Implicit Statistical Learning Across Modalities and its Relationship with Reading in Childhood.

Elpis Pavlidou, Louisa Bogaerts

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Implicit statistical learning (ISL) describes our ability to tacitly pick up regularities from our environment therefore, shaping our behavior. A broad understanding of ISL incorporates a great range of possible computations, which render it highly relevant to reading. In the light of this hypothesized relationship, ISL performance was explored in young (M = 8.47 years) typical readers (N = 31) across three different modalities (i.e., visual, auditory, and tactile) using the Artificial Grammar Learning (AGL) paradigm. Adopting repeated measures and correlational designs, the obtained data revealed modality constraints: (1) above-chance performance was observed on the visual and tactile tasks but not on the auditory task, (2) there was no significant correlation of ISL performance across modalities, and (3) split-half reliability of visual and auditory tasks was reasonably high, yet for the tactile task it was close to zero. Evaluating the relation between ISL ability and language skills, we observed a positive correlation between visual ISL performance and phonological awareness. We discuss these findings in view of current perspectives on the nature of ISL and its potential involvement in mastering successful (i.e., accurate and fluent) reading.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1834
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 Pavlidou and Bogaerts


  • implicit statistical learning
  • artificial grammar learning
  • Reading
  • Reading fluency
  • Children

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