Learning a keying sequence you never executed: evidence for independent associative and motor chunk learning. Academic Article uri icon


  • A substantial amount of research has addressed how people learn and control movement sequences. Recent results suggested that practice with discrete key pressing sequences results in two types of sequence learning: associative learning and motor chunk development (Verwey & Abrahamse, 2012). In the present study, we addressed whether in keying sequences of limited length associative learning develops also when the use of the chunking mode is prevented by introducing during practice random deviants. In line with the notion of two different learning mechanisms, the present results indicate that associative sequence learning develops when motor chunks cannot be developed during practice. This confirms the notion that motor chunks do not rely on these associations. In addition, experience with a particular execution mode during the practice phase seems to benefit subsequent use of that mode with unfamiliar and random sequences. Also, participants with substantial video-gaming experience were faster in executing discrete keying sequences in the chunking mode. These last two results may point to the development of a general ability to produce movement sequences in the chunking mode.

published proceedings

  • Acta Psychol (Amst)

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Verwey, W. B., & Wright, D. L.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Verwey, Willem B||Wright, David L

publication date

  • January 2014