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06-12-2019 | Original Article Open Access

Isoluminant stimuli in a familiar discrete keying sequence task can be ignored

Psychological Research
Willem B. Verwey
Belangrijke opmerkingen

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Motor sequencing models suggest that when with extensive practice sequence representations have developed, stimuli indicating the individual sequence elements may no longer be used for sequence execution. However, it is not clear whether participants can at all refrain from processing these stimuli. Two experiments were performed in which participants practiced two 7-keypress sequences by responding to isoluminant key-specific stimuli. In the mixed condition of the ensuing test phase, the stimuli were displayed only occasionally, and the question was whether this would make participants stop processing these stimuli. In Experiment 1, the benefit of displaying stimuli was assessed after substantial practice, while Experiment 2 examined development of this benefit across practice. The results of Experiment 1 showed that participants rely a little less on these stimuli when they are displayed only occasionally, but Experiment 2 revealed that participants quickly developed high awareness, and that they ignored these stimuli already after limited practice. These findings confirm that participants can choose to ignore these isoluminant stimuli but tend to use them when they are displayed. These and other findings show in some detail how various cognitive systems interact to produce familiar keying sequences.

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