On the role of interference in sequence learning in Guinea baboons (Papio Papio)

Laura Ordonez Magro, Joël Fagot, Jonathan Grainger, & Arnaud Rey

Learn Behav (2022) @HAL

It is nowadays well-established that decay and interference are two main causes of forgetting. In the present study, we specifically focus on the impact of interference on memory forgetting. To do so, we tested Guinea baboons (Papio papio) on a visuo-motor adaptation of the Serial Reaction Time task in which a target sequence is repeated, and a random sequence is interposed between repetitions, a similar situation as the one used in the Hebb repetition paradigm. In this task, one three-item sequence, the repeated sequence, was presented every second trial and interleaved with random sequences. Interference was implemented by using random sequences containing one item that was also part of the repeated sequence. In a first condition, the overlapping item was located at the same position as the repeated sequence. In a second condition, the overlapping item was located at one of the two other positions. In a third condition, there was no overlap between repeated and random sequences. Contrary to previous findings, our results reveal similar learning slopes across all three conditions, suggesting that interference did not affect sequence learning in the conditions tested. Findings are discussed in the light of previous research on sequence learning and current models of memory and statistical learning.

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