Category induction via distributional analysis: Evidence from a serial reaction time task

Ruskin H Hunt, Richard N. Aslin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Category formation lies at the heart of a number of higher-order behaviors, including language. We assessed the ability of human adults to learn, from distributional information alone, categories embedded in a sequence of input stimuli using a serial reaction time task. Artificial grammars generated corpora of input strings containing a predetermined and constrained set of sequential statistics. After training, learners were presented with novel input strings, some of which contained violations of the category membership defined by distributional context. Category induction was assessed by comparing performance on novel and familiar strings. Results indicate that learners develop increasing sensitivity to the category structure present in the input, and become sensitive to fine-grained differences in the pre- and post-element contexts that define category membership. Results suggest that distributional analysis plays a significant role in the development of visuomotor categories, and may play a similar role in the induction of linguistic form-class categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-112
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Aptitude
Linguistics
induction
Reaction Time
Language
Statistics
evidence
language behavior
time
Category Induction
Distributional Analysis
grammar
stimulus
statistics
linguistics
Strings
present
ability

Keywords

  • Artificial grammar
  • Category induction
  • Distributional analysis
  • Serial reaction time
  • Statistical learning

Cite this

Category induction via distributional analysis : Evidence from a serial reaction time task. / Hunt, Ruskin H; Aslin, Richard N.

In: Journal of Memory and Language, Vol. 62, No. 2, 01.02.2010, p. 98-112.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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