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ERIC Number: EJ1111195
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Electrophysiological Correlates of Observational Learning in Children
Rodriguez Buritica, Julia M.; Eppinger, Ben; Schuck, Nicolas W.; Heekeren, Hauke R.; Li, Shu-Chen
Developmental Science, v19 n5 p699-709 Sep 2016
Observational learning is an important mechanism for cognitive and social development. However, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying observational learning in children are not well understood. In this study, we used a probabilistic reward-based observational learning paradigm to compare behavioral and electrophysiological markers of individual and observational reinforcement learning in 8- to 10-year-old children. Specifically, we manipulated the amount of observable information as well as children's similarity in age to the observed person (same-aged child vs. adult) to examine the effects of similarity in age on the integration of observed information in children. We show that the feedback-related negativity (FRN) during individual reinforcement learning reflects the valence of outcomes of own actions. Furthermore, we found that the feedback-related negativity during observational reinforcement learning (oFRN) showed a similar distinction between outcome valences of observed actions. This suggests that the oFRN can serve as a measure of observational learning in middle childhood. Moreover, during observational learning children profited from the additional social information and imitated the choices of their own peers more than those of adults, indicating that children have a tendency to conform more with similar others (e.g. their own peers) compared to dissimilar others (adults). Taken together, our results show that children can benefit from integrating observable information and that oFRN may serve as a measure of observational learning in children.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A