Cross-situational learning is supported by propose-but-verify hypothesis testing

Berens, Sam C, Horst, Jessica S and Bird, Chris M (2018) Cross-situational learning is supported by propose-but-verify hypothesis testing. Current Biology. ISSN 0960-9822

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When we encounter a new word, there are often multiple objects that the word might refer to [1]. Nonetheless, because names for concrete nouns are constant, we are able to learn them across successive encounters [2, 3]. This form of “cross-situational” learning may result from either associative mechanisms that gradually accumulate evidence for each word-object association [4, 5] or rapid propose-but-verify (PbV) mechanisms where only one hypothesized referent is stored for each word, which is either subsequently verified or rejected [6, 7]. Using model-based representation similarity analyses of fMRI data acquired during learning, we find evidence for learning mediated by a PbV mechanism. This learning may be underpinned by rapid pattern-separation processes in the hippocampus. Our findings shed light on the psychological and neural processes that support word learning, suggesting that adults rely on their episodic memory to track a limited number of word-object associations

Item Type: Article
Keywords: cross-situational learning, computational modeling, fMRI, hippocampus
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Neuroscience
Depositing User: Ellena Adams
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2018 11:54
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2018 17:26

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