Visual statistical learning in children and adults: evidence from probability cueing

Yingying Yang, Qiongya Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In visual statistical learning (VSL), one can extract and exhibit memory for the statistical regularities of target locations in an incidental manner. The current study examined the development of VSL using the probability cueing paradigm with salient perceptual cues. We also investigated the elicited attention gradient phenomenon in VSL. In a visual search task, the target first appeared more often in one quadrant (i.e., rich) than the other quadrants (i.e., sparse). Then, the participants rotated the screen by 90° and the targets appeared in the four quadrants with equal probabilities. Each quadrant had a unique background color and was, hence, associated with salient perceptual cues. 1st–4th graders and adults participated. All participants showed probability cueing effects to a similar extent. We observed an attention gradient phenomenon, as all participants responded slower to the sparse quadrant that was distant from, rather than the ones that were adjacent to the rich quadrant. In the testing phase, all age groups showed persistent attentional biases based on both egocentric and allocentric perspectives. These findings showed that probability cueing effects may develop early, that perceptual cues can bias attention guidance during VSL for both children and adults, and that VSL can elicit a spaced-based attention gradient phenomenon for children and adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2911-2921
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2021


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