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Sample records for learning task performance

  1. Learning Styles and Performance in Second Language Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andreou, Eleni; Andreou, Georgia; Vlachos, Filippos

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romero, Margarida; Barbera, Elena

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Rate of learning and asymptotic performance in an automatization task and the relation to reading.

    PubMed

    Hecht, Rozalia; Crewther, David; Crewther, Sheila

    2004-12-01

    In the present study, direct evidence was sought linking cognitive automatic processing with reading in the general adult population. Reading speed on single-task performance and dual-task performance were compared. A total of 18 adults without dyslexia participated (7 men and 11 women, age M=25.3 yr., SD=2.7). Participants initially were trained in single-task mode on two types of tasks. The first was a central alphanumeric equation task (true or false), which comprised 3 subtests of increasing difficulty, ranging from an easily automated task to a varied and unpredictable mathematical operation. The second task was a peripheral pattern subitization task for which stimulus exposure time was related to performance. Finally, participants received dual-task training, which required simultaneous processing of both tasks. Slower reading speed was significantly related to rate of learning and speed of performance on predictable alphanumeric operations in dual-task conditions. There was no effect of reading speed on performance in the varied alphanumeric task. Faster readers were no better than slower readers on the pattern-subitization task. These findings suggest that faster readers automatized the predictable alphanumeric task more rapidly than slower readers and hence were better able to cope with the dual-task condition.

  10. 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,…

  11. Effect of sound source position on learning and performance of auditory delayed matching-to-sample task in dogs.

    PubMed

    Kuśmierek, Paweł; Kowalska, Danuta M

    2002-01-01

    Spatial adjacency of stimulus source and response site has been proven important for learning of simple behavioural tasks, including auditory quality and location discrimination. We investigated effect of sound source position (adjacent or not adjacent to manipulanda) on learning and performance of a complex auditory recognition memory task. Spatial adjacency of stimuli and manipulanda improved learning of a simple auditory directional task, which was an intermediate stage of training. In contrast, no improvement of learning and performance of the recognition task was found.

  12. Performance of a motor task learned ON levodopa deteriorates when subsequently practiced OFF

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, E.D.; Horak, F.B.; Lasarev, M.R.; Nutt, J. G.

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Learning Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baskas, Richard S.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-10-09

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. HIV+ Men and Women Show Different Performance Patterns on Procedural Learning Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Eileen; Gonzalez, Raul; Vassileva, Jasmin; Maki, Pauline

    2010-01-01

    The literature suggests that nondeclarative, or nonconscious, learning might be impaired among HIV+ individuals compared with HIV− matched control groups, but these studies have included relatively few women. We administered measures of motor skill and probabilistic learning, tasks with a nondeclarative or procedural learning component that are dependent on integrity of prefrontal-striatal systems, to well-matched groups of 148 men and 65 women with a history of substance dependence that included 45 men and 30 women seropositive for HIV. All participants were abstinent at testing. Compared to HIV− women, HIV+ women performed significantly more poorly on both tasks, but HIV+ men’s performance did not differ significantly compared to HIV− men on either task. These different patterns of performance indicate that features of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) can not always be generalized from men to women. Additional studies are needed to address directly the possibility of sex differences in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) and the possibility that women might be more vulnerable to the effects of HIV and substance dependence on some neurocognitive functions. PMID:20694870

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Acute and chronic alcohol administration: effects on performance of zebrafish in a latent learning task.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. [Effects of different explanations for performance on a learned helplessness task in undergraduates].

    PubMed

    Araki, Y

    2000-02-01

    Two groups of undergraduates were asked to solve anagrams and arithmetic problems. All the anagrams were solvable but part of the arithmetic problems was insolvable. After the preliminary task, one of the two explanations was given; internal attribution participants (Internal group, N = 22) were told that their failure was due to their problem-solving ability, while external attribution participants (External group, N = 21) were told that they failed because some of the problems had no solution. After the explanations, the groups worked on another set of solvable problems. The test task performance of internal group was significantly lower than that of External group (p = .05), and it was significantly lower than the group's preliminary task (p < .01). No deterioration effect was found for External group. These results supported the implications of the reformulated learned helplessness theory by Abramson, Seligman, and Teasdale (1978). In addition, relationships between performance and participants' attitude such as attributional style and optimism were examined with measurement before and after the task, but no significant correlation was found. PMID:10793462

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:24742199

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Noticing in Task Performance and Learning Outcomes: A Qualitative Analysis of Instructional Effects in Interlanguage Pragmatics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Takahashi, Satomi

    2005-01-01

    This study aims to provide an in-depth qualitative analysis of instructional effects in L2 pragmatics by exploring the manner in which Japanese EFL learners' noticing of target English request forms is constrained by different types of treatment tasks and the subsequent effect of the learners' noticing on their learning outcomes. Following the…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Dissociating sequence learning performance in Parkinson's disease: Visuomotor sequence acquisition and pattern judgment on a serial reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jared G; McDowall, John

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the sequence learning performance of 16 non-demented patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) was compared with 18 age-matched healthy controls on a verbal version of the serial reaction time (SRT) task intended to encapsulate both visuomotor- and judgment-linked learning processes. Visuomotor sequence performance in PD patients was closely related to baseline response speed, with robust learning demonstrated by patients who responded with comparable speed to controls but severely impaired performance in patients who responded slowly. In contrast, both fast- and slow-responding PD patients were able to successfully categorise patterns according to their sequential status, a performance that was linked to declarative memory for the sequence. The findings highlight the important role of event timing in SRT performance and are in accord with the hypothesis that, despite the important role played by the basal ganglia in motor sequence learning, basal ganglionic dysfunction may not substantially impair sequence order learning so much as the translation of sequence knowledge into rapid motor performance for some PD patients. Intact pattern judgment on the SRT experiment suggests that the integrity of the neostriatum is not essential for learning judgment-linked categorical information about sequences of temporal stimulus movement.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Effects of psychoactive drugs or stress on learning, memory, and performance as assessed using a novel water maze task.

    PubMed

    Kant, G J

    1993-02-01

    A novel water maze was used to assess the potential performance-disrupting effects of psychoactive drugs and stressors (4 mg/kg amphetamine sulfate; 1, 2, or 4 mg/kg diazepam; 30 mg/kg caffeine; 5 or 30 mg/kg atropine sulfate; 15 min of either intermittent foot-shock, forced running, or immobilization). The task utilized a traditional type of maze with walls and doorways set inside a pool. The apparatus could easily be reconfigured to present different mazes of approximately equal difficulty by opening or closing multiple doorways. Performance was measured by number of errors and time required to swim from the "start" to "finish" (a raised platform not in the rat's line of sight). After initial maze training, rats were divided into two groups. One group ran three daily trails through the same maze each day; this group was used to assess memory. The second group was challenged to swim three consecutive trials in a new maze configuration each day as a measure of learning. On any given day, rats from both groups received the same treatment. Drug or stress treatments were interspersed with vehicle or no-treatment trials days. The new maze task was more sensitive than the well-learned maze to the performance disrupting effects of amphetamine, caffeine, and diazepam, while atropine had no significant effect on performance on either maze. Foot-shock stress impaired performance on both mazes, while the other stressors had no significant effect.

  5. 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…

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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.…

  15. 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."…

  16. Task-driven dictionary learning.

    PubMed

    Mairal, Julien; Bach, Francis; Ponce, Jean

    2012-04-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quirion, Nate

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

  1. 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,…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. Retention performance of a learned delayed-alternation task after chemical lesions of the cats mediodorsal nucleus.

    PubMed

    Markowitsch, H J

    1982-03-01

    The mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus was lesioned in cats, which had learned a spatial delayed-alternation task. Lesions were carried out with kainic acid or ibotenic acid. From altogether 29 cats, 9 cats with bilateral and 6 cats with unilateral lesions of the mediodorsal nucleus together with a control group of 4 cats, were included in the final data analysis. Lesions in the operated cats destroyed variable portions of the mediodorsal nucleus. Consistently, however, neither the midline nuclei, situated next to the damaged mediodorsal nucleus, nor fiber tracts traversing or by-passing the mediodorsal nucleus, were damaged. Furthermore, remote lesion effects were not detected either in the diazepam-pretreated cats with kainic acid-induced lesions or in the ibotenic acid-lesioned animals. Cats injected with ibotenic acid at a concentration 8-fold higher than the kainic acid solution, showed smaller thalamic lesions than kainic acid-injected cats. A direct correlation was found between the extent of neuronal damage within the mediodorsal nucleus and the degree of the behavioral impairment. Cats with complete or almost complete bilateral lesions of the mediodorsal nucleus manifested severe deficits in retention of the delayed-alternation task, while cats with small, bilateral lesions of the mediodorsal nucleus or with unilateral lesions were impaired less severely or even not at all.

  10. Post-training self administration of sugar facilitates cognitive performance of male C57BL/6J mice in two spatial learning tasks.

    PubMed

    Dalm, Sergiu; Schwabe, Lars; Schachinger, Hartmut; Oitzl, Melly S

    2009-03-01

    Spatial memory can be strengthened by adverse stimuli that activate the stress system, and administration of the stress hormone corticosterone in close-context with the learning task. Less is known about modulation of spatial memory by post-training positive reinforcers (reward). Cognitive performance was assessed in male C57BL/6J mice using two learning tasks: the water maze (WM) and circular hole board (CHB). Sugar was chosen as a post-training reinforcer. We expected that the free access to sugar immediately (0 h) after training would facilitate spatial memory; delayed access to sugar (4h after training) or no sugar served as controls. In both tasks, 0 h sugar mice showed superior performance, indicated by shorter latencies and distances to the trained spatial location. The memory facilitating effect of sugar became visible at distinct times during training: on the CHB from the first trial onwards, in the WM on training days 4 and 5. Sugar-rewarded mice kept their superior performance during the free exploration/swim trial, expressed by more persistent search strategies for the exit hole or platform. Post-training sugar reward in close-context with performance strengthens memory via modulation of consolidation. This finding supports the integrative theory of reinforcement and memory. We suggest that our experimental set-up will allow to differentiate between direct effects on memory and alterations in reward processes in animal models of stress-related diseases.

  11. 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…

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. Linking Task Analysis with Student Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, Thomas M.; Wildman, Terry M.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. Task complexity and sources of task-related information during the observational learning process.

    PubMed

    Laguna, Patricia L

    2008-08-01

    Although research has examined the influence of various sources of task information for skill acquisition during observational learning, the results have been ambiguous. The purpose of this study was to examine sources of information in relation to the type of task. One hundred and twenty participants were randomly assigned to one of two sets of six treatment strategies: (1) all model demonstrations; (2) model demonstrations with physical practice with knowledge of performance; (3) model demonstrations with physical practice without knowledge of performance; (4) physical practice without knowledge of performance; (5) physical practice with knowledge of performance; or (6) verbal instructions only. One set learned a simple version of the task while the other set learned a more complex version. Cognitive representation and performance accuracy (spatial and temporal) were assessed. Results indicate that task type does influence the source of information to facilitate skill acquisition. The simple task benefited from model demonstrations, physical practice with knowledge of performance, or a combination of model demonstrations and practice both with and without knowledge of performance, while the complex version benefited more from a combination of model demonstrations and knowledge of performance practice. The results of this study provide an insight into the ambiguity that exists within the observational learning and motor learning literature regarding the effectiveness of information sources for motor skill acquisition.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. The Phenomenon of Task-Irrelevant Perceptual Learning

    PubMed Central

    Seitz, Aaron R; Watanabe, Takeo

    2009-01-01

    Task-irrelevant perceptual learning (TIPL) has captured a growing interest in the field of perceptual learning. The basic phenomenon is that stimulus features that are irrelevant to a subject’s task (i.e. convey no useful information to that task) can be learned due to their consistent presentation during task-performance. Here we review recent research on TIPL and focus on two key aspects of TIPL; 1) the mechanisms gating learning in TIPL, and, 2) what is learned through TIPL. We show that TIPL is gated by learning signals that are triggered from task processing or by rewards. These learning signals operate to enhance processing of individual stimulus features and appear to result in plasticity in early stages of visual processing. Furthermore, we discuss recent research that demonstrates that TIPL is not in opposition to theories of attention but instead that TIPL operates in concert with attention. Where attentional learning is best to enhance (or suppress) processing of stimuli of known task relevance, TIPL serves to enhance perception of stimuli that are originally inadequately processed by the brain. PMID:19665471

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Clustered Multi-Task Learning Via Alternating Structure Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jiayu; Chen, Jianhui; Ye, Jieping

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Characterization of task-free and task-performance brain states via functional connectome patterns.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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,…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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. PMID:24187205

  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. Scopolamine prevents retrograde memory interference between two different learning tasks.

