The FCTF was created in an effort to improve performance. It has undertaken a variety of training and technology transfer tasks and, most important, has served as a vehicle for change. The inter-office teamwork fostered by the task force has allowed new technology implementation throughout the company. The economic benefit of the FCTF was achieved by a combination of teamwork and technology. Technology is required to advance hydraulic fracturing applications, but without teamwork, technology may not be accepted or implemented. Team success has been achieved by letting engineers determine team needs and direction. Specific case histories discussed in the following article show the impact changes have had on improving well production as compared to previous stimulation efforts. Tangible results of these efforts have been production acceleration and reserve increases, which were realized through a doubling of average sand concentrations pumped, forced closure concept implementation, and intense, onsite quality control (QC) of fracture treatments. Since 1989, the impact of these measures on worldwide operations is estimated to be over $150 million in accelerated cash flow and added reserves.

  14. A neural network multi-task learning approach to biomedical named entity recognition.

    PubMed

    Crichton, Gamal; Pyysalo, Sampo; Chiu, Billy; Korhonen, Anna

    2017-08-15

    Named Entity Recognition (NER) is a key task in biomedical text mining. Accurate NER systems require task-specific, manually-annotated datasets, which are expensive to develop and thus limited in size. Since such datasets contain related but different information, an interesting question is whether it might be possible to use them together to improve NER performance. To investigate this, we develop supervised, multi-task, convolutional neural network models and apply them to a large number of varied existing biomedical named entity datasets. Additionally, we investigated the effect of dataset size on performance in both single- and multi-task settings. We present a single-task model for NER, a Multi-output multi-task model and a Dependent multi-task model. We apply the three models to 15 biomedical datasets containing multiple named entities including Anatomy, Chemical, Disease, Gene/Protein and Species. Each dataset represent a task. The results from the single-task model and the multi-task models are then compared for evidence of benefits from Multi-task Learning. With the Multi-output multi-task model we observed an average F-score improvement of 0.8% when compared to the single-task model from an average baseline of 78.4%. Although there was a significant drop in performance on one dataset, performance improves significantly for five datasets by up to 6.3%. For the Dependent multi-task model we observed an average improvement of 0.4% when compared to the single-task model. There were no significant drops in performance on any dataset, and performance improves significantly for six datasets by up to 1.1%. The dataset size experiments found that as dataset size decreased, the multi-output model's performance increased compared to the single-task model's. Using 50, 25 and 10% of the training data resulted in an average drop of approximately 3.4, 8 and 16.7% respectively for the single-task model but approximately 0.2, 3.0 and 9.8% for the multi-task model. Our

  15. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiermann, Brigitte; Cock, Josephine; Meier, Beat

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Trial-to-trial dynamics and learning in a generalized, redundant reaching task

    PubMed Central

    Smallwood, Rachel F.; Cusumano, Joseph P.

    2013-01-01

    If humans exploit task redundancies as a general strategy, they should do so even if the redundancy is decoupled from the physical implementation of the task itself. Here, we derived a family of goal functions that explicitly defined infinite possible redundancies between distance (D) and time (T) for unidirectional reaching. All [T, D] combinations satisfying any specific goal function defined a goal-equivalent manifold (GEM). We tested how humans learned two such functions, D/T = c (constant speed) and D·T = c, that were very different but could both be achieved by neurophysiologically and biomechanically similar reaching movements. Subjects were never explicitly shown either relationship, but only instructed to minimize their errors. Subjects exhibited significant learning and consolidation of learning for both tasks. Initial error magnitudes were higher, but learning rates were faster, for the D·T task than for the D/T task. Learning the D/T task first facilitated subsequent learning of the D·T task. Conversely, learning the D·T task first interfered with subsequent learning of the D/T task. Analyses of trial-to-trial dynamics demonstrated that subjects actively corrected deviations perpendicular to each GEM faster than deviations along each GEM to the same degree for both tasks, despite exhibiting significantly greater variance ratios for the D/T task. Variance measures alone failed to capture critical features of trial-to-trial control. Humans actively exploited these abstract task redundancies, even though they did not have to. They did not use readily available alternative strategies that could have achieved the same performance. PMID:23054607

  19. Embedded interruptions and task complexity influence schema-related cognitive load progression in an abstract learning task.

    PubMed

    Wirzberger, Maria; Esmaeili Bijarsari, Shirin; Rey, Günter Daniel

    2017-09-01

    Cognitive processes related to schema acquisition comprise an essential source of demands in learning situations. Since the related amount of cognitive load is supposed to change over time, plausible temporal models of load progression based on different theoretical backgrounds are inspected in this study. A total of 116 student participants completed a basal symbol sequence learning task, which provided insights into underlying cognitive dynamics. Two levels of task complexity were determined by the amount of elements within the symbol sequence. In addition, interruptions due to an embedded secondary task occurred at five predefined stages over the task. Within the resulting 2x5-factorial mixed between-within design, the continuous monitoring of efficiency in learning performance enabled assumptions on relevant resource investment. From the obtained results, a nonlinear change of learning efficiency over time seems most plausible in terms of cognitive load progression. Moreover, different effects of the induced interruptions show up in conditions of task complexity, which indicate the activation of distinct cognitive mechanisms related to structural aspects of the task. Findings are discussed in the light of evidence from research on memory and information processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Musical expertise has minimal impact on dual task performance.

    PubMed

    Cocchini, Gianna; Filardi, Maria Serena; Crhonkova, Marcela; Halpern, Andrea R

    2017-05-01

    Studies investigating effect of practice on dual task performance have yielded conflicting findings, thus supporting different theoretical accounts about the organisation of attentional resources when tasks are performed simultaneously. Because practice has been proven to reduce the demand of attention for the trained task, the impact of long-lasting training on one task is an ideal way to better understand the mechanisms underlying dual task decline in performance. Our study compared performance during dual task execution in expert musicians compared to controls with little if any musical experience. Participants performed a music recognition task and a visuo-spatial task separately (single task) or simultaneously (dual task). Both groups showed a significant but similar performance decline during dual tasks. In addition, the two groups showed a similar decline of dual task performance during encoding and retrieval of the musical information, mainly attributed to a decline in sensitivity. Our results suggest that attention during dual tasks is similarly distributed by expert and non-experts. These findings are in line with previous studies showing a lack of sensitivity to difficulty and lack of practice effect during dual tasks, supporting the idea that different tasks may rely on different and not-sharable attentional resources.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Krista M.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25855690

  3. 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. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26873777

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Cohesiveness and Performance on an Additive Task: Evidence for Multidimensionality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaccaro, Stephen J.; Lowe, Charles A.

    1988-01-01

    Presents a study designed to contrast the effects of task-based and interpersonal cohesiveness on group performance of students. Concludes that high task cohesion helped group performance, while interpersonal attraction had no apparent effect. Finding that increased interpersonal cohesion improved task commitment, the authors suggest that…

  11. 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…

  12. Generalization lags behind learning on an auditory perceptual task.

    PubMed

    Wright, Beverly A; Wilson, Roselyn M; Sabin, Andrew T

    2010-09-01

    The generalization of learning from trained to untrained conditions is of great potential value because it markedly increases the efficacy of practice. In principle, generalization and the learning itself could arise from either the same or distinct neural changes. Here, we assessed these two possibilities in the realm of human perceptual learning by comparing the time course of improvement on a trained condition (learning) to that on an untrained condition (generalization) for an auditory temporal-interval discrimination task. While significant improvement on the trained condition occurred within 2 d, generalization to the untrained condition lagged behind, only emerging after 4 d. The different time courses for learning and generalization suggest that these two types of perceptual improvement can arise from at least partially distinct neural changes. The notably longer time course for generalization than learning demonstrates that increasing the duration of training can be an effective means to increase the number of conditions to which learning generalizes on perceptual tasks.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Variability and Variation of L2 Grammar: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of German Learners' Performance on Two Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abrams, Zsuzsanna; Rott, Susanne

