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Abstraction processes in artificial grammar learning

Shanks, DR; Johnstone, T; Staggs, L; (1997) Abstraction processes in artificial grammar learning. Q J EXP PSYCHOL-A , 50 (1) 216 - 252.

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Abstract

Four experiments explored the extent to which abstract knowledge may underlie subjects' performance when asked to judge the grammaticality of letter strings generated from an artificial grammar. In Experiments 1 and 2 subjects studied grammatical strings instantiated with one set of letters and were then tested on grammatical and ungrammatical strings formed either from the same or a changed letter-set. Even with a change of letter-set, subjects were found to be sensitive to a variety of violations of the grammar. In Experiments 3 and 4, the critical manipulation involved the way in which the training strings were studied: an incidental learning procedure was used for some subjects, and others engaged in an explicit code-breaking task to try to learn the rules of the grammar. When strings were generated from a biconditional (Experiment 1) but not from a standard finite-state grammar (Experiment 3), grammaticality judgements for test strings were independent of their surface similarity to specific studied strings. Overall, the results suggest that transfer in this simple memory task is mediated at least to some extent by abstract knowledge.

Type: Article
Title: Abstraction processes in artificial grammar learning
Keywords: TACIT KNOWLEDGE, IMPLICIT, RULE, CLASSIFICATION, CATEGORIZATION, TESTS, MODES
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/82399
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