    PubMed

    Blake, M G; Boccia, M M; Krawczyk, M C; Baratti, C M

    2011-03-01

    Subjects exposed to learning experiences could store the new information through memory consolidation process. If consolidation is interfered by exposing the experimental subjects to another novel stimulus, memory of the first learning situation is sometimes disrupted. The cholinergic system is critically involved in acquisition of new information. Here, we use low doses of the muscarinic cholinergic receptor antagonist scopolamine (SCOP) to disrupt acquisition of new information, but sparing memory consolidation of previous memories. Mice were consecutively exposed to two learning situations: the inhibitory avoidance (IA) and the nose-poke habituation (NPH) tasks. The exposure of mice to the NPH task, after being trained in the IA apparatus, impairs consolidation of the avoidance memory in a manner related to the duration of the exposure to the NPH task. If the exposure to the NPH task occurred after reactivation of the avoidance memory, reconsolidation was impaired. Blockade of acquisition of the NPH task by SCOP allowed consolidation and reconsolidation of the avoidance memory. Results indicate that cholinergic system blockade by SCOP impairs acquisition but is less able to affect memory consolidation. The mere exposure and perception of a novel situation are not sufficient conditions to cause impairment of retention performance about previously learned information, but effective processing leading to acquisition of the NPH task information is necessary to cause the interference between both learning situations.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Tasks to Advance the Learning of Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenes, Carole

    2014-01-01

    Tasks to Advance the Learning of Mathematics (TALMs) were developed to stimulate grades 5-8 students' curiosity about complex mathematical relationships, inspire them to reason abstractly and quantitatively, encourage them to consider and create alternative solution approaches, develop their skills to persuade others about the viability of one…

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

    PubMed

    Sun, R; Peterson, T

    1998-01-01

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

  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 methodology…

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Sævland, Werner; Norman, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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 more…

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:24153401

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Task 5: Architecture sensitivity to STME performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnackel, J. A.

    1992-09-01

    This document was prepared for Task 5: Architecture Sensitivity to Space Transportation Main Engine (STME) Performance. Information provided in this report documents the architecture sensitivities with respect to STME performance parameters. Suggested STME thrust level was driven by Task 5 sensitivities and Task 4 vehicle configurations. Recommendations on STME thrust level are presented in this report. Sensitivities to STME parameters and vehicle system parameters were evaluated. Design of Experiment (DOE) approaches were used to understand the relative importance of each parameter. Suggested sensitivity parameters and their respective ranges were provided to the Task 5 lead. Our recommendation on analysis approach for the sensitivities was a central composite faced design. Task 5 sensitivities should be updated following final Task 4 architecture recommendations. A suggested analysis approach is provided in the analysis section of this report (Part C, Appendix I, Analysis). This analysis approach was used on Advanced Launch System (ALS) Phase 2 to improve the evaluation of alternate engine designs and vehicle subsystem evaluations. It is suggested that the analysis approach outlined in Part C be utilized to update Task when final Task 4 architecture information is available. Contents of this submittal include: Part A, Narrative Summary; Part B, View Graphs with facing page text; Part C, Appendix I, Analysis Part C, Appendix II, Data.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. Effect of spatial distance to the task stimulus on task-irrelevant perceptual learning of static Gabors.

    PubMed

    Nishina, Shigeaki; Seitz, Aaron R; Kawato, Mitsuo; Watanabe, Takeo

    2007-10-12

    It was previously shown that sensitivity improvements to a task-irrelevant motion direction can be obtained when it is presented in concurrence with observers' performance of an attended task (A. R. Seitz & T. Watanabe, 2003; T. Watanabe, J. E. Náñez, & Y. Sasaki, 2001). To test whether this task-irrelevant perceptual learning (TIPL) is specific for motion and to clarify the relationships between the observer's task and the resultant TIPL, we investigated the spatial profile of the sensitivity enhancement for a static task-irrelevant feature. During the training period, participants performed an attentionally demanding character identification task at one location, whereas subthreshold, static, Gabor patches, which were masked in noise, were presented at different locations in the visual field. Subjects' sensitivity to the Gabors was compared between the pre- and posttraining tests. First, we found that TIPL extends to learning of static visual stimuli. Thus, TIPL is not a specialized process to motion stimuli. As to the effect of spatial location, the largest improvement was found for the Gabors presented in closest proximity to the task. These data indicate that the learning of the task-irrelevant visual feature significantly depends on the task location, with a gradual attenuation according to the spatial distance between them. These findings give further insights into the mechanism of perceptual learning.

  1. The effect of cognitive aging on implicit sequence learning and dual tasking.

    PubMed

    Vandenbossche, Jochen; Coomans, Daphné; Homblé, Koen; Deroost, Natacha

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the influence of attentional demands on sequence-specific learning by means of the serial reaction time task (Nissen and Bullemer, 1987) in young (age 18-25) and aged (age 55-75) adults. Participants had to respond as fast as possible to a stimulus presented in one of four horizontal locations by pressing a key corresponding to the spatial position of the stimulus. During the training phase sequential blocks were accompanied by (1) no secondary task (single), (2) a secondary tone counting task (dual tone), or (3) a secondary shape counting task (dual shape). Both secondary tasks were administered to investigate whether low and high interference tasks interact with implicit learning and age. The testing phase, under baseline single condition, was implemented to assess differences in sequence-specific learning between young and aged adults. Results indicate that (1) aged subjects show less sequence learning compared to young adults, (2) young participants show similar implicit learning effects under both single and dual task conditions when we account for explicit awareness, and (3) aged adults demonstrate reduced learning when the primary task is accompanied with a secondary task, even when explicit awareness is included as a covariate in the analysis. These findings point to implicit learning deficits under dual task conditions that can be related to cognitive aging, demonstrating the need for sufficient cognitive resources while performing a sequence learning task.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. [Performance indicators: the role of 'task uncertainty'].

    PubMed

    van Dishoeck, Anne-Margreet; Lingsma, Hester F; Steyerberg, Ewout W

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, quality of care has occupied a prominent place in health care. Different performance indicators are used to assess the quality of care. There is some debate about the value of outcome versus process indicators in measuring aspects of quality of care. Van de Geer et al. carried out a field study in a medical rehabilitation centre in the Netherlands in which four low task uncertainty teams ('hand trauma', 'heart failure', 'amputation', 'chronic pain'), and four high task uncertainty teams ('children with developmental coordination disorder', 'Parkinson disease', 'young children (aged 1-4 years) with developmental disorders', 'acquired brain injuries') participated in the development of performance indicators. They concluded that task uncertainty is an important factor to be considered in the development of indicators, and in the choice between the use of process and outcome indicators. Notably, outcome indicators are only useful in health problems with little variation and little task uncertainty, while many tasks are complex and uncertain. The participation of health care professionals in the development of quality indicators is, therefore, very important.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari

    2015-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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,…

  11. Pointing Device Performance in Steering Tasks.

    PubMed

    Senanayake, Ransalu; Goonetilleke, Ravindra S

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rausch, Andreas

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Effect of task complexity on mental performance during immersion hypothermia.

    PubMed

    Giesbrecht, G G; Arnett, J L; Vela, E; Bristow, G K

    1993-03-01

    The effect of task complexity on the decrement in mental performance during immersion hypothermia was studied. Psychometric tests of varying length and complexity were administered: 1) prior to cold water immersion (baseline); 2) soon after immersion to the neck in cold (8 degrees C) water but prior to any decrease in core temperature; and 3) after 55 to 80 min of immersion when core temperature had decreased 2-4 degrees C. Results indicated that tests placing relatively minimal cognitive demands on individuals, such as auditory attention, the Benton visual recognition test and forward digit span, were unaffected by either initial cold water immersion or central cooling. On the other hand, tests requiring relatively greater mental manipulation and short term memory (i.e., backward digit span) or processing and analysis (i.e., Stroop test) showed a slight improvement upon cold water immersion (perhaps related to increased arousal and/or learning) but a significant decrement following central cooling of 2-4 degrees C. Thus, relatively simple tasks were unaffected by central cooling, whereas more complex tasks were adversely affected. Cold water immersion itself did not interfere with performance of any tasks. Central nervous system cooling probably interferes with mental processing although discomfort and/or the physiological and physical effects of cold on the neuromuscular aspects of speech, required for responses to some of the tasks, may also affect performance.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25349952

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1991-01-01

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

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:26967015

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Clark, Ian; Dumas, Guillaume

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Individual differences in learning a novel discrete motor task.

    PubMed

    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

  17. Investigating perfect timesharing: the relationship between IM-compatible tasks and dual-task performance.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    Why are dual-task costs reduced with ideomotor (IM) compatible tasks (Greenwald & Shulman, 1973; Lien, Proctor & Allen, 2002)? In the present experiments, we first examine three different measures of single-task performance (pure single-task blocks, mixed blocks, and long stimulus onset asynchrony [SOA] trials in dual-task blocks) and two measures of dual-task performance (simultaneous stimulus presentation blocks and simultaneous stimulus presentation trials in blocks with mixed SOAs), and show that these different measures produce different estimates of the cost. Next we examine whether the near elimination of costs can be explained by assuming that one or both of the tasks bypasses capacity-limited central operations. The results indicate that both tasks must be IM-compatible to nearly eliminate the dual-task costs, suggesting that the relationship between the tasks plays a critical role in overlapping performance. PMID:22866763

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Task-based Learning: A Way of Promoting Transferable Skills in the Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Halloran, David

    2001-01-01

    Task-based learning (TBL) is a method used to develop transferable skills in radiography students. It involves developing in-depth understanding of concepts and mechanisms underlying tasks as well as capability to perform them. TBL forms the basis of clinical practice modules that contextualize knowledge. (Contains 23 references.) (SK)

  4. The Efficacy of Online Cooperative Learning Systems: The Perspective of Task-Technology Fit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Charlie C.; Wu, Jiinpo; Yang, Samuel C.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigates the impact of online synchronous audio and video systems on the performance of cooperative learning in decision making and intellective tasks. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 156 subjects, divided into 46 groups, were invited to resolve decision and intellective tasks in text messaging and audio conferencing…

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Look What I Am Doing: Does Observational Learning Take Place in Evocative Task-Sharing Situations?

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Assessment for Learning Tasks and the Peer Assessment Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lauf, Lorraine; Dole, Shelley

    2010-01-01

    A program of Assessment for Learning (AfL) was implemented with 107 Year 12 students as part of their preparation for a major external test. Students completed extended mathematics tasks and selected student responses were used for peer assessment purposes. This paper reports on two of the AfL elements, namely task selection and peer assessment as…

  11. 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…

  12. Learning from Student Experiences for Online Assessment Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Qayyum, M. Asim; Smith, David

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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:…

  3. 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…

  4. "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…

  5. 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…

  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. 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…

  8. Incidental Vocabulary Learning in Classroom Communication Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dooly, Melinda

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Kohnert, Kathryn; Danahy, Kerry

    2007-07-01

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

  18. The Effects of Self-Esteem and Task Perception on Goal Setting, Efficacy, and Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Thomas Li-Ping; Reynolds, David Bryan

    This study examined the effects of self-esteem and task perception on goal setting, efficacy, and task performance in 52 recreational dart throwers who were members of two dart organizations. Task perception was manipulated by asking each dart thrower to compete against self, a difficult competitor, and an easy competitor on the same dart game.…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simon, Martin A.; Tzur, Ron

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lodewyk, Ken R.; Winne, Philip H.

    2005-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Toward a Learning Science for Complex Crowdsourcing Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1991-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Performance of healthy participants on the Iowa Gambling Task.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    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; and (c) healthy participants first explore the different options and then exploit the most profitable ones. Here we test these assumptions using 2 extensive literature reviews and analysis of 8 data sets. The results show that all 3 assumptions may be invalid; that is, (a) healthy participants often prefer decks with infrequent losses; (b) healthy participants show idiosyncratic choice behavior; and (c) healthy participants do not show a systematic decrease in the number of switches across trials. Our findings question the prevailing interpretation of IGT data and suggest that, in future applications of the IGT, key assumptions about performance of healthy participants warrant close scrutiny.

  20. 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

  1. Memory consolidation and reconsolidation of an inhibitory avoidance task in mice: effects of a new different learning task.

    PubMed

    Boccia, M M; Blake, M G; Acosta, G B; Baratti, C M

    2005-01-01

    CF-1 male mice were trained in an inhibitory avoidance task using a high footshock (1.2mA, 50Hz, 1 s) in order to reduce the influence of extinction on retention performance. A single session of 5 min exposure to a hole-board (nose-poke behavior), either immediately after training or the first retention test (memory reactivation) impaired retention performance over two consecutive days. The effects were time-dependent since they were not observed when the exposure to the hole-board was delayed 3 h. When mice were habituated to the hole-board (5 min/day, 5 days), and then trained in an inhibitory avoidance task, the immediately post-training or memory reactivation exposure to the hole-board did not modify retention performance over two consecutive days. The effects of the post-reactivation acute exposure to the hole-board were long-lasting (21 days). Reinstatement was not observed in our experimental conditions. The non-spontaneous recovery of retention performance over 21-days and the lack of reinstatement, suggest that the impairment of retention performance observed was not probably due to a deficit in memory retrieval. These findings suggest that the exposure to a potential new learning situation impairs not only memory consolidation but also memory reconsolidation of the original learning task. PMID:16084650

  2. Memory consolidation and reconsolidation of an inhibitory avoidance task in mice: effects of a new different learning task.

    PubMed

    Boccia, M M; Blake, M G; Acosta, G B; Baratti, C M

    2005-01-01

    CF-1 male mice were trained in an inhibitory avoidance task using a high footshock (1.2mA, 50Hz, 1 s) in order to reduce the influence of extinction on retention performance. A single session of 5 min exposure to a hole-board (nose-poke behavior), either immediately after training or the first retention test (memory reactivation) impaired retention performance over two consecutive days. The effects were time-dependent since they were not observed when the exposure to the hole-board was delayed 3 h. When mice were habituated to the hole-board (5 min/day, 5 days), and then trained in an inhibitory avoidance task, the immediately post-training or memory reactivation exposure to the hole-board did not modify retention performance over two consecutive days. The effects of the post-reactivation acute exposure to the hole-board were long-lasting (21 days). Reinstatement was not observed in our experimental conditions. The non-spontaneous recovery of retention performance over 21-days and the lack of reinstatement, suggest that the impairment of retention performance observed was not probably due to a deficit in memory retrieval. These findings suggest that the exposure to a potential new learning situation impairs not only memory consolidation but also memory reconsolidation of the original learning task.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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,…

  10. 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)

  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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Mood states determine the degree of task shielding in dual-task performance.