    2017-01-01

    Research on second language (L2) grammar in task-based language learning has yielded inconsistent results regarding the effects of task-complexity, prompting calls for more nuanced analyses of L2 development and task performance. The present cross-sectional study contributes to this discussion by comparing the performance of 245 learners of German…

  19. 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"…

  20. The Relationship between Vocabulary, Grammar, and False Belief Task Performance in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Children with Moderate Learning Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Naomi; Happe, Francesca; Dunn, Judy

    2005-01-01

    Background: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between language and theory of mind in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and children with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). Previous studies have found a strong association between language and theory of mind in a range of groups, but mostly have not included…

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Kohnert, Kathryn; Danahy, Kerry

    2007-07-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  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. Lucid Dreaming and Ventromedial versus Dorsolateral Prefrontal Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Cognitive Correlates of Hemispheric Performance on Dichotic Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Ronald C.; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Examined the relationship between performance on left and right hemisphere dominant measures of cognition and performance on dichotic memory tasks in 53 adults age 50 and older. Right hemisphere performance on dichotic and cognitive tasks showed a negative association with age while left hemisphere performance showed no decline. (JAC)

  10. Transfer in motion perceptual learning depends on the difficulty of the training task.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoxiao; Zhou, Yifeng; Liu, Zili

    2013-06-07

    One hypothesis in visual perceptual learning is that the amount of transfer depends on the difficulty of the training and transfer tasks (Ahissar & Hochstein, 1997; Liu, 1995, 1999). Jeter, Dosher, Petrov, and Lu (2009), using an orientation discrimination task, challenged this hypothesis by arguing that the amount of transfer depends only on the transfer task but not on the training task. Here we show in a motion direction discrimination task that the amount of transfer indeed depends on the difficulty of the training task. Specifically, participants were first trained with either 4° or 8° direction discrimination along one average direction. Their transfer performance was then tested along an average direction 90° away from the trained direction. A variety of transfer measures consistently demonstrated that transfer performance depended on whether the participants were trained on 4° or 8° directional difference. The results contradicted the prediction that transfer was independent of the training task difficulty.

  11. 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…

  12. 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:…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. "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…

  16. Mathematical Tasks and Learning Goals: Examples from Japanese Lesson Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doig, Brian

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores how to select, or design, the best mathematical task for a given learning goal. Examples are taken from a recent project in Victorian Primary schools that employed Japanese Lesson Study as the means to provide teachers with Professional Learning within their own classrooms. The discussions by participating teachers and…

  17. 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:…

  18. "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…

  19. Neural correlates of dual-task practice benefit on motor learning: a repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    PubMed

    Goh, Hui-Ting; Lee, Ya-Yun; Fisher, Beth E

    2013-06-01

    Dual-task practice has been previously shown to enhance motor learning when both primary and secondary tasks engage similar cognitive processes. In the present study, participants practiced a finger sequence task with the non-dominant hand under a single-task condition (i.e. without a probe task) or a dual-task condition in which a probe choice reaction time (CRT) task was presented during the preparation phase (before movement onset) of the finger task. It was hypothesised that by engaging similar 'planning' processes, the dual-task condition may facilitate the activation of shared 'planning' circuitry that includes dorsal premotor cortex (dPM), an important neural substrate for CRT task performance and movement preparation. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS; 1 Hz) was applied to the contralateral dPM immediately following practice. Motor learning was assessed by a retention test conducted ~ 24 h after practice. Consistent with our previous results, the dual-task condition enhanced learning compared with the single-task condition. rTMS applied to dPM attenuated the dual-task practice benefit on motor learning. In contrast, rTMS to M1 did not attenuate the dual-task practice benefit, suggesting the rTMS effect was specific to dPM. Our findings suggest a unique role of dPM in mediating the dual-task practice effect on motor learning. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. 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

  1. Lessons Learned from Crowdsourcing Complex Engineering Tasks.

    PubMed

    Staffelbach, Matthew; Sempolinski, Peter; Kijewski-Correa, Tracy; Thain, Douglas; Wei, Daniel; Kareem, Ahsan; Madey, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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 explore the limits of crowdsourcing as a tool for solving complex problems.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Haerem, Thorvald; Rau, Devaki

    2007-09-01

    Research on expertise has shown that nonexperts may sometimes outperform experts. Some researchers have suggested that superior performance by experts depends on the match between the experts' cognition and the demands of the task. The authors explored this issue using a quasi-experiment set in an organization. They examined how 3 sets of similar tasks that differ in their type of complexity can lead to differences in task perceptions and performance among experts, intermediates, and novices. The results suggest that experts and novices pay attention to different aspects of a task and that this affects both their perceptions of task complexity (i.e., task analyzability and variability) and their performance on the task. (c) 2007 APA.

  5. Task discrimination from myoelectric activity: a learning scheme for EMG-based interfaces.

    PubMed

    Liarokapis, Minas V; Artemiadis, Panagiotis K; Kyriakopoulos, Kostas J

    2013-06-01

    A learning scheme based on Random Forests is used to discriminate the task to be executed using only myoelectric activity from the upper limb. Three different task features can be discriminated: subspace to move towards, object to be grasped and task to be executed (with the object). The discrimination between the different reach to grasp movements is accomplished with a random forests classifier, which is able to perform efficient features selection, helping us to reduce the number of EMG channels required for task discrimination. The proposed scheme can take advantage of both a classifier and a regressor that cooperate advantageously to split the task space, providing better estimation accuracy with task-specific EMG-based motion decoding models, as reported in [1] and [2]. The whole learning scheme can be used by a series of EMG-based interfaces, that can be found in rehabilitation cases and neural prostheses.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. The Predictive Evaluation of Language Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vasiljevic, Zorana

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Incidental Vocabulary Learning in Classroom Communication Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Human Performance in Time-Shared Verbal and Tracking Tasks.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-04-01

    performance of both a one-dimensional compensatory tracking task and a continuous absoluzte difference digit- proceseing task. As mentioned above, the... parts : 1) What combination of input and output (I/O) channels for the discrete information processing task provides optimum information transmission

  14. 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.

  15. A Shift in Task Routines during the Learning of a Motor Skill: Group-Averaged Data May Mask Critical Phases in the Individuals' Acquisition of Skilled Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adi-Japha, Esther; Karni, Avi; Parnes, Ariel; Loewenschuss, Iris; Vakil, Eli

    2008-01-01

    The authors describe a transient phase during training on a movement sequence wherein, after an initial improvement in speed and decrease in variability, individual participants' performance showed a significant increase in variability without change in mean performance speed. Subsequent to this phase, as practice continued, variability again…

  16. Deep thinking increases task-set shielding and reduces shifting flexibility in dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Rico; Hommel, Bernhard

    2012-05-01

    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 thinking-which were suspected to induce a holistic, flexible task processing mode, or convergent thinking-which were assumed to induce a systematic, focused processing mode. Participants showed reduced cross-talk between tasks and increased task-component switching costs (dual-task costs) for the convergent-thinking group compared to both, a divergent-thinking group and a neutral control group. The results suggest that the cognitive-control style people engage in prior to the task predicts their multitasking performance. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kormos, Judit; Trebits, Anna

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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''.

  2. How important tasks are performed: peer review

    PubMed Central

    Hartonen, T.; Alava, M. J.

    2013-01-01

    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”. PMID:23591935

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Geraci, Lisa; Miller, Tyler M.

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Thrive or overload? The effect of task complexity on novices' simulation-based learning.

