3/17/2020 UPDATE: No! They don’t compete! They cooperate! They are “dissociable,” but they don’t compete. more t/k
I’m putting this here so I won’t lose it again:
Dual-system models of visual category learning posit the existence of an explicit, hypothesis-testing reflective system, as well as an implicit, procedural-based reflexive system. The reflective and reflexive learning systems are competitive and neurally dissociable.
Chandrasekaran, B. et al. “Dual-learning systems during speech category learning.” Psychonomic Bulletin Review, 2014 Apr 21, pp. 488-495.
“Compete,” as I understand the term, means that when one system is on, the other is off. Each system can suppress the other.
That’s the meaning I glean from the various studies I’ve read.
“Dissociable” is an important term in cognitive science: it means that the two systems actually are two separate systems, not just two different aspects of the same fundamental process. The breakthrough study of “dual-system theory” in category learning was Smith et al’s study showing that when you experimentally disable one learning system, the other still functions.
The two systems can be “dissociated,” and are therefore two separate and dissociable systems, not one.
So I gather.