Spatial interference and response control in sequence learning: the role of explicit knowledge
Source: Psychological Research / Psychologische Forschung, Volume 68, Number 1, February 2004 , pp. 55-63(9)
Abstract:In several sequence learning studies it has been suggested that response control shifts from the stimuli to some internal representation (i.e., motor program) through the learning process. The main questions addressed in this paper are whether this control shift is related to explicit knowledge and whether the formation of these internal representations depends on the stimulus attributes. In one experiment we compared the learning of a response sequence triggered by either spatial location or location symbol (left-right) by using a serial response task (SRT). Symbols were presented at either a centered or random location. The results showed that in the symbolic conditions the shift of response control correlated with the emergence of explicit knowledge. Only participants with complete explicit knowledge seemed to learn the sequence structure beyond probabilistic information (response time "RT" did not depend on the frequency of the response). Moreover, these participants were able to overcome, when needed, spatial interference (RT was the same for both spatially corresponding and non-corresponding trials). However, when spatial location was relevant, RT was always faster, especially for more frequent responses. These results suggest that the relevant stimulus dimension (location or symbol) seems to engage different sequence learning mechanisms.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Departament de Psicologia Bàsica, Universitat de Barcelona, Passeig de la Vall d'Hebron 171, 08035, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Email: email@example.com 2: Departament de Psicologia Bàsica, Universitat de Barcelona, Passeig de la Vall d'Hebron 171, 08035, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain,
Publication date: February 2004