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Type: Journal article
Title: More is generally better: higher working memory capacity does not impair perceptual category learning
Author: Kalish, M.
Newell, B.
Dunn, J.
Citation: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 2017; 43(4):503-514
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0278-7393
Statement of
Michael L. Kalish, Ben R. Newell, John C. Dunn
Abstract: It is sometimes supposed that category learning involves competing explicit and procedural systems, with only the former reliant on working memory capacity (WMC). In 2 experiments participants were trained for 3 blocks on both filtering (often said to be learned explicitly) and condensation (often said to be learned procedurally) category structures. Both experiments (total N = 160) demonstrated that participants with higher WMC tended to be more accurate in condensation tasks, but not less accurate in filtering tasks. Furthermore, state-trace analysis did not find a differential influence of WMC on performance in these tasks. Finally, inspection of the mixture of response strategies at play across the 2 conditions and 3 blocks showed only a minor influence of WMC, and then only on later training blocks. The results provide no support for the existence of a "system" of category learning that is independent of working memory and are instead consistent with most single-system interpretations of category learning.
Keywords: Category learning; categorization; working memory; dissociable systems; implicit learning
Rights: © 2016 American Psychological Association
RMID: 0030068236
DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000323
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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