Inhibition of Eye Movements Disrupts Spatial Sequence Learning

Srdan Medimorec, Petar Milin, Dagmar Divjak

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Abstract

Implicit sequence learning is an integral part of human experience, yet the nature of the
mechanisms underlying this type of learning remains a matter of debate. In the current study we
provide a test for two accounts of implicit sequence learning, i.e., one that highlights sequence
learning in the absence of any motor responses (with suppressed eye-movements) and one that
highlights the relative contribution of the motor processes (i.e., eye movements) to learning. To
adjudicate between these accounts and determine whether a motor response is a requisite process
in sequence learning, we used anticipation measures to compare performance on the standard
oculomotor serial reaction time (SRT) task and on a version of the SRT task where the eye-
movements were restricted during the learning phase. Consistent with the response-based
account, our results demonstrated an increased proportion of correct anticipations in the standard
SRT task compared to the restricted-movement task.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2021

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