    PubMed

    Haji, Faizal A; Cheung, Jeffrey J H; Woods, Nicole; Regehr, Glenn; de Ribaupierre, Sandrine; Dubrowski, Adam

    2016-09-01

    Fidelity is widely viewed as an important element of simulation instructional design based on its purported relationship with transfer of learning. However, higher levels of fidelity may increase task complexity to a point at which novices' cognitive resources become overloaded. In this experiment, we investigate the effects of variations in task complexity on novices' cognitive load and learning during simulation-based procedural skills training. Thirty-eight medical students were randomly assigned to simulation training on a simple or complex lumbar puncture (LP) task. Participants completed four practice trials on this task (skill acquisition). After 10 days of rest, all participants completed one additional trial on their assigned task (retention) and one trial on a 'very complex' simulation designed to be similar to the complex task (transfer). We assessed LP performance and cognitive load on each trial using multiple measures. In both groups, LP performance improved significantly during skill acquisition (p ≤ 0.047, f = 0.29-0.96) and was maintained at retention. The simple task group demonstrated superior performance compared with the complex task group throughout these phases (p ≤ 0.002, d = 1.13-2.31). Cognitive load declined significantly in the simple task group (p < 0.009, f = 0.48-0.76), but not in the complex task group during skill acquisition, and remained lower at retention (p ≤ 0.024, d = 0.78-1.39). Between retention and transfer, LP performance declined and cognitive load increased in the simple task group, whereas both remained stable in the complex task group. At transfer, no group differences were observed in LP performance and cognitive load, except that the simple task group made significantly fewer breaches of sterility (p = 0.023, d = 0.80). Reduced task complexity was associated with superior LP performance and lower cognitive load during skill acquisition and retention, but mixed results on transfer to a more

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Daniel A.; Wolpert, Daniel M.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22131385

  10. Lost ability to automatize task performance in old age.

    PubMed

    Maquestiaux, François; Didierjean, André; Ruthruff, Eric; Chauvel, Guillaume; Hartley, Alan

    2013-12-01

    Can elderly adults automatize a new task? To address this question, 10 older adults each performed 10,080 training trials over 12 sessions on an easy but novel task. The psychological refractory period (PRP) procedure was then used to evaluate whether this highly practiced task, when presented as task 2 along with an unpracticed task 1, could proceed automatically. If automatic, task 2 processing should bypass the bottleneck and, therefore, not be delayed while central attention is devoted to task 1, yielding little dual-task interference. This is exactly what Maquestiaux, Laguë-Beauvais, Ruthruff, and Bherer (Memory and Cognition 36:1262-1282, 2008) previously observed for almost all younger adults, even with half the training on a more difficult task. Although extensive training reduced older adults' reaction times to only 307 ms, a value virtually identical to that attained by Maquestiaux et al.'s (Memory and Cognition 36:1262-1282, 2008) younger adults, the highly practiced task 2 was slowed by 485 ms in the dual-task PRP procedure. Such a large slowing in older adults is striking given the easy tasks and massive amounts of practice. These findings demonstrate a qualitative change with age, in which older adults lose the ability to automatize novel tasks, which cannot be attributed merely to generalized cognitive slowing.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.…

  13. 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.…

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  18. Dreaming of a Learning Task is Associated with Enhanced Sleep-Dependent Memory Consolidation

    PubMed Central

    Wamsley, Erin J.; Tucker, Matthew; Payne, Jessica D.; Benavides, Joseph; Stickgold, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Summary It is now well established that post-learning sleep is beneficial for human memory performance [1–5]. Meanwhile, human and animal studies demonstrate that learning-related neural activity is re-expressed during post-training non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) [6–9]. NREM sleep processes appear to be particularly beneficial for hippocampus-dependent forms of memory [1–3, 10]. These observations suggest that learning triggers the reactivation and reorganization of memory traces during sleep, a systems-level process that in turn enhances behavioral performance. Here, we hypothesized that dreaming about a learning experience during NREM sleep would be associated with improved performance on a hippocampus-dependent spatial memory task. Subjects (n=99) were trained on a virtual navigation task, and then retested on the same task 5 hours after initial training. Improved performance at retest was strongly associated with task-related dream imagery during an intervening afternoon nap. Task-related thoughts during wakefulness, in contrast, did not predict improved performance. These observations suggest that sleep-dependent memory consolidation in humans is facilitated by the offline reactivation of recently formed memories, and furthermore, that dream experiences reflect this memory processing. That similar effects were not seen during wakefulness suggests that these mnemonic processes are specific to the sleep state. PMID:20417102

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. [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.

  3. 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

  4. When Predictions Take Control: The Effect of Task Predictions on Task Switching Performance

    PubMed Central

    Duthoo, Wout; De Baene, Wouter; Wühr, Peter; Notebaert, Wim

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we aimed to investigate the role of self-generated predictions in the flexible control of behavior. Therefore, we ran a task switching experiment in which participants were asked to try to predict the upcoming task in three conditions varying in switch rate (30, 50, and 70%). Irrespective of their predictions, the color of the target indicated which task participants had to perform. In line with previous studies (Mayr, 2006; Monsell and Mizon, 2006), the switch cost was attenuated as the switch rate increased. Importantly, a clear task repetition bias was found in all conditions, yet the task repetition prediction rate dropped from 78 over 66 to 49% with increasing switch probability in the three conditions. Irrespective of condition, the switch cost was strongly reduced in expectation of a task alternation compared to the cost of an unexpected task alternation following repetition predictions. Hence, our data suggest that the reduction in the switch cost with increasing switch probability is caused by a diminished expectancy for the task to repeat. Taken together, this paper highlights the importance of predictions in the flexible control of behavior, and suggests a crucial role for task repetition expectancy in the context-sensitive adjusting of task switching performance. PMID:22891063

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. The Performance of Cultural-Familial Retardates on Conservation Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lesser, Harvey; And Others

    1978-01-01

    Compared the performance of 29 institutionalized cultural-familial mental retardates on Piagetian conservation tasks. Examined the effects of age, sex, and degree of retardation on conservation performance. (BD)

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    Lack of awareness about performance in tasks is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease. Nevertheless, clinical anecdotes have suggested that patients may show emotional or behavioural responses to the experience of failure despite reporting limited awareness, an aspect which has been little explored experimentally. The current study investigated emotional reactions to success or failure in tasks despite unawareness of performance in Alzheimer's disease. For this purpose, novel computerised tasks which expose participants to systematic success or failure were used in a group of Alzheimer's disease patients (n=23) and age-matched controls (n=21). Two experiments, the first with reaction time tasks and the second with memory tasks, were carried out, and in each experiment two parallel tasks were used, one in a success condition and one in a failure condition. Awareness of performance was measured comparing participant estimations of performance with actual performance. Emotional reactivity was assessed with a self-report questionnaire and rating of filmed facial expressions. In both experiments the results indicated that, relative to controls, Alzheimer's disease patients exhibited impaired awareness of performance, but comparable differential reactivity to failure relative to success tasks, both in terms of self-report and facial expressions. This suggests that affective valence of failure experience is processed despite unawareness of task performance, which might indicate implicit processing of information in neural pathways bypassing awareness. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Concrete and abstract visualizations in history learning tasks.

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

    History learning requires that students understand historical phenomena, abstract concepts and the relations between them. Students have problems grasping, using and relating complex historical developments and structures. A study was conducted to determine the effects of tasks with abstract and/or concrete visualizations on the learning of historical developments and structures. The hypothesis was that students receiving visualizations would learn and retain more historical knowledge and concepts than those not receiving visualizations. First-year pupils in vocational middle school (N=104) worked in randomly assigned pairs. After reading a text, the pairs were given a learning task in one of four conditions: Textual, Concrete visualized, Abstract visualized, and Combined. Post-test and retention test results showed no significant differences. There were some significant differences on the evaluation questionnaire. Combining text and different types of visualizations in learning tasks does not necessarily enhance history learning. Possible explanations given are the ecological setting, the semiotics of the domain of history--that are not defined clearly--and the difficulty of unequivocally visualizing historical concepts.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. Task Performance and Interpersonal Attraction in Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, John M.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Reports two studies investigating how performance information affects interpersonal attraction in children. In both experiments children worked on perceptual problems in simulated groups, received feedback about their own and other group members' performance, and then indicated their desire to interact with selected group members in various…

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Early Failures Benefit Subsequent Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Igata, Hideyoshi; Sasaki, Takuya; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2016-02-17

    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.