    PubMed

    Zwosta, Katharina; Hommel, Bernhard; Goschke, Thomas; Fischer, Rico

    2013-01-01

    Current models of multitasking assume that dual-task performance and the degree of multitasking are affected by cognitive control strategies. In particular, cognitive control is assumed to regulate the amount of shielding of the prioritised task from crosstalk from the secondary task. We investigated whether and how task shielding is influenced by mood states. Participants were exposed to two short film clips, one inducing high and one inducing low arousal, of either negative or positive content. Negative mood led to stronger shielding of the prioritised task (i.e., less crosstalk) than positive mood, irrespective of arousal. These findings support the assumption that emotional states determine the parameters of cognitive control and play an important role in regulating dual-task performance.

  18. What matters in implicit task sequence learning: perceptual stimulus features, task sets, or correlated streams of information?

    PubMed

    Weiermann, Brigitte; Cock, Josephine; Meier, Beat

    2010-11-01

    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 possibilities. In 4 separate experiments, we replicated and extended a previous study by Heuer, Schmidtke, and Kleinsorge (2001). The presence or absence of a sequence of tasks, as well as that of a sequence of different task-to-response mappings, was manipulated independently within experiments. Evidence of implicit sequence learning was found only when correlated sequences of tasks and mappings were present. No sequence learning effects were found when only a single task sequence or a single mapping sequence was present, even when the structure of the single sequence was identical to the structure of the integrated sequence of task-mapping combinations. These results suggest that implicit task sequence learning is not dependent on either perceptual learning of stimulus features or automatic task-set activation per se. Rather, it appears to be driven by correlated streams of information.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Sucrose responsiveness, learning success, and task specialization in ants.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-16

    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, behavioral specialization, and appetitive olfactory learning in ants, including reproductive castes. We show that castes of the ant Camponotus aethiops differ in their responsiveness to sucrose and in their learning success in olfactory conditioning experiments in which sucrose is used as reward. Olfactory learning was better in foragers than in nurses, in agreement with their higher sucrose responsiveness. Interindividual variation in stimulus responsiveness and in learning may be, therefore, a crucial factor for division of labor in social insects.

  3. Why Does Background Noise Debilitate Simple Task Performance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kohfeld, David L.; Goedecke, Dennis W.

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

  4. [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. PMID:25016841

  5. [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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wascher, Edmund; Falkenstein, Michael

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumacher, Eric H.; Schwarb, Hillary

    2009-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-12

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

  15. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dobao, Ana Fernández

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ya-Ching; Gordon, Andrew M.

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Evidence for effects of task difficulty but not learning on neurophysiological variables associated with effort.

    PubMed

    Brouwer, Anne-Marie; Hogervorst, Maarten A; Holewijn, Michael; van Erp, Jan B F

    2014-08-01

    Learning to master a task is expected to be accompanied by a decrease in effort during task execution. We examine the possibility to monitor learning using physiological measures that have been reported to reflect effort or workload. Thirty-five participants performed different difficulty levels of the n-back task while a range of physiological and performance measurements were recorded. In order to dissociate non-specific time-related effects from effects of learning, we used the easiest level as a baseline condition. This condition is expected to only reflect non-specific effects of time. Performance and subjective measures confirmed more learning for the difficult level than for the easy level. The difficulty levels affected physiological variables in the way as expected, therewith showing their sensitivity. However, while most of the physiological variables were also affected by time, time-related effects were generally the same for the easy and the difficult level. Thus, in a well-controlled experiment that enabled the dissociation of general time effects from learning we did not find physiological variables to indicate decreasing effort associated with learning. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Characterization of spatial performance in male and female Long-Evans rats by means of the Morris water task and the ziggurat task.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-15

    Sex differences are prominent influences on spatial performance. One of the most common tasks to assess sex differences in spatial navigation in rodents is the Morris water task (MWT). In this task rats swim in a pool of water to locate a hidden platform employing the topographical relationships among the distal visual cues, pool wall, and goal location. Some evidence suggests that male rats display superior performance relative to females in the MWT. It is unknown, however, to what extent the sex difference in rats is task-dependent. This study compared the performance of male and female Long-Evans rats in the wet-land MWT versus the dry-land ziggurat task (ZT). The ZT represents a new dry-land task in which rats explore an arena with 16 ziggurat pyramids to locate food rewards. Several behavioural parameters, including latency, path length, path speed, probe trial performance, errors, and the number of returns were used as indices of spatial learning and memory. While males and females did not display significant differences in the traditional measures of spatial navigation within MWT, they displayed a robust sex difference in all measures of the ZT. These results indicate task-specific sex differences in spatial performance. Our findings suggest that males and females may employ different learning strategies in the MWT and ZT and that the latter task provides a more favourable task for assessing sex differences in rats.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Order effects in contingency learning: the role of task complexity.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Jessecae K; Ahn, Woo-Kyoung

    2006-04-01

    Dennis and Ahn (2001) found that during contingency learning, initial evidence influences causal judgments more than does later evidence (a primacy effect), whereas López, Shanks, Almaraz, and Fernández (1998) found the opposite (a recency effect). We propose that in contingency learning, people use initial evidence to develop an anchoring hypothesis that tends to be underadjusted by later evidence, resulting in a primacy effect. Thus, factors interfering with initial hypothesis development, such as simultaneously learning too many contingencies, as in López et al., would reduce the primacy effect. Experiment 1 showed a primacy effect with learning contingencies involving only one outcome but no primacy effect with two outcomes. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the magnitude of the primacy effect correlated with participants' verbal working memory capacity. It is concluded that a critical moderator for exhibition of the primacy effect is task complexity, presumably because it interferes with initial hypothesis development.

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

    PubMed Central

    Karnik, Indraneel; Gerlai, Robert

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  13. 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;…

  14. 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,…

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

    PubMed

    Fedor, Anna; Varga, Máté; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2012-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Sugar consumption, locomotion, task orientation, and learning in preschool children.

    PubMed

    Roshon, M S; Hagen, R L

    1989-06-01

    A challenge design was employed to investigate the effect of sucrose consumption on the behavior of 12 preschool children. On separate experimental days, subjects were tested individually with either a challenge sucrose drink (2 gm/kg body weight) or a placebo drink sweetened with aspartame. Fifteen-minute observations of each child during free play were made at 15, 45, and 75 minutes after ingestion of the drink. Assessment with a paired-associate learning task was made before ingestion and at 30, 60, and 90 minutes after ingestion. This study was a partial replication and extension of one of the few studies in the literature that has found an effect of sucrose on the behavior of normal children. On all dependent measures (locomotion, task orientation, and learning), the study failed to obtain significant differences between the two conditions.

  1. Performance in Dual Tasks. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Earl; Lansman, Marcy

    This project was designed to construct a single theoretical framework for the analysis of problem solving and real time "attention and performance" behavior. The model was developed as a computer program. It was designed in a similar manner to that of various problem solving simulations that use the "production system" approach. The program has…

  2. Learning an operant conditioning task differentially induces gliogenesis in the medial prefrontal cortex and neurogenesis in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-18

    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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vollmeyer, Regina; Rheinberg, Falko

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Conceptual and motor learning in music performance.

    PubMed

    Palmer, C; Meyer, R K

    2000-01-01

    Are the mental plans for action abstract or specified in terms of the movements with which they are produced? We report motor independence for expert music performance but not for novice performance in a transfer-of-learning task. Skilled adult pianists practiced musical pieces and transferred to new pieces with the same or different motor (hand and finger) requirements and conceptual (melodic) relations. Greatest transfer in sequence duration was observed when the same conceptual relations were retained from training to transfer, regardless of motor movements. In a second experiment, novice child pianists performed the same task. More experienced child pianists showed transfer on both the motor and the conceptual dimensions; the least experienced child pianists demonstrated transfer only to sequences with identical motor and conceptual dimensions. These findings suggest that mental plans for action become independent of the required movements only at advanced skill levels.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Levin, Yulia; Tzelgov, Joseph

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Life Developmental Tasks and Related Learning Needs and Outcomes. NSIEE Occasional Papers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krupp, Judy-Arin

    Major life developmental tasks are identified, along with the learning outcomes necessary to fulfill those tasks for adults from age 17 to retirement. Attention is directed to the important connection between life cycle change and adult learning as well as seven assumptions underlying life cycle theory. Developmental tasks and learning needs are…

  17. The effect of horizontal versus vertical task presentation on children's performance in coordinate tasks.

    PubMed

    Worsfold, Naomi; Davis, Alyson; De Bruyn, Bart

    2008-01-01

    Empirical work on children's ability to understand spatial coordinates has focused on the factors that increase children's proficiency. When interpreting performance, it should be considered that presenting a coordinate task on a horizontal surface might constrain the responses that children make because some target positions are further away from the child than others. Vertical task presentation removes this constraint. Children aged 3 to 9 years were presented with an interpretative coordinate task administered on a touchscreen, presented in an egocentric-vertical position or egocentric-horizontal position. The results show that for 5- to 7-year-old children vertical presentation led to far more correct responses than horizontal presentation. Analysis of the children's errors suggests that this may be due to the fact that vertical presentation suppresses children's bias towards responding in relation to one rather than both coordinates. Taken together these findings contribute to understanding why children's performance in xy coordination tasks is highly contextually sensitive.

  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. 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

  20. Task Performance with List-Mode Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caucci, Luca

    This dissertation investigates the application of list-mode data to detection, estimation, and image reconstruction problems, with an emphasis on emission tomography in medical imaging. We begin by introducing a theoretical framework for list-mode data and we use it to define two observers that operate on list-mode data. These observers are applied to the problem of detecting a signal (known in shape and location) buried in a random lumpy background. We then consider maximum-likelihood methods for the estimation of numerical parameters from list-mode data, and we characterize the performance of these estimators via the so-called Fisher information matrix. Reconstruction from PET list-mode data is then considered. In a process we called "double maximum-likelihood" reconstruction, we consider a simple PET imaging system and we use maximum-likelihood methods to first estimate a parameter vector for each pair of gamma-ray photons that is detected by the hardware. The collection of these parameter vectors forms a list, which is then fed to another maximum-likelihood algorithm for volumetric reconstruction over a grid of voxels. Efficient parallel implementation of the algorithms discussed above is then presented. In this work, we take advantage of two low-cost, mass-produced computing platforms that have recently appeared on the market, and we provide some details on implementing our algorithms on these devices. We conclude this dissertation work by elaborating on a possible application of list-mode data to X-ray digital mammography. We argue that today's CMOS detectors and computing platforms have become fast enough to make X-ray digital mammography list-mode data acquisition and processing feasible.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longman, Richard W.; Chang, Chi-Kuang

    1990-01-01

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

  2. Sleep-Dependent Learning and Practice-Dependent Deterioration in an Orientation Discrimination Task

    PubMed Central

    Mednick, Sara C.; Drummond, Sean P.A.; Boynton, Geoffrey M.; Awh, Ed; Serences, John

    2009-01-01

    Learning new information requires practice. The degree of learning can be influenced by the amount of practice and whether subjects sleep between sessions. Over-practice, however, can lead to performance deterioration. The interaction between practice-dependent deterioration and sleep-dependent learning needs more study. We examine whether the amount of practice before sleep alters learning, and whether prior sleep protects against deterioration. Two groups (N = 33) were tested three times across two days on an orientation discrimination task. The High practice group was tested twice before a night of sleep and once after, at 9 a.m., 7 p.m., and 9 a.m. The Low practice group was tested once before a night of sleep and twice after, at 7 p.m., 9 a.m., and 7 p.m. Overall, both groups showed (1) deterioration with repeated, within-day testing, (2) performance improvement only after a night of sleep, (3) similar amounts of sleep-dependent learning and practice-dependent deterioration. In summary, we found that sleep resets visual contrast thresholds to a lower baseline (i.e., produces learning), but does not prevent over-practice deterioration effects. Likewise, over-practice deterioration does not influence the magnitude of overnight learning on this task. PMID:18410166

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Luminance controlled pupil size affects Landolt C task performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pascucci, David; Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-01-01

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

  8. The Effects of Verbal Reinforcement, Interest, and "Usable Performance Feedback" upon Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fish, Marian C.; White, Mary Alice

    1978-01-01

    The influence of student task interest and of usable performance feedback on the effectiveness of verbal reinforcement was investigated in fifth graders who received approval, disapproval, or neutral reinforcement. Neither reinforcement nor reinforcement-task variable interaction provided enough motivation to improve accuracy of task performance.…

  9. Implicit sequence learning based on instructed task set.

    PubMed

    Gaschler, Robert; Frensch, Peter A; Cohen, Asher; Wenke, Dorit

    2012-09-01

    How does the way we code and control actions influence automatic skill acquisition processes? Wenke and Frensch (2005) showed that instructions can lead participants to code spatial responses based on color. Here, we tested in 3 experiments to what extent response labeling and instruction-based response coding can determine what is learned in implicit sequence learning. Instructions mapped 4 gray shape stimuli to 1 of the 4 keys each in a serial reaction task, referring to the keys in terms of either their color or their spatial location. In Experiments 1 and 2 we found that people in the color instruction conditions used color for action control and acquired sequence knowledge containing color: They were susceptible to irrelevant stimulus colors at transfer and could transfer color sequence knowledge to a new arrangement of response positions and fingers, whereas participants who had received spatial instructions could not. Implicit sequence learning was thus surprisingly flexible. Depending on whether an arbitrary nonspatial response feature was used or not used to explain the stimulus-response mappings, we either found or did not find evidence that this feature became part of action control and sequence learning. Furthermore, Experiment 3 suggested that response position might become part of the sequence knowledge even if instructions do not emphasize this response feature. Together, the findings suggest that implicit sequence learning is based on action control, which in turn strongly, but not entirely, depends on which response features are used to explain the stimulus-response mappings in the instructions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  13. Impact of tasks and users' characteristics on virtual reality performance.

