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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The repetition effect in short term motor memory retrieval Goodman, David


The main purpose of this study was to investigate a theory of information storage and retrieval of a simple motor task as an explanation of the repetition effect (RE) in a 2-choice reaction time task. Subsidiary problems involved 1) examining the effect of inter-trial interval (ITI) on RE, 2) examining the effect of probability (P) of occurrence of an S-R pair on the RE and, 3) examining the interacting effects of ITI and P on the RE. The experimental task was a 2-choice reaction time (RT) task where the subject had to respond as quickly as possible by depressing a response key following the onset of a stimulus light. Two types of tasks were used: 1) self-paced, in which the ITI was approximately 380 msec. and, 2) discrete, in which the ITI was approximately 1600 msec. Each subject was tested in both tasks and on all three probability conditions (P = .33, .50, .67). Sixteen students and staff of the University of British Columbia served as subjects. The results, which were somewhat tenuous due to equipment malfunctions, indicated that there was no RE in either the discrete or serial CRT task. This suggested that there were no differences in the subjects response strategies in either the discrete or serial task. The model of motor memory retrieval was not supported by this investigation.

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