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From primed to learn: The saturation of repetition priming and the induction of long-term memory

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Abstract

Although practice can make perfect, it is not clear how much practice is needed to trigger long-lasting performance gains on a given task. Here, using a letter enumeration task, we show that the transition of experience dependent performance gains to a relatively stable form, as well as the triggering of delayed, long-lasting, between session gains (both effects are considered manifestations of consolidation processes) is amount-of-practice dependent. We then show (a) that consolidation processes, once triggered, can proceed without further practice as a function of time and (b) that the triggering of consolidation processes is related to repetition priming effects--performance gains in processing a previously experienced item. However, we show that repetition priming effects saturate after a limited number of consecutive repetitions and reflect an initial, but potentially reversible, response to the repeated experience. Moreover, we show that one critical parameter determining the occurrence of repetition priming (but not skill learning) is the presence of interference (by a somewhat different set of items) prior to the primer presentation. Thus, our results suggest that the saturation of repetition priming effects, rather than priming per se, may be critical to the induction of slow learning processes and consolidation.

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... Studies suggest that procedural memory consolidation and the long-term retention of skills may be triggered only after a critical number of task repetitions (in most cases, at least several tens or even a hundred or more task iterations; Aberg, Tartaglia, & Herzog, 2009;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Karni & Sagi, 1993;Korman et al., 2003). A main factor, therefore, that determines the effectiveness of a given practice protocol is the number of task repetitions afforded during the practice session. ...
... A number of studies have compared practice protocols that include long practice versus short practice (i.e., different amounts of practice in various domains; Aberg et al., 2009;Censor & Sagi, 2008;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Huberdeau, Haith, & Krakauer, 2015;Hussain et al., 2009;Savion-Lemieux & Penhune, 2005;Wilhelm et al., 2012;Wright & Sabin, 2007). These studies have mostly proposed that long-term practice is important for both consolidation and retention, especially in relation to motor and perceptual-motor skills (Hauptmann et al., 2005;Hussain et al., 2009;Park & Shea, 2003, 2005Shea & Kohl, 1991). ...
... However, based on the assumption that the amount of initial practice differentially affects consolidation processes whereby children require longer training (Wilhelm et al., 2012), we hypothesized that practice-dose-dependent differences in consolidation processes might take place. Given that a critical number of task iterations have been suggested as a necessary condition for the induction of long-term gains in various visuo-motor tasks Hauptmann & Karni, 2002), effective consolidation and possibly further gains will be apparent in children only after the higher practice dose (i.e., 12-block practice protocol). Although a longer practice in adults may diminish consolidation gains (Wilhelm et al., 2012), an optimal amount of training may be beneficial for both children and adults (Ganamah et al., 2020; Julius & Adi-Japha, 2015). ...
Article
We extended the results of a previous study suggesting that although practice in a grapho-motor task by 7-to 8-year-olds led to gains in within-session performance, no long-term gains were achieved. We then compared practice dose effects on learning and retaining the grapho-motor skill in 55 7-to 8-year-olds and in 57 young adults (18-34 years old). Participants practiced the production of an artificial letter by connecting dots. In both children and adults, 6-blocks of practice (15 letter iterations per block) led to gains in speed and accuracy. However, young adults showed retention overnight and additional gains at 4-5 weeks post-training, while the children's performance returned to baseline levels. Doubling the practice dose to12-blocks resulted in speed and accuracy gains that were retained in both age groups. Thus, 7-to 8-year-olds may require larger doses of practice than young adults to trigger long-term, how-to memory for grapho-motor skills.
... For example, in primary school children practicing a grapho-motor task, the number of correct task iterations afforded in the training session may constitute a factor in the evolution of consolidation phase gains (Julius & Adi-Japha, 2016, Cohen's d = 1.47). Thus, perceptual, as well as motor, implicit learning paradigms suggest that memory consolidation processes may be triggered only after a critical number of task repetitions; also, the nature of the knowledge retained in long-term memory may change as a function of the amount of training afforded (Aberg et al., 2009;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Karni & Sagi, 1993;Korman et al., 2003). Identifying the critical amount of practice that children, for instance, require for optimal learning of letter writing would enable more effective educational practices. ...
... By the end of the training session, the performance of the children in the 24-blocks practice group was better in terms of speed than those in the 12-blocks-practice group, and the performance of the latter was better in terms of accuracy than those in the 6-blocks practice group. These findings are consistent with the idea that increasing the amount of practice within a training session may be beneficial for expressing immediate gains in performance in children (Wilhelm et al., 2012) and in adults (Hauptmann et al., 2005;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hussain et al., 2009). The current results are also in line with models of perceptual learning that suggest that the amount of improvement in performance depends on the number of trials during the training phase (Tsodyks & Gilbert, 2004). ...
... Too few and too many task repetitions may result in no, or less, efficient long-term skill retention, respectively, for a newly acquired motor task. The finding that a small number of task iterations within a training session may not suffice for the triggering of robust long-term memory processes in children is rather intuitive, and in line with studies in adults (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann et al., 2005;Hussain et al., 2009;but see;Amar-Halpert, Laor-Maayany, Nemni, Rosenblatt, & Censor, 2017;Censor & Sagi, 2008;Fox, Karni, & Adi-Japha, 2016). The current results indicate that there may be costs, expressed only in the long-term retention of skill, when the amount of practice within a given session is excessive. ...
Article
We tested how practice ‘dosing’ affects learning (within-session) and long-term retention of a grapho-motor skill in 7–8 year old children. In Experiment 1, participants practiced the production of a letter-form by connecting dots (Invented Letter Task, ILT) in a single session of 6-blocks, 12-blocks, or 24-blocks. Training on 24-blocks resulted in the fastest letter production at the end of the training session. By 4–5 weeks post-training, the 12-blocks group attained equally robust speed gains as the 24-blocks group, and was more accurate. No long-term gains were achieved after 6-blocks training. In Experiment 2, children who were afforded 6-blocks ILT practice on four consecutive days outperformed the single-session 24-blocks group by 4–5 weeks post-training. Overall, by 4–5 weeks post-training, the single-session 12-blocks practice group was most fluent and accurate. The results suggest that only a limited range of practice schedules may lead, efficiently to long-term gains in children's grapho-motor skill learning.
... The within-session gains however , were maintained in both studies. Interference related loss of both the within-session and the delayed gains was reported in tasks other than the FOS (Shadmehr and Brashers-Krug 1997; Hauptmann and Karni 2002; Tong et al. 2002). It is not clear which factors determine the establishment and the magnitude of interference eVects (Adams 1987; Flanagan et al. 1999; Krakauer et al. 1999; Goerdert and Willingham 2002; Hauptmann and Karni 2002; Krakauer et al. 2005 ). ...
... Interference related loss of both the within-session and the delayed gains was reported in tasks other than the FOS (Shadmehr and Brashers-Krug 1997; Hauptmann and Karni 2002; Tong et al. 2002). It is not clear which factors determine the establishment and the magnitude of interference eVects (Adams 1987; Flanagan et al. 1999; Krakauer et al. 1999; Goerdert and Willingham 2002; Hauptmann and Karni 2002; Krakauer et al. 2005 ). A leading notion is that, an eVective interference experience is one that shares some critical motor representation, or internal model, with the initial, interfered, task (e.g., Shadmehr and Brashers-Krug 1997; Tong et al. 2002). ...
... The conjecture is that, both the initial training and the subsequent interference experiences activate overlapping neural representations in speciWc brain areas, but the two experiences diVer in the sense that each requires quite diVerent adaptation parameters (Robertson et al. 2004). The need to adapt to the demands of the second task may therefore, eliminate or supersede the settings of the initial one with an advantage for the gains attained in the latest experience (Brashers-Krug et al. 1996; Krakauer et al. 1999; Hauptmann and Karni 2002). The notion of consolidation was recently challenged by studies showing no diminution of the interference eVect with time. ...
Article
Practice on a novel sequence of movements can lead to two expressions of procedural memory consolidation: delayed performance gains evolving hours after training, and a decrease in the susceptibility of the training-related gains to interference by subsequent experience. It has been assumed that behavioral interference occurs only if a critical overlap between the representations of the two tasks exists, and that such overlap is more likely when the two tasks are novel, competing for general resources for their execution. We investigated whether the delayed gains in the simple Wnger-opposition sequence (FOS) learning task are more prone to interference by well practiced than by less practiced complex hand movements. Participants were trained on the FOS task in a baseline (no interference) and an interference training condition. In the Interference condition, after FOS practice, participants wrote Hebrew common words in Hebrew (native script) or a Latin script (Heblatin). Native script writing but not the less practiced Heblatin, interfered with FOS learning, with signiWcantly reduced delayed gains. Our results show that interference can occur even when two tasks share little or no kinematic or dynamic features and indicate that the representation of complex but well-practiced movement sequences may overlap with the representation of simpler ones. This result is in line with the notion that well-practiced complex movement sequences come to be represented as simpler ones in long-term motor memory.
... The acquisition stage occurs while participants are practicing the skill to be learned. During this stage, a sufficient amount of training is required in order for learning to occur (Hauptmann and Karni 2002;Hauptmann et al. 2005;Wright and Sabin 2007), and this amount may vary depending on the skill being trained (Wright and Sabin 2007). Thus, varying the amount of training may also reveal differences in the acquisition of conceptual and stimulus learning on the same skill. ...
... One factor that appears necessary for learning to occur on perceptual skills is a sufficient amount of training in each training session. The need for sufficient practice per session has been documented in studies using single-session (Hauptmann and Karni 2002;Hauptmann et al. 2005) and multiple-session (Wright and Sabin 2007) training paradigms. We were interested in whether conceptual and stimulus learning require different amounts of training. ...
... For example, it has been observed that a given amount of training may not yield behavioral improvements during or immediately following training, but that such training may reveal improvements when testing occurs after a period of rest (Roth et al. 2005). In contrast to the "all or none" hypothesis, it has also been observed that lesser amounts of training may still yield improvements when countered with an increased amount of time between training and testing (Hauptmann and Karni 2002). Thus, further investigation of the relationship between training amount and the emergence of behavioral improvements over time would test these different ideas, possibly reveal more differences between conceptual and stimulus learning, and increase our understanding not only of the relationship between acquisition and consolidation, but of the physiological processes that underlie these learning stages. ...
... The within-session, experience-dependent switch in the pattern of physiological activity to repetition across performance blocks in a pair (i.e., from RS to RE) was proposed to reflect on-line learning of the specific movement sequence (Karni et al., 1995). In particular, it was hypothesized that the within-session saturation of RS effects within M1 may be related to familiarity with the component movements of the sequence, which could be retained in long-term memory, whereas RE effects may relate to the recruitment of sequence-specific procedural memory consolidation processes (Karni et al., 1998; see also Hauptmann & Karni, 2002). However, there is no evidence that the persistence of RE within M1 in subsequent sessions reflects off-line memory consolidation processes rather than a certain level of familiarity and motor experience with the component movements of the sequence per se. ...
... As practice continues, task-relevant units may actually be enhanced after a certain amount of experience (practice; Karni et al., 1995Karni et al., , 1998 offsetting the initial suppression-selection process (Desimone & Duncan, 1995). Novelty and priming effects in both behavior and the brain are of a transient nature and, as a rule, saturate after a rather limited number of repetitions (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Karni et al., 1995Karni et al., , 1998Raichle et al., 1994;Karni & Sagi, 1993;Miller et al., 1991). Training beyond the saturation of repetition priming was proposed as a critical requirement for the expression of DGs in performance (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Karni et al., 1998). ...
... Novelty and priming effects in both behavior and the brain are of a transient nature and, as a rule, saturate after a rather limited number of repetitions (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Karni et al., 1995Karni et al., , 1998Raichle et al., 1994;Karni & Sagi, 1993;Miller et al., 1991). Training beyond the saturation of repetition priming was proposed as a critical requirement for the expression of DGs in performance (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Karni et al., 1998). ...