  9. 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…

  10. Implementing Task-Based Learning with Young Learners.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carless, David

    2002-01-01

    Draws on qualitative classroom observation data from case studies of three English-as-a-Foreign-Language classes in Hong Kong primary schools. Analyzes four themes relevant to the classroom implementation of task-based learning with young learners: noise/in discipline, use of the mother tongue, extent of pupil involvement, and the role of drawing…

  11. Effects of Embedded Processing Tasks on Learning Outcomes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobbs, D. J.

    1987-01-01

    Describes a British study with undergraduate accountancy students which compared the quantitative and qualitative effects of three types of embedded tasks or questions--relational-semantic, transpose-semantic, and non-semantic--on learning outcomes. Variables investigated included mathematical background, recall, and comprehension. Relevance of…

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. Animated Demonstrations for Learning Procedural Computer-Based Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmiter, Susan; Elkerton, Jay

    1993-01-01

    Describes a study that compared animated demonstrations, procedural textual instructions, and demonstrations combined with spoken procedural text to assess the effectiveness of animated demonstrations for users learning HyperCard. Results of accuracy, time on task, user responses, retention, and transfer are discussed; and future research is…

  15. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Concrete and Abstract Visualizations in History Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 3Ps, Task-Based Learning, and the Japanese Learner.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanasarnsanee, Mika

    2002-01-01

    Summarizes the findings of a work in progress that attempted to investigate to what extent task-based learning was more effective than the 3Ps approach in the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language in Thailand. (Author/VWL)

  20. 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…

  1. Trayectorias: A New Model for Online Task-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ros i Sole, Cristina; Mardomingo, Raquel

    2004-01-01

    This paper discusses a framework for designing online tasks that capitalizes on the possibilities that the Internet and the Web offer for language learning. To present such a framework, we draw from constructivist theories (Brooks and Brooks, 1993) and their application to educational technology (Newby, Stepich, Lehman and Russell, 1996; Jonassen,…

  2. Different Possibilities to Learn from the Same Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kullberg, Angelika; Runesson, Ulla; Mårtensson, Pernilla

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. Reducing task difficulty during practice improves motor learning in older adults.

    PubMed

    Onushko, Tanya; Kim, Changki; Christou, Evangelos A

    2014-09-01

    Theoretically, greater motor output variability can inhibit motor learning by inhibiting task acquisition during practice. Although the age-associated differences in motor output variability exacerbate with more difficult tasks, it remains unknown whether task difficulty during task acquisition influences motor learning in older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the difficulty of the practice task affects motor learning in older adults. Twenty four older (72.7±7.4years; 11 women) and 7 young (23.1±4years; 1 man) adults participated in this study. Participants were divided into four groups: 8 older adults who practiced an easy task (O-Easy), 8 older adults who practiced a harder task (O-Hard), 8 older adults who did not practice (O-None), and 7 young adults who did not practice (Y-None). The level of difficulty depended on the relative timing (i.e. phase) of abduction force generation between the index and little fingers to track a moving target on the monitor. The O-Easy group practiced the task with 0°, whereas the O-Hard group practiced the task with 90° relative phase. Practice occurred within a single session for 80 trials. Motor learning was quantified as the ability to transfer the practiced tasks to 45°, 135° and 180° relative phases 24 and 168h after acquisition. Only the O-Easy group was able to significantly transfer the practiced task, as it was indicated by significantly lower force variability and error during all transfer tasks compared with the O-None group (P<0.05). The O-Hard group was not significantly different from the O-None group (P>0.2). In addition, during the transfer tasks the O-Easy group exhibited performance similar to that of the young adults who did not practice. These findings suggest that practice with easier tasks may be advantageous to practice with more difficult tasks to improve motor learning in older adults. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Cerebellar potentiation and learning a whisker-based object localization task with a time response window.

    PubMed

    Rahmati, Negah; Owens, Cullen B; Bosman, Laurens W J; Spanke, Jochen K; Lindeman, Sander; Gong, Wei; Potters, Jan-Willem; Romano, Vincenzo; Voges, Kai; Moscato, Letizia; Koekkoek, Sebastiaan K E; Negrello, Mario; De Zeeuw, Chris I

    2014-01-29

    Whisker-based object localization requires activation and plasticity of somatosensory and motor cortex. These parts of the cerebral cortex receive strong projections from the cerebellum via the thalamus, but it is unclear whether and to what extent cerebellar processing may contribute to such a sensorimotor task. Here, we subjected knock-out mice, which suffer from impaired intrinsic plasticity in their Purkinje cells and long-term potentiation at their parallel fiber-to-Purkinje cell synapses (L7-PP2B), to an object localization task with a time response window (RW). Water-deprived animals had to learn to localize an object with their whiskers, and based upon this location they were trained to lick within a particular period ("go" trial) or refrain from licking ("no-go" trial). L7-PP2B mice were not ataxic and showed proper basic motor performance during whisking and licking, but were severely impaired in learning this task compared with wild-type littermates. Significantly fewer L7-PP2B mice were able to learn the task at long RWs. Those L7-PP2B mice that eventually learned the task made unstable progress, were significantly slower in learning, and showed deficiencies in temporal tuning. These differences became greater as the RW became narrower. Trained wild-type mice, but not L7-PP2B mice, showed a net increase in simple spikes and complex spikes of their Purkinje cells during the task. We conclude that cerebellar processing, and potentiation in particular, can contribute to learning a whisker-based object localization task when timing is relevant. This study points toward a relevant role of cerebellum-cerebrum interaction in a sophisticated cognitive task requiring strict temporal processing.

  10. Training Attentional Control Improves Cognitive and Motor Task Performance.

    PubMed

    Ducrocq, Emmanuel; Wilson, Mark; Vine, Sam; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2016-10-01

    Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.

  11. Automatic Information Processing and High Performance Skills: Individual Differences and Mechanisms of Performance Improvement in Search-Detection and Complex Task

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-09-01

    experiment was conducted to examine the benefits of part-task training of the memory components of the task and the effect of prior knowledge of the whole...task on part-task training benefits . The dispatching task is a conceptual analog of the tactical resource allocation required in real-world, battle...performance of those told only that the to- be-learned material would be used in a more complex task. The benefit of instructions relevant to the whole task

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [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.

  17. 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;…

  18. 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;…

  19. Hysteresis in Mental Workload and Task Performance: The Influence of Demand Transitions and Task Prioritization.

    PubMed

    Jansen, Reinier J; Sawyer, Ben D; van Egmond, René; de Ridder, Huib; Hancock, Peter A

    2016-12-01

    We examine how transitions in task demand are manifested in mental workload and performance in a dual-task setting. Hysteresis has been defined as the ongoing influence of demand levels prior to a demand transition. Authors of previous studies predominantly examined hysteretic effects in terms of performance. However, little is known about the temporal development of hysteresis in mental workload. A simulated driving task was combined with an auditory memory task. Participants were instructed to prioritize driving or to prioritize both tasks equally. Three experimental conditions with low, high, and low task demands were constructed by manipulating the frequency of lane changing. Multiple measures of subjective mental workload were taken during experimental conditions. Contrary to our prediction, no hysteretic effects were found after the high- to low-demand transition. However, a hysteretic effect in mental workload was found within the high-demand condition, which degraded toward the end of the high condition. Priority instructions were not reflected in performance. Online assessment of both performance and mental workload demonstrates the transient nature of hysteretic effects. An explanation for the observed hysteretic effect in mental workload is offered in terms of effort regulation. An informed arrival at the scene is important in safety operations, but peaks in mental workload should be avoided to prevent buildup of fatigue. Therefore, communication technologies should incorporate the historical profile of task demand. © 2016, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Modeling Cognitive Strategies during Complex Task Performing Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazman, Sacide Guzin; Altun, Arif

