Evidence for graded central processing resources in a sequential movement task

Willem B Verwey, Elger L Abrahamse, Elian De Kleine, Marit F L Ruitenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In the present experiment, we examined slowing of the individual key presses of a familiar keying sequence by four different versions of a concurrent tone counting task. This was done to determine whether the same cognitive processor that has previously been assumed by the dual processor model (DPM) to initiate familiar keying sequences and assist in their execution, is involved also in the central processes of a very different task (viz. identifying tones and counting target tones). The present results confirm this hypothesis. They also suggest that in this particular situation the central processing resources underlying the cognitive processor can be distributed across the central processes of different tasks in a graded manner, rather than that they continue to behave like a single, central processor that serially switches between the central processes of the concurrently performed tasks. We argue that the production of highly practiced movement sequences can be considered automatic in the sense that execution of familiar movement sequences can continue without cognitive control once they have been initiated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-83
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Research = Psychologische Forschung: An international journal of perception, learning and communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Executive Function/physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance/physiology
  • Young Adult


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