A Lack of Uncertainty Impacts Learning in Adults

Healthy aging can lead to impairments in learning that affect many laboratory and real-life tasks. These tasks often involve the acquisition of dynamic contingencies, which requires adjusting the rate of learning to environmental statistics. For example, learning rate should increase when expectations are uncertain (uncertainty), outcomes are surprising (surprise) or contingencies are more likely to change (hazard rate). In this study, we combine computational modelling with an age-comparative behavioural study to test whether age-related learning deficits emerge from a failure to optimize learning according to the three factors mentioned above. Our results suggest that learning deficits observed in healthy older adults are driven by a diminished capacity to represent and use uncertainty to guide learning. These findings provide insight into age-related cognitive changes and demonstrate how learning deficits can emerge from a failure to accurately assess how much should be learned.


Folksonomies: cognition age cognitive decline

/health and fitness/disorders (0.243763)
/science/mathematics/statistics (0.224327)
/health and fitness/disease (0.207290)

Uncertainty Impacts Learning (0.955112 (negative:-0.820377)), age-related learning deficits (0.934621 (neutral:0.000000)), age-related cognitive changes (0.867583 (negative:-0.658361)), age-comparative behavioural study (0.831931 (neutral:0.000000)), dynamic contingencies (0.722593 (neutral:0.000000)), real-life tasks (0.703674 (negative:-0.820377)), hazard rate (0.673418 (negative:-0.551442)), Adults Healthy (0.668956 (negative:-0.820377)), diminished capacity (0.655789 (positive:0.267365)), environmental statistics (0.654874 (neutral:0.000000)), computational modelling (0.641494 (neutral:0.000000)), older adults (0.618713 (positive:0.267365)), failure (0.515378 (negative:-0.658361)), impairments (0.473589 (negative:-0.820377)), Lack (0.464349 (negative:-0.820377)), surprise (0.460165 (positive:0.202614)), expectations (0.459449 (negative:-0.245734)), outcomes (0.457234 (neutral:0.000000)), laboratory (0.452485 (negative:-0.820377)), acquisition (0.450194 (neutral:0.000000)), example (0.449785 (neutral:0.000000)), findings (0.449199 (negative:-0.658361)), insight (0.446636 (negative:-0.658361))

Psychology (0.971509): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Knowledge (0.672023): dbpedia | freebase
Learning (0.646654): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cognition (0.598000): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Educational psychology (0.587331): dbpedia | freebase
Risk (0.585552): dbpedia | freebase
Study skills (0.575519): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Measurement (0.569848): dbpedia | freebase
Intelligence (0.504463): dbpedia | freebase
Machine learning (0.495349): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cognitive science (0.482401): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Age differences in learning emerge from an insufficient representation of uncertainty in older adults
Periodicals>Journal Article:  Nassar, Bruckner, Gold, Li, Heekeren, Eppinger (10 June 2016), Age differences in learning emerge from an insufficient representation of uncertainty in older adults, Nature Communications, Retrieved on 2016-09-09
  • Source Material [www.nature.com]
  • Folksonomies: cognition aging


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