Modeling parallelization and flexibility improvements in skill acquisition: From dual tasks to complex dynamic skills

Taatgen, N., 2005, In : Cognitive Science. 29, 3, p. 421-455 35 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Emerging parallel processing and increased flexibility during the acquisition of cognitive skills form a combination that is hard to reconcile with rule-based models that often produce brittle behavior. Rule-based models can exhibit these properties by adhering to 2 principles: that the model gradually learns task-specific rules from instructions and experience, and that bottom-up processing is used whenever possible. In a model of learning perfect time-sharing in dual tasks (Schumacher et al., 2001), speedup learning and bottom-up activation of instructions can explain parallel behavior. In a model of a complex dynamic task (Carnegie Mellon University Aegis Simulation Program [CMU-ASP], Anderson et al., 2004), parallel behavior is explained by the transition from serially organized instructions to rules that are activated by both top-down (goal-driven) and bottom-up (perceptually driven) factors. Parallelism lets the model opportunistically reorder instructions, leading to the gradual emergence of new task strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-455
Number of pages35
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • dual tasking, psychology, cognitive architecture, complex systems, human-computer interaction, instruction, learning, situated cognition, skill acquisition and learning, knowledge representation, symbolic computational modeling, COGNITIVE ARCHITECTURE, PERFORMANCE, SELECTION

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