Article
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An almost universally accepted tacit expectation is that learning and memory consolidation processes must be reflected in the average brain activity in brain areas relevant to task performance. Motor cortex (M1) plasticity has been implicated in motor skill acquisition and its consolidation. Nevertheless, no consistent pattern of changes in the average signal, related to motor learning or motor memory consolidation following a single session of training, has emerged from imaging studies. Here we show that the pattern and magnitude of short-term brain activity modulations in response to task repetition, in M1, may provide a robust signature for effective motor memory consolidation processes. We studied participants during the paced performance of a finger-to-thumb opposition sequence (FOS), intensively trained a day earlier, and a similarly constructed untrained FOS. In addition to within-session "online" gains, most participants expressed delayed, consolidation-phase gains in the performance of the trained FOS. The execution of the trained FOS induced repetition enhancements in the contralateral M1 and bilaterally in the medial-temporal lobes, offsetting novelty-related repetition suppression effects. Moreover, the M1 modulations were positively correlated with the magnitude of each participant's overnight delayed gains but not with absolute performance levels. Our results suggest that short-term enhancements of brain signals upon task repetition reflect the effectiveness of overnight motor memory consolidation. We propose that procedural memory consolidation processes may affect the excitation-inhibition balance within cortical representations of the trained movements; this new balance is better reflected in repetition effects than in the average level of evoked neural activity.
... In a previous study among healthy participants, we began to outline the nature of learning processes in ABM (Abend et al., 2013). We showed that learning to attend to threat cues occurred in two distinct phases previously reported in other forms of nonemotional learning (e.g., Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Karni, 1996;Karni & Sagi, 1993;Korman, Raz, Flash, & Karni, 2003;Robertson, Pascual-Leone, & Miall, 2004). First, we observed substantial online (within-session) learning during the initial training session, which reflected repetition-dependent improvement in task performance. ...
... On-line learning gains, which reflect repetition-dependent performance improvement taking place during the first practice session, were assessed by plotting mean reaction times (RTs) in Blocks 1 to 8, normalized to mean RT in Block 1. As in prior studies of learning, the use of normalized performance gains (Abend et al., 2013;Doyon et al., 2009;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Korman et al., 2007) enabled us to more clearly identify learning capacity in the task, by diminishing the influence of individual differences in sensory-motor performance reflected in raw RT measures, as well as between-group differences stemming from the potential effect of anxiety on raw RT (e.g., Eldar & Bar-Haim, 2010;Miskovic & Schmidt, 2012). ...
... Outliers and incorrect responses were removed according to prespecified rules (see the Data Analysis section of Methodological Details in the Supplemental Material). Given that on-line and off-line learning are associated with distinct behavioral effects and neural correlates (Doyon & Benali, 2005;Karni et al., 1998;Steele & Penhune, 2010), these learning phases were analyzed separately (e.g., Doyon et al., 2009;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Korman et al., 2003;Korman et al., 2007). ...
Article
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Recent evidence suggests that attention-bias-modification (ABM) procedures may reduce anxiety via computerized attention-training tasks. However, the mechanisms underlying the modification of attention patterns in anxiety remain largely unexplored. Here, we compared anxious and nonanxious participants in terms of learning and memory consolidation effects associated with training to attend either toward or away from threat. When trained to attend away from threat, the primary training condition in ABM treatment, anxious participants demonstrated impaired within-session learning. In contrast, consolidation of threat-related learning did not vary as a function of anxiety. These findings suggest that anxious participants have a selective difficulty in altering their threat-related attention patterns during ABM. This specific deficit could explain inconsistent findings in the ABM research base, as well as elucidate potential targets for optimizing ABM protocols in the treatment of anxiety.
... The early phase of "fast learning", requires a critical but limited amount of task repetitions, which causes significant improvement in performance. The next is a plateau phase, in which further practice is not likely to improve performance (Hauptmann and Karni, 2002;Korman et al., 2003). The last is the "slow learning" phase, in which robust delayed ("offline") gains can be attained between and across several training sessions, without any additional practice (Karni et al., 1994(Karni et al., , 1998Walker, 2005). ...
... Withinsession gains were found significant mainly between the first and second test blocks (out of the 4 test blocks per session), followed by a plateau in performance in test blocks 2 to 4. Previous studies have demonstrated a similar pattern in motor training and have suggested that this saturation phase (which may differ among patients) is crucial for the occurrence of delayed, inter-session gains (Karni et al., 1993;Hauptmann et al., 2005). Given that for each patient saturation may occur after a different number of repetitions, training and rehabilitation protocols should be optimized on an individual basis (Hauptmann and Karni, 2002;Hauptmann et al., 2005). ...
Article
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in Western society, and often results in functional and neuropsychological abnormalities. Memory impairment is one of the most significant cognitive implications after TBI. In the current study we investigated procedural memory acquisition by observational training in TBI patients. It was previously found that while practicing a new motor skill, patients engage in all three phases of skill learning–fast acquisition, between-session consolidation, and long-term retention, though their pattern of learning is atypical compared to healthy participants. A different set of studies showed that training by observing a motor task, generally prompted effective acquisition and consolidation of procedural knowledge in healthy participants. The aim of our study was to (i) evaluate the potential benefit of action observation in TBI patients. (ii) Examine the possibility of general improvement in performance between the first (24 h post-training) and second (2 weeks post-training) stage of the study. (iii) Investigate the link between patients’ ability to benefit from observational learning ( via performance gains–speed and accuracy) and common measures of injury (such as severity of injury, functional and cognitive measures). Materials and methods Patients hospitalized after moderate to severe TBI, were trained by observation for the finger opposition sequence (FOS) motor task. They were then tested for the observation-trained sequence (A) and a similar control sequence (B), at two different time-points (24 h post-training and 2 weeks later). Results revealed (i) a significant difference in performance between the trained (A) and untrained (B) sequences, in favor of the trained sequence. (ii) An increase in performance for both sequences A and B toward the second (retention) session. (iii) The advantage for sequence A was stable and preserved also in the second session. (iv) Participants with lower moderate Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores gained more from observational-procedural learning, compared with patients with higher functional abilities. Conclusion Overall, these findings support the notion that TBI patients may achieve procedural memory consolidation and retention through observational learning. Moreover, different functional traits may predict the outcomes of observational training in different patients. These findings may have significant practical implications in the future, regarding skill acquisition methods in TBI patients.
... The findings of the present study add to this line of research by showing that a short-targeted training is efficient in enhancing attention and consequently changing discrimination of a vowel length contrast. Furthermore, the fact that the participants displayed an improvement in their discrimination of vowel length approximately seven days after the training session suggests that the training-induced changes that consolidated into their long-term memory (e.g., Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann et al., 2005;Molloy et al., 2012;Roth et al., 2005). During consolidation, the neural representations of the trained contrast may have been strengthened. ...
... However, we observed a similar decrease in RTs for the Hebrew control group who received no training between their two testing sessions (and did not show significant improvements in accuracy). It is possible, therefore, that the short exposure to the task that was provided to both Hebrew speaking groups in the first testing session (60 nonwords) was enough to initiate tuning and adaptation processes, as previously suggested for nonspeech auditory stimuli (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann et al., 2005). These procedural processes may have assisted the Hebrew speakers in adapting to the specific experimental settings, and forming an efficient task solution routine that improved the RTs for both the trained and control groups (e.g., Ahissar & Hochstein, 1997;Vakil et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
The acquisition of a second language (L2) may be challenging in adulthood, as the phonological system of the native language (L1) can sometimes limit the perception of phonological contrasts in L2. The present study aimed to (a) examine the influence of an L1 (Hebrew) that lacks a phonemic contrast for vowel length on the ability to discriminate between short and long vowels in L2 (Arabic); and (b) assess the effect of a short training on the participants’ discrimination performance. A total of 60 participants, 20 native Arabic speakers and 40 native Hebrew speakers, were tested using the ABX procedure in two sessions that were 10 days apart. A single training session was provided for half of the Hebrew speakers (n = 20) approximately 2–3 days after the first (pretraining) testing session. The results indicated that the trained Hebrew participants’ discrimination levels (measured by accuracy and reaction times) were above chance level but were nevertheless lower in comparison to the Arabic speakers. However, a short training session was sufficient to yield a nativelike performance that generalized to untrained nonwords. These findings support the theoretical models that predict a reserved ability to acquire new phonetic/phonological cues in L2 and have important practical implications for the process of learning a new phonological system in adulthood.
... The priming effect occurs when an individual is exposure to a certain stimulus (i.e., tDCS) subconsciously, and this stimulus influences the response to a subsequent stimulus (i.e., executive processing) [42]. The idea is to use tDCS as a neuropriming, inducing a temporary state of hyperplasticity in the brain, which would reinforce the ability of the brain to learn, building stronger, and more optimized neural connections for neurocognitive processing [43]. ...
... Although tDCS is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use, and there are no well-established safety guidelines regarding tDCS use [42,43], we believe that tDCS represents a non-significant risk for participants when the recommended procedures are correctly followed [37,68,69]. In line with this, there are risk and safety factors that researchers, professionals, and athletes should be aware of, including the potential long-term adverse effects, effects of prolonged stimulation or repetitive application, and individual response differences (e.g., gender) [70,71]. ...
Article
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Competitive sports involve physical and cognitive skills. In traditional sports, there is a greater dependence on the development and performance of both motor and cognitive skills, unlike electronic sports (eSports), which depend much more on neurocognitive skills for success. However, little is known about neurocognitive functions and effective strategies designed to develop and optimize neurocognitive performance in eSports athletes. One such strategy is transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), characterized as a weak electric current applied on the scalp to induce prolonged changes in cortical excitability. Therefore, our objective is to propose anodal (a)-tDCS as a performance-enhancing tool for neurocognitive functions in eSports. In this manuscript, we discussed the neurocognitive processes that underlie exceptionally skilled performances in eSports and how tDCS could be used for acute modulation of these processes in eSports. Based on the results from tDCS studies in healthy people, professional athletes, and video game players, it seems that tDCS is applied over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as a potential performance-enhancing tool for neurocognition in eSports.
... The retention of learning across days requires an adequate number of daily training trials (Aberg et al., 2009;Wright and Sabin, 2007;Wright et al., 2010). Critically, once this number is reached, additional training seems to be superfluous (Aberg et al., 2009;Hauptmann and Karni, 2002;Hauptmann et al., 2005;Ofen-Noy et al., 2003;Ortiz and Wright, 2010;Wright and Sabin, 2007). ...
... The relationship between the amount of daily training and the magnitude of learning on speech-perception tasks has clear practical and theoretical implications. For both auditory and visual fine-grained discrimination tasks, there is evidence that improvement across days requires sufficient (and sometimes extensive) training per day (Aberg et al., 2009;Wright and Sabin, 2007;Wright et al., 2010), and that additional daily training beyond the sufficient amount provides no further benefit (Aberg et al., 2009;Hauptmann and Karni, 2002;Hauptmann et al., 2005;Wright and Sabin, 2007). In combination, these results suggest that the consolidation of perceptual learning may function as an all-or-none process, a characteristic that could be exploited to help optimize perceptual training regimens (Wright and Sabin, 2007). ...
Article
Language acquisition typically involves periods when the learner speaks and listens to the new language, and others when the learner is exposed to the language without consciously speaking or listening to it. Adaptation to variants of a native language occurs under similar conditions. Here, speech learning by adults was assessed following a training regimen that mimicked this common situation of language immersion without continuous active language processing. Experiment 1 focused on the acquisition of a novel phonetic category along the voice-onset-time continuum, while Experiment 2 focused on adaptation to foreign-accented speech. The critical training regimens of each experiment involved alternation between periods of practice with the task of phonetic classification (Experiment 1) or sentence recognition (Experiment 2) and periods of stimulus exposure without practice. These practice and exposure periods yielded little to no improvement separately, but alternation between them generated as much or more improvement as did practicing during every period. Practice appears to serve as a catalyst that enables stimulus exposures encountered both during and outside of the practice periods to contribute to quite distinct cases of speech learning. It follows that practice-plus-exposure combinations may tap a general learning mechanism that facilitates language acquisition and speech processing.
