On the specificity of sequential congruency effects in implicit learning of motor and perceptual sequences.
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Individuals experience less interference from conflicting information following events that contain conflicting information. Recently, Jiménez, Lupiáñez, and Vaquero (2009) demonstrated that such adaptations to conflict occur even when the source of conflict arises from implicit knowledge of sequences. There is accumulating evidence that momentary changes in adaptations made in response to conflicting information are conflict-type specific (e.g., Funes, Lupiáñez, & Humphreys, 2010a), suggesting that there are multiple modes of control. The current study examined whether conflict-specific sequential congruency effects occur when the 2 sources of conflict are implicitly learned. Participants implicitly learned a motor sequence while simultaneously learning a perceptual sequence. In a first experiment, after learning the 2 orthogonal sequences, participants expressed knowledge of the 2 sequences independently of each other in a transfer phase. In Experiments 2 and 3, within each sequence, the presence of a single control trial disrupted the expression of this specific type of learning on the following trial. There was no evidence of cross-conflict modulations in the expression of sequence learning. The results suggest that the mechanisms involved in transient shifts in conflict-specific control, as reflected in sequential congruency effects, are also engaged when the source of conflict is implicit.
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