Statistical learning in children and adults: Evidence from behavioural and neural entrainment data

Published: 13-07-2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/3rmh27h4y5.1
Christine Moreau,


The following data was used to assess statistical learning (SL) to six minutes of an artificial language in 8- to 12-year-old children and adults. We used explicit and implicit behavioural measures and an EEG measure of neural entrainment. EEG data was recorded while participants listened to the six-minute artificial language. Behavioural data was gathered immediately after exposure to the language. A two-alternative forced choice task and a rating task were used to assess explicit learning. A target detection task was used to assess implicit syllable prediction. Children (n = 56) completed all three behavioural tasks, whereas adults (n = 40) completed the rating task and target detection task. EEG data was gathered for 55 children and 24 adult participants. At the behavioural level, children and adults showed similar performance on the explicit recognition tasks, replicating prior work. However, adults showed both stronger priming effects on the implicit syllable prediction task, and stronger increases in neural entrainment to the hidden words in the speech stream over time. Our results run counter to the hypothesis that children have an SL advantage over adults. The data included here is the raw data, before preprocessing.