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Divided attention does not affect the acquisition and consolidation of transitional probabilities

Divided attention does not affect the acquisition and consolidation of transitional probabilities

Horvath, Kata, Török, Csenge, Pesthy, Orsolya, Nemeth, Dezso and Janacsek, Karolina ORCID: 0000-0001-7829-8220 (2020) Divided attention does not affect the acquisition and consolidation of transitional probabilities. Scientific Reports, 10:22450. ISSN 2045-2322 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79232-y)

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Abstract

Statistical learning facilitates the efficient processing and prediction of environmental events and contributes to the acquisition of automatic behaviors. Whereas a minimal level of attention seems to be required for learning to occur, it is still unclear how acquisition and consolidation of statistical knowledge are affected when attention is divided during learning. To test the effect of divided attention on statistical learning and consolidation, ninety-six healthy young adults performed the Alternating Serial Reaction Time task in which they incidentally acquired second-order transitional probabilities. Half of the participants completed the task with a concurrent secondary intentional sequence learning task that was applied to the same stimulus stream. The other half of the participants performed the task without any attention manipulation. Performance was retested after a 12-h post-learning offline period. Half of each group slept during the delay, while the other half had normal daily activity, enabling us to test the effect of delay activity (sleep vs. wake) on the consolidation of statistical knowledge. Divided attention had no effect on statistical learning: The acquisition of second-order transitional probabilities was comparable with and without the secondary task. Consolidation was neither affected by divided attention: Statistical knowledge was similarly retained over the 12-h delay, irrespective of the delay activity. Our findings can contribute to a better understanding of the role of attentional processes in and the robustness of visuomotor statistical learning and consolidation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: statistical learning, divided attention, consolidation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Thinking and Learning
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2021 11:12
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30822

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