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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)

  8. Background sound modulates the performance of odor discrimination task.

    PubMed

    Seo, Han-Seok; Gudziol, Volker; Hähner, Antje; Hummel, Thomas

    2011-07-01

    Even though we often perceive odors in the presence of various background sounds, surprisingly little is known about the effects of background sound on odor perception. This study aimed to investigate the question whether background sound can modulate performance in an odor discrimination task. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to perform the odor discrimination task while listening to either background noise (e.g., verbal or non-verbal noise) or no additional sound (i.e., silent condition). Participants' performance in the odor discrimination task was significantly deteriorated in the presence of background noise compared with in the silent condition. Rather, the detrimental effect of verbal noise on the task performance was significantly higher than that of non-verbal noise. In Experiment 2, participants were asked to conduct the odor discrimination task while listening to either background music (Mozart's sonata for two pianos in D major, K448) or no additional sound (silent condition). Background music relative to silent condition did not significantly alter the task performance. In conclusion, our findings provide new empirical evidence that background sound modulates the performance in an odor discrimination task.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Balance Performance With a Cognitive Task: A Continuation of the Dual-Task Testing Paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Resch, Jacob E.; May, Bryson; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Ferrara, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Context: To ensure that concussed athletes return to play safely, we need better methods of measuring concussion severity and monitoring concussion resolution. Objective: To develop a dual-task model that assesses postural stability and cognitive processing in concussed athletes. Design: Repeated measures study. Setting: University laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty healthy, college-aged students (10 men, 10 women; age  =  20 ± 1.86 years, height  =  173 ± 4.10 cm, mass  =  71.83 + 35.77 kg). Intervention(s): Participants were tested individually in 2 sessions separated by 2 days. In one session, a balance task and a cognitive task were performed separately. In the other session, the balance and cognitive tasks were performed concurrently. The balance task consisted of 6 conditions of the Sensory Organization Test performed on the NeuroCom Smart Balance Master. The cognitive task consisted of an auditory switch task (3 trials per condition, 60 seconds per trial). Main Outcome Measure(s): For the balance test, scores for each Sensory Organization Test condition; the visual, vestibular, somatosensory, and visual-conflict subscores; and the composite balance score were calculated. For the cognitive task, response time and accuracy were measured. Results: Balance improved during 2 dual-task conditions: fixed support and fixed visual reference (t18  =  −2.34, P < .05) and fixed support and sway visual reference (t18  =  −2.72, P  =  .014). Participants' response times were longer (F1,18  =  67.77, P < .001, η2  =  0.79) and choice errors were more numerous under dual-task conditions than under single-task conditions (F1,18  =  5.58, P  =  .03, η2  =  0.24). However, differences were observed only during category-switch trials. Conclusions: Balance was either maintained or improved under dual-task conditions. Thus, postural control took priority over cognitive processing when the tasks were

  14. Interleaved Practice in Multi-Dimensional Learning Tasks: Which Dimension Should We Interleave?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rau, Martina A.; Aleven, Vincent; Rummel, Nikol

    2013-01-01

    Research shows that multiple representations can enhance student learning. Many curricula use multiple representations across multiple task types. The temporal sequence of representations and task types is likely to impact student learning. Research on contextual interference shows that interleaving learning tasks leads to better learning results…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-12

    Research on the impact of action video game playing has revealed performance advantages on a wide range of perceptual and cognitive tasks. It is not known, however, if playing such games confers similar advantages in sensorimotor learning. To address this issue, the present study used a manual motion-tracking task that allowed for a sensitive measure of both accuracy and improvement over time. When the target motion pattern was consistent over trials, gamers improved with a faster rate and eventually outperformed non-gamers. Performance between the two groups, however, did not differ initially. When the target motion was inconsistent, changing on every trial, results revealed no difference between gamers and non-gamers. Together, our findings suggest that video game playing confers no reliable benefit in sensorimotor control, but it does enhance sensorimotor learning, enabling superior performance in tasks with consistent and predictable structure. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    Imitation plays a critical role in social and cognitive development, but the social learning mechanisms contributing to the development of imitation are not well understood. We developed a new imitation task designed to examine social learning mechanisms across the early childhood period. The new task involves assembly of abstract-shaped puzzle pieces in an arbitrary sequence on a magnet board. Additionally, we introduce a new scoring system that extends traditional goal-directed imitation scoring to include measures of both children's success at copying gestures (sliding the puzzle pieces) and goals (connecting the puzzle pieces). In Experiment 1, we demonstrated an age-invariant baseline from 1.5 to 3.5 years of age, accompanied by age-related changes in success at copying goals and gestures from a live demonstrator. In Experiment 2, we applied our new task to learning following a video demonstration. Imitation performance in the video demonstration group lagged behind that of the live demonstration group, showing a protracted video deficit effect. Across both experiments, children were more likely to copy gestures at earlier ages, suggesting mimicry, and only later copy both goals and gestures, suggesting imitation. Taken together, the findings suggest that different social learning strategies may predominate in imitation learning dependent upon the degree of object affordance, task novelty, and task complexity. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Nicotine improves antisaccade task performance without affecting prosaccades.

    PubMed

    Larrison, Abigail L; Briand, Kevin A; Sereno, Anne B

    2004-08-01

    Although there is ample evidence for a cognitive-attentional benefit of the stimulant nicotine, the source of this benefit is not as well understood. One approach is to address what aspects of performance nicotine affects at a functional systems level. It is currently debated whether the benefits produced by nicotine are the effect of enhanced higher cognitive function or reflect an overall increase in general arousal. In order to address this question, the effects of nicotine on two simple eye movement tasks were studied: the saccade (S) and antisaccade (AS) tasks. Because the S and AS tasks utilize identical sensory stimuli (peripheral targets) and require identical motor responses (eye movements) but differ significantly in their cognitive demands, the use of these two tasks should enable a parsing of nicotine effects on cognitive versus sensory-motor processes. In this study, the S and AS tasks were performed by two experimental groups, task naïve subjects and highly practised subjects. For the first group, that of the task naïve subjects, nicotine gum administration resulted in a decrease in AS errors. For the second group, that of two experienced subjects tested repeatedly over a 3 week period, nicotine also produced a significant decrease in AS task errors, as well as resulting in a significant decrease in AS response times. Neither task naïve nor experienced subjects showed any effects of nicotine on the S task. Examining the effects of nicotine on highly controlled and constrained tasks such as the S and AS task may provide another level of insight into the mechanisms underlying the beneficial cognitive effects of nicotine. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Implicit learning on a probabilistic classification task in adults and adolescents with Bulimia Nervosa.

    PubMed

    Labouliere, Christa D; Terranova, Kate; Steinglass, Joanna; Marsh, Rachel

    2016-06-01

    Dysfunction in frontostriatal circuits likely contributes to impaired regulatory control in Bulimia Nervosa (BN), resulting in binge-eating and purging behaviors that resemble maladaptive habits. Less is known about the implicit learning processes of these circuits, which may contribute to habit formation. We compared 52 adolescent and adult females with BN to 55 healthy matched-controls during performance of a probabilistic classification learning task, one form of implicit learning. Groups were compared in accuracy and response times, using mixed-models with block, age, and diagnosis as predictors, corrected for multiple comparisons with confounds covaried. BN participants showed differences in performance on a probabilistic classification learning task that varied by age. Adolescents with BN initially performed as accurately as healthy adolescents, but showed poorer perseverance over time. Adults with BN initially performed less accurately than healthy adults, but improved to perform equivalently. Symptom severity was associated with poorer accuracy in both adults and adolescents with BN. Frontostriatal dysfunction may underlie abnormalities in regulatory control and probabilistic classification learning in BN, likely contributing to the dysregulation of implicitly learned, maladaptive binge-eating and purging behaviors. Such dysfunction in BN may progress with increasing age, first manifesting in poor regulatory control over behaviors and then expanding to implicit learning processes that may underlie habitual behaviors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. On the utility of positive and negative feedback in a paired-associate learning task.