... Although the duration of priming is yet to be established, most studies set it at dozens of minutes [2,8]. The reason for long-duration priming is that more repetition of intervention stimulation is easier to increase motor cortex excitability and/or normalize intercortical inhibition, which coincides with improvements in motor behavior [1,9]. ...
Article
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Recent studies revealed that setting motor priming prior to main intervention can improve rehabilitation outcomes. However, existing priming strategies generally take dozens of minutes, leading to reduced effective treatment time and rehabilitation prescription flexibility. Priming individual training trial with a short-term (a few seconds) task may be a promising alternative. The current study focused on investigating short-term priming effects via an electroencephalogram (EEG) study of action observation (AO) on motor imagery (MI). Six healthy adults were recruited to perform MI of left or right elbow flexion-extension primed by AO of the same action. The control condition replaced AO priming with directional arrows indicating different elbows. We employed the event-related desynchronization (ERD) of µ rhythm (8-13 Hz) and the classification accuracy of MI to evaluate short-term priming effects. The obtained results revealed that both ERD intensity and classification accuracy of AO-primed MI were greater than those of arrow cue-guided MI, supporting short-term priming as a feasible adjuvant technique to boost the effect of main intervention.
... One approach to help encourage more balanced cognitive attention on the benefits of green infrastructure is through priming. Priming is a form of implicit and unconscious memory (Hauptmann and Karni, 2002;She and MacDonald, 2014). Priming-related facilitation processes can influence cognition when people make judgments and decisions (Jaeggi et al., 2007). ...
Article
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Green infrastructure is the application of nature-based solutions like bioswales, rain gardens, and permeable pavements to reduce flooding in urban areas. These systems are underutilized in the design of the built environment. A barrier to their implementation is that design engineers tend to discount the tangential benefits of these greener systems and overweigh the associated risks. This study tested whether priming engineers to think about the environmental and social sustainability benefits of green infrastructure can influence what attributes engineers consider and how they weigh these attributes during the design decision-making process. Forty engineering students trained in stormwater design were asked to evaluate the implementation of a conventional stormwater design option and a green stormwater design option. Their preferred design option was recorded and the changes in their neuro-cognition were measured using functional near infrared-spectroscopy. Half of the engineers were asked to first consider the potential outcomes of these options on the environment and the surrounding community. Priming engineers to first consider environmental and social sustainability before considering the cost and risk of each option, significantly increased the perceived benefits the engineers believed green infrastructure could provide. The priming intervention also increased the likelihood that engineers would recommend the green infrastructure option. The engineers primed to think about environmental and social sustainability exhibited significantly lower oxy-hemoglobin in their ventrolateral, dorsolateral, and medial prefrontal cortex through multiple phases of the judgment and decision-making process. The intervention appears to increase cognitive representativeness or salience of the benefits for green infrastructure when engineers evaluate design alternatives. This relatively low-cost intervention, asking engineers to consider environmental and social sustainability for each design alternative, can shift engineering decision-making and change neuro-cognition.
... The potential for transferability of learning-related gains after a specific training experience is central to the design and implementation of motor skill training programs because (as in other domains, e.g., Ferman & Karni, 2012;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Karni & Sagi, 1993) mastering new motor skills can take a considerable amount of time and effort (e.g., Adi-Japha & Freeman, 2000;Karni et al, 1998). Hopefully, the learning-related gains can be applicable to as wide a set of tasks as possible, especially to previously untrained tasks. ...
Article
Children’s ability to transfer the gains of a motor experience, such as learning to write a letter, to novel conditions, such as cursive writing of the same letter, are affected by the way in which the learning experience is parsed. Parsing may have limitations because a short session may hamper the engagement of procedural memory consolidation processes. Here, we compared the effects of two practice schedules with the total amount of practice identical training provided in a single-session practice versus multi-session practice, wherein each session on its own was insufficient for generating long-term gains. A total of 40 7- and 8-year-old children practiced the production of a novel letter form by connecting dots, namely, the Invented Letter Task (ILT). Multiple ILT-related transfer tasks were assessed at 24 h post-training and again at 4–5 weeks post-training. Although by the end of training the single-session practice group outperformed the multi-session practice group in speed and accuracy, at 24 h post-training both groups showed comparable gains. However, after multi-session practice, children were as fast or faster and more accurate in the transfer tasks. By 4–5 weeks post-training, the multi-session practice group showed larger gains in the trained condition, a speed advantage in the transfer tasks, and a significant improvement on the transfer tasks. The results suggest that parsing training over several brief sessions may lead to long-term gains in children’s grapho-motor skills. Moreover, multi-session practice protocols may contribute to the potential for transfer and to more effective learning from experiences such as transfer tasks.
... The Savion-Lemieux, Tal Penhune, Virginia B (2005) study shows that the distribution of exercise over several days, not the number of exercises, is the most crucial factor affecting motor skills learning. Thus, in line with other studies (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Korman et al., 2003;Ofen-Noy et al., 2003)it is not clear how much practice is needed to trigger long-lasting performance gains on a given task. Here, using a letter enumeration task, we show that the transition of experience dependent performance gains to a relatively stable form, as well as the triggering of delayed, long-lasting, between session gains (both effects are considered manifestations of consolidation processes, we suggest that time travel is essential in order to get the maximum benefit from practice, since time delays allow for consolidation of learning, perhaps reflecting changes in cortical motor representations of skills. ...
Article
Motor skills integrate physical functions and coordination between the brain as a center for information and control through visual activities (reading) and tactile (writing) movement symbols. Symbols and motion codes are found in labanotation, so the ability to read symbols and write symbol patterns is called motion literacy. It can be done through continuous assessment continuously in an effort to diagnose their abilities. The results of the study describe a change in the condition of students’ motor skills after intervention through labanotation-based motion literacy work assessment, namely the change in conditions from the intervention condition (B) to the final baseline condition (A’) decreases the students’ adaptability. However, at the final baseline condition (A’), the motor ability score improved better than in the phase before baseline (A). The total average score obtained in this condition was 62.86%. Thus it can be concluded that the effect of performance appraisal through motion literacy provides benefits for improving brain function because structured and programmed motion exercises are useful in stimulating various learning centers in the brain. This also impacts on improving motor skills in students to undergo the learning process at a later stage.
... The ease, speed, and accuracy with which such tasks are performed after practice is presumably due to a substantial contribution from procedural (''how to," deep structure) memory. Procedural memory subserves the retention of skills and habits that are acquired through repeated practice, but its generation is contingent on the availability of repeated experience (e.g., Adi-Japha & Karni, 2016;Cohen & Squire, 1980;Karni, 1996;Logan, 1988Logan, , 1990Neumann, 1984Neumann, , 1990Seitz & Dinse, 2007;Squire & Zola, 1996); indeed, a critical number of repetitions may be a necessary condition (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann, Reinhart, Brandt, & Karni, 2005;Karni & Korman, 2011). ...
Article
Recitation is an effective way for children to become familiar with basic blocks of knowledge. It is not clear, however, whether repeated structured exposure to complex texts via listening or active reciting benefits the ability of kindergarteners to retain verbal material in long-term memory verbatim and as content. Here, we tested the effectiveness of teaching longer texts to kindergarteners by repeated exposure in terms of long-term retention (6 months). A set of 28 rhyming sentences (224 words) were introduced, 3 in each session, and the increasingly longer text was practiced by either voiced recitation or listening. The rhymes were in a literary language, and word meaning in each new rhyme was elaborated when first introduced. Both groups (recitation and listening) showed good long-term retention, but the recitation group outperformed the listening group when assessed at 24 h, 1 month, and 6 months postintervention in terms of the recall rate, error rate, number of prompts required, and sequence fidelity. In the later assessments, the reciting group was the more fluent group in producing the rhymes. Moreover, at 6 months postintervention, the gist (content) of the rhymes and the meaning of vocabulary items from the texts were robustly retained, with an advantage for the recitation group. Thus, practice in affording multiple repetitions, specifically active recitation, resulted in fluent, effortless, and accurate recall of statements and their content. We propose that these results support the notion that repetition-based practice may promote the mastery of complex verbal material by enabling better engagement of procedural memory, that is, by promoting “proceduralization” processes.
... A fundamental factor driving learning and memory consolidation in virtually all cognitive domains, and in rehabilitation, is repeated practice (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann, Reinhart, Brandt, & Karni, 2005;Kleim & Jones, 2008;Raymer et al., 2008). Repeated practice is one of the principles of learning-induced neuroplasticity (Kleim & Jones, 2008), and has emerged as an essential element of successful novel word learning (Breitenstein et al., 2004) and language relearning (Raymer et al., 2008) in aphasia. ...
Article
Treatments for anomia have demonstrated short- and long-term efficacy. However, individual outcomes can be variable, and evidence for treatment generalization is limited. We investigated whether treatment techniques which stimulate access to- and learning of language, namely, a) responsiveness to cues, and b) during-treatment improvements in naming, are good predictors of treatment outcomes. In addition, we investigated mechanisms underlying treatment generalization. Ten adults with chronic, post-stroke aphasia received a phonological treatment for anomia three times a week for five weeks. Naming accuracy of treated and untreated words was assessed pre- and post-treatment and at four- and eight-week follow-ups. Generalization to an untrained naming task, which involved analyses of naming accuracy and speech errors, was also assessed; speech errors were analyzed according to the Interactive Activation (IA) model of word retrieval. Group analyses indicate significant improvements in naming treated compared to untreated words, at all timepoints after therapy. Additional analyses showed significant long-term improvements in naming untreated words. Initial responsiveness to cueing and early improvement emerged as significant predictors of overall pre- to post-treatment improvements in naming treated words; naming improvements made early-on in treatment were also predictive of improvements in naming of the untreated words at follow-up. Furthermore, our study is the first to demonstrate that generalization after a phonological treatment for anomia may be driven by a strengthening of lexical-phonological connections. This study provides novel insights regarding mechanisms driving anomia treatment outcomes. Understanding such mechanisms is critical to improving existing assessment practices, optimizing treatment selection and building treatment protocols that are more likely to generalize.
... Interestingly, in the current study, significant block-by-block improvements were observed only under the 2000 Hz condition for both the singlesession and multisession trained groups, a pattern suggesting that this condition was a novel experience. A "novelty effect" is thought to reflect a transient adaptation process, during which a previously established task-solving routine is tuned under novel task condition (Hauptmann & Karni 2002;Korman et al. 2003). ...
Article
Background: Evidence from motor and visual studies suggests that the ability to generalize learning gains to untrained conditions decreases as the training progresses. This decrease in generalization was suggested to reflect a shift from higher to lower levels of neuronal representations of the task following prolonged training. In the auditory modality, however, the few studies that tested the influence of prolonging training on generalization ability showed no decrease and sometimes even an increase in generalization. Objective: To test the impact of extending training in a basic psychoacoustic task on the ability to generalize the gains attained in training to untrained conditions. Design: Eighty-two young adults participated in two experiments that differed in the specific training regimen. In both experiments, training was conducted using a difference limen for frequency (DLF) task with an adaptive forced-choice procedure, for either a single- or nine-session training. Following training, generalization to the untrained ear and to an untrained frequency was assessed. Results: (a) Training induced significant learning (i.e., smaller DLF thresholds) following a single session of training, and more so following nine training sessions; (b) results from the combined data from both experiments showed that the ability to generalize the learning gains to the untrained ear and frequency was limited after the extended DLF training; (c) larger improvements under the trained condition resulted in smaller generalization to the untrained conditions. Conclusions: The findings of increased specificity with training in the auditory modality support the notion that gradual changes, both quantitative and qualitative, occur in the neural representations of an auditory task during its acquisition. These findings suggest common underlying mechanisms in basic skill learning across different modalities.
