J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2023 Oct 26. doi: 10.1037/xlm0001275. Online ahead of print.
It has been reported that visual statistical learning (VSL) is facilitated in skewed distributions. However, it remains unclear whether enhancement of VSL in Zipfian distributions is due to consciousness of the regularities presented at high frequency. This study addressed this issue. We measured participants’ subjective confidence in regularities and awareness of regularities during familiarization by combining a previously reported procedure for VSL with a postdecision wagering task and posttest questionnaire. The results demonstrated that Zipfian distribution enhanced not only VSL but also metacognitive sensitivity, particularly for high-frequency regularities, as the effects of consciousness on VSL were limited to high-frequency regularities. Moreover, the results indicated that awareness during familiarization mediated VSL enhancement in the Zipfian distribution. These results suggest that VSL for events with high-frequency regularities plays an important role in the cognition of events with low-frequency regularities via awareness. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).