    PubMed

    Arbel, Yael; Murphy, Anthony; Donchin, Emanuel

    2014-07-01

    This study offers a neurophysiological examination of the relationship between feedback processing and learning. A two-choice paired-associate learning task borrowed and modified from Tricomi and Fiez [Tricomi, E., & Fiez, J. A. Feedback signals in the caudate reflect goal achievement on a declarative memory task. Neuroimage, 41, 1154-1167, 2008] was employed to examine the mediofrontal electrophysiological brain activity associated with the processing of performance feedback in a learning task and to elucidate the extent to which the processing of the initial informative feedback is related to learning outcomes. Twenty participants were tasked with learning to correctly pair 60 novel objects with their names by choosing on a trial-by-trial basis between two possible names and receiving feedback about the accuracy of their selection. The novel objects were presented in three blocks of trials (rounds), each of which presented the same set of 60 objects once. The rounds allowed the separation of the initial informative feedback in Round 1 from the other feedback stimuli in Rounds 2 and 3. The results indicated differences in the processing of initial informative and proceeding feedback stimuli. More specifically, the difference appeared to be driven by the change in the processing of positive feedback. Moreover, very first positive feedback provided in association with a particular new object was found associated with learning outcomes. The results imply that signs of successful and unsuccessful learning may be detected as early as the initial positive feedback provided in a learning task. The results suggest that the process giving rise to the feedback-related negativity is sensitive to the utility of the feedback and that the processing of the first informative positive feedback is associated with learning outcomes.

  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. Optimizing learning of a locomotor task: amplifying errors as needed.

    PubMed

    Marchal-Crespo, Laura; López-Olóriz, Jorge; Jaeger, Lukas; Riener, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Research on motor learning has emphasized that errors drive motor adaptation. Thereby, several researchers have proposed robotic training strategies that amplify movement errors rather than decrease them. In this study, the effect of different robotic training strategies that amplify errors on learning a complex locomotor task was investigated. The experiment was conducted with a one degree-of freedom robotic stepper (MARCOS). Subjects were requested to actively coordinate their legs in a desired gait-like pattern in order to track a Lissajous figure presented on a visual display. Learning with three different training strategies was evaluated: (i) No perturbation: the robot follows the subjects' movement without applying any perturbation, (ii) Error amplification: existing errors were amplified with repulsive forces proportional to errors, (iii) Noise disturbance: errors were evoked with a randomly-varying force disturbance. Results showed that training without perturbations was especially suitable for a subset of initially less-skilled subjects, while error amplification seemed to benefit more skilled subjects. Training with error amplification, however, limited transfer of learning. Random disturbing forces benefited learning and promoted transfer in all subjects, probably because it increased attention. These results suggest that learning a locomotor task can be optimized when errors are randomly evoked or amplified based on subjects' initial skill level.

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of stress and motivation on performing a spatial task.

    PubMed

    Wood, Lauren S; Desjardins, Julie K; Fernald, Russell D

    2011-03-01

    Learning is ubiquitous in the animal kingdom but has been studied extensively in only a handful of species. Moreover, learning studied under laboratory conditions is typically unrelated to the animal's natural environment or life history. Here, we designed a task relevant to the natural behavior of male African cichlid fish (Astatotilapia burtoni), to determine if they could be trained on a spatial task to gain access to females and shelter. We measured both how successfully animals completed this task over time and whether and how immediate early gene and hormone expression profiles were related to success. While training fish in a maze, we measured time to task completion, circulating levels of three key hormones (cortisol, 11-ketotestosterone, and testosterone) and mRNA abundance of seven target genes including three immediate early genes (that served proxies for brain activity) in nine brain regions. Data from our subjects fell naturally into three phenotypes: fish that could be trained (learners), fish that could not be trained (non-learners) and fish that never attempted the task (non-attempters). Learners and non-learners had lower levels of circulating cortisol compared to fish that never attempted the task. Learners had the highest immediate early gene mRNA levels in the homologue of the hippocampus (dorsolateral telencephalon; Dl), lower cortisol (stress) levels and were more motivated to accomplish the task as measured by behavioral observations. Fish that never attempted the task showed the lowest activity within the Dl, high stress levels and little to no apparent motivation. Data from non-learners fell between these two extremes in behavior, stress, and motivation. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of Stress and Motivation on Performing a Spatial Task

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Lauren S.; Desjardins, Julie K.; Fernald, Russell D.

    2011-01-01

    Learning is ubiquitous in the animal kingdom but has been studied extensively in only a handful of species. Moreover, learning studied under laboratory conditions is typically unrelated to the animal’s natural environment or life history. Here, we designed a task relevant to the natural behavior of male African cichlid fish (Astatotilapia burtoni), to determine if they could be trained on a spatial task to gain access to females and shelter. We measured both how successfully animals completed this task over time and whether and how immediate early gene and hormone expression profiles were related to success. While training fish in a maze, we measured time to task completion, circulating levels of three key hormones (cortisol, 11-ketotestosterone, and testosterone) and mRNA abundance of seven target genes including three immediate early genes (that served proxies for brain activity) in nine brain regions. Data from our subjects fell naturally into three phenotypes: fish that could be trained (learners), fish that could not be trained (non-learners) and fish that never attempted the task (non-attempters). Learners and non-learners had lower levels of circulating cortisol compared to fish that never attempted the task. Learners had the highest immediate early gene mRNA levels in the homologue of the hippocampus (dorsolateral telencephalon; Dl), lower cortisol (stress) levels and were more motivated to accomplish the task as measured by behavioral observations. Fish that never attempted the task showed the lowest activity within the Dl, high stress levels and little to no apparent motivation. Data from non-learners fell between these two extremes in behavior, stress, and motivation. PMID:21145980

  5. 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.

  6. 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,…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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,…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Changes in electroencephalographic activity during observation, preparation, and execution of a motor learning task.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Hideki; Osumi, Michihiro; Ueta, Kozo; Kodama, Takayuki; Morioka, Shu

    2013-12-01

    This study aimed to compare electroencephalographic (EEG) activity between high- and low-motor learning groups (n = 10 each) during observation of, preparation for, and execution of a motor learning task. The subjects performed a ball rotation task in which two balls were rotated clockwise with the right hand. Each trial started with a rest period (5 s), subjects then observed the task action on a computer screen (30 s), this was followed by another rest (5 s), preparation for performing the action (5 s), and finally action execution (30 s); five trials were performed. The number of rotations during execution and EEG activities during observation, preparation, and execution were recorded. The EEG data of the high-motor learning group were compared with those of the low-motor learning group and were analyzed using exact low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA). The left sensorimotor and parietal areas of the high-motor learning group showed a greater decrease in the alpha-2 (10.5-12.0 Hz) and beta-2 (18.5-21.0 Hz) rhythms than those of the low-motor learning group during all three phases of the trials. The study results suggest that the decreases in the alpha-2 and beta-2 rhythms in these areas during observation, preparation, and execution are associated with motor skill improvement.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Lars; Dörr, Alexander; Bauer, Matthias R; Boeckler, Frank M; Zell, Andreas

    2013-07-11

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

  17. Uniform task level definitions for robotic system performance comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Charles; Tesar, Delbert

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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,…

  20. 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,…

  1. Soft-light overhead illumination systems improve laparoscopic task performance.

    PubMed

    Takai, Akihiro; Takada, Yasutsugu; Motomura, Hideki; Teramukai, Satoshi

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of attached shadow cues for laparoscopic task performance. We developed a soft-light overhead illumination system (SOIS) that produced attached shadows on objects. We compared results using the SOIS with those using a conventional illumination system with regard to laparoscopic experience and laparoscope-to-target distances (LTDs). Forty-two medical students and 23 surgeons participated in the study. A peg transfer task (LTD, 120 mm) for students and surgeons, and a suture removal task (LTD, 30 mm) for students were performed. Illumination systems were randomly assigned to each task. Endpoints were: total number of peg transfers; percentage of peg-dropping errors; and total execution time for suture removal. After the task, participants filled out a questionnaire on their preference for a particular illumination system. Total number of peg transfers was greater with the SOIS for both students and surgeons. Percentage of peg-dropping errors for surgeons was lower with the SOIS. Total execution time for suture removal was shorter with the SOIS. Forty-five participants (69% in total) evaluated the SOIS for easier task performance. The present results confirm that the SOIS improves laparoscopic task performance, regardless of previous laparoscopic experience or LTD.