... Based on these results, the additional spaced retrieval practice had a positive impact on the accurate retention of cranial nerve knowledge for graduate SLP students. These results confirm that participating in spaced retrieval practice one time is inadequate for long-term retention and suggest that the initial retrieval practice may serve as a primer for learning with subsequent spaced retrieval practice solidifying the pathway of retrieval of learned information (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Poldrack, Selco, Field, & Cohen, 1999;Tulving, 1999). ...
... Hence, it is conceivable that the additional neuronal cost for task-switching, under the influence of anterograde interference from a previous trial, is the main cause of the augmented preparatory activity in the left frontoparietal cortices observed in the switched trials, as discussed further below. The present behavioural results could also be interpreted as "shorter TpS in the repeated trials", which was caused by repetition priming effect (facilitation of neuronal processing of a task due to previous exposure to the same task; Gupta and Cohen, 2002;Hauptmann and Karni, 2002). Likewise, the different preparatory activity between the switched and repeated trials could be attributed to the reduction of preparatory activity due to the priming effect in the repeated trials (Grill-Spector et al., 2006). ...
... However, although there was no improvement in reactive stability control between the ascending intensities (i.e., P1 vs P3, P3 vs P5), older adults did maintain their reactive stability, as opposed to having their stability deteriorate, as slip intensity increased (Fig. 3). Thus, the partial scaling observed is postulated to be because the initial block of training at a lower intensity level could have elicited a priming effect where the previous stimuli from the lower level prompted an optimal (if not better) recovery response to novel exposures to subsequent higher-intensity slips (Hauptmann and Karni 2002). This reflects the CNS's ability to select a proper motor response to an expected, related perturbation during the next movement in an incremental learning model (Wei et al. 2010) based on previous contextual information (Imamizu et al. 2007). ...
Article
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The study purpose was to investigate whether older adults could improve their stability against a backward loss of balance (BLOB) after receiving repeated treadmill slips during walking and to see how such adaptive changes would be affected by practice dosage (combination of slip intensity and the number of slips at each intensity). Twenty-five healthy community-dwelling older adults received forty treadmill slips given over eleven blocks at five intensities (P1–P1–P2–P3–P4–P5–P4–P5–P5–P3–P1, larger number indicating higher intensity). Center of mass (COM) stability was calculated as the shortest distance of the instantaneous COM position and velocity relative to the base of support (BOS) from a theoretical threshold for BLOB (larger stability value indicated a better stability against BLOB). Stability, step length, and trunk angle were measured before and after slip onset to reflect proactive and reactive control, respectively. The first slips at each intensity block (i.e., P1, P3, P4, and P5) were compared with the first slips in the last blocks at those intensities to examine main effects of training dosage (intensity and repetition). Improvements in proactive and reactive stability were more pronounced for receiving more slips at larger intensities than fewer slips at smaller intensities. Older adults only demonstrated partial positive scaling effects to proactively, not reactively, establish a more stable initial COM state. The improved proactive stability was associated with an anterior shift of COM position relative to the BOS, resulting from a shorter pre-slip step length. The improved reactive stability was associated with an anterior shift of COM position, resulting from a larger compensatory step length and a faster COM velocity relative to the BOS. Our findings indicated that treadmill-gait slip perturbations elicited similar proactive and reactive control to that from over-ground slip perturbations, but greater slip intensity and repetition might yield more immediate adaptive improvements.
... The outcomes were the same even when the total number of training trials was held constant across regimens by adjusting the number of days of training. Similar results have been reported for learning on a letterenumeration task (e.g., Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann, Reinhart, Brandt, & Karni, 2005). Second, once the amount of daily training is sufficient to induce across-day learning, additional daily training can be superfluous. ...
Article
Semi-supervised learning refers to learning that occurs when feedback about performance is provided on only a subset of training trials. Algorithms for semi-supervised learning are popular in machine learning because of their minimal reliance on labeled data. There have been, however, only a few reports of semi-supervised learning in humans. Here we document human semi-supervised learning on a nonnative phonetic classification task. Classification performance remained unchanged when 60 feedback trials were provided on each of the two days of training. In contrast, performance improved when 60 feedback trials were combined with 240 no-feedback trials each day. In variants of this successful semi-supervised regimen, increasing the daily number of feedback trials from 60 to 240 did not increase the amount of learning, while decreasing that number to 30 abolished learning. Finally, replacing the no-feedback trials with stimulus exposure alone had little effect on the outcome. These results were an unexpected consequence of combining training periods with feedback and testing periods without feedback, illustrating that no-feedback testing can influence learning outcomes. More broadly, these data suggest that task performance with feedback can function as an all-or-none trigger for recruiting the contribution of trials without feedback, or mere stimulus exposures, to human learning.
... Several mechanisms are assumed to contribute to skill learning, including top-down (cognitive) and bottom-up (sensory) processing mechanisms. Multiple top-down abilities such as working memory and executive func- tions including attention and internal control mechan- isms were suggested to be involved in the tuning and adaptation processes that take place in the initial phase of learning (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann, Reinhart, Brandt, & Karni, 2005;Karni et al., 1998). These assist in the formation of effective task solution strategies and in reducing response bias (e.g., Ahissar & Hochstein, 1997;Jones, Moore, Shub, & Amitay, 2015;Karni & Sagi, 1993;Vakil, Hassin-Baer, & Karni, 2014). ...
Article
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The few studies that compared auditory skill learning between children and adults found variable results, with only some children reaching adult-like thresholds following training. The present study aimed to assess auditory skill learning in children as compared with adults during single- and multisession training. It was of interest to ascertain whether children who do not reach adult-like performance following a single training session simply require additional training, or whether different mechanisms underlying skill learning need to reach maturity in order to become adult-like performers. Forty children (7–9 years) and 45 young adults (18–35 years) trained in a single session. Of them, 20 children and 24 adults continued training for eight additional sessions. Each session included six frequency discrimination thresholds at 1000 Hz using adaptive forced-choice procedure. Retention of the learning-gains was tested 6 to 8 months posttraining. Results showed that (a) over half of the children presented similar performance and time course of learning as the adults. These children had better nonverbal reasoning and working memory abilities than their non-adult-like peers. (b) The best predicting factor for the outcomes of multisession training was a child’s performance following one training session. (c) Performance gains were retained for all children with the non-adult-like children further improving, 6 to 8 months posttraining. Results suggest that mature auditory skill learning can emerge before puberty, provided that task-related cognitive mechanisms and task-specific sensory processing are already mature. Short-term training is sufficient, however, to reflect the maturity of these mechanisms, allowing the prediction of the efficiency of a prolonged training for a given child.
... Priming is the change in repetitive behavior due to implicit learning based on previous stimuli [12], and it has recently been used for inducing neuroplasticity and enhancing the effects of conventional rehabilitation as combined approaches [13]. The excitability modulation induced by tDCS is considered a potential intervention to modulate the learning processes [14]. ...
Article
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Objective The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether the use of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex could boost the effects of a cognitive stimulation (CS) programme using a tablet on five older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Method A single-subject study of A-B-C-A design was used. After the baseline with the administration of CS (phase A), a sham treatment with CS was applied (B). Following the withdrawal of sham treatment, tDCS was introduced in combination with CS (C). Finally, phase A was replicated a second time. Results tDCS had a significant effect on processing speed, selective attention, and planning ability tasks in terms of performance and completion time. Conclusion tDCS appears to have a positive impact on some cognitive components in CS in persons with MCI. Further study on its long-term effects and generalization of power to daily activities is warranted.
... In a related vein, it has been suggested that in order to increase transfer effects of learning, one should distribute learning across multiple sessions instead of conducting massive training in a limited number of sessions (Hertel & Mathews, 2011). Indeed, standard ABM protocols frequently consist of prolonged practice (Bar-Haim, 2010), thus providing numerous opportunities for online gains and subsequent consolidation processes (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann et al., 2005). Hence, future research could examine the relations between learning processes and stress reactivity during extended (multiple sessions) implicit and explicit ABM protocols. ...
Article
Current attention bias modification (ABM) procedures are designed to implicitly train attention away from threatening stimuli with the hope of reducing stress reactivity and anxiety symptoms. However, the mechanisms underlying effective ABM delivery are not well understood, with awareness of the training contingency suggested as one possible factor contributing to ABM efficacy. Here, 45 high-anxious participants were trained to divert attention away from threat in two ABM sessions. They were randomly assigned to one of three training protocols: an implicit protocol, comprised of two standard implicit ABM training sessions; an explicit protocol, comprised of two sessions with explicit instruction as to the attention training contingency; and an implicit-explicit protocol, in which participants were not informed of the training contingency in the first ABM session and informed of it at the start of the second session. We examined learning processes and stress reactivity following a stress-induction task. Results indicate that relative to implicit instructions, explicit instructions led to stronger learning during the first training session. Following rest, the explicit and implicit groups exhibited consolidation-related improvement in performance whereas no such improvement was noted for the implicit-explicit group. Finally, although stress reactivity was reduced after training, contingency awareness did not yield a differential effect on stress reactivity measured using both self-reports and skin conductance, within and across sessions. These results suggest that explicit ABM administration leads to greater initial learning during the training protocol while not differing from standard implicit administration in terms of offline learning and stress reactivity.
... Motor skill (procedural, ''how to" knowledge) evolves through distinctive phases (Luft & Buitrago, 2005), with performance gains expressed during the learning experience (online learning) but also after the termination of training, as delayed, offline, gains (Karni et al., 1998;Korman et al., 2003); the latter presumably reflect procedu-ral memory consolidation (PMC) processes (Karni & Korman, 2011). Factors such as the amount of practice, task relevancy and reward expectation, but also subsequent experience and posttraining sleep, may selectively affect -block or accelerate -PMC (Albouy et al., 2016;Born & Wilhelm, 2012;Diekelmann & Born, 2010;Fischer & Born, 2009;Friedman & Korman, 2016;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Korman, Flash, & Karni, 2005;Korman et al., 2003Korman et al., , 2007. Thus, whether PMC is successfully completed is under strict control (''gating") (Adi-Japha & Karni, 2016;Karni & Korman, 2011) both during, and in the hours following, practice. ...
... It is important to connect these short-term changes to longer-term changes in neural activity, and there is indeed evidence that such adaptation-related reductions in neural activity also occur in the long-term and are accompanied by longer-term changes [89]. Repetition suppression may indeed reflect facilitation of perceptual identification [90] and lead to faster or more efficient processing in a number of brain regions [91]. ...
Article
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The Sound of Vision project involves developing a sensory substitution device that is aimed at creating and conveying a rich auditory representation of the surrounding environment to the visually impaired. However, the feasibility of such an approach is strongly constrained by neural flexibility, possibilities of sensory substitution and adaptation to changed sensory input. We review evidence for such flexibility from various perspectives. We discuss neuroplasticity of the adult brain with an emphasis on functional changes in the visually impaired compared to sighted people. We discuss effects of adaptation on brain activity, in particular short-term and long-term effects of repeated exposure to particular stimuli. We then discuss evidence for sensory substitution such as Sound of Vision involves, while finally discussing evidence for adaptation to changes in the auditory environment. We conclude that sensory substitution enterprises such as Sound of Vision are quite feasible in light of the available evidence, which is encouraging regarding such projects.
... There is evidence that overlong practice might be counterproductive even for typical, healthy adults, leading to deterioration of performance levels as well as to a reduction of the training related gains (Baddely & Longman, 1978;Censor et al., 2006;Fenn et al., 2003;Mednick et al., 2002;Rickard et al., 2008). On the other hand there is evidence supporting the notion that the affordance of a minimum number of task repetitions during the training session may be a necessary condition for the establishment of long-term memory, and specifically in the expression of speed gains (with no loss accuracy) by 24-h post-training (Aberg, Tartaglia, & Herzog, 2009;Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann et al., 2005;Hussain, Sekuler, & Bennett, 2009;Wright & Sabin, 2007). Nevertheless, several studies suggest that there may be a wide range of practice intensities (the number of task iterations afforded) wherein the expression of delayed gains and long-term retention of the skill are unaffected (Dorfberger, Adi-Japha, & Karni, 2007;Savion-Lemieux & Penhune, 2005). ...
