Response processes in information-integration category learning

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2008 Sep;90(2):330-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2008.04.015. Epub 2008 Jun 11.


Much recent evidence suggests that human category learning is mediated by multiple systems. Evidence suggests that at least one of these depends on procedural learning within the basal ganglia. Information-integration categorization tasks are thought to load heavily on this procedural-learning system. The results of several previous studies were interpreted to suggest that response positions are learned in information-integration tasks. This hypothesis was tested in two experiments. Experiment 1 showed that information-integration category learning was slowed but not disrupted when the spatial location of the responses varied randomly across trials. Experiment 2 showed that information-integration learning was impaired if category membership was signaled by responding to a Yes/No question and the category label had no consistent spatial location. These results suggest that information-integration category learning does not require consistent response locations. In these experiments, a consistent association between a category and a response feature was sufficient. The implication of these results for the neurobiology of information-integration category learning is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Problem Solving / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Size Perception / physiology