Séminaire Beat Meier

Vendredi, 13 Septembre, 2019 - 11:00
Date fin: 
Vendredi, 13 Septembre, 2019 - 12:30
Campus St Charles - salle des voutes

Séminaire Beat Meier
Beat Meier, University of Bern, Switzerland

Necessary and sufficient conditions for implicit sequence learning: Evidence from a task sequence
learning paradigm

Many of the tasks performed in everyday life are organized in sequences. Although people are often not
aware of these sequential regularities, they profit from them. To study incidental learning of this kind
experimentally, a serial reaction time task is generally used. In this paradigm, a sequence of correct response-key
presses follows the sequence of designated target locations. Unbeknownst to participants, the order of target
locations is determined by a repeating sequence. With practice, performance gets faster. When the sequence is
switched to random, performance is slowed again. These changes are usually taken as evidence of incidental
sequence learning. Although there has been considerable effort to explain what kind of mental representation
drives incidental sequence learning, there is still no consensus on what is involved. This may be related to the
fact that there is an inevitable correlation (i.e., isomorphism) between the sequence of locations at which the
stimulus appears and the sequence of motor responses that the participant must take. Similarly, when sequences
of tasks are performed in everyday life, typically the sequences consist of correlated streams of information,
often sequences of stimuli and responses. In fact, the correlation of two streams of information may provide the
basis on which incidental sequence learning rests. With a task sequence learning paradigm it is possible to
disentangle this correlation. I will present a series of Experiments using the task sequence learning paradigm to
investigate this hypothesis. In general, the results indicate the importance of correlated streams of information.