Distributional learning is almost certainly involved in the human acquisition of phonetic categories. Because speech is inherently a multidimensional signal, learning phonetic categories entails multidimensional learning. Yet previous studies of auditory category learning have shown poor maintenance of learned multidimensional categories. Two experiments explored ways to improve maintenance: by increasing the costs associated with applying a unidimensional strategy; by providing additional information about the category structures; and by giving explicit instructions on how to categorize. Only with explicit instructions were categorization strategies maintained in a maintenance phase without supervision or distributional information.
Bibliographic reference. Goudbeek, Martijn / Swingley, Daniel / Kluender, Keith R. (2007): "The limits of multidimensional category learning", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 2325-2328.