    PubMed

    Tyndiuk, F; Lespinet-Najib, V; Thomas, G; Schlick, C

    2007-06-01

    A better understanding of how users perform virtual reality (VR) tasks may help build better VR interfaces. In this study, we concentrated on the compensatory behavior in VR depending on the tasks and users' characteristics. The tasks characteristics considered were display size (large display vs. desktop monitor) and tasks types (manipulation and travel). The users' characteristics studied were the visual attention abilities and users' satisfaction. Ninety-five subjects participated in the experimentation composed of two parts: the first one consisted in cognitive tests used to evaluate visual attention abilities, and the second one was based on a set of VR tasks. Our result showed that large displays positively affect on performance for some kinds of VR tasks. Moreover, this impact was linked to users' satisfaction and visual attention abilities. Indeed, users with low-level attention abilities and users who preferred the large display took more advantage of large displays. We concluded that large displays can be considered cognitive aids depending on the tasks and users' characteristics.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Social learning of migratory performance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Social learning of migratory performance.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-30

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

  19. High definition television: Evaluation for remote task performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Draper, J. V.; Handel, S. J.; Herndon, J. N.

    High definition television (HDTV) transmits a video image with more than twice the number of horizontal scan lines that standard resolution television provides (1125 for HDTV to 525 for standard resolution television), with impressive picture quality improvement. These experimental activities are part of a joint collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) and the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC) of Japan in the field of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Reprocessing Technology. Objects in the HDTV picture have more sharply defined edges, better contrast, and more accurate shading and color pattern reproduction. Because television is a key component for teleoperator performance, picture quality improvement could improve speed and accuracy. This paper describes three experiments which evaluated the impact of HDTV on remote task performance. HDTV was compared to standard resolution, monochromatic television and standard resolution, stereoscopic, monochromatic television. Tasks included judgement of depth in a televised scene, visual inspection, and a remote maintenance task. The experiments show that HDTV can improve performance. HDTV is superior to monoscopic, monochromatic, standard resolution television and to stereoscopic television for remote inspection tasks; it is less proficient than stereo television for distance matching. HDTV leads to lower error rate during tasks but does not reduce time required to complete tasks.

  20. Performance of the marmoset monkey on computerized tasks of attention and working memory.

    PubMed

    Spinelli, Simona; Pennanen, Luis; Dettling, Andrea C; Feldon, Joram; Higgins, Guy A; Pryce, Christopher R

    2004-04-01

    The CAmbridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) is a computerised battery of neuropsychological tests presented as stimuli on a touch-sensitive computer screen that has been used to assess a wide range of cognitive functions in neuropsychiatric patients, healthy volunteers, and species of non-human primate, primarily the rhesus macaque. The common marmoset is a small-bodied, tractable simian primate that breeds well under laboratory conditions. This primate has been quite extensively studied in terms of its abilities and limitations with respect to appetitive cognitive conditioning. However, the CANTAB versions of sustained/divided attention and working memory tasks have to-date not been studied in the marmoset. Here we describe adult marmoset performance on the CANTAB five-choice serial reaction time task, a delayed match-to-position task, and a task derived from the CANTAB visuo-spatial paired associates learning task that constituted two, concurrent delayed match-to-position tasks. The acquisition and stable longitudinal performance of these tasks provide strong evidence that the marmoset, in addition to the macaque, can be the species of choice for CANTAB-based drug and lesion studies of cognitive function, using tasks similar to those deployed in the study of human cognition and diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiley, Llewellyn N.; Hahn, Clifford P.

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

  2. Effects of uncontrollability and failure on the development of learned helplessness in perceptual-motor tasks.

    PubMed

    Gernigon, C; Fleurance, P; Reine, B

    2000-03-01

    The aim of this study was to distinguish between the roles of uncontrollability and failure on learned helplessness in a perceptual-motor task. Forty-eight junior high school students were randomly assigned in a 2 x 2 (Controllability: Contingent vs. Yoked Noncontingent Feedback x Type of Outcome: Success vs. Failure) factorial design to complete a gun-shooting task on a moving target using a computer screen. Twelve other participants (control group) simply read a passage. After filling out causal attribution and self-efficacy expectations questionnaires, all participants carried out another gun-shooting task (test task). Results showed that contingency led to higher performances than noncontingency. Success conditions elicited higher self-efficacy expectations than failure conditions. Failure entailed less persistence than success did for participants who had been assigned to the contingency condition. Internalization of failure was negatively correlated with persistence. Comparisons with the control group showed that expectations and performance deficits of learned helplessness were provoked by failure in noncontingent situations; persistence deficits were due to failure in contingent situations. These results reveal that both uncontrollability and failure can be responsible for different forms of learned helplessness. PMID:10763520

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Lessons Learned from Deploying an Analytical Task Management Database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. When does imagery practice enhance performance on a motor task?

    PubMed

    Bohan, M; Pharmer, J A; Stokes, A F

    1999-04-01

    Imagery practice of motor tasks has been recommended for a wide range of activities as from flight training to basketball. A key question, both from a practical and a theoretical standpoint, is when during the learning process does imagery practice confer the most benefit? However, the literature does not provide clear guidance, in part because of methodological limitations. A 3 x 2 (physical practice x pretest-posttest) split-plot design was employed to investigate the effects of imagery practice on the acquisition of a discrete target at three different stages of learning. Analysis indicated that imagery practice was most beneficial in the early stages of learning and showed an inverse relationship between experience and efficacy of imagery practice. Results are discussed in terms of current theories of imagery practice and suggestions are made regarding when such practice might be best applied during skill development.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Comparing performance in discrete and continuous comparison tasks.

    PubMed

    Leibovich, Tali; Henik, Avishai

    2014-05-01

    The approximate number system (ANS) theory suggests that all magnitudes, discrete (i.e., number of items) or continuous (i.e., size, density, etc.), are processed by a shared system and comply with Weber's law. The current study reexamined this notion by comparing performance in discrete (comparing numerosities of dot arrays) and continuous (comparisons of area of squares) tasks. We found that: (a) threshold of discrimination was higher for continuous than for discrete comparisons; (b) while performance in the discrete task complied with Weber's law, performance in the continuous task violated it; and (c) performance in the discrete task was influenced by continuous properties (e.g., dot density, dot cumulative area) of the dot array that were not predictive of numerosities or task relevant. Therefore, we propose that the magnitude processing system (MPS) is actually divided into separate (yet interactive) systems for discrete and continuous magnitude processing. Further subdivisions are discussed. We argue that cooperation between these systems results in a holistic comparison of magnitudes, one that takes into account continuous properties in addition to numerosities. Considering the MPS as two systems opens the door to new and important questions that shed light on both normal and impaired development of the numerical system.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  12. Effects of force reflection on servomanipulator task performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1989-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Danna, Jeremy; Thon, Bernard

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Darryl W.; Logan, Gordon D.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Learning to improve path planning performance

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Pang C.

    1995-04-01

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

  18. Effects of assembling virtual fixtures on learning a navigation task.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Bin; Kuang, Alex; Henigman, Frank; Payandeh, Shahram; Lomax, Alan; Swanström, Lee; Mackenzie, Christine L

    2006-01-01

    An approach to enhance navigation task performance is to integrate sensory guidance (virtual fixtures) into a virtual training system. To evaluate the effects of adding virtual fixtures to skill acquisition, 32 subjects were required to use a PHANToM input device, to transport a virtual object through a computer generated 3-D graphic maze. Subjects practiced navigation under 4 conditions: the maze was augmented with either a graphic fixture (G), attractive force field (F), both graphic and force field (GF), or no (N) virtual fixture. Fifteen practice trials were given before subjects were transferred to a situation with no virtual fixtures. Results showed that the implementation of the force field assisted task performance during practice; however, it failed to show positive transfer effects. In contrast, adding a graphic fixture to the virtual maze helped subjects to define the optimal pathway throughout navigation, which facilitated skill acquisition.

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

    PubMed

    Akam, Thomas; Costa, Rui; Dayan, Peter

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Akam, Thomas; Costa, Rui; Dayan, Peter

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Akam, Thomas; Costa, Rui; Dayan, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitmer, Melvin

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

  5. Changes in Relevance Criteria and Problem Stages in Task Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vakkari, Pertti; Hakala, Nanna

    2000-01-01

    This study of students at the University of Tampere (Finland) analyzes how changes in relevance criteria are related to changes in problem stages during the task performance process in information retrieval. Provides a conceptual framework, including Kuhlthau's information search process model and prior knowledge; and compares bibliographic…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rauscher, Frances H.; And Others

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

  8. Analytic versus Holistic Scoring of Science Performance Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rigney, Joseph W.; And Others

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Pat; Lorenzo, Francisco

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Collaborative and Individual Output Tasks and Their Effects on Learning English Phrasal Verbs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nassaji, Hossein; Tian, Jun

    2010-01-01

    Current second language (L2) instruction research has encouraged the use of collaborative output tasks in L2 classrooms. This study examined and compared the effectiveness of two types of output tasks (reconstruction cloze tasks and reconstruction editing tasks) for learning English phrasal verbs. Of interest was whether doing the tasks…

  13. Task Sequence and Overtraining in Children's Learning and Transfer of Double Classification Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caruso, John L.; Resnick, Lauren B.

    This paper reports on an experiment which attempted to: (1) empirically validate a hypothesized hierarchical sequence of three double classification tasks; (2) investigate transfer to an untrained Piagetian double classification task; and (3) assess the effects of overtraining a relatively easy task on the learning of a more difficult task, as…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gal, Eran; Nachmias, Rafi

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schiff, Rachel; Katan, Pesia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Macedonia, Manuela; Mueller, Karsten

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Macedonia, Manuela; Mueller, Karsten

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Macedonia, Manuela; Mueller, Karsten

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abrams, Alvin J.; Cook, Richard L.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krall, Joseph; Menzies, Tim; Davies, Misty

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-04-01

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

  3. Task performance on constrained reconstructions: human observer performance compared with suboptimal Bayesian performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Robert F.; Myers, Kyle J.; Hanson, Kenneth M.

    1992-06-01

    We have previously described how imaging systems and image reconstruction algorithms can be evaluated on the basis of how well binary-discrimination tasks can be performed by a machine algorithm that `views' the reconstructions. Algorithms used in these investigations have been based on approximations to the ideal observer of Bayesian statistical decision theory. The present work examines the performance of an extended family of such algorithmic observers viewing tomographic images reconstructed from a small number of views using the Cambridge Maximum Entropy software, MEMSYS 3. We investigate the effects on the performance of these observers due to varying the parameter (alpha) ; this parameter controls the stopping point of the iterative reconstruction technique and effectively determines the smoothness of the reconstruction. For the detection task considered here, performance is maximum at the lowest values of (alpha) studied; these values are encountered as one moves toward the limit of maximum likelihood estimation while maintaining the positivity constraint intrinsic to entropic priors. A breakdown in the validity of a Gaussian approximation used by one of the machine algorithms (the posterior probability) was observed in this region. Measurements on human observers performing the same task show that they perform comparably to the best machine observers in the region of highest machine scores, i.e., smallest values of (alpha) . For increasing values of (alpha) , both human and machine observer performance degrade. The falloff in human performance is more rapid than that of the machine observer at the largest values of (alpha) (lowest performance) studied. This behavior is common to all such studies of the so-called psychometric function.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kaspar, Kai; Vennekötter, Alina

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kaspar, Kai; Vennekötter, Alina

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Predicting subsequent task performance from goal motivation and goal failure

    PubMed Central

    Healy, Laura C.; Ntoumanis, Nikos; Stewart, Brandon D.; Duda, Joan L.

