University of Twente Student Theses


The effect of sequential motor learning on cognitive control

Papenfuss, Jan (2013) The effect of sequential motor learning on cognitive control.

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Abstract:The aim of this study was to find out if automatic motor learning could enhance cognitive control. Sixteen students of the University of Twente completed a combination of the Discrete Sequence Production (DSP) Task and the Stroop Task. In a regular Stroop Task, participants respond to the ink of a color word, while ignoring the word’s meaning. In addition, in this experiment, participants also unknowingly practiced two underlying sequences over six blocks. After completing the practice phase, they were confronted with two new, unfamiliar sequences in the test phase. It was observed that Stroop effect became smaller as the sequence was practiced more often. Further and more importantly, results demonstrated that the Stroop effect recovered when participants were confronted with unfamiliar sequences. We found no indications for a relationship between sequence awareness and magnitude of the Stroop effect. Moreover, the results support the Dual Processor Model of sequential motor learning. Taken together, these findings indicate that motor sequence learning can enhance cognitive control. Further research could focus on generalizing these findings to other cognitive conflict tasks, investigating whether Stroop effect would disappear if the practice phase was extended, researching the effect of implicit motor learning on cognitive control, or focus whether cognitive conflict improves sequential motor learning.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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