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. 2012 Dec;123(3):154-63.
doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2012.07.009. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Reinforcement Learning in Young Adults With Developmental Language Impairment

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Free PMC article

Reinforcement Learning in Young Adults With Developmental Language Impairment

Joanna C Lee et al. Brain Lang. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine reinforcement learning (RL) in young adults with developmental language impairment (DLI) within the context of a neurocomputational model of the basal ganglia-dopamine system (Frank, Seeberger, & O'Reilly, 2004). Two groups of young adults, one with DLI and the other without, were recruited. A probabilistic selection task was used to assess how participants implicitly extracted reinforcement history from the environment based on probabilistic positive/negative feedback. The findings showed impaired RL in individuals with DLI, indicating an altered gating function of the striatum in testing. However, they exploited similar learning strategies as comparison participants at the beginning of training, reflecting relatively intact functions of the prefrontal cortex to rapidly update reinforcement information. Within the context of Frank's model, these results can be interpreted as evidence for alterations in the basal ganglia of individuals with DLI.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
The acquisition phase and the test phase in the probabilistic selection task. The number in parentheses was the probability of positive feedback given for each response choice (After Frank et al., 2007b).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Performance on the three training pairs (AB, CD, EF) in the test phase. Data were presented as the mean with one standard error.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Box plots of group performance on positive RL (i.e., choose A in novel pairs) and negative RL (i.e., avoid B in novel pairs) in the test phase. Performance on the AB training pair in the test phase was also included for comparison.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Different response types to positive versus negative feedback during the first block of the acquisition phase. Data were presented as the mean with one standard error.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Summary of mediation analysis. The number in parenthesis represented the relation between the independent variable (IV) and the dependent variable (DV) before controlling for the mediator. IV: Reinforcement Learning, DV: Nonverbal IQ, Mediator: Language.

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