Effects of Practice in Selecting and Executing Keypressing Sequences (Effecten van oefening op het selecteren en uitvoeren van een sequentiele toetsdruktaak).
INSTITUTE FOR PERCEPTION RVO-TNO SOESTERBERG (NETHERLANDS)
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This paper describes three experiments that aimed at examining the effects of practice in a sequential keypressing task. In Experiment 1 a two- choice sequence production task was practiced extensively. Experiment 2 assessed the effect of this practice on the production of a series of slightly changed sequences. In Experiment 3 a four-choice reaction task was performed which included the practiced pair of sequences as well as a new pair in order to assess the effects of frequency of occurrence of each pair and their mutual similarity in terms of length and spatial lay-out. The results are taken as evidence for the development of two sequence execution mechanisms. One allows programming to continue while the earlier keypresses in the sequence are already executed, i.e. concurrent programming. The other allows unpacking of individual motor elements from a short-term motor buffer during execution of the preceding keypresses, i.e. concurrent unpacking. Practice with consistent stimulus- sequence mappings made performance less sensitive to the presence of similar sequences than practice with varied mappings which suggests that stimulus- sequence associations develop with consistent stimulus-sequence mapping.