A Meta-Analysis Suggests Different Neural Correlates for Implicit and Explicit Learning
Author(s)Loonis, Roman Florian; Brincat, Scott Louis; Antzoulatos, Evan G.; Miller, Earl K
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A meta-analysis of non-human primates performing three different tasks (Object-Match, Category-Match, and Category-Saccade associations) revealed signatures of explicit and implicit learning. Performance improved equally following correct and error trials in the Match (explicit) tasks, but it improved more after correct trials in the Saccade (implicit) task, a signature of explicit versus implicit learning. Likewise, error-related negativity, a marker for error processing, was greater in the Match (explicit) tasks. All tasks showed an increase in alpha/beta (10–30 Hz) synchrony after correct choices. However, only the implicit task showed an increase in theta (3–7 Hz) synchrony after correct choices that decreased with learning. In contrast, in the explicit tasks, alpha/beta synchrony increased with learning and decreased thereafter. Our results suggest that explicit versus implicit learning engages different neural mechanisms that rely on different patterns of oscillatory synchrony. Loonis et al. find that explicit and implicit learning use feedback about correct choices versus errors differently. Implicit learning relies more on theta synchrony (3–7 Hz) while explicit learning relies on alpha/beta synchrony (10–30 Hz). ©2017 Elsevier Inc.
DepartmentPicower Institute for Learning and Memory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Loonis, Roman F. et al., "A Meta-Analysis Suggests Different Neural Correlates for Implicit and Explicit Learning." Neuron 96, 2 (October 2017): p. 521-534.e7 doi. 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.032 ©2017 Authors
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