... This brain plasticity depends upon long-term cellular mechanisms (long-term potentiation, LTP) that are responsible for strengthening and remodeling synapse connections (Dudai 2004;McGaugh 2000). Delayed performance benefits can be influenced by the amount of practice during acquisition (Hauptmann and Karni 2002), sleep (Korman et al. 2007;Stickgold 2005) and external motivators (Abe et al. 2011;Fischer and Born 2009). ...
Article
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Consolidation of a motor skill is characterized by spontaneous improvement in performance between practice sessions. These offline gains can be eliminated if another skill is introduced soon afterward-a phenomenon called retroactive interference. Interference effects have been found in studies using two similar tasks involving the same motor effectors in a manual mode. The present study aimed to determine the extent to which differences in motor production mode modulate interference in skill learning. Healthy participants were assigned to one of three conditions and trained on a finger opposition sequence (FOS) learning task. All subjects were tested 24 h later on the original FOS learning task. Control subjects who were not exposed to a secondary learning task exhibited the expected offline gains after 24 h. Subjects who immediately learned a secondary task after the FOS training, either in the same manual mode (French Sign Language) or in an oral mode (CVC syllables), did not show any offline gains. Interestingly, the amount of interference was equivalent in the manual and oral learning conditions. The results reveal that interference effects in motor skill learning can occur when different effectors are involved in the primary and secondary tasks. The sequence processing abilities of the basal ganglia appear to play a major role in these interference effects.
... The learning of task-related movement routines and specifically the generation of long-term procedural memory for the performance of task oriented movement sequences can be characterized by several distinct phases which have been delineated in a number of laboratory tasks (e.g., Meital et al., 2013;Korman et al., 2007;Robertson, 2005;Stickgold and Walker, 2005;Sosnik et al., 2004;Maquet et al., 2003;Doyon and Ungerleider, 2003;Korman et al., 2003;Hikosaka et al., 1999;Karni et al., 1998;Shadmehr and Brashers-Krug, 1997). Rapid gains in performance occur early on in training ("fast learning", novelty effect) but after a certain number of within-session task iterations, performance levels off if task conditions during the training session are unchanged (e.g., Adi-Japha et al., 2008;Korman et al., 2003;Hauptmann and Karni, 2002;Karni and Sagi, 1993). This plateau phase may be followed by a latent phase when significant gains in performance evolve. ...
... An alternative to Huttenlocher et al."s (1998) environmental input claim is that the school provides an alternate means of rehearsing the material taught in the afterschool intervention. Increased rehearsal time leads to the saturation of primed information (Hauptmann and Karni, 2002;Poldrack, Prabhakaran, Seger, & Gabrieli, 1999), and to the increased likelihood of encoding this information in long-term memory. The summer intervention provides a place for more intense rehearsal, thus allowing information the best possible chance to be consolidated into long-term memory. ...
Article
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Two versions of RAVE-O, a fluency-based reading intervention were examined over a 2-intervention period: a 9-month, 44-hour afterschool intervention program, and a month long, 44-hour summer intervention program. 80 children in grades 1-3 were tested on the two subtests of the Test of Word-Reading Efficiency and were assigned to one of 6 groups compromising of different combinations of one vs. two intervention packets. Results show that while both programs showed gains after a single intervention, a significant difference was seen between intervention groups, with the afterschool intervention showing larger pre-post intervention difference scores. All groups who received a 2-package intervention either increased or maintained performance after the second intervention, suggesting that an additional intervention is beneficial. Moreover, the afterschool group who received a consecutive summer intervention group showed significant gains as compared to the other 2-intervention groups. Results from this study indicate the overall number of intervention hours may not be the indicator of a successful intervention. Instead, in the first intervention, a longer period of skill introduction may be needed for information consolidation; the second intervention may require an intense period for skill rehearsal. Implications for future reading interventions and scaling-up are discussed.
... In this study however, participants engaged in repeated reflection over an 8 week period. Previous research on repetition priming suggests that priming can be a transient phenomenon that saturates after a number of repetitions (Hauptmann and Karni, 2002). Thus, a longer intervention period may have caused workers to become desensitized to positive impact cues. ...
Article
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Research on task significance and relational job design suggests that information from beneficiaries of one's work fosters perceptions of impact, and thus improved work outcomes. This paper presents results from a longitudinal field experiment examining the effect of another strategy for fostering perceptions of impact - engaging employees in regular reflection about how their work benefits others. With a sample of professionals from multiple organizations, this longitudinal study examined the effect on job performance and work-life conflict of both positive and negative impact reflection. Results show that negative impact reflection had a pronounced negative effect on job performance, but no effect on work-life conflict. Positive impact reflection had a weak positive effect on work-life conflict, but no significant effect on job performance. The direction of effects seen in the no intervention condition mirrored that of the negative impact reflection condition, suggesting a possible buffering effect for positive impact reflection. This research provides empirical and theoretical contributions to the literatures on relational job design and task significance.
... different from other types of implicit learning because skilllearning requires repetition. 5 Studies of priming originated in psychology, but have since been investigated in neuroscience, neurorehabilitation, and cognitive neuroscience using behavioral and brain mapping techniques. These studies, both translational and clinical, have been examining motor priming as a tool for inducing neuroplasticity and enhancing the effects of rehabilitation. ...
Article
Priming is a type of implicit learning wherein a stimulus prompts a change in behavior. Priming has been long studied in the field of psychology. More recently, rehabilitation researchers have studied motor priming as a possible way to facilitate motor learning. For example, priming of the motor cortex is associated with changes in neuroplasticity that are associated with improvements in motor performance. Of the numerous motor priming paradigms under investigation, only a few are practical for the current clinical environment, and the optimal priming modalities for specific clinical presentations are not known. Accordingly, developing an understanding of the various types of motor priming paradigms and their underlying neural mechanisms is an important step for therapists in neurorehabilitation. Most importantly, an understanding of the methods and their underlying mechanisms is essential for optimizing rehabilitation outcomes. The future of neurorehabilitation is likely to include these priming methods, which are delivered prior to or in conjunction with primary neurorehabilitation therapies. In this Special Interest article, we discuss those priming paradigms that are supported by the greatest amount of evidence, including (i) stimulation-based priming, (ii) motor imagery and action observation, (iii) sensory priming, (iv) movement-based priming, and (v) pharmacological priming.Video Abstract available. (see Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A86) for more insights from the authors.
... Nevertheless, sleep may be necessary only for memory consolidation in the motor domain (Korman et al, 2003(Korman et al, , 2007Walker, 2003). Several of our studies showed that the triggering and expression of consolidation phase gains depend on specific parameters of the training experience in the context of subsequent experiences occurring before time and sleep is afforded (e.g., amount of task iterations (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002 ; We would argue that these constitute likely parameters for optimizing skill learning protocols. ...
Article
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Compelling behavioral and neuro-imaging data suggest that the retention and perfection of skills (procedural knowledge) reflects long-lasting experience-(neural plasticity). Two corollaries require consideration in designing effective skill learning programs. i) Neuro-behavioral constraints, imposed on whether neuronal plasticity is triggered and allowed to proceed, must be satisfied; otherwise, the skill may fail to consolidate into long-term memory. These include the amount of task iterations afforded, task scheduling, behavioral relevancy and the degree of consistency of the to-be-learned experience over a required time-window. ii) The performance of a given task reflects qualitatively different task solution routines in different phases of experience. Practice, given time and sometimes time-in-sleep, can trigger processes whereby new procedural knowledge and qualitative changes in task solution, emerge and consolidate. These emerging changes in procedural knowledge result in differences in the ability to transfer gains, across stimulus, context and task parameters. Our aim here is to present a very brief account of our current view of procedural learning and procedural memory consolidation as emerging from a number of studies addressing the characteristics of human skill learning. We present a number of points which we believe are of relevance to the understanding of the biological mechanisms and specifically, the neuro-behavioral constraints imposed by these mechanisms on skill learning and skill memory. These constraints require consideration if we are to improve and perhaps even optimize skill teaching protocols and skill learning programs. The references provided, mainly from our own work on perceptual learning and motor skill acquisition can be consulted for perusing the actual data and as pointers to many related studies and papers that inspired us.
... Memory consolidation theories suggest that over time following acquisition, the susceptibility of new knowledge to interference decreases; a process that is difficult to reverse (Davis and Squire, 1984;Alberini, 1999;Dudai, 2004;Wixted, 2005). Adaptation processes, such as priming (Squire and Zola, 1996) are, however, easily disrupted, irrespective of the time since acquisition (Miller and Desimone, 1994;Hauptmann and Karni, 2002). In this study, the overnight decrease in susceptibility to proactive interference after EE is compatible with the above notion of systems consolidation. ...
Article
The human cortex can accommodate overlapping semantic information, such as synonyms, homonyms or overlapping concepts. However, neuronal models of cortical networks predict Catastrophic Interference in conditions of overlapping information, obliterating old associations and sometimes preventing formation of new ones. It has been proposed that Catastrophic Interference in declarative memory is never observed in biological systems because of hippocampal pattern separation of competing associations. Here, we tested neocortical Catastrophic Interference during acquisition of overlapping associations through Fast Mapping; an incidental, exclusion based learning mechanism, that can support hippocampal-independent learning. Young adults acquired picture-label associations, either through explicit encoding or through Fast Mapping and were tested after 24 hours. Overlapping/competing associations were presented either minutes (Early), or 22 hours (Delayed) after learning. Catastrophic Interference was evident only following Fast Mapping, and only in the Delayed competition. In a follow-up experiment, Medial Temporal Lobe (MTL) amnesic patients demonstrated retroactive Catastrophic Interference after the Early competition, despite normal memory for non-interfered Fast Mapping associations. Thus, following Fast Mapping, a biological system demonstrated susceptibility to Catastrophic Interference, as predicted by the neuronal-model. Early retroactive Interference, however, can be prevented by MTL integrity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
... The current results may perhaps indirectly reflect a male advantage in procedural learning. In order to trigger long-lasting performance gains on a given task a critical number of practices are needed within each training session (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002;Hauptmann, Reinhart, Brandt, & Karni, 2005). Both boys and girls in our study had a similar amount of training in each session on either phonological awareness skills, or morphological awareness skills. ...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to examine the development of morphological and phonological awareness and their impact on later reading skills. Two training programs (morphological and phonological awareness) were conducted in kindergarten and were compared to no-intervention control group. Phonological and morphological tests and other general abilities were measured for 90 children at kindergarten as pre and post intervention tests. Tests in reading and spelling were carried out at the middle of grade 1. Results showed that the morphological and the phonological intervention programs enhanced both phonological and morphological awareness, in comparison to the control group, with a small advantage for the morphological group. In grade 1, no significant differences were found between the intervention groups and the control group in reading and spelling measures. Altogether the results of the current study suggest that the intervention programs were less effective than expected in the first graders compared to results of Carlisle (1995) and Lyster (2002), but support former findings found by Ibrahim et al. (2007). This result may relate in part to the additional visual complexity of Arabic orthography. The psycholinguistic implications of these findings including a gender effect are discussed
... The act of recollection is affected by background knowledge of related material, and by constraints and influences imposed by the surrounding situations (Dryden, 2004). Game playing is characterized by a non-linear relationship between knowledge gains and the amount of experience (number of practice trials) (Hauptmann & Karni, 2002), that cognitive processes include a visual search to gain attention, then store the information in the target template (Bundesen, 1990). From Jarrold and Towse's (2006) point of view, this cognitive process can sometimes be considered as shortterm memory, which refers to an individual's ability to store or maintain information over a limited time period (Jarrold & Towse, 2006;Postle et al., 2004). ...