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that the cognitive processes associated with goal pursuit can continue to interfere with unrelated tasks when a goal is unfulfilled. Drawing from the self-regulation and goal-striving literatures, the present study explored the impact of goal failure on subsequent cognitive and physical task performance. Furthermore, we examined if the autonomous or controlled motivation underpinning goal striving moderates the responses to goal failure. Athletes (75 male, 59 female, Mage = 19.90 years, SDage = 3.50) completed a cycling trial with the goal of covering a given distance in 8 min. Prior to the trial, their motivation was primed using a video. During the trial they were provided with manipulated performance feedback, thus creating conditions of goal success or failure. No differences emerged in the responses to goal failure between the primed motivation or performance feedback conditions. We make recommendations for future research into how individuals can deal with failure in goal striving. PMID:26191029

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonnis, Dorothy Ann

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weise, Richard

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Dogs (Canis familiaris) can learn to attend to connectivity in string pulling tasks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  13. Dogs (Canis familiaris) can learn to attend to connectivity in string pulling tasks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fowler, B; Bock, O; Comfort, D

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Cue Utilization and Cognitive Load in Novel Task Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. A New Semantic List Learning Task to Probe Functioning of the Papez Circuit

    PubMed Central

    Schallmo, Michael-Paul; Kassel, Michelle T.; Weisenbach, Sara L.; Walker, Sara J.; Guidotti-Breting, Leslie M.; Rao, Julia A.; Hazlett, Kathleen E.; Considine, Ciaran M.; Sethi, Gurpriya; Vats, Naalti; Pecina, Marta; Welsh, Robert C.; Starkman, Monica N.; Giordani, Bruno; Langenecker, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction List learning tasks are powerful clinical tools for studying memory, yet have been relatively underutilized within the functional imaging literature. This limits understanding of regions such as the Papez circuit which support memory performance in healthy, non-demented adults. Method The current study characterized list learning performance in 40 adults who completed a Semantic List Learning Task (SLLT) with a Brown-Peterson manipulation during functional MRI (fMRI). Cued recall with semantic cues, and recognition memory were assessed after imaging. Internal reliability and convergent and discriminant validity were evaluated. Results Subjects averaged 38% accuracy in recall (62% for recognition), with primacy but no recency effects observed. Validity and reliability were demonstrated by showing that the SLLT was correlated with the California Verbal Learning test (CVLT), but not with executive functioning tests, and high intraclass correlation coefficient across lists for recall (.91). fMRI measurements during Encoding (vs. Silent Rehearsal) revealed significant activation in bilateral hippocampus, parahippocampus, and bilateral anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Post-hoc analyses showed increased activation in anterior and middle hippocampus, subgenual cingulate, and mammillary bodies specific to Encoding. In addition, increasing age was positively associated with increased activation in a diffuse network, particularly frontal cortex and specific Papez regions for correctly recalled words. Gender differences were specific to left inferior and superior frontal cortex. Conclusions This is a clinically relevant list learning task that can be used in studies of groups for which the Papez circuit is damaged or disrupted, in mixed or crossover studies at imaging and clinical sites. PMID:26313512

  20. Age and distraction are determinants of performance on a novel visual search task in aged Beagle dogs.

    PubMed

    Snigdha, Shikha; Christie, Lori-Ann; De Rivera, Christina; Araujo, Joseph A; Milgram, Norton W; Cotman, Carl W

    2012-02-01

    Aging has been shown to disrupt performance on tasks that require intact visual search and discrimination abilities in human studies. The goal of the present study was to determine if canines show age-related decline in their ability to perform a novel simultaneous visual search task. Three groups of canines were included: a young group (N = 10; 3 to 4.5 years), an old group (N = 10; 8 to 9.5 years), and a senior group (N = 8; 11 to 15.3 years). Subjects were first tested for their ability to learn a simple two-choice discrimination task, followed by the visual search task. Attentional demands in the task were manipulated by varying the number of distracter items; dogs received an equal number of trials with either zero, one, two, or three distracters. Performance on the two-choice discrimination task varied with age, with senior canines making significantly more errors than the young. Performance accuracy on the visual search task also varied with age; senior animals were significantly impaired compared to both the young and old, and old canines were intermediate in performance between young and senior. Accuracy decreased significantly with added distracters in all age groups. These results suggest that aging impairs the ability of canines to discriminate between task-relevant and -irrelevant stimuli. This is likely to be derived from impairments in cognitive domains such as visual memory and learning and selective attention.

  1. Terminal feedback outperforms concurrent visual, auditory, and haptic feedback in learning a complex rowing-type task.

    PubMed

    Sigrist, Roland; Rauter, Georg; Riener, Robert; Wolf, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Augmented feedback, provided by coaches or displays, is a well-established strategy to accelerate motor learning. Frequent terminal feedback and concurrent feedback have been shown to be detrimental for simple motor task learning but supportive for complex motor task learning. However, conclusions on optimal feedback strategies have been mainly drawn from studies on artificial laboratory tasks with visual feedback only. Therefore, the authors compared the effectiveness of learning a complex, 3-dimensional rowing-type task with either concurrent visual, auditory, or haptic feedback to self-controlled terminal visual feedback. Results revealed that terminal visual feedback was most effective because it emphasized the internalization of task-relevant aspects. In contrast, concurrent feedback fostered the correction of task-irrelevant errors, which hindered learning. The concurrent visual and haptic feedback group performed much better during training with the feedback than in nonfeedback trials. Auditory feedback based on sonification of the movement error was not practical for training the 3-dimensional movement for most participants. Concurrent multimodal feedback in combination with terminal feedback may be most effective, especially if the feedback strategy is adapted to individual preferences and skill level.

  2. Non-linguistic learning and aphasia: evidence from a paired associate and feedback-based task.

    PubMed

    Vallila-Rohter, Sofia; Kiran, Swathi

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Non-linguistic learning and aphasia: evidence from a paired associate and feedback-based task.

    PubMed

    Vallila-Rohter, Sofia; Kiran, Swathi

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, C.L.

    1995-10-01

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

  5. Observer analysis and its impact on task performance modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, Eddie L.; Brown, Jeremy B.

    2014-05-01

    Fire fighters use relatively low cost thermal imaging cameras to locate hot spots and fire hazards in buildings. This research describes the analyses performed to study the impact of thermal image quality on fire fighter fire hazard detection task performance. Using human perception data collected by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for fire fighters detecting hazards in a thermal image, an observer analysis was performed to quantify the sensitivity and bias of each observer. Using this analysis, the subjects were divided into three groups representing three different levels of performance. The top-performing group was used for the remainder of the modeling. Models were developed which related image quality factors such as contrast, brightness, spatial resolution, and noise to task performance probabilities. The models were fitted to the human perception data using logistic regression, as well as probit regression. Probit regression was found to yield superior fits and showed that models with not only 2nd order parameter interactions, but also 3rd order parameter interactions performed the best.

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

    PubMed

    Murray, Spencer A; Goldfarb, Michael

    2015-01-01

    There is widespread agreement in the physical rehabilitation community that task engagement is essential to effective neuromuscular recovery. Despite this, there are no clear measures of such task engagement. This paper assesses the extent to which certain physiological measurements might provide a measure of task engagement. In previous studies, correlations between mental focus and certain physiological measurements have been observed in subjects performing tasks requiring mental effort. In this study, the authors analyzed whether these signals showed similar correlation when subjects performed a multi-limb-coordination motor-learning task. Subjects played a video game which required the use of both arms and one leg to play a simplified electronic drum set with varying difficulty. Heart rate (HR), skin conductance level (SCL), and facial electromyogram (EMG) were recorded while the subjects played. Analysis of the recordings showed statistically significant correlations relating task difficulty to SCL, HR and EMG amplitude in corrugator supercilii. No statistically significant correlation was observed between task difficulty and EMG in frontalis. PMID:26736703

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

    PubMed

    Murray, Spencer A; Goldfarb, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendell, Kristen Bethke; Lee, Hee-Sun

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cussen, Victoria A; Mench, Joy A

    2014-07-01

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

  10. Normal Performance of Fmr1 Mice on a Touchscreen Delayed Nonmatching to Position Working Memory Task.

    PubMed

    Leach, Prescott T; Hayes, Jane; Pride, Michael; Silverman, Jill L; Crawley, Jacqueline N

    2016-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by mild-to-severe cognitive deficits. The complete absence of Fmr1 and its protein product in the mouse model of fragile X (Fmr1 KO) provides construct validity. A major conundrum in the field is the remarkably normal performance of Fmr1 mice on cognitive tests in most reports. One explanation may be insufficiently challenging cognitive testing procedures. Here we developed a delayed nonmatching to position touchscreen task to test the hypothesis that paradigms placing demands on working memory would reveal robust and replicable cognitive deficits in the Fmr1 KO mouse. We first tested Fmr1 KO mice (Fmr1) and their wild-type (WT) littermates in a simple visual discrimination task, followed by assessment of reversal learning. We then tested Fmr1 and WT mice in a new touchscreen nonmatch to position task and subsequently challenged their working memory abilities by adding delays, representing a higher cognitive load. The performance by Fmr1 KO mice was equal to WTs on both touchscreen tasks. Last, we replicated previous reports of normal performance by Fmr1 mice on Morris water maze spatial navigation and reversal. These results indicate that, while the Fmr1 mouse model effectively recapitulates many molecular and cellular aspects of fragile X syndrome, the cognitive profile of Fmr1 mice generally does not recapitulate the primary cognitive deficits in the human syndrome, even when diverse and challenging tasks are imposed.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kee, Ying Hwa; Liu, Yeou-Teh

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redford, Joshua S.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fasanya, Bankole K

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance.

    PubMed

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance.

    PubMed

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stapleford, R. L.

    1973-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Malangré, Andreas; Blischke, Klaus

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-07-01

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

  19. Competitive Learning Neural Network Ensemble Weighted by Predicted Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ye, Qiang

    2010-01-01

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

  20. The effects of interspersed maintenance tasks on academic performance in a severe childhood stroke victim.

    PubMed

    Koegel, L K; Koegel, R L

    1986-01-01

    We examined the effects of task-sequencing variables on the academic performance of an 8-year-old severe stroke victim. Within a multiple baseline design, previously acquired (maintenance) task trials were systematically interspersed at designated points in treatment among new (acquisition) task trials. The results showed improvements in both academic responding and subjective ratings of motivation in each of four treated areas (spelling, reading, word-finding, and memory). Social validation data obtained from standardized school placement examinations suggested marked improvement in a variety of related areas of academic functioning. Results suggest that children suffering severe strokes may be capable of learning more than has previously been suspected, and that behavioral treatments may improve such children's functioning.

  1. Informational properties of neural nets performing algorithmic and logical tasks.

    PubMed

    Ritz, B M; Hofacker, G L

    1996-06-01

    It is argued that the genetic information necessary to encode an algorithmic neural processor tutoring an otherwise randomly connected biological neural net is represented by the entropy of the analogous minimal Turing machine. Such a near-minimal machine is constructed performing the whole range of bivalent propositional logic in n variables. Neural nets computing the same task are presented; their informational entropy can be gauged with reference to the analogous Turing machine. It is also shown that nets with one hidden layer can be trained to perform algorithms solving propositional logic by error back-propagation. PMID:8672562

  2. Informational properties of neural nets performing algorithmic and logical tasks.

    PubMed

    Ritz, B M; Hofacker, G L

    1996-06-01

    It is argued that the genetic information necessary to encode an algorithmic neural processor tutoring an otherwise randomly connected biological neural net is represented by the entropy of the analogous minimal Turing machine. Such a near-minimal machine is constructed performing the whole range of bivalent propositional logic in n variables. Neural nets computing the same task are presented; their informational entropy can be gauged with reference to the analogous Turing machine. It is also shown that nets with one hidden layer can be trained to perform algorithms solving propositional logic by error back-propagation.

  3. Questionnaire assessment of estimated radiation effects upon military task performance

    SciTech Connect

    Glickman, A.S.; Winne, P.S.; Morgan, B.B. Jr.; Moe, R.B.

    1984-04-01

    One hundred twenty-five supervisors in four types of U.S. Army combat systems estimated the degree of degradation of military tasks for 30 descriptive symptom complexes associated with various radiation exposures. Results indicated that (a) the relative order of symptom effects were highly consistent across positions and the types of systems, (b) performances were expected to be deleteriously affected under most illness conditions, even mild ones, but incapacitation was not anticipated until illness conditions became quite severe, and (c) the most important factors in estimating performances were fluid loss and fatigability/weakness.

  4. Two distinct layer-specific dynamics of cortical ensembles during learning of a motor task.

    PubMed

    Masamizu, Yoshito; Tanaka, Yasuhiro R; Tanaka, Yasuyo H; Hira, Riichiro; Ohkubo, Fuki; Kitamura, Kazuo; Isomura, Yoshikazu; Okada, Takashi; Matsuzaki, Masanori

    2014-07-01

    The primary motor cortex (M1) possesses two intermediate layers upstream of the motor-output layer: layer 2/3 (L2/3) and layer 5a (L5a). Although repetitive training often improves motor performance and movement coding by M1 neuronal ensembles, it is unclear how neuronal activities in L2/3 and L5a are reorganized during motor task learning. We conducted two-photon calcium imaging in mouse M1 during 14 training sessions of a self-initiated lever-pull task. In L2/3, the accuracy of neuronal ensemble prediction of lever trajectory remained unchanged globally, with a subset of individual neurons retaining high prediction accuracy throughout the training period. However, in L5a, the ensemble prediction accuracy steadily improved, and one-third of neurons, including subcortical projection neurons, evolved to contribute substantially to ensemble prediction in the late stage of learning. The L2/3 network may represent coordination of signals from other areas throughout learning, whereas L5a may participate in the evolving network representing well-learned movements.

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

    PubMed

    Castro, Leyre; Wasserman, Edward A

    2013-02-01

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

  6. Effect of methylphenidate on enhancement of spatial learning by novel alternated dual task.

    PubMed

    Veetil, Praveen Kottath; Mukkadan, Joseph Kurian

    2011-01-01

    The novel alternated dual task (ADT) arranged rats to learn T-maze spontaneous alternation task and radial arm maze (RAM) task alternatively, and by doing ADT, rats could acquire the tasks more easily than non alternated dual task (NADT) group. Also retention capacity of ADT group was significantly more and ADT help to learn a complex task faster than learning it in isolation from other tasks. In the present study effect of methylphenidate (MPD), a mood elevator, known to enhance learning and memory, on ADT procedure is assessed. Also effect of ADT procedure and MPD on spatial learning and memory are compared. Different groups were assigned by administering MPD (intraperitoneal injection at a dose of 3 mg/kg body weight) during different phases of behavioural experiments, and control groups received saline injection. MPD administration increased both acquisition and retention capacities. The amelioration attained for retention of complex task by ADT procedure, could be achieved by NADT rats only by administration of MPD. The influence of ADT procedure on acquisition and retention of TM and RAM tasks were similar to the effects of MPD, especially for the RAM task. MPD at low dose is found to enhance the learning and memory capacity in rats, than deteriorating it, supporting the use of MPD as a drug to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder. The recent reports suggesting the effect of MPD only on retention and not on acquisition could not be confirmed, as enhancement for both acquisition and retention was found in this study. PMID:22319900

  7. A wavelet contrast metric for the targeting task performance metric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preece, Bradley L.; Flug, Eric A.

