Types of semantic category and stimulus modality in procedural learning: implications for models of semantic memory
Tipos de categoría semántica y modalidad de los estímulos en el aprendizaje procedimental: implicaciones sobre los modelos de memoria semántica release_bdvhdscvgzdnnjaa733zdq5vyu

by José María Ruiz Sánchez de León, Sara Fernández Guinea, Javier González Marqués

Published in Psicothema.

2010   Volume 22, Issue 4, p739-44


The present work attempts to determine whether procedural learning of a semantic categorisation task is influenced by the type of semantic category of the stimuli (biological and non-biological elements). It is also an attempt to determine the effect of the stimulus presentation modality on the categorisation task. A semantic categorisation task (4 series of 40 stimuli) was administered to 256 participants (128 classifying pictures, and 128 classifying words). Biological categories were responded to faster than non-biological ones although there were no significant differences between the interaction of the category type and the stimulus presentation modality. Reaction times progressively decreased with practice. However, the initial differences disappeared when subjects were trained. The way that current models account for these investigation findings is discussed. In addition, it is suggested that there is an attentional bias in favor of biological elements, which disappears when presumably less relevant elements become more relevant as a function of the task characteristics.
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