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Separate influences in learning: Evidence from artificial grammar learning with traumatic brain injury patients

Pothos, E. M. & Wood, R. L. (2009). Separate influences in learning: Evidence from artificial grammar learning with traumatic brain injury patients. Brain Research, 1275, pp. 67-72. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.04.019


Artificial grammar learning (AGL) is one of the most extensively employed paradigms for the study of learning. Grammaticality is one of the most common ways to index performance in AGL. However, there is still extensive debate on whether there is a distinct psychological process which can lead to grammaticality knowledge. An application of the COVIS model of categorization in AGL suggests that grammaticality might arise from a hypothesis-testing system (when grammaticality is appropriately balanced with other knowledge influences), so that prefrontal cortex damage should be associated with impaired grammaticality and intact chunk strength performance. This prediction was confirmed in a study of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients and matched controls. The TBI patient cohort had diffuse prefrontal cortex damage as evidenced by the history of their injury, CT scans, and severe executive functioning problems. Our results allow a novel interpretation of grammaticality and AGL in general.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Brain Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Brain Research, Volume 1275, 12 June 2009, Pages 67–72,
Publisher Keywords: learning, categorization, COVIS, AGL, traumatic brain injury
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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