How prior knowledge affects selective attention during category learning: An eyetracking study

Shinwoo Kim, Bob Rehder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research has shown that category learning is affected by (a) attention, which selects which aspects of stimuli are available for further processing, and (b) the existing semantic knowledge that learners bring to the task. However, little is known about how knowledge affects what is attended. Using eyetracking, we found that (a) knowledge indeed changes what features are attended, with knowledge-relevant features being fixated more often than irrelevant ones, (b) this effect was not due to an initial attentional bias toward relevant dimensions but rather emerged gradually as a result of observing category members, and (c) this effect grew even after a learning criterion was reached, that is, despite the absence of negative feedback. We argue that models of knowledge-based learning will remain incomplete until they specify mechanisms that dynamically select prior knowledge in response to observed category members and which then directs attention to knowledge-relevant dimensions and away from irrelevant ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-665
Number of pages17
JournalMemory & Cognition
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Learning
Semantics
Research
Selective Attention
Category Learning
Prior Knowledge
Stimulus
Negative Feedback
Incomplete
Attentional Bias

Keywords

  • Categorization
  • Category learning
  • Eyetracking
  • Selective attention
  • Thematic knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

How prior knowledge affects selective attention during category learning : An eyetracking study. / Kim, Shinwoo; Rehder, Bob.

In: Memory & Cognition, Vol. 39, No. 4, 2011, p. 649-665.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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