  2. 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.

  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. Autonomous Inter-Task Transfer in Reinforcement Learning Domains

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-08-01

    This work success- fully transfers a locally weighted regression model learned in a source task by directly applying it to a target task. Because their...like to thank my committee members for their suggestions that have shaped this work . Every one of my past co-authors have also helped to inform my...continual support and encouragement, whether it felt deserved it or not, was unwaivering. This work was funded in part by DARPA grant HR0011-04-1-0035, and

  5. The use of an incremental repeated acquisition task to assess learning in children.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Ronald L; Chelonis, John J; Prunty, Patricia K; Paule, Merle G

    2012-09-01

    The development of valid animal models of learning is especially important since learning is critical for nearly all aspects of human behavior and identifying appropriate surrogates provides additional opportunity to study various aspects of learning. Examining the factors that affect learning is often complicated by the need to administer the same task repeatedly across experimental conditions. Incremental repeated acquisition (IRA) tasks have been used extensively in animal research because they circumvent this problem by requiring a subject to learn different response chains repeatedly across sessions. The present study examined the association of age, sex of the participant, and IQ on the performance of an incremental repeated acquisition task in 837 children, aged 5-13 years. This task required children to learn to press four response levers in a specific sequence that was randomly chosen. Illumination of colored indicator lights signaled position in the required response chain. Initially, for the first link, only one of the four levers was correct: a response to it resulted in the delivery of a monetary reinforcer (5 cents). After mastery of the first link (i.e. three correct presses), the children were presented with a two-link response chain: a different lever had to be pressed before pressing the previously correct lever. After mastery of the two-link chain, the response chain length was once again increased, and so on until a response chain consisting of six links was completed or until the task timed out. Older children and children with higher IQs mastered longer response chain lengths and were more accurate in performance of this learning task than younger children. In addition, older children and children with higher IQs had higher effective response rates and lower ineffective response rates. No significant effects of the sex of the participant were demonstrated for any of the variables on this task, except overall response rate. The results indicate

  6. Task Complexity Modulates Sleep-Related Offline Learning in Sequential Motor Skills

    PubMed Central

    Blischke, Klaus; Malangré, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Recently, a number of authors have advocated the introduction of gross motor tasks into research on sleep-related motor offline learning. Such tasks are often designed to be more complex than traditional key-pressing tasks. However, until now, little effort has been undertaken to scrutinize the role of task complexity in any systematic way. Therefore, the effect of task complexity on the consolidation of gross motor sequence memory was examined by our group in a series of three experiments. Criterion tasks always required participants to produce unrestrained arm movement sequences by successively fitting a small peg into target holes on a pegboard. The sequences always followed a certain spatial pattern in the horizontal plane. The targets were visualized prior to each transport movement on a computer screen. The tasks differed with respect to sequence length and structural complexity. In each experiment, half of the participants initially learned the task in the morning and were retested 12 h later following a wake retention interval. The other half of the subjects underwent practice in the evening and was retested 12 h later following a night of sleep. The dependent variables were the error rate and total sequence execution time (inverse to the sequence execution speed). Performance generally improved during acquisition. The error rate was always low and remained stable during retention. The sequence execution time significantly decreased again following sleep but not after waking when the sequence length was long and structural complexity was high. However, sleep-related offline improvements were absent when the sequence length was short or when subjects performed a highly regular movement pattern. It is assumed that the occurrence of sleep-related offline performance improvements in sequential motor tasks is associated with a sufficient amount of motor task complexity. PMID:28790905

  7. Task Complexity Modulates Sleep-Related Offline Learning in Sequential Motor Skills.

    PubMed

    Blischke, Klaus; Malangré, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Recently, a number of authors have advocated the introduction of gross motor tasks into research on sleep-related motor offline learning. Such tasks are often designed to be more complex than traditional key-pressing tasks. However, until now, little effort has been undertaken to scrutinize the role of task complexity in any systematic way. Therefore, the effect of task complexity on the consolidation of gross motor sequence memory was examined by our group in a series of three experiments. Criterion tasks always required participants to produce unrestrained arm movement sequences by successively fitting a small peg into target holes on a pegboard. The sequences always followed a certain spatial pattern in the horizontal plane. The targets were visualized prior to each transport movement on a computer screen. The tasks differed with respect to sequence length and structural complexity. In each experiment, half of the participants initially learned the task in the morning and were retested 12 h later following a wake retention interval. The other half of the subjects underwent practice in the evening and was retested 12 h later following a night of sleep. The dependent variables were the error rate and total sequence execution time (inverse to the sequence execution speed). Performance generally improved during acquisition. The error rate was always low and remained stable during retention. The sequence execution time significantly decreased again following sleep but not after waking when the sequence length was long and structural complexity was high. However, sleep-related offline improvements were absent when the sequence length was short or when subjects performed a highly regular movement pattern. It is assumed that the occurrence of sleep-related offline performance improvements in sequential motor tasks is associated with a sufficient amount of motor task complexity.

  8. 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)

  9. Effects of Two Practice Style Formats on Fifth Grade Students' Motor Skill Performance and Task Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chatoupis, Constantine C.; Vagenas, George

    2017-01-01

    We investigated the effectiveness of two teaching formats that fall under the canopy of Mosston and Ashworth's (2008) practice style, on fifth grade students' motor skill performance and task engagement. Both formats are also known as station teaching or learning centers. In the teacher-rotated format (TR), the teacher decides the amount of time…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Planning tasks for knowledge discovery in databases; Performing task-oriented user-guidance

    SciTech Connect

    Engels, R.

    1996-12-31

    Performing the complex task of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) requires a break-down of the task-complexity to enable the possibility of performing the KDD-task. Since even more techniques will appear in the future that can solve a variety of KDD-problems, a domain expert that wants to analyze his domain should have the means to work with tools that integrate several of these techniques as well as the techniques themselves. In this paper a framework is proposed for a strategy component that is to be used for a KDD-system that can guide users in breaking down the complexity of a typical KDD-task and supports him in selecting and using several ML-techniques. The goals of such a guidance component are reuse of (predefined) taskcomponents in order to decrease development time and to simplify the process of decomposing a KDD-task, task-oriented planning in order to break down complexity of a typical KDD-task and supporting post-processing (evaluation) of KDD-processes.

  13. Monitoring supports performance in a dual-task paradigm involving a risky decision-making task and a working memory task

    PubMed Central

    Gathmann, Bettina; Schiebener, Johannes; Wolf, Oliver T.; Brand, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Performing two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time is known to decrease performance. The current study investigates the underlying executive functions of a dual-tasking situation involving the simultaneous performance of decision making under explicit risk and a working memory task. It is suggested that making a decision and performing a working memory task at the same time should particularly require monitoring—an executive control process supervising behavior and the state of processing on two tasks. To test the role of a supervisory/monitoring function in such a dual-tasking situation we investigated 122 participants with the Game of Dice Task plus 2-back task (GDT plus 2-back task). This dual task requires participants to make decisions under risk and to perform a 2-back working memory task at the same time. Furthermore, a task measuring a set of several executive functions gathered in the term concept formation (Modified Card Sorting Test, MCST) and the newly developed Balanced Switching Task (BST), measuring monitoring in particular, were used. The results demonstrate that concept formation and monitoring are involved in the simultaneous performance of decision making under risk and a working memory task. In particular, the mediation analysis revealed that BST performance partially mediates the influence of MCST performance on the GDT plus 2-back task. These findings suggest that monitoring is one important subfunction for superior performance in a dual-tasking situation including decision making under risk and a working memory task. PMID:25741308

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  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. 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.

