Research Topic

What Next - The Cognition of Sequences

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It is impossible to perceive the innumerable stimuli impinging on our senses, all at once. Out of the myriad stimuli, external and internal, a few are selected for further processing; and even among these, we try to put each in some sort of relation with the others, to be able to make some sense about them ...

It is impossible to perceive the innumerable stimuli impinging on our senses, all at once. Out of the myriad stimuli, external and internal, a few are selected for further processing; and even among these, we try to put each in some sort of relation with the others, to be able to make some sense about them all. Time, of course, is an elementary dimension we use to organize our experiences. Thus, the perception of sequences is basic to human cognition. Nevertheless, research addressing sequences is rather sparse. Partly, this is due to difficulty in designing experiments in this area due to huge individual differences. Then, there is the assumption that temporal order has more to do with memory than perception. Another problem is that sequences seem endemic to the auditory world. So much so that some researchers have suggested that sound provides the ‘auditory scaffolding’ for sequencing behavior. Little wonder that research studies addressing sequences in modalities other than audition are extremely rare.

We aim to gather a holistic picture of sequencing behaviour among humans by collecting snapshots of the current research on the topic of sequencing. We particularly welcome contributions which address sequences beyond the auditory modality. The kind of sequences under study may range from rapid serial visual presentations to series retrieved from long term memory. The problems addressed may be regarding developmental difficulties in children or adult dysfunctions and deterioration. The issues deliberated may be the role of attention, strategies, or explicit/intensive training. Both sequential ordering and production are important. Their links to higher order cognitive skills may be discussed. The underlying brain areas, networks, and processes may be delineated. Gender, group, and cultural differences may be debated. The single unifying criteria for these diverse contributions will be that they shed new light on previously unexplored empirical relationships and/or provoke new lines of research with incisive ideas regarding sequencing behavior. We invite seasoned researchers to contribute their views as theoretical/ review based articles or original research papers on perception, memory, and production of sequences.


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