Attentional effects on rule extraction and consolidation from speech

López-Barroso, D. 1, 2, 3 , Rodríguez-Fornells, A. . 2, 3, 4 & De Diego-Balaguer, R. 2, 3, 4

1 Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière Research Centre (ICM), Groupe Hospitalier Pitié Salpêtrière, 47 Boulevard de l ?Hopital, 75013, Paris, France
2 Cognition and Brain Plasticity Unit. Bellvitge Research Biomedical Institute (IDIBELL), Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08097, Barcelona, Spain
3 Department of Basic Psychology, University of Barcelona, Campus Bellvitge, Hospitalet de Llobregat, 08097, Barcelona, Spain
4 Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), 08010, Barcelona, Spain

Implicit learning plays a crucial role in language acquisition, and the knowledge derived from implicit learning may become explicit. Here we tested the role of attention in the formation of the implicit and explicit knowledge of rules and its consolidation. We created an artificial auditory language composed by three-words sentences that could follow 3 different AxC rules in which the first word predicted the third one and the middle word was variable. Attention was manipulated through a cover task that consisted in the detection of a pre-assigned target-word. The target-word was always a ?C? word from one of three AxC rules, thus, only one rule was presented on the ?Attended? condition (i.e. the rule carrying the target-word). Implicit learning was measured through reaction time analysis while explicit learning was measured through a recognition task. Participants were tested again on the consecutive day to observe consolidation effects. Results showed that the implicit learning occurred regardless of attention while explicit learning only appeared for the attended rule. No effects of consolidation were observed. Therefore, the amount of attention during encoding differently affects the implicit and explicit knowledge of the learned structures, being crucial for the explicit and less important for the implicit.