Information-integration category learning and the human uncertainty response

TitleInformation-integration category learning and the human uncertainty response
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsPaul, E. J., Boomer J., J Smith D., & F Ashby G.
JournalMemory & Cognition
Date Published2011 Apr
KeywordsAssociation Learning, Attention, Concept Formation, Contrast Sensitivity, Decision Making, Discrimination (Psychology), Humans, Mental Processes, Mental Recall, Orientation, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Psychophysics, Recognition (Psychology), Size Perception, Uncertainty

The human response to uncertainty has been well studied in tasks requiring attention and declarative memory systems. However, uncertainty monitoring and control have not been studied in multi-dimensional, information-integration categorization tasks that rely on non-declarative procedural memory. Three experiments are described that investigated the human uncertainty response in such tasks. Experiment 1 showed that following standard categorization training, uncertainty responding was similar in information-integration tasks and rule-based tasks requiring declarative memory. In Experiment 2, however, uncertainty responding in untrained information-integration tasks impaired the ability of many participants to master those tasks. Finally, Experiment 3 showed that the deficit observed in Experiment 2 was not because of the uncertainty response option per se, but rather because the uncertainty response provided participants a mechanism via which to eliminate stimuli that were inconsistent with a simple declarative response strategy. These results are considered in the light of recent models of category learning and metacognition.

Alternate JournalMem Cognit
PubMed ID21264597
PubMed Central IDPMC3063542
Grant ListP01 HD060563 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R43 CA093106 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R44 CA093106 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States