    2016-05-01

    Target acquisition performance depends strongly on the contrast of the target. The Targeting Task Performance (TTP) metric, within the Night Vision Integrated Performance Model (NV-IPM), uses a combination of resolution, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast to predict and model system performance. While the dependence on resolution and SNR are well defined and understood, defining a robust and versatile contrast metric for a wide variety of acquisition tasks is more difficult. In this correspondence, a wavelet contrast metric (WCM) is developed under the assumption that the human eye processes spatial differences in a manner similar to a wavelet transform. The amount of perceivable information, or useful wavelet coefficients, is used to predict the total viewable contrast to the human eye. The WCM is intended to better match the measured performance of the human vision system for high-contrast, low-contrast, and low-observable targets. After further validation, the new contrast metric can be incorporated using a modified TTP metric into the latest Army target acquisition software suite, the NV-IPM.

  8. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Temporal prediction errors modulate task-switching performance.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. Writing to Learn via Text Chat: Task Implementation and Focus on Form

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alwi, Nik Aloesnita Nik Mohd; Adams, Rebecca; Newton, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    Research has shown that task-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) can foster attention to linguistic form in ways that may promote language learning (c.f., Blake, 2000; Smith, 2003, 2005). However, relatively little research has investigated how differences in the way that tasks are used in CMC settings influence learning opportunities…

  14. Implications of Task Structure on Self-Regulated Learning and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lodewyk, Ken R.; Winne, Philip H.; Jamieson-Noel, Dianne L.

    2009-01-01

    School tasks interact with student motivation, cognition, and instruction to influence learning and achievement. Heeding calls for additional research linking motivational and cognitive factors in learning and instruction on specific tasks within authentic classroom settings we quantitatively and qualitatively track 90 tenth-grade science…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Feng-Qi; Newby, Timothy J.

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Elementary School Students' Strategic Learning: Does Task-Type Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malmberg, Jonna; Järvelä, Sanna; Kirschner, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated what types of learning patterns and strategies elementary school students use to carry out ill- and well-structured tasks. Specifically, it was investigated which and when learning patterns actually emerge with respect to students' task solutions. The present study uses computer log file traces to investigate how…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Lina

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calvert, Megan; Sheen, Younghee

    2015-01-01

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

  2. A neural network model with dopamine-like reinforcement signal that learns a spatial delayed response task.

    PubMed

    Suri, R E; Schultz, W

    1999-01-01

    This study investigated how the simulated response of dopamine neurons to reward-related stimuli could be used as reinforcement signal for learning a spatial delayed response task. Spatial delayed response tasks assess the functions of frontal cortex and basal ganglia in short-term memory, movement preparation and expectation of environmental events. In these tasks, a stimulus appears for a short period at a particular location, and after a delay the subject moves to the location indicated. Dopamine neurons are activated by unpredicted rewards and reward-predicting stimuli, are not influenced by fully predicted rewards, and are depressed by omitted rewards. Thus, they appear to report an error in the prediction of reward, which is the crucial reinforcement term in formal learning theories. Theoretical studies on reinforcement learning have shown that signals similar to dopamine responses can be used as effective teaching signals for learning. A neural network model implementing the temporal difference algorithm was trained to perform a simulated spatial delayed response task. The reinforcement signal was modeled according to the basic characteristics of dopamine responses to novel stimuli, primary rewards and reward-predicting stimuli. A Critic component analogous to dopamine neurons computed a temporal error in the prediction of reinforcement and emitted this signal to an Actor component which mediated the behavioral output. The spatial delayed response task was learned via two subtasks introducing spatial choices and temporal delays, in the same manner as monkeys in the laboratory. In all three tasks, the reinforcement signal of the Critic developed in a similar manner to the responses of natural dopamine neurons in comparable learning situations, and the learning curves of the Actor replicated the progress of learning observed in the animals. Several manipulations demonstrated further the efficacy of the particular characteristics of the dopamine

  3. Task demands moderate stereotype threat effects on memory performance.

    PubMed

    Hess, Thomas M; Emery, Lisa; Queen, Tara L

    2009-06-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that older adults' memory performance is adversely affected by the explicit activation of negative stereotypes about aging. In this study, we examined the impact of stereotype threat on recognition memory, with specific interest in (a) the generalizability of previously observed effects, (b) the subjective experience of memory, and (c) the moderating effects of task demands. Older participants subjected to threat performed worse than did those in a nonthreat condition but only when performance constraints were high (i.e., memory decisions had to be made within a limited time frame). This effect was reflected in the subjective experience of memory, with participants in this condition having a lower ratio of "remember" to "know" responses. The absence of threat effects when constraints were minimal provides important boundary information regarding stereotype influences on memory performance.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minotra, Dev

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enkin, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

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

  6. The Use of Consciousness-Raising Tasks in Learning and Teaching of Subject-Verb Agreement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Idek, Sirhajwan; Fong, Lee Lai; Sidhu, Gurnam Kaur

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the use of two types of Consciousness-Raising (CR) tasks in learning Subject-Verb Agreement (SVA). The sample consisted of 28 Form 2 students who were divided into two groups. Group 1 was assigned with Grammaticality Judgment (GJ) tasks and Group 2 received Sentence Production (SP) tasks for eight weeks. Learners were given…

  7. Tasks and Their Place in Mathematics Teaching and Learning--Part 1

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Back, Jenni; Foster, Colin; Tomalin, Jo; Mason, John; Swan, Malcolm; Watson, Anne

    2012-01-01

    As with previous reports of activity at the annual Institute of Mathematics Pedagogy, this does not disappoint. The tasks used to support teaching and learning in mathematics can vary in so many ways, but this variation is compounded when learners begin to access the tasks. A task that really motivates and challenges one learner is likely to…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bragg, Leicha A.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. The appetitively motivated "cognitive" holeboard: a family of complex spatial discrimination tasks for assessing learning and memory.

    PubMed

    van der Staay, F Josef; Gieling, Elise T; Pinzón, Nathaly Espitia; Nordquist, Rebecca E; Ohl, Frauke

    2012-01-01

    Spatial learning and memory tasks have captured a solid position in neuroscience research. A variety of holeboard-type tasks are suitable for investigating the effects of a broad range of experimental manipulations on spatial learning and memory in a broad range of species, including fish, rodents, cats, pigs, tupaias, and humans. We summarize the concepts and procedures underlying tests of spatial discrimination learning, with special emphasis on holeboard-type tasks and task-specific characteristics. Holeboard-type tasks enable a broad range of mnemonic and cognitive variables to be measured in parallel, including cognitive processes such as habituation processes, spatial working and reference memory, and search strategies, but also non-cognitive variables, such as exploration, anxiety-related behavior, and stereotypies. These tasks are sensitive to a large number of naturally occurring differences (e.g. strain differences and age effects) and to the effects of non-genetic (e.g. specific brain lesions, stress, treatment with cognition impairers or cognition enhancers) and genetic experimental manipulations. In conclusion, holeboard-type tasks provide powerful tools to investigate multiple aspects of spatial orientation behavior in the same experimental setup. Cross-species comparison of holeboard performance shows the potential for translational studies.

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

    PubMed

    Smith, T J

    2007-10-01

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

  12. The relationship between initial errorless learning conditions and subsequent performance.

    PubMed

    Poolton, J M; Masters, R S W; Maxwell, J P

    2005-06-01

    This experiment explores a suggestion by [Maxwell, J.P., Masters, R.S.W., Kerr, E., Weedon, E. (2001). The implicit benefit of learning without errors. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A 54, 1049-1068] that an initial bout of implicit motor learning confers beneficial performance characteristics, such as robustness under secondary task loading, despite subsequent explicit learning. Participants acquired a complex motor skill (golf putting) over 400 trials. The environment was constrained early in learning to minimize performance error. It was predicted that in the absence of explicit instruction, reducing error would prevent hypothesis testing strategies and the concomitant accrual of declarative (explicit) knowledge, thereby reducing dependence on working memory resources. The effect of an additional cognitive task on putting performance was used to assess reliance on working memory. Putting performance of participants in the Implicit-Explicit condition was unaffected by the additional cognitive load, whereas the performance of Explicit participants deteriorated. The relationship between error correction and episodic verbal reports suggested that the explicit group were involved in more hypothesis testing behaviours than the Implicit-Explicit group early in learning. It was concluded that a constrained, uninstructed, environment early in learning, results in procedurally based motor output unencumbered by disadvantages associated with working memory control. PMID:16087262

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liben, Lynn S.; Golbeck, Susan L.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Pre- and postnatally administered ACTH, Organon 2766 and CRF facilitate or inhibit active avoidance task performance in young adult mice.

    PubMed

    Honour, L C; White, M H

    1988-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of learning/memory-related neuropeptides on behavioral task performance in later life. A 1 mg/kg dosage of adrenocorticotropic hormone 4-9, Organon 2766, ACTH/MSH 4-10, ACTH 1-24, CRF, or diluent was subcutaneously injected into either pregnant females or into newborn pups during specific neural developmental windows. Each of the progeny was trained in an active-avoidance task and tested for acquisition on postpartum days 35-37. The mice were then tested for memory task performance and reacquisition on days 42-44 postpartum using the identical experimental paradigm as that used in the training sessions. Prenatal treatment with these memory-related neuropeptides resulted in significant facilitation of learning/memory task performance in male and female mice treated with Organon 2766 (p less than 0.001), and a significant inhibition of learning/memory task performance in males and females treated with ACTH 1-24 (p less than 0.01). Additional sex-specific performance facilitations and inhibitions resulted from the pre- or postnatal administration of the various neuropeptides used in this study. These results suggest that neuropeptides, when available in increased amounts during specific neural developmental windows, can significantly improve or suppress related behavioral performance capability in later life.

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

    PubMed

    Rabi, Rahel; Minda, John Paul

    2016-03-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christie, Michael A.; Hersch, Steven M.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dail, Teresa K.; Christina, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stockel, Tino; Wang, Jinsung

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Human problem solving performance in a fault diagnosis task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouse, W. B.

    1978-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  3. Helicopter Pilot Performance for Discrete-maneuver Flight Tasks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heffley, R. K.; Bourne, S. M.; Hindson, W. S.

    1984-01-01

    This paper describes a current study of several basic helicopter flight maneuvers. The data base consists of in-flight measurements from instrumented helicopters using experienced pilots. The analysis technique is simple enough to apply without automatic data processing, and the results can be used to build quantitative matah models of the flight task and some aspects of the pilot control strategy. In addition to describing the performance measurement technqiue, some results are presented which define the aggressiveness and amplitude of maneuvering for several lateral maneuvers including turns and sidesteps.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barabási, Tünde

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Ecological Problem-Based Learning: An Environmental Consulting Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tessier, Jack T.

    2004-01-01

    Problem-based learning is becoming a popular and effective approach in Science, as it touted as an effective way to promote active learning and encourage students to develop life long learning skills. The problem-based learning could easily be adapted to the high school level and used as long-term project for a biology laboratory.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Stress reduces use of negative feedback in a feedback-based learning task.

    PubMed

    Petzold, Antje; Plessow, Franziska; Goschke, Thomas; Kirschbaum, Clemens

    2010-04-01

    In contrast to the well-established effects of stress on learning of declarative material, much less is known about stress effects on reward- or feedback-based learning. Differential effects on positive and negative feedback especially have received little attention. The objective of this study, thus, was to investigate effects of psychosocial stress on feedback-based learning with a particular focus on the use of negative and positive feedback during learning. Participants completed a probabilistic selection task in both a stress and a control condition. The task allowed quantification of how much participants relied on positive and negative feedback during learning. Although stress had no effect on general acquisition of the task, results indicate that participants used negative feedback significantly less during learning after stress compared with the control condition. An enhancing effect of stress on use of positive feedback failed to reach significance. These findings suggest that stress acts differentially on the use of positive and negative feedback during learning.

