Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 391–394 | Cite as

Subjective random number generation and attention deployment during acquisition and overlearning of a motor skill

  • Frederick J. Evans
  • Charles Graham


The hypothesis that task attentional requirements vary inversely with increases in the efficiency of task performance was evaluated. Three experimental groups (N = 8, N = 6, N = 3) were required to learn a two-hand coordination task (THC). To assess changing attentional demands at different levels of skilled THC performance, subjects simultaneously performed a random number generation task (RNG) on two or four trials of the THC task; these trials occurred during initial acquisition, during semiskilled performance, at performance asymptote, or after overlearning. The RNG index showed marked deterioration during initial acquisition (p <.005), remained below baseline but improved during semiskilled performance (p <.05), and partially and completely recovered to original baseline levels during the mastery and overlearning trials. The RNG procedure may provide a brief, sensitive, and consistent measure of attention deployment during the performance of tasks and in the learning and acquisition of complex skills.


Random Number Generation Tracking Task Initial Acquisition Motor Skill Learning Attention Deployment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The psychonomic soceity, inc 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick J. Evans
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charles Graham
    • 3
  1. 1.Carrier FoundationBelle Mead
  2. 2.CMDNJ-Rutgers Medical SchoolNew Brunswick
  3. 3.Biobehavioral Sciences LaboratoryMidwest Research InstituteKansas City

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