Psychology Bulletin2013-09-05 2:57 AM

The extraction and integration framework: A two-process account of statistical learning

The term statistical learning in infancy research originally referred to sensitivity to transitional probabilities. Subsequent research has demonstrated that statistical learning contributes to infant development in a wide array of domains. The range of statistical learning phenomena necessitates a broader view of the processes underlying statistical learning. Learners are sensitive to a much wider range of statistical information than the conditional relations indexed by transitional probabilities, including distributional and cue-based statistics. We propose a novel framework that unifies learning about all of these kinds of statistical structure. From our perspective, learning about conditional relations outputs discrete representations (such as words). Integration across these discrete representations yields sensitivity to cues and distributional information. To achieve sensitivity to all of these kinds of statistical structure, our framework combines processes that extract segments of the input with processes that compare across these extracted items. In this framework, the items extracted from the input serve as exemplars in long-term memory. The similarity structure of those exemplars in long-term memory leads to the discovery of cues and categorical structure, which guides subsequent extraction. The extraction and integration framework provides a way to explain sensitivity to both conditional statistical structure (such as transitional probabilities) and distributional statistical structure (such as item frequency and variability), and also a framework for thinking about how these different aspects of statistical learning influence each other.

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Psychology Bulletin

Psychological Bulletin is a bimonthly peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes evaluative and integrative research reviews and interpretations of issues in psychology, including both qualitative (narrative) and/or quantitative (meta-analytic) aspects.

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