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Context dependent learning in the serial RT task.

Abrahamse EL, Verwey WB - Psychol Res (2007)

Bottom Line: In three experiments we assessed the effect of manipulating task irrelevant static context features in a serial reaction-time task.Experiment 2 showed that this effect was mainly caused by changing placeholder shape.It is proposed either that incidental stimulus features are integrated with a global sequence representation, or that the changed context causes participants to strategically inhibit sequence skills.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, Universiteit Twente, Postbus 217, 7500 AE, Enschede, The Netherlands. e.l.abrahamse@gw.utwente.nl

ABSTRACT
This study investigated the development of contextual dependencies for sequential perceptual-motor learning on static features in the learning environment. In three experiments we assessed the effect of manipulating task irrelevant static context features in a serial reaction-time task. Experiment 1 demonstrated impaired performance after simultaneously changing display color, placeholder shape, and placeholder location. Experiment 2 showed that this effect was mainly caused by changing placeholder shape. Finally, Experiment 3 indicated that changing context affected both the application of sequence knowledge and the selection of individual responses. It is proposed either that incidental stimulus features are integrated with a global sequence representation, or that the changed context causes participants to strategically inhibit sequence skills.

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Mean RT per experimental group for Blocks 1–20 in Experiment 2. In Block 19 for each group another context feature was changed
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Fig2: Mean RT per experimental group for Blocks 1–20 in Experiment 2. In Block 19 for each group another context feature was changed

Mentions: Practice phase A Group (3; color, shape, location) × Block (18) repeated measures ANOVA on reaction times was performed with Block as within-subject variable. This showed an effect for Block, F(17,765) = 102.5, P < 0.0001, but no significant Group main effect, F(2,45) = 1.8, P = 0.15, or Block by Group interaction, F(34,765) = 0.6, P = 0.8. This indicates that learning did not differ across groups (Fig. 2). The same analysis was performed on transformed error scores, but this revealed no reliable differences at all (Fs < 1.2, Ps > 0.25).Fig. 2


Context dependent learning in the serial RT task.

Abrahamse EL, Verwey WB - Psychol Res (2007)

Mean RT per experimental group for Blocks 1–20 in Experiment 2. In Block 19 for each group another context feature was changed
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2367391&req=5

Fig2: Mean RT per experimental group for Blocks 1–20 in Experiment 2. In Block 19 for each group another context feature was changed
Mentions: Practice phase A Group (3; color, shape, location) × Block (18) repeated measures ANOVA on reaction times was performed with Block as within-subject variable. This showed an effect for Block, F(17,765) = 102.5, P < 0.0001, but no significant Group main effect, F(2,45) = 1.8, P = 0.15, or Block by Group interaction, F(34,765) = 0.6, P = 0.8. This indicates that learning did not differ across groups (Fig. 2). The same analysis was performed on transformed error scores, but this revealed no reliable differences at all (Fs < 1.2, Ps > 0.25).Fig. 2

Bottom Line: In three experiments we assessed the effect of manipulating task irrelevant static context features in a serial reaction-time task.Experiment 2 showed that this effect was mainly caused by changing placeholder shape.It is proposed either that incidental stimulus features are integrated with a global sequence representation, or that the changed context causes participants to strategically inhibit sequence skills.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, Universiteit Twente, Postbus 217, 7500 AE, Enschede, The Netherlands. e.l.abrahamse@gw.utwente.nl

ABSTRACT
This study investigated the development of contextual dependencies for sequential perceptual-motor learning on static features in the learning environment. In three experiments we assessed the effect of manipulating task irrelevant static context features in a serial reaction-time task. Experiment 1 demonstrated impaired performance after simultaneously changing display color, placeholder shape, and placeholder location. Experiment 2 showed that this effect was mainly caused by changing placeholder shape. Finally, Experiment 3 indicated that changing context affected both the application of sequence knowledge and the selection of individual responses. It is proposed either that incidental stimulus features are integrated with a global sequence representation, or that the changed context causes participants to strategically inhibit sequence skills.

Show MeSH