11-06-2021 | Original Article
Day versus night consolidation of implicit sequence learning using manual and oculomotor activation versions of the serial reaction time task: reaction time and anticipation measures
Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 3/2022Log in om toegang te krijgen
This study presents two experiments that explored consolidation of implicit sequence learning based on two dependent variables—reaction time (RT) and correct anticipations to clarify the role of sleep, and whether the manual component is necessary for consolidation processes. Experiment 1 (n = 37) explored the performance of adults using an ocular variant of the serial reaction time task (O-SRT) with manual activation (MA), and Experiment 2 (n = 37) used the ocular activation (OA) version of the task. Each experiment consisted of a Day and a Night group that performed two sessions of the O-SRT with an intervening 12-h offline period (morning/evening in Day group, evening/following morning in Night group). Night offline had an advantage only when manual response was required and when correct anticipations (i.e., accuracy) but not RT (i.e., speed) were measured. We associated this finding with the dual-learning processes required in the MA O-SRT that led to increased sequence specific learning overnight. When using the OA O-SRT, both groups demonstrated similar rates after offline in RT and correct anticipations. We interpreted this finding to reflect stabilization, which confirmed our hypothesis. As expected, all the groups demonstrated reduced performance when another sequence was introduced, thus reflecting sequence-specific learning. This study used a powerful procedure that allows measurement of implicit sequence learning in several ways: by evaluating two different measures (RT, correct anticipations) and by isolating different aspects of the task (i.e., with/without the manual learning component, more/less general skill learning), which are known to affect learning and consolidation.