Statistical Learning

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  • Statistical learning can be defined as the process of detecting structure in the environment by monitoring distributional information available in the sensory input. Statistical learning can involve supervised learning (e.g., computing the probabilities associated with receiving a reward) but can also occur in unsupervised learning contexts, such as pattern detection. The types of computations performed during statistical learning vary in complexity, ranging from simple frequency counts to more sophisticated computations of conditional probabilities. Statistical learning is posited to play a role in many levels of linguistic discovery, such as phonetic discrimination, speech segmentation, word mapping, and rudimentary syntactic acquisition. The notion that this process may support language acquisition has received support from both empirical studies with infant and adult learners as well as computational modeling ...

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