  15. Task Rotation: Strategies for Differentiating Activities and Assessments by Learning Style. A Strategic Teacher PLC Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silver, Harvey; Moirao, Daniel; Jackson, Joyce

    2011-01-01

    One of the hardest jobs in teaching is to differentiate learning activities and assessments to your students' learning styles. But you and your colleagues can learn how to do this together when each of you has this guide to the Task Rotation strategy from our ultimate guide to teaching strategies, "The Strategic Teacher". Use the guide in your…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel approach to eLearning that makes use of smart wearable sensors. Traditional eLearning supports the remote and mobile learning of mostly theoretical knowledge. Here we discuss the possibilities of eLearning to support the training of manual skills. We employ forearm armbands with inertial measurement units and surface electromyography sensors to detect and analyse the user's hand motions and evaluate their performance. Hand hygiene is chosen as the example activity, as it is a highly standardized manual task that is often not properly executed. The World Health Organization guidelines on hand hygiene are taken as a model of the optimal hygiene procedure, due to their algorithmic structure. Gesture recognition procedures based on artificial neural networks and hidden Markov modeling were developed, achieving recognition rates of 98 . 30 % ( ± 1 . 26 % ) for individual gestures. Our approach is shown to be promising for further research and application in the mobile eLearning of manual skills. PMID:27527167

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-03

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. A Convex Formulation for Learning a Shared Predictive Structure from Multiple Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jianhui; Tang, Lei; Liu, Jun; Ye, Jieping

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we consider the problem of learning from multiple related tasks for improved generalization performance by extracting their shared structures. The alternating structure optimization (ASO) algorithm, which couples all tasks using a shared feature representation, has been successfully applied in various multitask learning problems. However, ASO is nonconvex and the alternating algorithm only finds a local solution. We first present an improved ASO formulation (iASO) for multitask learning based on a new regularizer. We then convert iASO, a nonconvex formulation, into a relaxed convex one (rASO). Interestingly, our theoretical analysis reveals that rASO finds a globally optimal solution to its nonconvex counterpart iASO under certain conditions. rASO can be equivalently reformulated as a semidefinite program (SDP), which is, however, not scalable to large datasets. We propose to employ the block coordinate descent (BCD) method and the accelerated projected gradient (APG) algorithm separately to find the globally optimal solution to rASO; we also develop efficient algorithms for solving the key subproblems involved in BCD and APG. The experiments on the Yahoo webpages datasets and the Drosophila gene expression pattern images datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed algorithms and confirm our theoretical analysis. PMID:23520249

  20. Problem-based learning and task-based learning: a practical synthesis.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Yuzo

    2008-03-01

    The author of this article attended the International PBL Workshop in Kaohsiung Medical University in 2007 as an international tutor. Based on his personal experiences in the workshop and at his own medical school, he finds there are frequent problems in PBL programs related to the difficulty in providing expert tutors. Students in PBL tutorials may fear they are unable to get sufficient guidance from tutors in terms of learning the issues they should research; moreover, PBL case writers fear their cases are less effective, because non-expert tutors may misdirect students in the step 1 tutorial discussion. The author proposes that combining standard problem-based learning (PBL) methods with elements of task-based learning (TBL) can be effective at addressing both of these problems. The TBL method he proposes involves providing students with an additional sheet at the end of PBL tutorials. This sheet is written by the case writer and details key learning issues, questions and perspectives the students should investigate during their research process. This reduces the need to have expert tutors who know the full range of facts about the case, and leaves students feeling supported and less concerned they will miss important learning issues.

  1. Learning and transfer of category knowledge in an indirect categorization task.

    PubMed

    Helie, Sebastien; Ashby, F Gregory

    2012-05-01

    Knowledge representations acquired during category learning experiments are 'tuned' to the task goal. A useful paradigm to study category representations is indirect category learning. In the present article, we propose a new indirect categorization task called the "same"-"different" categorization task. The same-different categorization task is a regular same-different task, but the question asked to the participants is about the stimulus category membership instead of stimulus identity. Experiment 1 explores the possibility of indirectly learning rule-based and information-integration category structures using the new paradigm. The results suggest that there is little learning about the category structures resulting from an indirect categorization task unless the categories can be separated by a one-dimensional rule. Experiment 2 explores whether a category representation learned indirectly can be used in a direct classification task (and vice versa). The results suggest that previous categorical knowledge acquired during a direct classification task can be expressed in the same-different categorization task only when the categories can be separated by a rule that is easily verbalized. Implications of these results for categorization research are discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  4. A PILOT STUDY ON THE ENCODING OF A PERCEPTUAL LEARNING TASK FOLLOWING SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

    PubMed

    McWhirter, Kelly K; Morrow, Anne S; Lee, Beth A; Bishu, Shrinivas; Zametkin, Alan J; Balkin, Thomas J; Smith, Carolyn B; Picchioni, Dante

    2015-08-01

    Memory encoding sometimes must occur during a period of sleep deprivation. The question was whether one night of sleep deprivation inhibits encoding on a perceptual learning task (the texture discrimination task). The sample was 18 human participants (M age=22.1 yr., SEM=0.5; 8 men). The participants were randomized to a sleep deprivation or sleep control condition and, after the manipulation, were given two administrations of the texture discrimination task. All participants were given an opportunity for a 90 min. nap between the two administrations. Performance was measured by the interpolated stimulus-to-mask-onset asynchrony (i.e., the inter-stimulus interval), at which the percentage of correct responses for the stimuli in the participant's peripheral vision fell below 80%. Offline consolidation was defined as a decrease in this index between the two administrations. Participants who were sleep deprived prior to encoding exhibited similar offline consolidation (M=-5.3 msec., SEM=2.3) compared to participants who were not sleep deprived prior to encoding (M=-6.2 msec., SEM=3.9); the two-way interaction between time and condition was not significant. In light of reports in the literature, these results indicate encoding following sleep deprivation may be influenced by both the type of task encoded and the brain regions involved in memory processing. PMID:26226287

  5. A PILOT STUDY ON THE ENCODING OF A PERCEPTUAL LEARNING TASK FOLLOWING SLEEP DEPRIVATION.

    PubMed

    McWhirter, Kelly K; Morrow, Anne S; Lee, Beth A; Bishu, Shrinivas; Zametkin, Alan J; Balkin, Thomas J; Smith, Carolyn B; Picchioni, Dante

    2015-08-01

    Memory encoding sometimes must occur during a period of sleep deprivation. The question was whether one night of sleep deprivation inhibits encoding on a perceptual learning task (the texture discrimination task). The sample was 18 human participants (M age=22.1 yr., SEM=0.5; 8 men). The participants were randomized to a sleep deprivation or sleep control condition and, after the manipulation, were given two administrations of the texture discrimination task. All participants were given an opportunity for a 90 min. nap between the two administrations. Performance was measured by the interpolated stimulus-to-mask-onset asynchrony (i.e., the inter-stimulus interval), at which the percentage of correct responses for the stimuli in the participant's peripheral vision fell below 80%. Offline consolidation was defined as a decrease in this index between the two administrations. Participants who were sleep deprived prior to encoding exhibited similar offline consolidation (M=-5.3 msec., SEM=2.3) compared to participants who were not sleep deprived prior to encoding (M=-6.2 msec., SEM=3.9); the two-way interaction between time and condition was not significant. In light of reports in the literature, these results indicate encoding following sleep deprivation may be influenced by both the type of task encoded and the brain regions involved in memory processing.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Study Motor Skill Learning by Single-pellet Reaching Tasks in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chia-Chien; Gilmore, Anthony; Zuo, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Reaching for and retrieving objects require precise and coordinated motor movements in the forelimb. When mice are repeatedly trained to grasp and retrieve food rewards positioned at a specific location, their motor performance (defined as accuracy and speed) improves progressively over time, and plateaus after persistent training. Once such reaching skill is mastered, its further maintenance does not require constant practice. Here we introduce a single-pellet reaching task to study the acquisition and maintenance of skilled forelimb movements in mice. In this video, we first describe the behaviors of mice that are commonly encountered in this learning and memory paradigm, and then discuss how to categorize these behaviors and quantify the observed results. Combined with mouse genetics, this paradigm can be utilized as a behavioral platform to explore the anatomical underpinnings, physiological properties, and molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:24637358

  9. Online kernel-based learning for task-space tracking robot control.

    PubMed

    Nguyen-Tuong, Duy; Peters, Jan

    2012-09-01

    Task-space control of redundant robot systems based on analytical models is known to be susceptive to modeling errors. Data-driven model learning methods may present an interesting alternative approach. However, learning models for task-space tracking control from sampled data is an ill-posed problem. In particular, the same input data point can yield many different output values, which can form a nonconvex solution space. Because the problem is ill-posed, models cannot be learned from such data using common regression methods. While learning of task-space control mappings is globally ill-posed, it has been shown in recent work that it is locally a well-defined problem. In this paper, we use this insight to formulate a local kernel-based learning approach for online model learning for task-space tracking control. We propose a parametrization for the local model, which makes an application in task-space tracking control of redundant robots possible. The model parametrization further allows us to apply the kernel-trick and, therefore, enables a formulation within the kernel learning framework. In our evaluations, we show the ability of the method for online model learning for task-space tracking control of redundant robots.

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

    PubMed

    Kinjo, Ken; Uchibe, Eiji; Doya, Kenji

    2013-01-01

    Linearly solvable Markov Decision Process (LMDP) is a class of optimal control problem in which the Bellman's equation can be converted into a linear equation by an exponential transformation of the state value function (Todorov, 2009b). In an LMDP, the optimal value function and the corresponding control policy are obtained by solving an eigenvalue problem in a discrete state space or an eigenfunction problem in a continuous state using the knowledge of the system dynamics and the action, state, and terminal cost functions. In this study, we evaluate the effectiveness of the LMDP framework in real robot control, in which the dynamics of the body and the environment have to be learned from experience. We first perform a simulation study of a pole swing-up task to evaluate the effect of the accuracy of the learned dynamics model on the derived the action policy. The result shows that a crude linear approximation of the non-linear dynamics can still allow solution of the task, despite with a higher total cost. We then perform real robot experiments of a battery-catching task using our Spring Dog mobile robot platform. The state is given by the position and the size of a battery in its camera view and two neck joint angles. The action is the velocities of two wheels, while the neck joints were controlled by a visual servo controller. We test linear and bilinear dynamic models in tasks with quadratic and Guassian state cost functions. In the quadratic cost task, the LMDP controller derived from a learned linear dynamics model performed equivalently with the optimal linear quadratic regulator (LQR). In the non-quadratic task, the LMDP controller with a linear dynamics model showed the best performance. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the LMDP framework in real robot control even when simple linear models are used for dynamics learning. PMID:23576983

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

    PubMed

    Kinjo, Ken; Uchibe, Eiji; Doya, Kenji

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Effects of Gender Role and Task Content on Performance in Same-Gender Dyads: Transactive Memory as a Potential Mediator

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michinov, Estelle; Michinov, Nicolas; Huguet, Pascal

    2009-01-01

    This experiment was designed to examine the effects of gender role and task content on performance in learning dyads and to test the potential mediator effect of an intragroup process related to transactive memory. A total of 44 same-gender dyads participated in the study and were asked to collaborate on a stereotypically masculine or feminine…

  14. From Metalinguistic Instruction to Metalinguistic Knowledge, and from Metalinguistic Knowledge to Performance in Error Correction and Oral Production Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serrano, Raquel

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to analyse the effect of metalinguistic instruction on students' metalinguistic knowledge on the one hand, and on students' performance in metalinguistic and oral production tasks on the other hand. Two groups of primary school students learning English as a foreign language were chosen. One of them (Rule group) was…

  15. Implicit task sequence learning in patients with Parkinson's disease, frontal lesions and amnesia: The critical role of fronto-striatal loops.

    PubMed

    Meier, Beat; Weiermann, Brigitte; Gutbrod, Klemens; Stephan, Marianne A; Cock, Josephine; Müri, René M; Kaelin-Lang, Alain

    2013-10-24

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the fronto-striatal system for implicit task sequence learning. We tested performance of patients with compromised functioning of the fronto-striatal loops, that is, patients with Parkinson's disease and patients with lesions in the ventromedial or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. We also tested amnesic patients with lesions either to the basal forebrain/orbitofrontal cortex or to thalamic/medio-temporal regions. We used a task sequence learning paradigm involving the presentation of a sequence of categorical binary-choice decision tasks. After several blocks of training, the sequence, hidden in the order of tasks, was replaced by a pseudo-random sequence. Learning (i.e., sensitivity to the ordering) was assessed by measuring whether this change disrupted performance. Although all the patients were able to perform the decision tasks quite easily, those with lesions to the fronto-striatal loops (i.e., patients with Parkinson's disease, with lesions in the ventromedial or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and those amnesic patients with lesions to the basal forebrain/orbitofrontal cortex) did not show any evidence of implicit task sequence learning. In contrast, those amnesic patients with lesions to thalamic/medio-temporal regions showed intact sequence learning. Together, these results indicate that the integrity of the fronto-striatal system is a prerequisite for implicit task sequence learning.

  16. Implicit task sequence learning in patients with Parkinson's disease, frontal lesions and amnesia: the critical role of fronto–striatal loops.

    PubMed

    Meier, Beat; Weiermann, Brigitte; Gutbrod, Klemens; Stephan, Marianne A; Cock, Josephine; Mür, René M; Kaelin-Lang, Alain

    2013-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of the fronto–striatal system for implicit task sequence learning. We tested performance of patients with compromised functioning of the fronto–striatal loops, that is, patients with Parkinson's disease and patients with lesions in the ventromedial or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. We also tested amnesic patients with lesions either to the basal forebrain/orbitofrontal cortex or to thalamic/medio-temporal regions. We used a task sequence learning paradigm involving the presentation of a sequence of categorical binary-choice decision tasks. After several blocks of training, the sequence, hidden in the order of tasks, was replaced by a pseudo-random sequence. Learning (i.e., sensitivity to the ordering) was assessed by measuring whether this change disrupted performance. Although all the patients were able to perform the decision tasks quite easily, those with lesions to the fronto–striatal loops (i.e., patients with Parkinson's disease, with lesions in the ventromedial or dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and those amnesic patients with lesions to the basal forebrain/orbitofrontal cortex) did not show any evidence of implicit task sequence learning. In contrast, those amnesic patients with lesions to thalamic/medio-temporal regions showed intact sequence learning. Together, these results indicate that the integrity of the fronto–striatal system is a prerequisite for implicit task sequence learning.

