The importance of stimulus-response rules in sequence learning
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For nearly two decades researchers have been interested in identifying what specifically is learned when individuals learn a sequence (e.g., sequence of stimuli, sequence of motor movements, etc.). Despite extensive research in the area, considerable controversy remains surrounding the locus of learning. There are three main theories concerning the nature of spatial sequence learning: sequence learning is purely perceptual, sequence learning includes a motor component and sequence learning is based on stimulus-response (S-R) rules. The present studies sought to disentangle these theories by demonstrating that sequence learning has both a perceptual and motor component and that altering S-R rules alone disrupts sequence learning. Experiment 1 results fully supported this S-R rule theory of sequence learning. Experiment 2 results provided only partial support for this theory, though the data were also inconsistent with both of the other accounts.