Medical College of Wisconsin
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Analogical inference: the role of awareness in abstract learning. Memory 2007 Nov;15(8):838-44

Date

11/23/2007

Pubmed ID

18033621

DOI

10.1080/09658210701715469

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-36549072084   21 Citations

Abstract

The acquisition and flexible expression of complex relations is often attributed to declarative memory processes. The extent to which such tasks may be done implicitly has not been sufficiently explored. We report that analogical or transfer processes may be accomplished implicitly. Our analogy task requires acquisition of a transverse patterning set, and then tests for transfer on an unrelated set. Participants learn the relations A>B (given a choice between A and B choose A) and B>C and the unrelated set X>Y and Y>Z. Only the experimental group was trained on the transverse pair C>A. At test all trials are unreinforced: A?B, B?C, A?C, X?Y, Y?Z, X?Z. Analogy was observed when the experimental group chose Z>X at greater frequency than controls who uniformly chose X>Z. Analogy occurred with or without awareness of the transfer. The capacity to transfer relations to an analogous set demonstrates a level of flexibility and abstraction not generally thought to be possible for implicit processes.

Author List

Gross WL, Greene AJ

Author

William Gross MD, PhD Assistant Professor in the Anesthesiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adult
Association Learning
Awareness
Female
Hippocampus
Humans
Learning
Male
Pattern Recognition, Visual