In the present paper we investigate the effect of categorising raw behavioural data or computational model responses. In addition, the effect of averaging over stimuli from potentially different populations is assessed. To this end, we replicate studies on word learning and generalisation abilities using the ACORNS models. Our results show that discrete
categories may obscure interesting phenomena in the continuous
responses. For example, the finding that learning in the model saturates very early at a uniform high recognition accuracy only holds for categorical representations. Additionally, a large difference in the accuracy for individual words is obscured
by averaging over all stimuli. Because different words behaved
differently for different speakers, we could not identify a phonetic
basis for the differences. Implications and new predictions for
infant behaviour are discussed.