The resilience of verbal sequence learning : evidence from the Hebb repetition effect

Authors: St-Louis, Marie-Ève; Hughes, Robert W.; Saint-Aubin, Jean; Tremblay, Sébastien
Abstract: In a single large-scale study, we demonstrate that verbal sequence learning as studied using the classic Hebb repetition effect (Hebb, 1961)—the improvement in the serial recall of a repeating sequence compared to non-repeated sequences—is resilient to both wide and irregular spacing between sequence repetitions. Learning of a repeated sequence of letters was evident to a comparable degree with three, five, and eight intervening non-repeated sequences and regardless of whether the spacing between repetitions was regular or irregular. Importantly, this resilience of verbal sequence learning was observed despite the fact that there was complete item-set overlap between repeated and non-repeated sequences. The findings are consistent with the conceptualization of the Hebb repetition effect as a laboratory analogue of natural phonological word-form learning. The results also have implications for the two leading models of Hebb sequence learning: Whereas the results are incompatible with the model of Page and Norris (2009), they can be handled readily by the model of Burgess and Hitch (2006) through the abandonment of its assumption of long-term (across-trial level) decay.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 23 April 2018
Open Access Date: 12 July 2018
Document version: AM
This document was published in: Journal of Experimental Psychology : Learning, Memory, & Cognition, (2018)
American Psychological Association
Alternative version:
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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