TY - JOUR

T1 - Mutual interference between statistical summary perception and statistical learning

AU - Zhao, Jiaying

AU - Ngo, Nhi

AU - McKendrick, Ryan

AU - Turk-Browne, Nicholas B.

PY - 2011/9

Y1 - 2011/9

N2 - The visual system is an efficient statistician, extracting statistical summaries over sets of objects (statistical summary perception) and statistical regularities among individual objects (statistical learning). Although these two kinds of statistical processing have been studied extensively in isolation, their relationship is not yet understood. We first examined how statistical summary perception influences statistical learning by manipulating the task that participants performed over sets of objects containing statistical regularities (Experiment 1). Participants who performed a summary task showed no statistical learning of the regularities, whereas those who performed control tasks showed robust learning. We then examined how statistical learning influences statistical summary perception by manipulating whether the sets being summarized contained regularities (Experiment 2) and whether such regularities had already been learned (Experiment 3). The accuracy of summary judgments improved when regularities were removed and when learning had occurred in advance. In sum, calculating summary statistics impeded statistical learning, and extracting statistical regularities impeded statistical summary perception. This mutual interference suggests that statistical summary perception and statistical learning are fundamentally related.

AB - The visual system is an efficient statistician, extracting statistical summaries over sets of objects (statistical summary perception) and statistical regularities among individual objects (statistical learning). Although these two kinds of statistical processing have been studied extensively in isolation, their relationship is not yet understood. We first examined how statistical summary perception influences statistical learning by manipulating the task that participants performed over sets of objects containing statistical regularities (Experiment 1). Participants who performed a summary task showed no statistical learning of the regularities, whereas those who performed control tasks showed robust learning. We then examined how statistical learning influences statistical summary perception by manipulating whether the sets being summarized contained regularities (Experiment 2) and whether such regularities had already been learned (Experiment 3). The accuracy of summary judgments improved when regularities were removed and when learning had occurred in advance. In sum, calculating summary statistics impeded statistical learning, and extracting statistical regularities impeded statistical summary perception. This mutual interference suggests that statistical summary perception and statistical learning are fundamentally related.

KW - attention

KW - ensemble features

KW - orientation

KW - statistical summary representation

KW - visual statistical learning

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80052538246&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80052538246&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0956797611419304

DO - 10.1177/0956797611419304

M3 - Article

C2 - 21852450

AN - SCOPUS:80052538246

SN - 0956-7976

VL - 22

SP - 1212

EP - 1219

JO - Psychological Science

JF - Psychological Science

IS - 9

ER -