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Data-driven sequence learning or search: What are the prerequisites for the generation of explicit sequence knowledge?

Schwager S, Rünger D, Gaschler R, Frensch PA - Adv Cogn Psychol (2012)

Bottom Line: First, a sequence representation may become explicit when its strength reaches a certain level (Cleeremans, 2006), and secondly, explicit knowledge may emerge as the result of a search process that is triggered by unexpected events that occur during task processing and require an explanation (the unexpected-event hypothesis; Haider & Frensch, 2009).Rather sequence detection turned out to be more likely when participants were shifted to the fixed repeating sequence after training than when practicing one and the same fixed sequence without interruption.The behavioral effects of representation strength appear to be related to the effectiveness of unexpected changes in performance as triggers of a controlled search.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
In incidental sequence learning situations, there is often a number of participants who can report the task-inherent sequential regularity after training. Two kinds of mechanisms for the generation of this explicit knowledge have been proposed in the literature. First, a sequence representation may become explicit when its strength reaches a certain level (Cleeremans, 2006), and secondly, explicit knowledge may emerge as the result of a search process that is triggered by unexpected events that occur during task processing and require an explanation (the unexpected-event hypothesis; Haider & Frensch, 2009). Our study aimed at systematically exploring the contribution of both mechanisms to the generation of explicit sequence knowledge in an incidental learning situation. We varied the amount of specific sequence training and inserted unexpected events into a 6-choice serial reaction time task. Results support the unexpected-event view, as the generation of explicit sequence knowledge could not be predicted by the representation strength acquired through implicit sequence learning. Rather sequence detection turned out to be more likely when participants were shifted to the fixed repeating sequence after training than when practicing one and the same fixed sequence without interruption. The behavioral effects of representation strength appear to be related to the effectiveness of unexpected changes in performance as triggers of a controlled search.

No MeSH data available.


Percentage of participants who acquired their explicit knowledge within180 trials of the first encounter with the specific sequence. Error barsrepresent estimated standard errors for percent values.
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Figure 3: Percentage of participants who acquired their explicit knowledge within180 trials of the first encounter with the specific sequence. Error barsrepresent estimated standard errors for percent values.

Mentions: In light of the last finding, it seemed promising to compare the proportion ofsequence detections during the first 180 trials in the sequence trainingconditions (pooling SequenceC and SequenceRSI) with theproportion of sequence detections during the manipulation phase in the randomtraining conditions (pooling RandomC and RandomRSI). Thecomparison showed that explicit sequence knowledge was more likely to beacquired after random training than without any preceding training, that is, inthe first 180 trials of the SequenceC and SequenceRSIgroups, χ2(1, N = 209) = 4.18,p = .04 (see Figure3). Sequence detection was also numerically more likely after randomtraining than after sequence training with the same sequence (i.e., in the last180 trials of the RandomC and SequenceC groups), but thisdifference was not significant, χ2(1, N = 103)= 1.47, p = .23 (see Figure2). Taken together, these results suggest that both a shift from adifferent systematic sequence and a shift from randomly structured trials to atarget sequence seem to facilitate the acquisition of reportable sequenceknowledge to some degree. This finding accords with the unexpected-eventhypothesis.


Data-driven sequence learning or search: What are the prerequisites for the generation of explicit sequence knowledge?

Schwager S, Rünger D, Gaschler R, Frensch PA - Adv Cogn Psychol (2012)

Percentage of participants who acquired their explicit knowledge within180 trials of the first encounter with the specific sequence. Error barsrepresent estimated standard errors for percent values.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3376888&req=5

Figure 3: Percentage of participants who acquired their explicit knowledge within180 trials of the first encounter with the specific sequence. Error barsrepresent estimated standard errors for percent values.
Mentions: In light of the last finding, it seemed promising to compare the proportion ofsequence detections during the first 180 trials in the sequence trainingconditions (pooling SequenceC and SequenceRSI) with theproportion of sequence detections during the manipulation phase in the randomtraining conditions (pooling RandomC and RandomRSI). Thecomparison showed that explicit sequence knowledge was more likely to beacquired after random training than without any preceding training, that is, inthe first 180 trials of the SequenceC and SequenceRSIgroups, χ2(1, N = 209) = 4.18,p = .04 (see Figure3). Sequence detection was also numerically more likely after randomtraining than after sequence training with the same sequence (i.e., in the last180 trials of the RandomC and SequenceC groups), but thisdifference was not significant, χ2(1, N = 103)= 1.47, p = .23 (see Figure2). Taken together, these results suggest that both a shift from adifferent systematic sequence and a shift from randomly structured trials to atarget sequence seem to facilitate the acquisition of reportable sequenceknowledge to some degree. This finding accords with the unexpected-eventhypothesis.

Bottom Line: First, a sequence representation may become explicit when its strength reaches a certain level (Cleeremans, 2006), and secondly, explicit knowledge may emerge as the result of a search process that is triggered by unexpected events that occur during task processing and require an explanation (the unexpected-event hypothesis; Haider & Frensch, 2009).Rather sequence detection turned out to be more likely when participants were shifted to the fixed repeating sequence after training than when practicing one and the same fixed sequence without interruption.The behavioral effects of representation strength appear to be related to the effectiveness of unexpected changes in performance as triggers of a controlled search.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
In incidental sequence learning situations, there is often a number of participants who can report the task-inherent sequential regularity after training. Two kinds of mechanisms for the generation of this explicit knowledge have been proposed in the literature. First, a sequence representation may become explicit when its strength reaches a certain level (Cleeremans, 2006), and secondly, explicit knowledge may emerge as the result of a search process that is triggered by unexpected events that occur during task processing and require an explanation (the unexpected-event hypothesis; Haider & Frensch, 2009). Our study aimed at systematically exploring the contribution of both mechanisms to the generation of explicit sequence knowledge in an incidental learning situation. We varied the amount of specific sequence training and inserted unexpected events into a 6-choice serial reaction time task. Results support the unexpected-event view, as the generation of explicit sequence knowledge could not be predicted by the representation strength acquired through implicit sequence learning. Rather sequence detection turned out to be more likely when participants were shifted to the fixed repeating sequence after training than when practicing one and the same fixed sequence without interruption. The behavioral effects of representation strength appear to be related to the effectiveness of unexpected changes in performance as triggers of a controlled search.

No MeSH data available.