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Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

, Volume 80, Issue 6, pp 1420–1435 | Cite as

On the limits of statistical learning: Intertrial contextual cueing is confined to temporally close contingencies

  • Cyril Thomas
  • André Didierjean
  • François Maquestiaux
  • Annabelle Goujon
Article

Abstract

Since the seminal study by Chun and Jiang (Cognitive Psychology, 36, 28–71, 1998), a large body of research based on the contextual-cueing paradigm has shown that the cognitive system is capable of extracting statistical contingencies from visual environments. Most of these studies have focused on how individuals learn regularities found within an intratrial temporal window: A context predicts the target position within a given trial. However, Ono, Jiang, and Kawahara (Journal of Experimental Psychology, 31, 703–712, 2005) provided evidence of an intertrial implicit-learning effect when a distractor configuration in preceding trials N − 1 predicted the target location in trials N. The aim of the present study was to gain further insight into this effect by examining whether it occurs when predictive relationships are impeded by interfering task-relevant noise (Experiments 2 and 3) or by a long delay (Experiments 1, 4, and 5). Our results replicated the intertrial contextual-cueing effect, which occurred in the condition of temporally close contingencies. However, there was no evidence of integration across long-range spatiotemporal contingencies, suggesting a temporal limitation of statistical learning.

Keywords

Intertrial association Contextual cuing Visual attention Visual search Statistical learning 

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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de Bourgogne-Franche-ComtéBesançonFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Psychologie de l’Université de Franche-ComtéBesançonFrance
  3. 3.Institut Universitaire de FranceParisFrance

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