Attention deployment during memorizing and executing complex instructions.
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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.
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