Neuroplasticity & training

Our research has also shown how the development of fundamental learning mechanisms depends upon environmental experiences. For example, we have argued that adequate exposure to auditory sensory information early in development is crucial for developing the ability to encode serial order patterns, a phenomenon we call “auditory scaffolding” (Conway et al, 2009). Our work has provided new evidence suggesting that a period of auditory deprivation results in a cascade of effects that do not merely target modality-specific auditory perception, but that also affects more general learning processes (e.g., Conway et al. 2011b).

In addition, we have recently capitalized on the experience-dependent nature of learning and cognition by creating a novel computerized training intervention to improve statistical learning (Daltrozzo, Conway, & Smith, 2013; Smith, Conway, Bauernschmidt, & Pisoni, 2015). The initial findings show that a mere 10 days of computerized training generalizes to improvements to non-trained measures of learning and cognition. Future research will continue to examine the nature of experience-dependent effects on the development of learning and cognition by investigating whether factors such as bilingualism and musical experience can improve the efficiency and flexibility of statistical learning abilities (e.g., Emerson, Daltrozzo, & Conway, 2014). We are also currently exploring to what extent social environmental experiences help shape the development of these basic learning mechanisms.


{Please note that all publications are copyrighted with their respective publishers (unless otherwise noted) and are to be used for educational and research purposes only.}

Smith, G.N.L., Conway, C.M., Bauernschmidt, A., & Pisoni, D.B. (2015). Can we improve structured sequence processing? Exploring the direct and indirect effects of computerized training using a mediational model. PLoS ONE, 10(5): e0127148. [pdf]

Emerson, S.N., Daltrozzo, J., & Conway, C.M.,  (2014). The effect of music experience on auditory sequential learning: An ERP study. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scasseellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2157-2162). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [pdf]

Conway, C.M., Deocampo, J., Walk, A.M., Anaya, E.M., & Pisoni, D.B. (2014). Deaf children with cochlear implants do not appear to use sentence context to help recognize spoken words. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57(6), 2174-2190. doi: 10.1044/2014_JSLHR-L-13-0236 [pdf]

Daltrozzo, J., Conway, C.M., & Smith, G.N.L. (2013). Rehabilitating language disorders by improving sequential processing: A review. Journal of MacroTrends in Health and Medicine, 1(1), 41-57. [pdf]

Conway, C.M., Gremp, M.A., Walk, A.D., Bauernschmidt, A., & Pisoni, D.B. (2012). Can we enhance domain-general learning abilities to improve language function? In P. Rebuschat & J. Williams (Eds.), Statistical Learning and Language Acquisition (pp. 305-336). Boston: Walter de Gruyter. [pdf]

Conway, C.M., Karpicke, J., Anaya, E.M., Henning, S.C., Kronenberger, W.G., & Pisoni, D.B. (2011a). Nonverbal cognition in deaf children following cochlear implantation: Motor sequencing disturbances mediate language delays. Developmental Neuropsychology, 36, 237-254. [pdf]

Conway, C.M., Pisoni, D.B., Anaya, E.M., Karpicke, J., & Henning, S.C. (2011b). Implicit sequence learning in deaf children with cochlear implants. Developmental Science, 14, 69-82. [pdf]

Conway, C.M., Pisoni, D.B., & Kronenberger, W.G. (2009). The importance of sound for cognitive sequencing abilities: The auditory scaffolding hypothesis. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 275-279. [pdf]