Learning of Action and Event Sequences


In many contexts we acquire sequential routines, such as when driving the usual way to the office or when performing standard action sequences with the word processing program. The basis of these routines is that we learn to structure our actions in accordance with the sequential structure of the environment. However, sometimes we fail to do so, which might produce mistakes and action slips. We examine several issues related to sequence learning.

  • Explicit and implicit learning
  • Motor and perceptual learning
  • Cognitive learning of task sequences
  • Control of eye movements in reading
  • Learning mechanisms in visual search processes
  • Influence of action modality, for example manual or vocal actions
  • Stimulus-response compatibility and sequence learning
  • Neural basis of action sequencing

The aim of these studies is to examine the cognitive foundations of sequence learning at different levels. This examination is a first, theoretical step in deriving practical measures to improve cognitive aspects in work processes.

Selected references

Dovern, A., Fink, G. R., Saliger, J., Karbe, H., Koch, I., & Weiss, P. H. (2011). Apraxia impairs intentional retrieval of incidentally acquired motor knowledge. Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 8102-8108.

Koch, I. (2007). Anticipatory response control in motor sequence learning: Evidence from stimulus-response compatibility. Human Movement Sciences, 26, 257-274.

Koch, I., Philipp, A. M., & Gade, M. (2006). Chunking in task sequences modulates task inhibition. Psychological Science, 17, 346-350.

Koch, I., Reverberi, C., & Rumiati, R. I. (2006). Learning hierarchically structured action sequences is unaffected by prefrontal cortex lesion. Experimental Brain Research, 175, 667-675.

Koch, I. (2005). Sequential task predictability in task switching. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 107-112.

Koch, I. & Hoffmann, J. (2000). The role of stimulus-based and response-based spatial information in sequence learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 26, 863-882.