Representing serial action and perception

Elger L Abrahamse, Luis Jiménez, Willem B Verwey, Benjamin A Clegg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article presents a review on the representational base of sequence learning in the serial reaction time task. The first part of the article addresses the major questions and challenges that underlie the debate on implicit and explicit learning. In the second part, the informational content that underlies sequence representations is reviewed. The latter issue has produced a rich and equivocal literature. A taxonomy illustrates that substantial support exists for associations between successive stimulus features, between successive response features, and between successive response-to-stimulus compounds. We suggest that sequence learning is not predetermined with respect to one particular type of information but, rather, develops according to an overall principle of activation contingent on task characteristics. Moreover, substantiating such an integrative approach is proposed by a synthesis with the dual-system model (Keele, Ivry, Mayr, Hazeltine, & Heuer, 2003).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-23
Number of pages21
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Awareness/physiology
  • Humans
  • Learning/physiology
  • Models, Psychological
  • Perception/physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance/physiology
  • Reaction Time/physiology
  • Serial Learning/physiology


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