The dimensionality of perceptual category learning: A state-trace analysis

Ben R. Newell, John C. Dunn, Michael Kalish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


State-trace analysis was used to investigate the effect of concurrent working memory load on perceptual category learning. Initial reanalysis of Zeithamova and Maddox (2006, Experiment 1) revealed an apparently two-dimensional state-trace plot consistent with a dual-system interpretation of category learning. However, three modified replications of the original experiment found evidence of a single resource underlying the learning of both rule-based and information integration category structures. Follow-up analyses of the Zeithamova and Maddox data, restricted to only those participants who had learned the category task and performed the concurrent working memory task adequately, revealed a one-dimensional plot consistent with a single-resource interpretation and the results of the three new experiments. The results highlight the potential of state-trace analysis in furthering our understanding of the mechanisms underlying category learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-581
Number of pages19
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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