Skilled typing is controlled by two hierarchically structured processing loops (Logan & Crump, 2011): The outer loop, which produces words, commands the inner loop, which produces keystrokes. Here, we assessed the interplay between the two loops by investigating how visual feedback from the screen (responses either were or were not echoed on the screen) and the hands (the hands either were or were not covered with a box) influences the control of skilled typing. Our results indicated, first, that the reaction time of the first keystroke was longer when responses were not echoed than when they were. Also, the interkeystroke interval (IKSI) was longer when the hands were covered than when they were visible, and the IKSI for responses that were not echoed was longer when explicit error monitoring was required (Exp. 2) than when it was not required (Exp. 1). Finally, explicit error monitoring was more accurate when response echoes were present than when they were absent, and implicit error monitoring (i.e., posterror slowing) was not influenced by visual feedback from the screen or the hands. These findings suggest that the outer loop adjusts the inner-loop timing parameters to compensate for reductions in visual feedback. We suggest that these adjustments are preemptive control strategies designed to execute keystrokes more cautiously when visual feedback from the hands is absent, to generate more cautious motor programs when visual feedback from the screen is absent, and to enable enough time for the outer loop to monitor keystrokes when visual feedback from the screen is absent and explicit error reports are required.
Snyder, K. M., Logan, G. D., & Yamaguchi, M. (2015). Watch what you type: The role of visual feedback from the screen and hands in skilled typewriting. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 77(1), 282-292. https://doi.org/doi:10.3758/s13414-014-0756-6