  17. Estrous cycle, pregnancy, and parity enhance performance of rats in object recognition or object placement tasks

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Jason J; Frye, Cheryl A

    2008-01-01

    Ovarian hormone elevations are associated with enhanced learning/memory. During behavioral estrus or pregnancy, progestins, such as progesterone (P4) and its metabolite 5α-pregnan-3α-ol-20-one (3α,5α-THP), are elevated due, in part, to corpora luteal and placental secretion. During ‘pseudopregnancy’, the induction of corpora luteal functioning results in a hormonal milieu analogous to pregnancy, which ceases after about 12 days, due to the lack of placental formation. Multiparity is also associated with enhanced learning/memory, perhaps due to prior steroid exposure during pregnancy. Given evidence that progestins and/or parity may influence cognition, we investigated how natural alterations in the progestin milieu influence cognitive performance. In Experiment 1, virgin rats (nulliparous) or rats with two prior pregnancies (multiparous) were assessed on the object placement and recognition tasks, when in high-estrogen/P4 (behavioral estrus) or low-estrogen/P4 (diestrus) phases of the estrous cycle. In Experiment 2, primiparous or multiparous rats were tested in the object placement and recognition tasks when not pregnant, pseudopregnant, or pregnant (between gestational days (GDs) 6 and 12). In Experiment 3, pregnant primiparous or multiparous rats were assessed daily in the object placement or recognition tasks. Females in natural states associated with higher endogenous progestins (behavioral estrus, pregnancy, multiparity) outperformed rats in low progestin states (diestrus, non-pregnancy, nulliparity) on the object placement and recognition tasks. In earlier pregnancy, multiparous, compared with primiparous, rats had a lower corticosterone, but higher estrogen levels, concomitant with better object placement performance. From GD 13 until post partum, primiparous rats had higher 3α,5α-THP levels and improved object placement performance compared with multiparous rats. PMID:18390689

  18. Effects of short-term training on behavioral learning and skill acquisition during intraoral fine motor task.

    PubMed

    Kumar, A; Grigoriadis, J; Trulsson, M; Svensson, P; Svensson, K G

    2015-10-15

    Sensory information from the orofacial mechanoreceptors are used by the nervous system to optimize the positioning of food, determine the force levels, and force vectors involved in biting of food morsels. Moreover, practice resulting from repetition could be a key to learning and acquiring a motor skill. Hence, the aim of the experiment was to test the hypothesis that repeated splitting of a food morsel during a short-term training with an oral fine motor task would result in increased performance and optimization of jaw movements, in terms of reduction in duration of various phases of the jaw movements. Thirty healthy volunteers were asked to intraorally manipulate and split a chocolate candy, into two equal halves. The participants performed three series (with 10 trials) of the task before and after a short-term (approximately 30 min) training. The accuracy of the split and vertical jaw movement during the task were recorded. The precision of task performance improved significantly after training (22% mean deviation from ideal split after vs. 31% before; P<0.001). There was a significant decrease in the total duration of jaw movements during the task after the training (1.21 s total duration after vs. 1.56 s before; P<0.001). Further, when the jaw movements were divided into different phases, the jaw opening phase and contact phase were significantly shorter after training than before training (P=0.001, P=0.002). The results indicate that short-term training of an oral fine motor task induces behavior learning, skill acquisition and optimization of jaw movements in terms of better performance and reduction in the duration of jaw movements, during the task. The finding of the present study provides insights into how humans learn oral motor behaviors or the kind of adaptation that takes place after a successful prosthetic rehabilitation. PMID:26162238

  19. Effects of short-term training on behavioral learning and skill acquisition during intraoral fine motor task.

    PubMed

    Kumar, A; Grigoriadis, J; Trulsson, M; Svensson, P; Svensson, K G

    2015-10-15

    Sensory information from the orofacial mechanoreceptors are used by the nervous system to optimize the positioning of food, determine the force levels, and force vectors involved in biting of food morsels. Moreover, practice resulting from repetition could be a key to learning and acquiring a motor skill. Hence, the aim of the experiment was to test the hypothesis that repeated splitting of a food morsel during a short-term training with an oral fine motor task would result in increased performance and optimization of jaw movements, in terms of reduction in duration of various phases of the jaw movements. Thirty healthy volunteers were asked to intraorally manipulate and split a chocolate candy, into two equal halves. The participants performed three series (with 10 trials) of the task before and after a short-term (approximately 30 min) training. The accuracy of the split and vertical jaw movement during the task were recorded. The precision of task performance improved significantly after training (22% mean deviation from ideal split after vs. 31% before; P<0.001). There was a significant decrease in the total duration of jaw movements during the task after the training (1.21 s total duration after vs. 1.56 s before; P<0.001). Further, when the jaw movements were divided into different phases, the jaw opening phase and contact phase were significantly shorter after training than before training (P=0.001, P=0.002). The results indicate that short-term training of an oral fine motor task induces behavior learning, skill acquisition and optimization of jaw movements in terms of better performance and reduction in the duration of jaw movements, during the task. The finding of the present study provides insights into how humans learn oral motor behaviors or the kind of adaptation that takes place after a successful prosthetic rehabilitation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Matthew A.; Fishbein, William

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. The Effect of Observational Learning on Students' Performance, Processes, and Motivation in Two Creative Domains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Groenendijk, Talita; Janssen, Tanja; Rijlaarsdam, Gert; van den Bergh, Huub

    2013-01-01

    Background. Previous research has shown that observation can be effective for learning in various domains, for example, argumentative writing and mathematics. The question in this paper is whether observational learning can also be beneficial when learning to perform creative tasks in visual and verbal arts. Aims. We hypothesized that observation…

  6. CSCL in Teacher Training: What Learning Tasks Lead to Collaboration?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lockhorst, Ditte; Admiraal, Wilfried; Pilot, Albert

    2010-01-01

    Professional teacher communities appear to be positively related to student learning, teacher learning, teacher practice and school culture. Teacher collaboration is a significant element of these communities. In initial teacher training as well as in-service training and other initiatives for teacher learning, collaborative skills should be…

  7. Resources for Science Learning: Tools, Tasks, and Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewson, Peter W.

    2004-01-01

    This article addresses the question of how science learning can be improved. It recognizes that, while learners themselves are responsible for their own learning, the quality of this learning is greatly influenced when appropriate resources are available to learners. These resources are provided through a partnership between teachers and learners.…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Chronic postnatal ornithine administration to rats provokes learning deficit in the open field task.

    PubMed

    Viegas, Carolina Maso; Busanello, Estela Natacha Brandt; Tonin, Anelise Miotti; Grings, Mateus; Moura, Alana Pimentel; Ritter, Luciana; Zanatta, Angela; Knebel, Lisiane Aurélio; Lobato, Vannessa Araujo; Pettenuzzo, Letícia Ferreira; Vargas, Carmen Regla; Leipnitz, Guilhian; Wajner, Moacir

    2012-12-01

    Hyperornithinemia is the biochemical hallmark of hyperornithinemia-hyperammonemia-homocitrullinuria (HHH) syndrome, an inherited metabolic disease clinically characterized by mental retardation whose pathogenesis is still poorly known. In the present work, we produced a chemical animal model of hyperornithinemia induced by a subcutaneous injection of saline-buffered Orn (2-5 μmol/g body weight) to rats. High brain Orn concentrations were achieved, indicating that Orn is permeable to the blood brain barrier. We then investigated the effect of early chronic postnatal administration of Orn on physical development and on the performance of adult rats in the open field, the Morris water maze and in the step down inhibitory avoidance tasks. Chronic Orn treatment had no effect on the appearance of coat, eye opening or upper incisor eruption, nor on the free-fall righting reflex and on the adult rat performance in the Morris water maze and in the inhibitory avoidance tasks, suggesting that physical development, aversive and spatial localization were not changed by Orn. However, Orn-treated rats did not habituate to the open field apparatus, implying a deficit of learning/memory. Motor activity was the same for Orn- and saline- injected animals. We also verified that Orn subcutaneous injections provoked lipid peroxidation in the brain, as determined by a significant increase of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances levels. Our results indicate that chronic early postnatal hyperornithinemia may impair the central nervous system, causing minor disabilities which result in specific learning deficiencies. PMID:22699997

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Evaluating the subject-performed task effect in healthy older adults: relationship with neuropsychological tests

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Ana Rita; Pinho, Maria Salomé; Souchay, Céline; Moulin, Christopher J. A.

    2015-01-01

    Background An enhancement in recall of simple instructions is found when actions are performed in comparison to when they are verbally presented – the subject-performed task (SPT) effect. This enhancement has also been found with older adults. However, the reason why older adults, known to present a deficit in episodic memory, have a better performance for this type of information remains unclear. In this article, we explored this effect by comparing the performance on the SPT task with the performance on other tasks, in order to understand the underlying mechanisms that may explain this effect. Objective We hypothesized that both young and older adult groups should show higher recall in SPT compared with the verbal learning condition, and that the differences between age groups should be lower in the SPT condition. We aimed to explore the correlations between these tasks and known neuropsychological tests, and we also measured source memory for the encoding condition. Design A mixed design was used with 30 healthy older adults, comparing their performance with 30 healthy younger adults. Each participant was asked to perform 16 simple instructions (SPT condition) and to only read the other 16 instructions (Verbal condition – VT). The test phase included a free recall task. Participants were also tested with a set of neuropsychological measures (speed of processing, working memory and verbal episodic memory). Results The SPT effect was found for both age groups; but even for SPT materials, group differences in recall persisted. Source memory was found to be preserved for the two groups. Simple correlations suggested differences in correlates of SPT performance between the two groups. However, when controlling for age, the SPT and VT tasks correlate with each other, and a measure of episodic memory correlated moderately with both SPT and VT performance. Conclusions A strong effect of SPT was observed for all but one, which still displayed the expected aging

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  14. Student Off-Task Behavior in Computer-Based Learning in the Philippines: Comparison to Prior Research in the USA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodrigo, Ma. Mercedes T.; Baker, Ryan S. J. D.; Rossi, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Background: Off-task behavior can be defined as any behavior that does not involve the learning task or material, or where learning from the material is not the primary goal. One suggested path for understanding how to address off-task behavior is to study classrooms where off-task behavior is less common, particularly in Asia, in order to…

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

    PubMed

    Ma, Lianyang; Yang, Xiaokang; Tao, Dacheng

    2014-08-01

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

  16. Inversion of left–right asymmetry alters performance of Xenopus tadpoles in nonlateralized cognitive tasks

    PubMed Central

    Blackiston, Douglas J.; Levin, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Left–right behavioural biases are well documented across the animal kingdom, and handedness has long been associated with cognitive performance. However, the relationship between body laterality and cognitive ability is poorly understood. The embryonic pathways dictating normal left–right patterning have been molecularly dissected in model vertebrates, and numerous genetic and pharmacological treatments now facilitate experimental randomization or reversal of the left–right axis in these animals. Several recent studies showed a link between brain asymmetry and strongly lateralized behaviours such as eye use preference. However, links between laterality of the body and performance on cognitive tasks utilizing nonlateralized cues remain unknown. Xenopus tadpoles are an established model for the study of early left–right patterning, and protocols were recently developed to quantitatively evaluate learning and memory in these animals. Using an automated testing and training platform, we tested wild-type, left–right-randomized and left–right-reversed tadpoles for their ability to learn colour cues in an automated assay. Our results indicate that animals with either randomization or reversal of somatic left–right patterning learned more slowly than wild-type siblings, although all groups were able to reach the same performance optimum given enough training sessions. These results are the first analysis of the link between body laterality and learning of nonlateralized cues, and they position the Xenopus tadpole as an attractive and tractable model for future studies of the links between asymmetry of the body, lateralization of the brain and behaviour. PMID:24039274

  17. Inversion of left-right asymmetry alters performance of Xenopus tadpoles in nonlateralized cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Blackiston, Douglas J; Levin, Michael

    2013-08-01

    Left-right behavioural biases are well documented across the animal kingdom, and handedness has long been associated with cognitive performance. However, the relationship between body laterality and cognitive ability is poorly understood. The embryonic pathways dictating normal left-right patterning have been molecularly dissected in model vertebrates, and numerous genetic and pharmacological treatments now facilitate experimental randomization or reversal of the left-right axis in these animals. Several recent studies showed a link between brain asymmetry and strongly lateralized behaviours such as eye use preference. However, links between laterality of the body and performance on cognitive tasks utilizing nonlateralized cues remain unknown. Xenopus tadpoles are an established model for the study of early left-right patterning, and protocols were recently developed to quantitatively evaluate learning and memory in these animals. Using an automated testing and training platform, we tested wild-type, left-right-randomized and left-right-reversed tadpoles for their ability to learn colour cues in an automated assay. Our results indicate that animals with either randomization or reversal of somatic left-right patterning learned more slowly than wild-type siblings, although all groups were able to reach the same performance optimum given enough training sessions. These results are the first analysis of the link between body laterality and learning of nonlateralized cues, and they position the Xenopus tadpole as an attractive and tractable model for future studies of the links between asymmetry of the body, lateralization of the brain and behaviour.

  18. Learning to Pose Cognitively Demanding Tasks through Letter Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norton, Anderson; Kastberg, Signe

    2012-01-01

    We have used letter writing as a means for preservice teachers (PSTs) to develop ability to design effective tasks, in terms of eliciting high levels of cognitive activity from students. Studies on student-dependent task analyses, by assessing the levels of cognitive demand indicated in students' responses, have demonstrated significant growth…

  19. Source Evaluation, Comprehension, and Learning in Internet Science Inquiry Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiley, Jennifer; Goldman, Susan R.; Graesser, Arthur C.; Sanchez, Christopher A.; Ash, Ivan K.; Hemmerich, Joshua A.

    2009-01-01

    In two experiments, undergraduates' evaluation and use of multiple Internet sources during a science inquiry task were examined. In Experiment 1, undergraduates had the task of explaining what caused the eruption of Mt. St. Helens using the results of an Internet search. Multiple regression analyses indicated that source evaluation significantly…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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