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Skill Development, Applications and Cognition . Thomas G. Bowers, Ph.D. New vs. Over Learned Skills. Gazzania et al. (1994) have demonstrated different patterns of activation of the brain in novel vs. familiar skills New: Prefrontal cortex-premotor cortex-parietal region

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new vs over learned skills
New vs. Over Learned Skills
  • Gazzania et al. (1994) have demonstrated different patterns of activation of the brain in novel vs. familiar skills
    • New: Prefrontal cortex-premotor cortex-parietal region
    • Old: Hippocampus-supplemental motor cortex-occipital region
    • These results imply different processing is involved
new vs over learned skills1
New vs. Over Learned Skills
  • Skill development appears to spring a log scale, as a power law
  • Some examples:
    • Isaac Asimov’s writing skills
    • Wrote more than 500 books
ohlsson 1992
Ohlsson, 1992
  • Production of books showed a rapid and progressive decease in time
kohler and perkins 1975
Kohler and Perkins, 1975
  • This pattern also appears to hold for less complex motor and performance tasks
  • Time to produce a cigar rapidly decreases with experience
time to produce a cigar
Time to Produce a Cigar
  • Again, this appears to be a power function, best fit on a log to log scale to note the linear degree of the relationship
concept acquisition
Concept Acquisition
  • Early associative learning experiments attempted to understand conceptual processes
    • Similar
    • Dissimilar
    • Many other processes are likely
concept development
Concept Development
  • Early research by Hull in 1920, where subjects classified Chinese alphabet symbols by the radical element (or concept), but without any awareness
  • Concluded this was due to simple associative learning
concept development1
Concept Development
  • However, other researchers noted that subjects engaged in conscious hypothesis testing
  • Bruner et al. developed this paradigm
  • Current applications on the Category Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test
    • Good measures of overall cerebral integrity
concept development2
Concept Development
  • While concept development appears to happen gradually, for each individual subject it is an all or none function
  • Nevertheless, natural concepts also appear to have fuzzy boundaries
language acquisition
Language Acquisition
  • There has been controversy whether the acquisition of language is innate or learned
  • Major theorists are Skinner and Chomsky at opposite poles on this issue
language acquisition1
Language Acquisition
  • Children implicitly learn complex rules of grammar, that are not even well known
    • Learning includes phonological rules and syntactical rules
    • Not to mention semantic aspects of language
language acquisition2
Language Acquisition
  • While this is felt to be uniquely human, there appears to be many examples of language-like production in animals
  • There does appear to a critical language acquisition period, up to about age twelve for humans
language acquisition3
Language Acquisition
  • Chomsky (1965) first proposed that there are language universals, features true of all languages
    • For example, verb-noun differences
language acquisition4
Language Acquisition
  • Animal language development
    • Research on apes
    • Limited vocal capacity
    • Some success in learning American Sign Language (ASL)
    • Washoe
language acquisition5
Language Acquisition
  • Permack (1970s-1980s)
  • Chimp Sarah used symbols to make up sentences
    • yes/no
    • negatives
    • class concepts - color, size, shape
    • compound sentences
    • quantifiers
    • if - then and so on
language acquisition6
Language Acquisition
  • Some primates are now communicating with other primates with these methods