Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Differences in implicit vs. explicit grammar processing as revealed by drift-diffusion modeling of reaction times

  • Author(s): Abugaber, David;
  • Morgan-Short, Kara
  • et al.
Abstract

Learning new languages is a complex cognitive task involving both implicit and explicit processes. Batterink, Oudiette, Reber, and Paller (2014) report that participants with vs. without conscious awareness of a hidden semi-artificial language regularity showed no significant differences in grammar learning, suggesting that implicit/explicit routes may be functionally equivalent. However, their operationalizing of learning via median reaction times might not capture underlying differences in cognitive processes. In a conceptual replication, we compared rule-aware (n=14) and rule-unaware (n=21) participants via drift-diffusion modeling, which can quantify distinct subcomponents of evidence-accumulation processes (Ratcliff & Rouder, 1998). For both groups, grammar learning was manifested in non-decision parameters, suggesting anticipation of motor responses. For rule-aware participants only, learning also affected bias in evidence accumulation during word reading. These results suggest that implicit grammar learning may be manifested through low-level mechanisms whereas explicit grammar learning may involve more direct engagement with encoded target meanings.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View