Implicit transfer of mirrored spatial structure in visuomotor sequence learning

Abstract

Implicit transfer in sequential learning can occur with some spatio-temporal structures but not with others. Here, we investigated whether the consistent mirror-reversal of visuomotor sequences would lead to implicit transfer. A "set" comprised three sequential button presses and seven consecutive sets comprised a "hyperset." Participants learned hypersets by trial and error with their right hand. Then, they learned another hyperset, in which each set was vertically mirrored, horizontally mirrored, or randomly generated. Even when the participants did not notice the mirrored rule, the mirrored hypersets led to implicit transfer in terms of accuracy for both vertical and horizontal reversals. Furthermore, the vertical reserval also led to implicit transfer of performance speed. Taken together, the present results suggest that people can implicitly apply their learned representations to the mirrored visuomotor sequences.


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