Feedback and stimulus-offset timing effects in perceptual category learning. Academic Article uri icon


  • We examined how feedback delay and stimulus offset timing affected declarative, rule-based and procedural, information-integration category-learning. We predicted that small feedback delays of several hundred milliseconds would lead to the best information-integration learning based on a highly regarded neurobiological model of learning in the striatum. In Experiment 1 information-integration learning was best with feedback delays of 500ms compared to delays of 0 and 1000ms. This effect was only obtained if the stimulus offset following the response. Rule-based learning was unaffected by the length of feedback delay, but was better when the stimulus was present throughout feedback than when it offset following the response. In Experiment 2 we found that a large variance (SD=150ms) in feedback delay times around a mean delay of 500ms attenuated information-integration learning, but a small variance (SD=75ms) did not. In Experiment 3 we found that the delay between stimulus offset and feedback is more critical to information-integration learning than the delay between the response and feedback. These results demonstrate the importance of feedback timing in category-learning situations where a declarative, verbalizable rule cannot easily be used as a heuristic to classify members into their correct category.

published proceedings

  • Brain Cogn

author list (cited authors)

  • Worthy, D. A., Markman, A. B., & Todd Maddox, W.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Worthy, Darrell A||Markman, Arthur B||Todd Maddox, W

publication date

  • January 2013