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Karolina Janacsek, József Fiser and Dezso Nemeth The best time to acquire new skills: age-related differences in implicit sequence learning across the human lifespan Developmental Science 15

Version of Record online: 5 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01150.x

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Implicit skill learning underlies obtaining not only motor, but also cognitive and social skills through the life of an individual. Yet, the ontogenetic changes in humans’ implicit learning abilities have not yet been characterized, and, thus, their role in acquiring new knowledge efficiently during development is unknown. We investigated such learning across the lifespan, between 4 and 85 years of age with an implicit probabilistic sequence learning task, and we found that the difference in implicitly learning high- vs. low-probability events – measured by raw reaction time (RT) – exhibited a rapid decrement around age of 12.

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