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01-03-2010 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2010 Open Access

Psychological Research 2/2010

Structural selection in implicit learning of artificial grammars

Psychological Research > Uitgave 2/2010
Esther van den Bos, Fenna H. Poletiek
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Electronic supplementary material

Supplementary material is available in the online version of this article at doi:10.​1007/​s00426-009-0227-1 and is accessible for authorized users.


In the contextual cueing paradigm, Endo and Takeda (in Percept Psychophys 66:293–302, 2004) provided evidence that implicit learning involves selection of the aspect of a structure that is most useful to one’s task. The present study attempted to replicate this finding in artificial grammar learning to investigate whether or not implicit learning commonly involves such a selection. Participants in Experiment 1 were presented with an induction task that could be facilitated by several characteristics of the exemplars. For some participants, those characteristics included a perfectly predictive feature. The results suggested that the aspect of the structure that was most useful to the induction task was selected and learned implicitly. Experiment 2 provided evidence that, although salience affected participants’ awareness of the perfectly predictive feature, selection for implicit learning was mainly based on usefulness.

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