  19. Task-based learning (TBL) in undergraduate medical education.

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

    Problem-based learning (PBL) is a proven method to learn medicine during the first years of studies. In the clinical phase the active, self-directive student may experience difficulties in adapting to the life of professionals in health care units, where students usually have to attend and work according to preplanned timetables. Task-based learning (TBL) can serve as an intermediary in the meeting of these two cultures. Here we describe a TBL study module for fourth-year medical students and experiences of implementing it at the University of Tampere in Finland. Eighty-five students participated in this study in 1998 and 1999. Our results show that this method works and that it leads to learning. Students evaluate their skills connected with the general practitioner's work in a health centre hospital as better after the study module than at the onset.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Estimating endogenous changes in task performance from EEG

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Task meaningfulness and degree of cognitive impairment: do they affect self-generated learning in persons with multiple sclerosis?

    PubMed

    Goverover, Yael; Chiaravalloti, Nancy D; Deluca, John

    2014-01-01

    Self-generated learning has been shown to improve memory performance in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), although little is known about the variables that influence its efficacy. This study examined whether task meaningfulness and degree of cognitive impairment influence the effectiveness of self-generation in improving learning and memory in MS. A mixed design with both a within- and between-subject factors was employed. The setting was a nonprofit rehabilitation research institution. Participants included 35 persons with MS with moderate to severe learning and memory impairments (SEVERE-MS), and 35 persons with little to no impairment (MILD-MS). Participants in both groups learned two types of tasks (functional everyday tasks and laboratory tasks), each in two learning conditions (Provided and Generated). Participants were required to recall the information immediately, 30 minutes, and 1 week following initial learning. Significantly more words were recalled from the generated condition relative to the provided condition. Additionally, self-generation was more effective in recall on the functional tasks compared to the laboratory tasks, consistent for both memory impaired and non-impaired participants. Self-generation may be influenced by variables such as task meaningfulness during learning and memory. In addition, type of task (functional versus laboratory) has a significant effect on memory. Implications for cognitive rehabilitation in MS are discussed.

  13. Sleep deprivation and time-on-task performance decrement in the rat psychomotor vigilance task.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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. 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. The study was conducted in an academic research vivarium. 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. Rats performed the rPVT for 30 min at baseline and after 24 h total sleep deprivation by gentle handling. 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. The rPVT manifests similarities to the hPVT in global performance outcomes, but not in post-sleep deprivation effects of time on task and response-stimulus interval. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  14. 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

  15. Individual differences in task-specific paired associates learning in older adults: the role of processing speed and working memory.

    PubMed

    Kurtz, Tanja; Mogle, Jacqueline; Sliwinski, Martin J; Hofer, Scott M

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: The role of processing speed and working memory was investigated in terms of individual differences in task-specific paired associates learning in a sample of older adults. Task-specific learning, as distinct from content-oriented item-specific learning, refers to gains in performance due to repeated practice on a learning task in which the to-be-learned material changes over trials. Learning trajectories were modeled within an intensive repeated-measures design based on participants obtained from an opt-in Internet-based sampling service (M(age) = 65.3, SD = 4.81). Participants completed an eight-item paired associates task daily over a 7-day period. Results indicated that a three-parameter hyperbolic model (i.e., initial level, learning rate, and asymptotic performance) best described learning trajectory. After controlling for age-related effects, both higher working memory and higher processing speed had a positive effect on all three learning parameters. These results emphasize the role of cognitive abilities for individual differences in task-specific learning of older adults.

  16. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN TASK-SPECIFIC PAIRED ASSOCIATES LEARNING IN OLDER ADULTS: THE ROLE OF PROCESSING SPEED AND WORKING MEMORY

    PubMed Central

    Kurtz, Tanja; Mogle, Jacqueline; Sliwinski, Martin J.; Hofer, Scott M.

    2013-01-01

    Background The role of processing speed and working memory was investigated in terms of individual differences in task-specific paired associates learning in a sample of older adults. Task-specific learning, as distinct from content-oriented item-specific learning, refers to gains in performance due to repeated practice on a learning task in which the to-be-learned material changes over trials. Methods Learning trajectories were modeled within an intensive repeated-measures design based on participants obtained from an opt-in internet-based sampling service (Mage = 65.3, SD = 4.81). Participants completed an eight-item paired associates task daily over a seven-day period. Results Results indicated that a three-parameter hyperbolic model (i.e., initial level, learning rate, and asymptotic performance) best described learning trajectory. After controlling for age-related effects, both higher working memory and higher processing speed had a positive effect on all three learning parameters. Conclusion These results emphasize the role of cognitive abilities for individual differences in task-specific learning of older adults. PMID:24151913

  17. 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.

  18. Questioning implicit motor learning as instantiated by the pursuit-tracking task.

    PubMed

    Lang, Alexandre; Gapenne, Olivier; Rovira, Katia

    2011-10-01

    The effect of concurrent visual feedback on the implicit learning of repeated segments in a task of pursuit tracking has been tested. Although this feedback makes it possible to regulate the positional error during the movement, it could also induce negative guidance effects. To test this hypothesis, a first set of participants (N=42) were assigned to two groups, which performed either the standard pursuit-tracking task based on the experimental paradigm of Pew ( 1974 ; group F-ST), or a task called "movement reproduction" in which the feedback was suppressed (group noF-ST). A second set of participants (N=26) performed in the same feedback condition groups but in a dual-task situation (F-DT and noF-DT; Experiment 2). The results appear to confirm our predictions since the participants in groups without feedback, contrary to those in groups with feedback, succeeded with practice in differentiating their performances as a function of the nature of the segments (repeated or nonrepeated) both in simple (Experiment 1) and in dual-task (Experiment 2) situations. These experiments indicate that the feedback in the pursuit-tracking task induces a guidance function potentially resulting in an easiness tracking that prevents the participants from learning the repetition.

  19. Hierarchical Clustering Multi-Task Learning for Joint Human Action Grouping and Recognition.

    PubMed

    Liu, An-An; Su, Yu-Ting; Nie, Wei-Zhi; Kankanhalli, Mohan

    2017-01-01

    This paper proposes a hierarchical clustering multi-task learning (HC-MTL) method for joint human action grouping and recognition. Specifically, we formulate the objective function into the group-wise least square loss regularized by low rank and sparsity with respect to two latent variables, model parameters and grouping information, for joint optimization. To handle this non-convex optimization, we decompose it into two sub-tasks, multi-task learning and task relatedness discovery. First, we convert this non-convex objective function into the convex formulation by fixing the latent grouping information. This new objective function focuses on multi-task learning by strengthening the shared-action relationship and action-specific feature learning. Second, we leverage the learned model parameters for the task relatedness measure and clustering. In this way, HC-MTL can attain both optimal action models and group discovery by alternating iteratively. The proposed method is validated on three kinds of challenging datasets, including six realistic action datasets (Hollywood2, YouTube, UCF Sports, UCF50, HMDB51 & UCF101), two constrained datasets (KTH & TJU), and two multi-view datasets (MV-TJU & IXMAS). The extensive experimental results show that: 1) HC-MTL can produce competing performances to the state of the arts for action recognition and grouping; 2) HC-MTL can overcome the difficulty in heuristic action grouping simply based on human knowledge; 3) HC-MTL can avoid the possible inconsistency between the subjective action grouping depending on human knowledge and objective action grouping based on the feature subspace distributions of multiple actions. Comparison with the popular clustered multi-task learning further reveals that the discovered latent relatedness by HC-MTL aids inducing the group-wise multi-task learning and boosts the performance. To the best of our knowledge, ours is the first work that breaks the assumption that all actions are either

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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