Critical period

Scientific evidence tells us that the influences from the environment are especially important early in life, during a restricted developmental period, during which the neural pathways are highly sensitive to the effects of external stimuli, and a veritable remodelling of the brain is possible.

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Sensory development

The sensory development of a baby is associated with the critical periods, during which the environmental stimuli makes the most impact to the child’s sensory development. Once the critical period is over, the environmental stimuli will no longer significantly make effect.

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Implicit memory

Research has shown that young children are able to implicitly recognize and use perceptual cues to enhance their performance. These indicate that young children possess implicit learning capabilities that enable them to acquire complex rule systems and intuitive knowledge.

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Right hemisphere

Research has established that during fetal, neonatal and infant development, the role of the right hemisphere is more profound. The early childhood education enables children to learn effortlessly, efficiently and creatively with the powerful gift of the right hemisphere.

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Study on Implicit Learning

 

Right Hemisphere Dominance in Visual Statistical Learning (2011)

Matthew E. Roser, József Fiser et al, University of Plymouth, UK, Brandeis University

Scope: examine hemispheric asymmetry in the implicit learning of new visual feature combinations. A split-brain patient and normal control participants viewed multishape scenes presented in either the right or the left visual fields.

Conclusion: Statistical learning of new visual features is dominated by visuospatial processing in the right hemisphere visual statistical learning. Our results are consistent with the view that statistical learning is not only incidental and automatic but also a product of an implicit generation of hypotheses that can be handled in the right hemisphere alone. The current finding adds to the large body of evidence from neurological case studies describing asymmetry of cortical function and, importantly, demonstrates visual statistical learning in the absence of higher conceptual knowledge, thus informing as to the nature of this fundamental process. Moreover, functional imaging of visual statistical learning in neurologically normal participants may reveal an initial reliance on right-hemispheric networks, followed by a transition to more bilateral activity as learning progresses to full conceptual knowledge.

 

Implicit learning and unconscious knowledge: mental representation, computational mechanisms, and brain structures (1997)

Thomas Goschke, Max-Planck-Institute for Psychological Research, Munich

Scope: comprehensive review and tutorial on the boundary conditions, mechanisms, and brain systems underlying implicit learning, along five major theoretical questions 1) does implicit learning actually lead to unconscious knowledge, and how can it be measured? 2 )does implicit learning require attention or is it automatic? 3) does implicit learning lead to abstract knowledge? 4) what are the computational mechanisms underlying implicit learning? 5) does implicit learning involve specific brain systems?

Conclusion: The evidence on procedural and sequence learning suggests: first, neural structures can be directly modified as a result of processing sensory information or performing some task, and implicit learning may involve modification in brain structures which are also involved in the initial performance of a given task. Secondly, different types of implicit learning depend on modifications in different brain systems. Finally, brain-imaging findings indicate that explicit and implicit modes of learning in the same task are mediated by different networks of brain structures, although the precise anatomy and functional role of these networks remains to be elucidated.