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

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01834

Implicit Statistical Learning across Modalities and its Relationship with Reading in Childhood

 Elpis Pavlidou1, 2* and Louisa Bogaerts3
  • 1University of York, United Kingdom
  • 2Haskins Laboratories, United States
  • 3Department of Psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Implicit statistical learning (ISL) describes our ability to tacitly pick up regularities from our environment therefore, shaping our behavior. A broad understanding of ISL incorporates a great range of possible computations, which render it highly relevant to reading. In the light of this hypothesized relationship, ISL performance was explored in young (M = 8.47 years) typical readers (N=31) across 3 different modalities (i.e. visual, auditory and tactile) using the Artificial Grammar Learning (AGL) paradigm. Adopting repeated measures and correlational designs, the obtained data revealed modality constraints: (1) above-chance performance was observed on the visual and tactile tasks but not on the auditory task, (2) there was no significant correlation of ISL performance across modalities and (3) split-half reliability of visual and auditory tasks was reasonably high, yet for the tactile task it was close to zero. Evaluating the relation between ISL ability and language skills, we observed a positive correlation between visual ISL performance and phonological awareness. We discuss these findings in view of current perspectives on the nature of ISL and its potential involvement in mastering successful (i.e. accurate and fluent) reading.

Keywords: Implicit statistical learning, Artificial grammar learning (AGL), reading, reading fluency development, Children, Modality specificity

Received: 10 Jan 2019; Accepted: 24 Jul 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Pavlidou and Bogaerts. 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: Dr. Elpis Pavlidou, University of York, York, United Kingdom, elpis.pavlidou@york.ac.uk