... The implicit memory phenomenon, known as direct or repetition priming, has been considered as one of the three different categories of priming (Schacter, 1992). From the brain activation point of view, implicit memory captures the effect of previous experience on the current experiment, even in the absence of conscious awareness of the past (Henson, 2003;Graf et al., 1984;Milner et al., 1968;Hauptmann and Karni, 2002;Warrington and Weiskrantz, 1974). Moreover, repetition can also be another main reason of decreased brain activation and blood flow level in the repeated task R3. ...
Article
Motor sequencing skills have been found to distinguish individuals who experience developmental stuttering from those who do not stutter, with these differences extending to non-verbal sequencing behaviour. Previous research has focused on measures of reaction time and practice under externally cued conditions to decipher the motor learning abilities of persons who stutter. Without the confounds of extraneous demands and sensorimotor processing, we investigated motor sequence learning under conditions of explicit awareness and focused practice among adults with persistent development stuttering. Across two consecutive practice sessions, 18 adults who stutter (AWS) and 18 adults who do not stutter (ANS) performed the finger-to-thumb opposition sequencing (FOS) task. Both groups demonstrated significant within-session performance improvements, as evidenced by fast on-line learning of finger sequences on day one. Additionally, neither participant group showed deterioration of their learning gains the following day, indicating a relative stabilization of finger sequencing performance during the off-line period. These findings suggest that under explicit and focused conditions, early motor learning gains and their short-term retention do not differ between AWS and ANS. Additional factors influencing motor sequencing performance, such as task complexity and saturation of learning, are also considered. Further research into explicit motor learning and its generalization following extended practice and follow-up in persons who stutter is warranted. The potential benefits of motor practice generalizability among individuals who stutter and its relevance to supporting treatment outcomes are suggested as future areas of investigation.
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Thesis
Der Verlauf der Multiplen Sklerose ist heterogener Natur; die Fähigkeit zu einem intakten adaptiven motorischen Lernen und einer intakten Konsolidierung könnten einen milden Krankheitsverlauf begünstigen. In der vorliegenden Arbeit wurden das adaptive motorische Lernen und seine Konsolidierung bei MS-Patienten im Vergleich zu neurologisch gesunden Kontrollprobanden untersucht; außerdem wurde das Verhältnis dieser Formen des Lernens zu klinischen und apparativen Parametern des Krankheitsprogresses untersucht. Dazu führten 20 MS-Patienten und 20 Kontrollprobanden eine visuoadaptive Lernaufgabe durch. Hierzu sollten mittels Computerbildschirm und Computermaus geradlinige Zielbewegungen zwischen einem Startpunkt und einem Zielpunkt wechselnder Lokalisation durchgeführt werden, wobei in einem Rotationsmodus eine externe Ablenkung der Zielbewegung im Uhrzeigersinn eingeführt wurde, welche auszugleichen war. Die Übungssitzung wurde nach 24 Stunden und nach 72 Stunden wiederholt. Analysiert wurden die Richtungsfehler der Zielbewegungen, die Adaptationsrate an die Ablenkung und die Retention der erlernten Adaptation bis zur Folgesitzung. Motorische Einschränkung wurde durch den EDSS-Score und den 9-Loch-Stecktest quantifiziert, zentralnervöse Läsionslast wurde mittels cMRT und MEP ermittelt. Die Adaptation und Lernfähigkeit innerhalb einer Übungssitzung waren in der Patienten- und der Kontrollgruppe vergleichbar; jedoch zeigte sich eine signifikant verminderte Retentionsrate in der Patientengruppe an den Folgeuntersuchungstagen im Vergleich zur Kontrollgruppe. In den Korrelationsanalysen und Subgruppenvergleichen innerhalb der Patientengruppe nach Stratifizierung aufgrund von EDSS-Score, 9-Lochstecktest und zentralnervöser Läsionslast im MRT konnte kein eindeutiger Zusammenhang zwischen klinischer Beeinträchtigung bzw. zentralnervöser Läsionslast auf der einen Seite und Adaptation bzw. Konsolidierung auf der anderen Seite identifiziert werden. Jedoch zeigte sich in der Patientengruppe für den ersten Nachuntersuchungstag eine signifikant höhere Retentionsrate in der Subgruppe mit geringerer Leistung im 9-Lochsteck-Test. Insgesamt deuten die vorliegenden Daten auf eine erhaltene Fähigkeit zu adaptivem motorischen Lernen und somit auf eine erhaltene rasch einsetzende Neuroplastizität bei leicht bis mittelgradig betroffenen MS-Patienten hin; jedoch sprechen die Daten für eine eingeschränkte Konsolidierungsfähigkeit. Zentralnervöse Läsionslast scheint Motoradaptation und Konsolidierung nicht zu verhindern. Das genaue Verhältnis der Motoradapation und Konsolidierung zum klinischen Funktionserhalt konnte nicht genauer aufgeklärt werden. Um die genaue Beziehung zwischen Motoradaptation und Konsolidierung und klinischer Beeinträchtigung bzw. ZNS-Läsionen zu eruieren, bedarf es weiterer Studien.
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People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and especially the minimally verbal, often fail to learn basic perceptual and motor skills. This deficit has been demonstrated in several studies, but the findings could have been due to the nonoptimal adaptation of the paradigms. In the current study, we sought to characterize the skill learning deficit in young minimally verbal children with ASD and explore ways for improvement. For this purpose, we used vestibular stimulation (VS) whose beneficial effects have been demonstrated in the typical population, but the data regarding ASD are limited. We trained 36 children ages 6–13 years, ASD (N = 18, 15 of them minimally verbal) and typical development (TD, N = 18), on a touch version of the visual‐motor Serial‐Reaction‐Time sequence‐learning task, in 10 short (few minutes) weekly practice sessions. A subgroup of children received VS prior to each training block. All the participants but two ASD children showed gradual median reaction time improvement with significant speed gains across the training period. The ASD children were overall slower (by ~250 msec). Importantly, those who received VS (n = 10) showed speed gains comparable to TD, which were larger (by ~100%) than the ASD controls, and partially sequence‐specific. VS had no effect on the TD group. These results suggest that VS has a positive effect on learning in minimally verbal ASD children, which may have important therapeutic implications. Furthermore, contrary to some previous findings, minimally verbal children with ASD can acquire, in optimal conditions, procedural skills with few short training sessions, spread over weeks, and with a similar time course as non‐ASD controls. Autism Res 2020, 13: 320–337. © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Lay Summary Minimally verbal children with ASD who received specially adjusted learning conditions showed significant learning of a visual‐motor sequence across 10 practice days. This learning was considerably improved with vestibular stimulation before each short learning session. This may have important practical implications in the education and treatment of ASD children.
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The Discontinuity Model (DM) described in this article proposes that adults can learn part of L2 morphosyntax twice, in two different ways. The same item can be learned as the product of generation by a rule or as a modification of a template already stored in memory. These learning modalities, which are often seen as opposed in language theory, integrate and superpose in adult SLA. Learners resort to grammatical rules and statistical templates under different circumstances during language processing. Ontogenetically, while in L1 acquisition, the natural endowment for language constrains statistical learners’ capacity by narrowing the hypothesis space; in adult SLA, statistics can reopen the window of opportunity for grammar and drive adult learners to derive part of L2 morphosyntax. This article proposes a computational and psycholinguistic model of how this might occur. According to this model, skewness between transition probabilities (TP) represents the triggering factor in both L1 and L2 acquisition. As fluctuation in TP drives children to individuate the words in a speech stream, so skewness between TP drives adult learners to discover the grammatical features that are hidden in asymmetric chunks.
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Motor sequences are learned explicitly or implicitly based on conscious awareness of the sequence. Interference happens when two sequences are learned successively. Here, we aimed to determine whether implicit and explicit sequence learning are affected differently by retrograde interference. Young healthy volunteers participated in either a control or interference group and either an explicit or implicit learning condition. We used a modified serial reaction time task to induce sequence learning and control awareness. Results showed that the overall amount of sequence learning was greater in the explicit condition compared to implicit. However, sequence learning was equally susceptible to retrograde interference under either condition. We conclude that although susceptible to interference, explicit awareness improves overall sequence learning compared to implicit conditions.
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Visual perceptual learning describes the improvement of visual perception with repeated practice. Previous research has established that the learning effects of perceptual training may be transferable to untrained stimulus attributes such as spatial location under certain circumstances. However, the mechanisms involved in transfer have not yet been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the effect of altering training time course on the transferability of learning effects. Participants were trained on a motion direction discrimination task or a sinusoidal grating orientation discrimination task in a single visual hemifield. The 4000 training trials were either condensed into one day, or spread evenly across five training days. When participants were trained over a five-day period, there was transfer of learning to both the untrained visual hemifield and the untrained task. In contrast, when the same amount of training was condensed into a single day, participants did not show any transfer of learning. Thus, learning time course may influence the transferability of perceptual learning effects.
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Developmental dyslexia’s ‘Cerebellar Deficit Theory’ proposes that a subtle developmental cerebellar dysfunction leads to deficits in attaining ‘automatic’ procedures and manifests as subtle motor impairments (e.g., balance control, motor learning) along with reading and phonological difficulties. The ‘Magnocellular deficit’ and the ‘rapid visual’ theories suggest a specific deficit within the visual information processing system among dyslexic readers. Previously, we found the dyslexic readers to be inferior, as compared to their non-impaired reader peers, in their ability to acquire a novel set of hand movements while standing. In the current study, we explored the relationships between volitional and non-volitional motor learning, the visual system and dyslexia. We found the dyslexic readers to be slower and less accurate, as compared to skilled readers, in tasks that were ‘visually’ oriented and demanded reaction. However, in tasks that did not involve the visual system or when hand-eye coordination was needed rather than reaction, the groups’ performance did not differ. In addition, correlations between the performance in the visual and the motor learning tasks were found within the skill readers only. Overall, the results support the assumption that a deficit within the visual system is involved in the presumably inferior ability of the dyslexic readers to acquire a new movement.
Chapter
Although there is a dominant notion that adults have a reduced and rather less effective language learning ability, there is ample evidence suggesting that the acquisition (learning) and retention (long-term memory) of procedural (skills) as well as declarative (facts, singular events) non-linguistic knowledge are robust in healthy adults. We investigated the effects of intensive, multi-session training on an artificial morphological rule (AMR) in adults, and tested whether key characteristics of non-linguistic skills are recognizable in linguistic rule learning. The AMR constituted phonological transformations of verbs expressing a semantic distinction, and was applied to repeated and new items. All participants learned to apply the AMR to repeated items, demonstrating key characteristics of procedural memory acquisition including group-average power-law like improvement in speed and accuracy, gains evolving both within-session and between-sessions (consolidation phase), and robust retention. The generalization to new items evolved separately for the phonological and semantic aspects of the AMR. Phonological aspects were rapidly generalized by all participants, independently of explicit (declarative) knowledge. However, the generalization of the semantic aspect required explicit discovery of its requisite role, and was not universally attained; when attained, additional training resulted in a further proceduralization phase. Our results show that adults are highly competent in acquiring and retaining linguistic knowledge, with both memory systems contributing differentially to the learning of distinct aspects of the morphological rule at different stages along the mastering of skilled linguistic performance. This is in line with a growing body of evidence suggesting that adults are as competent as, and often better than, children in acquiring and retaining non-linguistic skills.
