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Learning and Memory

Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00102

Concurrent statistical learning of ignored and attended sound sequences: An MEG study

  • 1Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany
  • 2Department of Clinical Laboratory, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Japan

In an auditory environment, humans are frequently exposed to overlapping sound sequences such as those made by human voices and musical instruments, and we can acquire information embedded in these sequences via attentional and nonattentional accesses. Whether the knowledge acquired by attentional accesses interacts with that acquired by nonattentional accesses is unknown, however. The present study examined how the statistical learning of two overlapping sound sequences is reflected in neurophysiological and behavioural responses, and how the learning effects are modulated by attention to each sequence. Statistical learning in this experimental paradigm was reflected in a neuromagnetic response predominantly in the right hemisphere, and the learning effects were not retained when attention to the tone streams was switched during the learning session. These results suggest that attentional and nonattentional learning scarcely interact with each other, and that there may be a specific system for nonattentional learning, which is independent of attentional learning.

Keywords: Sequential learning, Attention, Magnetoencephalography (MEG), auditory, Markov model, domain generality, Ngram

Received: 10 Aug 2018; Accepted: 06 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Michael A. Yassa, University of California, Irvine, United States

Reviewed by:

Jonathan Z. Simon, University of Maryland, College Park, United States
Maria Herrojo Ruiz, Goldsmiths University of London, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2019 Daikoku and Yumoto. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Tatsuya Daikoku, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany,