The role of intrin­sic reward in ado­les­cent word learning

Dr Saloni Krish­nan — Roy­al Hol­loway, Uni­ver­si­ty of London

We con­stant­ly learn words from con­text, even in the absence of explic­it rewards or feed­back. In adults, intrin­sic reward expe­ri­enced dur­ing word learn­ing is linked to a dopamin­er­gic cir­cuit in the brain. The expe­ri­ence of reward is also linked to enhance­ments in mem­o­ry for those words. In this reg­is­tered report, we exam­ine if ado­les­cents aged 10–18 report enhanced reward or enjoy­ment, and ensu­ing mem­o­ry ben­e­fits, when they suc­cess­ful­ly learn words from sen­tence con­text. We have test­ed 300+ chil­dren so far. In addi­tion to talk­ing about devel­op­men­tal change in reward expe­ri­enced dur­ing this peri­od, I will focus on some of the advan­tages and chal­lenges of con­duct­ing this research online.

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