NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ837493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 109
ISSN: ISSN-0096-3445
Parallel Response Selection Disrupts Sequence Learning under Dual-Task Conditions
Schumacher, Eric H.; Schwarb, Hillary
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v138 n2 p270-290 May 2009
Some studies suggest that dual-task processing impairs sequence learning; others suggest it does not. The reason for this discrepancy remains obscure. It may have to do with the dual-task procedure often used. Many dual-task sequence learning studies pair the serial reaction time (SRT) task with a tone-counting secondary task. The tone-counting task, however, is not ideal for studying the cognitive processes involved in sequence learning. The present experiments sought to identify the nature of the interference responsible for disrupting sequence learning in dual-task situations using more tractable dual-task procedures. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that parallel-interfering central processing disrupts sequence learning. Experiment 3 used a novel combination of the SRT task as the secondary task in a psychological refractory period procedure. It showed that SRT task performance can be disrupted without disrupting sequence learning when that disruption involves a response-selection bottleneck rather than parallel response selection. Together, these results suggest that it is the overlap of central processes involved in successfully performing the 2 tasks concurrently that leads to learning deficits in dual-task sequence learning. (Contains 8 figures, 1 table and 2 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A