Aim: New competencies may be learned through active experience (learning by trial and error) or observation of others’ experiences (learning by observation). Observing another person performing a complex action accelerates the observer’s acquisition of the same action and limits the time consuming process of learning by trial and error. The aim of this study was to analyze the ability to learn by observation and by trial and error in Williams syndrome (WS) and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), in order to facilitate interventions that develop the acquisition of new cognitive and motor abilities in the presence of intellectual disabilities. Method: The performance of twenty-four WS individuals (mean mental age 6.03 y ± 0.02) and twenty-four PWS individuals (mean mental age 6.04 y ± 0.03) was compared with that of twenty-eight typically developing (TD) children matched for mental age and gender on tasks of learning of a visuo-motor sequence by observation or by trial and error. The participants learned the sequence either by performing the task after in an observational training (observing an actor detecting the sequence) or by actually performing the task by trial and error. Results: The syndromic groups showed specular learning profiles. Indeed, PWS individuals were impaired in learning the sequence by observation and they were as efficient as TD children in detecting the sequence by trial and error. In contrast, WS individuals were able in learning the sequence by observation and they were impaired to learn the sequence by trial and error in comparison to TD children. Conclusion: The present results have important implications for developing specific programs to facilitate the acquisition of new cognitive and motor competencies allowing better social integration and development of self-efficacy and self-confidence in individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Learning by observation: can a cognitive process be transformed into a powerful rehabilitation tool in the presence of intellectual disabilities

VALERIO, GIULIANA;MANDOLESI, Laura
2014

Abstract

Aim: New competencies may be learned through active experience (learning by trial and error) or observation of others’ experiences (learning by observation). Observing another person performing a complex action accelerates the observer’s acquisition of the same action and limits the time consuming process of learning by trial and error. The aim of this study was to analyze the ability to learn by observation and by trial and error in Williams syndrome (WS) and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), in order to facilitate interventions that develop the acquisition of new cognitive and motor abilities in the presence of intellectual disabilities. Method: The performance of twenty-four WS individuals (mean mental age 6.03 y ± 0.02) and twenty-four PWS individuals (mean mental age 6.04 y ± 0.03) was compared with that of twenty-eight typically developing (TD) children matched for mental age and gender on tasks of learning of a visuo-motor sequence by observation or by trial and error. The participants learned the sequence either by performing the task after in an observational training (observing an actor detecting the sequence) or by actually performing the task by trial and error. Results: The syndromic groups showed specular learning profiles. Indeed, PWS individuals were impaired in learning the sequence by observation and they were as efficient as TD children in detecting the sequence by trial and error. In contrast, WS individuals were able in learning the sequence by observation and they were impaired to learn the sequence by trial and error in comparison to TD children. Conclusion: The present results have important implications for developing specific programs to facilitate the acquisition of new cognitive and motor competencies allowing better social integration and development of self-efficacy and self-confidence in individuals with intellectual disabilities.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Foti et al.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Abstract
Licenza: DRM non definito
Dimensione 114.18 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
114.18 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/31840
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact