Cognitive Psychology

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The basis of motor skills: moving the hand in a sequential keying task - Verwey

Contact and supervision: Willem Verwey

Recent research with the Discrete Sequence Production (DSP) task demonstrated that people learn and automate a motion sequence by developing motoric representations called motor chunks (see Abrahamse et al., 2013 in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience for an overview). However, these motor chunks seem to include various types of representations including spatial codes with different reference frames (Verwey et al., in press). The proposed thesis research will further investigate the contributions of the various spatial reference frames by having participants practice the keying sequence with he hands in one position, and assessing the transfer of sequencing skill when one or both hands are moved in a different location (like an musician using different keyboards at the same time). The experiment will be carried out in GW-lab on the EPrime computer platform. Programming skill is a plus but not required.

Abrahamse, E. L., Ruitenberg, M. F. L., De Kleine, E., & Verwey, W. B. (2013). Control of automated behaviour: Insights from the Discrete Sequence Production task. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7(82), 1-16.

Verwey, W. B., Groen, E. C., & Wright, D. L. (in press). The stuff that motor chunks are made of: Spatial instead of motor representations? Experimental Brain Research.