Experimental Brain Research

, 214:249 | Cite as

Attention deployment during memorizing and executing complex instructions

  • Jens K. Apel
  • Gavin F. Revie
  • Angelo Cangelosi
  • Rob Ellis
  • Jeremy Goslin
  • Martin H. Fischer
Research Article

Abstract

We investigated the mental rehearsal of complex action instructions by recording spontaneous eye movements of healthy adults as they looked at objects on a monitor. Participants heard consecutive instructions, each of the form “move [object] to [location]”. Instructions were only to be executed after a go signal, by manipulating all objects successively with a mouse. Participants re-inspected previously mentioned objects already while listening to further instructions. This rehearsal behavior broke down after 4 instructions, coincident with participants’ instruction span, as determined from subsequent execution accuracy. These results suggest that spontaneous eye movements while listening to instructions predict their successful execution.

Keywords

Assembly task Eye movements Overt attention Rehearsal Sequential instruction Working memory 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens K. Apel
    • 1
  • Gavin F. Revie
    • 1
  • Angelo Cangelosi
    • 2
  • Rob Ellis
    • 3
  • Jeremy Goslin
    • 3
  • Martin H. Fischer
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland, UK
  2. 2.School of Computing and MathematicsUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK
  3. 3.School of PsychologyUniversity of PlymouthPlymouthUK
  4. 4.Department of Cognitive ScienceUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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