Elevator Pitch: Statistical Learning

Similar to conditioning is learning that results when the learner is exposed to consistent patterns for many, many repetitions; statistical learning is understood to be a largely unconscious process.  One of the best illustrations of statistical learning in informal setting s how humans learn language. We learn how to form sentences and the rules of grammar (for example append “ed” to verb to make it past tense) long before we are taught the rule in school. As an undergraduate student in science courses, I frequently encountered various type of growth that were illustrated on graphs that had distinctive shapes. While my classmates and I were taught those formally; over time, we found that sketches were very effective in describing variations of linear, exponential, or limited growth. If we wanted to communicate the anticipated observation of an experiments, we could sketch the graph, and all would nod in understanding.