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Complex movement sequences may be easier to acquire in sub-segments. Nevertheless, the neuro-behavioral constraints on assembling short multi-element movement segments, acquired piecemeal and serially, into larger, composite units of action, are not clear. Here we examined the ability of children to combine movement subsequences into longer, composite, sequences. Eleven-year-olds were trained in the performance of two, 3-elements, finger-to-thumb opposition movement sequences and were tested, overnight, in the performance of composite, 6-elements, sequences. Two experiments were compared, differing only in whether or not a brief test for integration into a composite sequence was afforded immediately post-training. This composite sequence (Full) was a direct forward integration of the two subsequences, maintaining the order in which the two subsequences were trained. In both experiments, overnight performance of movement elements within the composite sequences was better than naive performance, but slower and less accurate compared to the performance of the identical movement elements in the context of the trained subsequences. Integration was as effective in the Full sequence as when the order between subsequences was switched (Reversed). However, the early test for subsequence integration was critical in inducing clear between-session ('offline') gains, as expressed in overnight performance, in both the Full and Reversed sequences. Without this brief experience in integration, no overnight gains were expressed in any of the 6-elements sequences. Moreover, the immediate post-training test resulted in a relative advantage of the Full and Reversed sequences over a 6-element sequence in which the order of the elements was mirror-reversed within each subsequence. Thus, training on subsequences may not spontaneously lead to an advantage in the performance of composite sequences, in children. However, an early brief experience with a composite sequence can suffice to trigger the establishment and consolidation of an integration routine. This routine is specific for the order of movement within the trained subsequences, but not for the order in which the subsequences were practiced. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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Background: Learning effect has been studied in the literature, but the learning done in short-term training has not been studied. Also, to date, the learning effect of different psychoacoustic measures has not been compared. In the current study, we compared the perceptual learning effect caused by performing four different auditory temporal processing (ATP) tasks in a short-term training design including two training sessions. Methods: A total of 74 young, normal-hearing participants each performed one of the following tasks: spectral temporal order judgment (TOJ), dichotic TOJ, gap detection, or duration discrimination. Each task was performed in two consecutive sessions. Results: A learning effect was observed only for the spectral TOJ task. The change from the first to the second session was larger in spectral TOJ (81%) than in dichotic TOJ (2%), gap detection (7%), and duration discrimination (5%). Conclusions: The difference in perceptual learning between spectral TOJ and other ATP tasks suggests that the performance of this task involves other cue(s) in addition to the temporal one.
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Important differences have emerged between introspective measures of learning, such as recall and recognition, and performance measures, in which the performance of a task is facilitated by prior experience. Introspective remembering of unattended stimuli is poor. We investigated whether performance measures would also show a strong dependence on attention. Subjects performed a serial reaction time task comprised of a repeating 10-trial stimulus sequence. When this task was given under dual-task conditions, acquisition of the sequence as assessed by verbal reports and performance measures was minimal. Patients with Korsakoff's syndrome learned the sequence despite their lack of awareness of the repeating pattern. Results are discussed in terms of the attentional requirements of learning, the relation between learning and awareness, preserved learning in amnesia, and the separation of memory systems.
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We have used positron tomography (PET) to demonstrate that some parts of the motor system exhibit physiological adaptation during the repeated performance of a simple motor task, but others do not. In contrast to the primary sensori-motor cortex, the cerebellum exhibits a decrease in physiological activation (increases in regional blood flow during performance) with practice. A new application of factorial experimental design to PET activation studies was used to make these measurements in four normal males. This design allowed adaptation to be examined by testing for an interaction between regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) increases brought about by a motor task and the number of trials (time). These findings are interpreted as the neurophysiological correlates of synaptic changes in the cerebellum associated with motor learning in man.
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The functional anatomy of motor skill acquisition was investigated in six normal human subjects who learned to perform a pursuit rotor task with their dominant right hand during serial positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of relative cerebral blood flow (relCBF). The effect of motor execution, rather than learning, was identified by a comparison of four motor performance scans with two control scans (eye movements only). Motor execution was associated with activation of a distributed network involving cortical, striatonigral, and cerebellar sites. Second, the effect of early motor learning was examined. Performance improved from 17% to 66% mean time on target across the four PET scans obtained during pursuit rotor performance. Across the same scans, significant longitudinal increases of relCBF were located in the left primary motor cortex, the left supplementary motor area, and the left pulvinar thalamus. The results demonstrate that changes of regional cerebral activity associated with early learning of skilled movements occur in sites that are a subset of a more widely distributed network that is active during motor execution.
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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.
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It has been proposed that the premotor cortex plays a role in the selection of motor programs based on environmental context. To test this hypothesis, we recorded the activity of single neurons as monkeys learned visuomotor associations. The hypothesis predicts that task-related premotor cortical activity before learning should differ from that afterward. We found that a substantial population of premotor cortex neurons, over half of those adequately tested, showed the predicted learning-dependent changes in activity. The present findings support a role for premotor cortex in motor preparation, generally, and suggest a specific role in the selection of movements on the basis of arbitrary associations.
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Priming is a nonconscious form of human memory, which is concerned with perceptual identification of words and objects and which has only recently been recognized as separate from other forms of memory or memory systems. It is currently under intense experimental scrutiny. Evidence is converging for the proposition that priming is an expression of a perceptual representation system that operates at a pre-semantic level; it emerges early in development, and access to it lacks the kind of flexibility characteristic of other cognitive memory systems. Conceptual priming, however, seems to be based on the operations of semantic memory.
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The performances of patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT), patients with Huntington's disease (HD), and demented and nondemented patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) were compared on 2 tests of implicit memory that do not require the conscious recollection of prior study episodes: (1) a pursuit-rotor motor learning task and (2) a lexical priming test. The HD patients were found to be impaired on the motor learning but not the lexical priming task, whereas the DAT patients evidenced the opposite relationship on these tasks. The demented, but not the nondemented, PD patients were found to be impaired on both tests of implicit memory. For both the HD and PD patients, deficits on the motor learning task correlated significantly with severity of dementia but not with level of primary motor dysfunction. The noted double dissociation between HD and DAT patients indicates that different forms of implicit memory, all of which are intact in amnesia, are dependent upon distinct neuroanatomic systems. Motor skill learning may be mediated by a corticostriatal system, whereas verbal priming may depend upon the integrity of the neocortical association areas involved in the storage of semantic knowledge. The results for the PD patients suggest that the demented PD patients have endured damage to the neurologic systems subserving both motor learning and lexical priming.
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The studies presented in this article investigate the memory processes that underlie two phenomena in threshold identification: word superiority over pseudowords and the repetition effect (a prior presentation of an item facilitates later identification of that item). Codification (i.e., the development of a single memory code that can be triggered even by fragmented input information) explains the faster and more accurate identification of words than pseudowords. Our studies trace the development and retention of such codes for repeated pseudowords and examine the growth and loss of the repetition effect for both pseudowords and words. After approximately five prior occurrences, words and pseudowords are identified equally accurately in two types of threshold identification tasks, suggesting codification has been completed for pseudowords. Although the initial word advantage disappears, the accuracy of identification still increases with repetitions. The facilitation caused by repetition is not affected much by spacing within a session, but drops from one day to the next, and after a delay of one year has disappeared (new and old words were identified equally well). These results suggest an episodic basis for the repetition effect. Most important, after one year, performance is equal for old pseudowords and new and old words: all these levels are superior to that for new pseudowords, suggesting that the learned codes for pseudowords are as strong and permanent as the codes for words. A model of identification is presented in which feedback from codes and episodic images in memory facilitates letter processing. An instantiation of the model accounts for the major features of the data.
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Gaffan and Weiskrantz (1980) and Mishkin (1982) have shown that lesions to the inferior temporal visual cortex can impair the performance of serial visual recognition memory tasks. In order to provide evidence on whether the inferior temporal visual cortex contains a mechanism which enables memory to span the intervening items in a serial recognition task, or whether the inferior temporal cortex is merely afferent to such recent memory mechanisms, we analysed the activity of single neurons in the inferior temporal visual cortex and the adjacent cortex in the superior temporal sulcus in both delayed match to sample and serial recognition memory tasks. In the serial recognition task, various numbers of stimuli intervened between the first and second presentations of a stimulus. A considerable proportion (64/264 or 26%) of visually responsive inferotemporal neurons showed a different response to the "novel" and "familiar" presentations of a stimulus in the serial recognition memory task, and often a corresponding difference in response between the sample and match presentations of a stimulus in the delayed match to sample task. For the majority of neurons this difference was not sustained across even one intervening stimulus in the serial recognition task, and no neurons bridged more than 2 intervening stimuli. These results show that neurons in the inferior temporal cortex have responses which would be useful for a short term visual memory for stimuli, but would not be useful in recency memory tasks in which more than one stimulus intervenes between the first and second presentations of a stimulus. In this investigation, neurons were recorded both in the cortex on the inferior temporal gyrus (commonly called inferior temporal visual cortex, and consisting of areas TE3, TE2 and TE1 of Seltzer and Pandya 1978), and in the cortex in the adjacent anterior part of the superior temporal sulcus, in which a number of different temporal cortical visual areas have now been described.
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Performance of complex motor tasks, such as rapid sequences of finger movements, can be improved in terms of speed and accuracy over several weeks by daily practice sessions. This improvement does not generalize to a matched sequence of identical component movements, nor to the contralateral hand. Here we report a study of the neural changes underlying this learning using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of local blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals evoked in primary motor cortex (M1). Before training, a comparable extent of M1 was activated by both sequences. However, two ordering effects were observed: repeating a sequence within a brief time window initially resulted in a smaller area of activation (habituation), but later in larger area of activation (enhancement), suggesting a switch in M1 processing mode within the first session (fast learning). By week 4 of training, concurrent with asymptotic performance, the extent of cortex activated by the practised sequence enlarged compared with the unpractised sequence, irrespective of order (slow learning). These changes persisted for several months. The results suggest a slowly evolving, long-term, experience-dependent reorganization of the adult M1, which may underlie the acquisition and retention of the motor skill.
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Insects are favorable subjects for neuroethological studies. Their nervous systems are relatively small and contain many individually identifiable cells. The CNS is highly compartmentalized with clear separations between multisensory higher order neuropiles in the brain and neuropiles serving sensory-motor routines in the ventral cord (Huber, 1974). The rich behavior of insects includes orientation in space and time, visual, chemical, and mechanical communication, and complex motor routines for flying, walking, swimming, nest building, defense, and attack. Learning and memory, though, are not usually considered to be a strong point of insects. Rather, insect behavior is often regarded as highly stereotyped and under tight control of genetically programmed neural circuits. This view, however, does not do justice to the insect order of Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants). Most Hymenopteran species care for their brood either as individual females or as a social group of females. Consequently, they regularly return to their nest site to feed, protect, and nurse the larvae, store food, and hide from adverse environmental conditions. Since they search for food (prey; nectar and pollen on flowers) at unpredictable sites, they have to learn the celestial and terrestrial cues that guide their foraging trips over long distances and allow them to find their nest sites (central place foraging; von Frisch, 1967; Seeley, 1985). They learn to relate the sun's position and sky pattern of polarized light to the time of the day (Lindauer, 1959), and landmarks are learned in relationship to the nest site within the framework of the time-compensated sun compass. The honeybee communicates direction and distance of a feeding place to hive mates by performing a ritualized body movement, the waggle dance (von Frisch, 1967). Associative learning is an essential component of the bee's central place foraging behavior and dance communication. Hive mates attending a dance performance learn the odor emanating from the dancing bee and seek it at the indicated food site. The odor, color, and shape of flowers are learned when the bee experiences these stimuli shortly before it finds food (nectar, pollen). This appetitive learning in bees has many characteristics of associative learning well known from mammalian learning studies (Menzel, 1985, 1990; Bitterman, 1988). It follows the rules of classical and operant conditioning, respectively, so that stimuli or behavioral acts are associated with evaluating stimuli. Since associative learning, especially of the classical type, is well described at the phenomenological and operational level (Rescorla, 1988), it provides a favorable approach in the search for the neural substrate underlying learning and memory.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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Several paradigms of perceptual learning suggest that practice can trigger long-term, experience-dependent changes in the adult visual system of humans. As shown here, performance of a basic visual discrimination task improved after a normal night's sleep. Selective disruption of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep resulted in no performance gain during a comparable sleep interval, although non-REM slow-wave sleep disruption did not affect improvement. On the other hand, deprivation of REM sleep had no detrimental effects on the performance of a similar, but previously learned, task. These results indicate that a process of human memory consolidation, active during sleep, is strongly dependent on REM sleep.
