The conscious or unconscious acquirement of knowledge in implicit category learning was examined in accordance with predictions made by the COVIS theory of categorization (Ashby & Maddox, 2011). COVIS assumes separate category learning systems. The explicit system relies on easily verbalized rules while the implicit system requires integration of more than one stimulus dimension. Participants in this experiment categorized lines varying in length and orientation as belonging to one of two categories; in the rule-based (RB) condition only length was relevant, while participants in the information integration (II) condition needed to integrate both dimensions. Corrective feedback was provided during training. In test phases, participants were asked to attribute their responses to one of four criteria (guess, intuition, memory, or rule), a measure adapted from Dienes and Scott (2005). Neural activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was recorded with a 20-optode fNIRS system. We found that in the implicit (II) learning condition, participants who reported guessing less than half the time were learning but were unconscious to the structures driving that learning, reflected by accuracy, attribution self-report and neural activation. Our results substantiate the claim that implicit category learning is mediated unconsciously and evidence the dual-system model of categorization postulated by COVIS, furthering our understanding of category learning and thus, the ways in which to improve it.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
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Honors in the Major Thesis
Murray, Matthew, "What is Implicit About Implicit Category Learning?" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1730.