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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.


Mean reaction times (RTs) over the course of the experiment forparticipants of the control groups (RandomC andSequenceC), with and without explicit sequence knowledgein the postexperimental interview. Error bars represent standard errorsof the mean (by group and run).
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Figure 4: Mean reaction times (RTs) over the course of the experiment forparticipants of the control groups (RandomC andSequenceC), with and without explicit sequence knowledgein the postexperimental interview. Error bars represent standard errorsof the mean (by group and run).

Mentions: There was a more pronounced RT decrease in the SequenceC group than inthe RandomC group, indicated by a statistical interaction of Run andTraining Condition, F(7, 791) = 3.39, p =.001, η2 .03. However, if participants categorized asverbalizers in the verbal report task were excluded from this analysis, thisdifference in the run effect was diminished (F < 1), thatis, only verbalizers showed the effect, F(7, 189) = 4.57,p < .001, η2 .15. Thus, the larger meanimprovement in the SequenceC condition appears to be a result ofexplicit sequence knowledge affecting the performance of verbalizers. This meansthat the amount of implicit sequence knowledge acquired in this experiment waspossibly not large enough to show up in this between-group analysis. Figure 4 shows mean RTs for verbalizers andnon-verbalizers in the two training conditions.1


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)

Mean reaction times (RTs) over the course of the experiment forparticipants of the control groups (RandomC andSequenceC), with and without explicit sequence knowledgein the postexperimental interview. Error bars represent standard errorsof the mean (by group and run).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 4: Mean reaction times (RTs) over the course of the experiment forparticipants of the control groups (RandomC andSequenceC), with and without explicit sequence knowledgein the postexperimental interview. Error bars represent standard errorsof the mean (by group and run).
Mentions: There was a more pronounced RT decrease in the SequenceC group than inthe RandomC group, indicated by a statistical interaction of Run andTraining Condition, F(7, 791) = 3.39, p =.001, η2 .03. However, if participants categorized asverbalizers in the verbal report task were excluded from this analysis, thisdifference in the run effect was diminished (F < 1), thatis, only verbalizers showed the effect, F(7, 189) = 4.57,p < .001, η2 .15. Thus, the larger meanimprovement in the SequenceC condition appears to be a result ofexplicit sequence knowledge affecting the performance of verbalizers. This meansthat the amount of implicit sequence knowledge acquired in this experiment waspossibly not large enough to show up in this between-group analysis. Figure 4 shows mean RTs for verbalizers andnon-verbalizers in the two training conditions.1

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.