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Dynamic integration of conceptual information during learning

Inhoff, MC; Libby, LA; Noguchi, T; Love, BC; Ranganath, C; (2018) Dynamic integration of conceptual information during learning. PLoS One , 13 (11) , Article e0207357. 10.1371/journal.pone.0207357. Green open access

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Abstract

The development and application of concepts is a critical component of cognition. Although concepts can be formed on the basis of simple perceptual or semantic features, conceptual representations can also capitalize on similarities across feature relationships. By representing these types of higher-order relationships, concepts can simplify the learning problem and facilitate decisions. Despite this, little is known about the neural mechanisms that support the construction and deployment of these kinds of higher-order concepts during learning. To address this question, we combined a carefully designed associative learning task with computational model-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants were scanned as they learned and made decisions about sixteen pairs of cues and associated outcomes. Associations were structured such that individual cues shared feature relationships, operationalized as shared patterns of cue pair-outcome associations. In order to capture the large number of possible conceptual representational structures that participants might employ and to evaluate how conceptual representations are used during learning, we leveraged a well-specified Bayesian computational model of category learning [1]. Behavioral and model-based results revealed that participants who displayed a tendency to link experiences in memory benefitted from faster learning rates, suggesting that the use of the conceptual structure in the task facilitated decisions about cue pair-outcome associations. Model-based fMRI analyses revealed that trial-by-trial integration of cue information into higher-order conceptual representations was supported by an anterior temporal (AT) network of regions previously implicated in representing complex conjunctions of features and meaning-based information.

Type: Article
Title: Dynamic integration of conceptual information during learning
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207357
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207357
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Inhoff et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10062588
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