Qualitative Differences Between Implicit and Explicit Sequence Learning

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Four experiments investigate the differences between implicit and explicit sequence learning concerning their resilience to structural and superficial task changes. A superficial change that embedded the SRT task in the context of a selection task, while maintaining the sequence, did selectively hinder the expression of implicit learning. In contrast, a manipulation that maintained the task surface, but decreased the sequence validity, affected the expression of learning specifically when it was explicit. These results are discussed in the context of a dynamic framework (Cleeremans & Jiménez, 2002), which assumes that implicit knowledge is specially affected by contextual factors and that, as knowledge becomes explicit, it allows for the development of relevant metaknowledge that modulates the expression of explicit knowledge.

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