Concurrent Movement Impairs Incidental But Not Intentional Statistical Learning

Cognitive Science 39 (5):1081-1098 (2015)
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The effect of concurrent movement on incidental versus intentional statistical learning was examined in two experiments. In Experiment 1, participants learned the statistical regularities embedded within familiarization stimuli implicitly, whereas in Experiment 2 they were made aware of the embedded regularities and were instructed explicitly to learn these regularities. Experiment 1 demonstrated that while the control group were able to learn the statistical regularities, the resistance-free cycling group and the exercise group did not demonstrate learning. This is in contrast with the findings of Experiment 2, where all three groups demonstrated significant levels of learning. The results suggest that the movement demands, rather than the physiological stress, interfered with statistical learning. We suggest movement activates the striatum, which is not only responsible for motor control but also plays a role in incidental learning



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