Motor sequence learning is considered the result of the outflow of information following cognitive control processes that are shared by other goal-directed behaviours. Emerging evidence suggests that focused-attention meditation (FAM) establishes states of enhanced cognitive control, that then exert top-down control biases in subsequent unrelated tasks. With respect to sequence learning, a single-session of FAM has been shown to entrain stimulus-dependent forms of sequential behaviour in meditation naïve individuals. In the present experiment, we compared single-session effects of FAM and a computerised attention task (CAT) to test if FAM-induced enhanced top-down control is generally comparable to cognitive tasks that require focused attention. We also investigated if effort, arousal or pleasure associated with FAM, or CAT explained the influence of these tasks on sequence learning. Relative to a rest-only control condition, both FAM and CAT resulted in shorter reaction time (RT) in a serial reaction time task (SRTT), and this enhanced RT performance was associated with higher reliance on stimulus-based planning as opposed to sequence representation formation. However, following FAM, a greater rate of improvement in RT performance was observed in comparison to both CAT and control conditions. Neither effort, arousal nor pleasure associated with FAM or CAT explained SRTT performance. These findings were interpreted to suggest that the effect of FAM states on increased top-down control during sequence learning is based on the focused attention control feature of this meditation. FAM states might be associated with enhanced cognitive control to promote the development of more efficient stimulus-response processing in comparison to states induced by other attentional tasks.
Cognitive control processes influence how motor sequence information is utilised and represented. Since cognitive control processes are shared amongst goal-oriented tasks, motor sequence learning and performance might be influenced by preceding cognitive tasks such as focused- attention meditation (FAM). Prior to a serial reaction time task (SRTT), participants completed either a single-session of FAM, a single-session of FAM followed by delay (FAM+) or no meditation (CONTROL). Relative to CONTROL, FAM benefitted performance in early, random-ordered blocks. However, across subsequent sequence learning blocks, FAM+ supported the highest levels of performance improvement resulting in superior performance at the end of the SRTT. Performance following FAM+ demonstrated greater reliance on embedded sequence structures than FAM. These findings illustrate that increased top-down control immediately after FAM biases the implementation of stimulus-based planning. Introduction of a delay following FAM relaxes top-down control allowing for implementation of response-based planning resulting in sequence learning benefits.
The article investigates the accessibility of mobile and networking technologies to schoolchildren of different ages living in various areas and how they use these technologies. The author considers the potential ways in which modern technologies can be used in education. The potential benefits of such technologies are particularly promising for rural schools. The article comments on the modern trend to create a seamless educational environment on the basis of e-learning.
We integrated models of discrimination of immigrants by combining established approaches to prejudice and discrimination towards immigrants (proximate explanations) using assumptions of Evolutionary-Coalitional Theory (ultimate explanations). Based on this perspective, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), social dominance orientation (SDO), and multicultural ideology (MCI) were considered as sociofunctional motives for attitudes towards immigrants. We examined relationships between individual differences in beliefs about the social world (dangerous worldview and competitive worldview) as more distal antecedents, and RWA, SDO, and MCI as more proximal antecedents, and the endorsement of discrimination of immigrants in the socioeconomic domain by Russian majority group members as the outcome. Data were collected among 576 participants from 33 regions in Russia, using online social media. MCI predicted endorsement of discrimination of immigrants by Russian majority group members better than did RWA and SDO. SDO predicted only economic aspects of the endorsement of discrimination. The results are discussed within the Russian context, with its ethnically diverse composition of the population and high migration rates.