David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Experimental Psychology 22 (4):948-969 (1996)
Comparing the relative sensitivity of direct and indirect measures of learning is proposed as the best way to provide evidence for unconscious learning when both conceptual and operative definitions of awareness are lacking. This approach was first proposed by Reingold & Merikle (1988) in the context of subliminal perception. In this paper, we apply it to a choice reaction time task in which the material is generated based on a probabilistic finite-state grammar (Cleeremans, 1993). We show (1) that participants progressively learn about the statistical structure of the stimulus material over training with the choice reaction time task, and (2) that they can use some of this knowledge to predict the location of the next stimulus in a subsequent “generation” task. However, detailed partial correlational analyses of the correspondence between performance during the reaction time task and the statistical structure of the training material showed that large effects remained even when controlling for explicit knowledge as assessed by the generation task. Hence we conclude (1) that at least some of the knowledge expressed through reaction time performance can not be characterized as conscious, and (2) that even when associations are found at a global level of analysis, dissociations can still be obtained when more detailed analyses are conducted. Finally, we also show that participants are limited in the depth of the contingencies they can learn about, and that these limitations are shared by the Simple Recurrent Network model of Cleeremans & McClelland (1991)
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Axel Cleeremans, Arnaud Destrebecqz & Maud Boyer (1998). Implicit Learning: News From the Front. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (10):406-416.
Martin Rohrmeier & Patrick Rebuschat (2012). Implicit Learning and Acquisition of Music. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):525-553.
Kristian Sandberg, Bo Martin Bibby, Bert Timmermans, Axel Cleeremans & Morten Overgaard (2011). Measuring Consciousness: Task Accuracy and Awareness as Sigmoid Functions of Stimulus Duration. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1659-1675.
Vincian Gaillard, Muriel Vandenberghe, Arnaud Destrebecqz & Axel Cleeremans (2006). First and Third-Person Approaches in Implicit Learning Research. Consciousness and Cognition 15 (4):709-722.
Benjamin A. Clegg, Gregory J. DiGirolamo & Steven W. Keele (1998). Sequence Learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (8):275-281.
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