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This study was undertaken to document plastic changes in the functional topography of primary motor cortex (M1) that are generated in motor skill learning in the normal, intact primate. Intracortical microstimulation mapping techniques were used to derive detailed maps of the representation of movements in the distal forelimb zone of M1 of squirrel monkeys, before and after behavioral training on two different tasks that differentially encouraged specific sets of forelimb movements. After training on a small-object retrieval task, which required skilled use of the digits, their evoked-movement digit representations expanded, whereas their evoked-movement wrist/forearm representational zones contracted. These changes were progressive and reversible. In a second motor skill exercise, a monkey pronated and supinated the forearm in a key (eyebolt)-turning task. In this case, the representation of the forearm expanded, whereas the digit representational zones contracted. These results show that M1 is alterable by use throughout the life of an animal. These studies also revealed that after digit training there was an areal expansion of dual-response representations, that is, cortical sectors over which stimulation produced movements about two or more joints. Movement combinations that were used more frequently after training were selectively magnified in their cortical representations. This close correspondence between changes in behavioral performance and electrophysiologically defined motor representations indicates that a neurophysiological correlate of a motor skill resides in M1 for at least several days after acquisition. The finding that cocontracting muscles in the behavior come to be represented together in the cortex argues that, as in sensory cortices, temporal correlations drive emergent changes in distributed motor cortex representations.
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This article presents a theory in which automatization is construed as the acquisition of a domain-specific knowledge base, formed of separate representations, instances, of each exposure to the task. Processing is considered automatic if it relies on retrieval of stored instances, which will occur only after practice in a consistent environment. Practice is important because it increases the amount retrieved and the speed of retrieval; consistency is important because it ensures that the retrieved instances will be useful. The theory accounts quantitatively for the power-function speed-up and predicts a power-function reduction in the standard deviation that is constrained to have the same exponent as the power function for the speed-up. The theory accounts for qualitative properties as well, explaining how some may disappear and others appear with practice. More generally, it provides an alternative to the modal view of automaticity, arguing that novice performance is limited by a lack of knowledge rather than a scarcity of resources. The focus on learning avoids many problems with the modal view that stem from its focus on resource limitations.
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WE measured regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with positron emission tomography to study changes in anatomical structures during the course of learning a complicated finger sequence of voluntary movements. Motor learning was accompanied by rCBF increases in the cerebellum, decreases in all limbic and paralimbic structures, and striatal decreases which changed to striatal increases as the motor skill was learned. Simultaneously, activations of initially contributing non-motor parts of the cerebral cortex vanished. Both cerebellar circuits and striatal circuits appear important for the storage of motor skills in the brain.
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Abstract The topic of multiple forms of memory is considered from a biological point of view. Fact-and-event (declarative, explicit) memory is contrasted with a collection of non conscious (non-declarative, implicit) memory abilities including skills and habits, priming, and simple conditioning. Recent evidence is reviewed indicating that declarative and non declarative forms of memory have different operating characteristics and depend on separate brain systems. A brain-systems framework for understanding memory phenomena is developed in light of lesion studies involving rats, monkeys, and humans, as well as recent studies with normal humans using the divided visual field technique, event-related potentials, and positron emission tomography (PET).
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Connectionist networks in which information is stored in weights on connections among simple processing units have attracted considerable interest in cognitive science. Much of the interest centers around two characteristics of these networks. First, the weights on connections between units need not be prewired by the model builder but rather may be established through training in which items to be learned are presented repeatedly to the network and the connection weights are adjusted in small increments according to a learning algorithm. Second, the networks may represent information in a distributed fashion. This chapter discusses the catastrophic interference in connectionist networks. Distributed representations established through the application of learning algorithms have several properties that are claimed to be desirable from the standpoint of modeling human cognition. These properties include content-addressable memory and so-called automatic generalization in which a network trained on a set of items responds correctly to other untrained items within the same domain. New learning may interfere catastrophically with old learning when networks are trained sequentially. The analysis of the causes of interference implies that at least some interference will occur whenever new learning may alter weights involved in representing old learning, and the simulation results demonstrate only that interference is catastrophic in some specific networks.
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This article presents a theory in which automatization is construed as the acquisition of a domain-specific knowledge base, formed of separate representations, instances, of each exposure to the task. Processing is considered automatic if it relies on retrieval of stored instances, which will occur only after practice in a consistent environment. Practice is important because it increases the amount retrieved and the speed of retrieval; consistency is important because it ensures that the retrieved instances will be useful. The theory accounts quantitatively for the power-function speed-up and predicts a power-function reduction in the standard deviation that is constrained to have the same exponent as the power function for the speed-up. The theory accounts for qualitative properties as well, explaining how some may disappear and others appear with practice. More generally, it provides an alternative to the modal view of automaticity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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An experiment was conducted to test the proposition that skill acquisition and repetition priming each reflect the power law in lexical decision. The experiment manipulated preexperimental practice (PEP) and experimental practice (EP) for words and nonwords. The main findings were that (a) the power function provided a reasonable fit of the group data for PEP and EP, (b) the slopes for the PEP and EP treatments were quite different, and (c) when repetition priming was measured directly, it was insensitive to EP. The results are inconsistent with the proposition that skill acquisition and repetition priming both reflect the power law, a finding that poses problems for G. Logan's (1988) model of repetition effects and for the account advanced here. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Conducted 5 reaction time (RT) experiments with 75 undergraduates to explore word-frequency effects in word-nonword decision tasks and in pronunciation and memory tasks. High-frequency words were recognized substantially faster than low-frequency words in the word-nonword decision tasks. However, there was little effect of word frequency in the pronunciation and old-new memory tasks. Further, in the word-nonword lexical decision task, prior presentations of words produced substantial and apparently long-lasting reductions on the basic frequency effect. The occurrence of natural language frequency effects only in the word-nonword decision task supported the use of this task to study the organization of and retrieval from the subjective lexicon. The modification of frequency effects by repetition suggested that natural language frequency effects may be attributed partly to the recency with which words have occurred. Analysis of the response latencies using S. Sternberg's (see record 1970-11748-001) additive-factors approach indicated that frequency effects consist of both effects in encoding and in retrieval from memory. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Proposes a framework for skill acquisition that includes 2 major stages in the development of a cognitive skill: (1) a declarative stage in which facts about the skill domain are interpreted and (2) a procedural stage in which the domain knowledge is directly embodied in procedures for performing the skill. This general framework has been instantiated in the ACT system in which facts are encoded in a propositional network and procedures are encoded as productions. Knowledge compilation is the process by which the skill transits from the declarative stage to the procedural stage. It consists of the subprocesses of composition, which collapses sequences of productions into single productions, and proceduralization, which embeds factual knowledge into productions. Once proceduralized, further learning processes operate on the skill to make the productions more selective in their range of applications. These processes include generalization, discrimination, and strengthening of productions. Comparisons are made to similar concepts from previous learning theories. How these learning mechanisms apply to produce the power law speedup in processing time with practice is discussed. (62 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Reviews existing theories of fluency in high-proficiency skills such as speech, and proposes that execution of behavior involves the activation of a hierarchy of nodes in proper serial order within an output system. Activating a node at any level in the system activates its connected nodes, and repeated activation increases the rate of priming per unit time, thereby allowing a faster rate of output at the lowest, muscle movement level. Relevance of this theory for several related issues is discussed: why behavior becomes more flexible with practice, transferring readily from one response mechanism to another; why there is almost perfect transfer from one hand to the other for simple skills, but less than perfect transfer for complex skills; why skills at higher, semantic levels transfer to new behavioral sequences, as when bilinguals produce a word-for-word translation of a practiced sentence in their other language. The theory also provides a new way of looking at motor equivalence, automaticity, speed–accuracy trade-off, subordinate autonomy, and the motor program. (32 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Repetition priming and automaticity are both consequences of prior presentations. This article draws theoretical and empirical parallels between them, arguing that they result from a common mechanism, namely, the storage and retrieval of representations of individual exposures to specific items, or instances. Theoretically, repetition priming is viewed as the first few steps on the way to automaticity. Empirically, repetition priming and automaticity are shown to share three major characteristics: (a) The speed of processing increases as a power function of the number of exposures to a specific stimulus, (b) the benefit from repeated exposures is specific to individual items, and (c) the benefit is based on underlying associations between stimuli and the interpretations given to them in the context of specific experimental tasks.
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Practice, and the performance improvement that it engenders, has long been a major topic in psychology. In this paper, both experimental and theoretical approaches are employed in an investigation of the mechanisms underlying this improvement. On the experimental side, it is argued that a single law, the power of law of practice, adequately describes all of the practice data. On the theoretical side, a model of practice rooted in modern cognitive psychology, the chunking theory of learning, is formulated. The paper consists of (1) the presentation of a set of empirical practice curves; (2) mathematical investigations into the nature of power law functions; (3) evaluations of the ability of three different classes of functions to adequately model the empirical curves; (4) a discussion of the existing models of practice; (5) a presentation of the chunking theory of learning
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Reports of 3 experiments testing the hypothesis that the average duration of responses is directly proportional to the minimum average amount of information per response. The results show that the rate of performance is approximately constant over a wide range of movement amplitude and tolerance limits. This supports the thesis that "the performance capacity of the human motor system plus its associated visual and proprioceptive feedback mechanisms, when measured in information units, is relatively constant over a considerable range of task conditions." 25 references. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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In 2 experiments, we evaluated the ability of amnesic patients to exhibit long-lasting perceptual priming after a single exposure to pictures. Ss named pictures as quickly as possible on a single occasion, and later named the same pictures mixed with new pictures. In Experiment 1, amnesic patients exhibited fully intact priming effects lasting at least 7 days. In Experiment 2, the priming effect for both groups was shown to depend on both highly specific visual information and on less visual, more conceptual information. In contrast, recognition memory was severely impaired in the patients, as assessed by both accuracy and response time. The results provide the first report of a long-lasting priming effect in amnesic patients, based on a single encounter, which occurs as strongly in the patients as in normal Ss. Together with other recent findings, the results suggest that long-lasting priming and recognition memory depend on separate brain systems.
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1. Temporal response characteristics of neurons were sampled in fine spatial grain throughout the hand representations in cortical areas 3a and 3b in adult owl monkeys. These monkeys had been trained to detect small differences in tactile stimulus frequencies in the range of 20-30 Hz. Stimuli were presented to an invariant, restricted spot on a single digit. 2. The absolute numbers of cortical locations and the cortical area over which neurons showed entrained frequency-following responses to behaviorally important stimuli were significantly greater when stimulation was applied to the trained skin, as compared with stimulation on an adjacent control digit, or at corresponding skin sites in passively stimulated control animals. 3. Representational maps defined with sinusoidal stimuli were not identical to maps defined with just-visible tapping stimuli. Receptive-field/frequency-following response site mismatches were recorded in every trained monkey. Mismatches were less frequently recorded in the representations of control skin surfaces. 4. At cortical locations with entrained responses, neither the absolute firing rates of neurons nor the degree of the entrainment of the response were correlated with behavioral discrimination performance. 5. All area 3b cortical locations with entrained responses evoked by stimulation at trained or untrained skin sites were combined to create population peristimulus time and cycle histograms. In all cases, stimulation of the trained skin resulted in 1) larger-amplitude responses, 2) peak responses earlier in the stimulus cycle, and 3) temporally sharper responses, than did stimulation applied to control skin sites. 6. The sharpening of the response of cortical area 3b neurons relative to the period of the stimulus could be accounted for by a large subpopulation of neurons that had highly coherent responses. 7. Analysis of cycle histograms for area 3b neuron responses revealed that the decreased variance in the representation of each stimulus cycle could account for behaviorally measured frequency discrimination performance. A strong correlation between these temporal response distributions and the discriminative performances for stimuli applied at all studied skin surfaces was even stronger (r = 0.98) if only the rising phases of cycle histogram were considered in the analysis. 8. The responses of neurons in area 3a could not account f