Statistical Structure and Implicit Serial Learning

  • Stadler M
  • 51


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 100


    Citations of this article.


In serial reaction time (RT) tasks, RT decreases faster with practice when a short sequence of trials is repeated continuously than when the sequence of trials is random (e.g., M. J. Nissen & P. Bullemer, 1987). Learning is implicit because Ss are not asked to learn the sequence and they often seem unaware of it. Relative to a random sequence, the repeating sequence imposes extreme statistical constraints. The present research examined the relation between these statistical constraints and implicit serial learning. Two experiments showed that the greater the statistical structure, the greater the reduction in RT with practice. Statistical structure was manipulated by varying the structure of a repeating sequence (Exp 1) and by varying the degree to which sequences approximated the statistical structure of a repeating sequence (Exp 2). The implications of these results for theories of implicit serial learning are discussed.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Michael A. Stadler

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free