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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A novel non-linguistic audio-visual learning paradigm to test the cognitive correlates of learning rate

  • Author(s): Pasqualotto, Angela;
  • Cochrane, Aaron;
  • Bavelier, Daphne;
  • Altarelli, Irene
  • et al.

Audio‐visual (AV) associative learning is central to many aspects of cognitive development and is key in reading acquisition. Most studies thus far have examined AV associative learning involving linguistic stimuli. Yet it is of importance to examine cross-modal learning free of familiarity confounds. We, therefore, designed an AV learning paradigm relying on novel, non-linguistic auditory and visual stimuli, which were both unfamiliar to participants. On top of AV learning, we collected performance in reading-related abilities, as well as in more domain-general skills, in a population of healthy Italian-speaking adults (N=57). By fitting trial-by-trial performance in our novel learning task, we demonstrate the expected variability in speed of learning (learning rate) across participants. We then show that speed of learning in our novel learning task is positively associated with working memory and replicate this result in a set of French-speaking participants (N=32), showing that it holds in another language.

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