Implicit Transfer of Reversed Temporal Structure in Visuomotor Sequence Learning

Kanji Tanaka, Katsumi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Some spatio-temporal structures are easier to transfer implicitly in sequential learning. In this study, we investigated whether the consistent reversal of triads of learned components would support the implicit transfer of their temporal structure in visuomotor sequence learning. A triad comprised three sequential button presses ([1][2][3]) and seven consecutive triads comprised a sequence. Participants learned sequences by trial and error, until they could complete it 20 times without error. Then, they learned another sequence, in which each triad was reversed ([3][2][1]), partially reversed ([2][1][3]), or switched so as not to overlap with the other conditions ([2][3][1] or [3][1][2]). Even when the participants did not notice the alternation rule, the consistent reversal of the temporal structure of each triad led to better implicit transfer; this was confirmed in a subsequent experiment. These results suggest that the implicit transfer of the temporal structure of a learned sequence can be influenced by both the structure and consistency of the change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-579
Number of pages15
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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