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Caroline Palmer and Peter Q Pfordresher (2003)

Incremental planning in sequence production

Psychological Review, 110(4):683-712.

People produce long sequences such as speech and music with incremental planning: mental preparation of a subset of sequence events. The authors model in music performance the sequence events that can be retrieved and prepared during production. Events are encoded in terms of their serial order and timing relative to other events in a planning increment, a contextually determined distribution of event activations. Planning is facilitated by events' metrical similarity and serial/temporal proximity and by developmental changes in short-term memory. The model's predictions of larger planning increments as production rate decreases and as producers' age-experience increases are confirmed in serial-ordering errors produced by adults and children. Incremental planning is considered as a general retrieval constraint in serially ordered behaviors.