Oculomotor evidence of sequence learning on the serial reaction time task

David J. Marcus, Canan Karatekin, Steven Markiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Manual and oculomotor measures of sequence learning were examined on the serial reaction time (SRT) task. Participants were assigned into four groups differing on response modality (manual, oculomotor) and trial type (sequence, pseudorandom). The pattern of manual RTs replicated previous studies. Frequency of anticipatory eye movements followed similar patterns as RTs. Participants made many anticipations, even in pseudorandom blocks, and frequency of anticipations did not depend on presence of concurrent manual responses. Excluding participants with explicit awareness did not change results. Anticipations were negatively related to RTs in both incidental and intentional learning. Anticipations were positively related to sequence recall in intentional, but not incidental, learning. Results suggest that (1) anticipatory eye movements reflected sequence learning and (2) participants made overt and covert shifts of visuospatial attention to likely stimulus locations prior to stimulus onset, whether or not they made manual responses and whether or not there was a sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-432
Number of pages13
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

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