Learning from errors: Exploration of the monitoring learning effect

Erica L. Middleton, Myrna F. Schwartz, Gary S. Dell, Adelyn Brecher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined spontaneous detection and repair of naming errors in people with aphasia to advance a theoretical understanding of how monitoring impacts learning in lexical access. Prior work in aphasia has found that spontaneous repair, but not mere detection without repair, of semantic naming errors leads to improved naming on those same items in the future when other factors are accounted for. The present study sought to replicate this finding in a new, larger sample of participants and to examine the critical role of self-generated repair in this monitoring learning effect. Twenty-four participants with chronic aphasia with naming impairment provided naming responses to a 660-item corpus of common, everyday objects at two timepoints. At the first timepoint, a randomly selected subset of trials ended in experimenter-provided corrective feedback. Each naming trial was coded for accuracy, error type, and for any monitoring behavior that occurred, specifically detection with repair (i.e., correction), detection without repair, and no detection. Focusing on semantic errors, the original monitoring learning effect was replicated, with enhanced accuracy at a future timepoint when the first trial with that item involved detection with repair, compared to error trials that were not detected. This enhanced accuracy resulted from learning that arose from the first trial rather than the presence of repair simply signifying easier items. A second analysis compared learning from trials of self-corrected errors to that of trials ending in feedback that were detected but not self-corrected and found enhanced learning after self-generated repair. Implications for theories of lexical access and monitoring are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105057
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Aphasia
  • Incremental learning
  • Lexical access
  • Monitoring
  • Naming
  • Retrieval practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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