van Witteloostuijn, M. 1 , Lammertink, I. 1 , Boersma, P. . 1 , Wijnen, F. 2 & Rispens, J. 1
1 University of Amsterdam
2 Utrecht University
Visual statistical learning (VSL) is usually tested through offline two-alternative forced choice (2-AFC) questions, which has yielded mixed results in children. We assessed children?s VSL using an online reaction time (RT) measure and two distinct offline question types to investigate whether these methods can track learning over time and outcome accuracy.
53 children (aged 5;9 - 8;7) performed a VSL task containing four triplets presented 24 times each. Participants determined the presentation speed by pressing a button to proceed to the following stimulus (Siegelman, Bogaerts, & Frost, submitted). We expected slower RT?s for unpredictable elements (element 1 within triplets) than for predictable elements (elements 2 and 3 within triplets). Subsequently, participants completed 24 2-AFC (choose correct triplet) and 16 3-AFC (fill blank to complete triplet) questions.
Performance did not exceed chance level on the traditional 2-AFC items (51%, p = .37), whereas it did on 3-AFC items (38%, p < .05). The online measure reveals additional evidence that participants are sensitive to the triplet structure, as RT?s were slower for element 1 than for element 2 (p < .001) and 3 (p ? .01). These results underline the importance of using different offline and online measures when assessing VSL in children.