Last night, the paper went online and is now accessible on the PLoS ONE website. Glad to see this work published! It was a first exploration of whether the motor learning effects you see in traditional serial reaction time tasks (SRTT) also emerge if the task is implemented in a virtual reality (VR) environment. As always, the abstract summarizes the paper:
The serial reaction time task is widely used to study learning and memory. The task is traditionally administered by showing target positions on a computer screen and collecting responses using a button box or keyboard. By comparing response times to random or sequenced items or by using different transition probabilities, various forms of learning can be studied. However, this traditional laboratory setting limits the number of possible experimental manipulations. Here, we present a virtual reality version of the serial reaction time task and show that learning effects emerge as expected despite the novel way in which responses are collected. We also show that response times are distributed as expected. The current experiment was conducted in a blank virtual reality room to verify these basic principles. For future applications, the technology can be used to modify the virtual reality environment in any conceivable way, permitting a wide range of previously impossible experimental manipulations.
This work came out of a collaboration with STARK Learning here in Groningen and our RA at the time played a crucial role in the data collection — thank you Charlotte!
The reference for the paper is:
Sense F, van Rijn H (2018) Probabilistic motor sequence learning in a virtual reality serial reaction time task. PLoS ONE 13(6): e0198759. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198759