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Effects of stimulus features and instruction on response coding, selection, and inhibition: evidence from repetition effects under task switching


Druey, Michel D; Hübner, Ronald (2008). Effects of stimulus features and instruction on response coding, selection, and inhibition: evidence from repetition effects under task switching. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61(10):1573-1600.

Abstract

The coding of stimuli and responses is crucial for human behaviour. Here, we focused primarily on the response codes (or response categories). As a method, we applied a combined dual-task and task-switch paradigm with a fixed task-to-hand mapping. Usually, negative effects (i.e., costs) are observed for response category repetitions under task switching. However, in several previous studies it has been proposed that such repetition effects do not occur, if the stimulus categories (e.g., "odd" if digits have to be classified according to their parity feature) are unequivocally mapped to specific responses. Our aim was to test this hypothesis. In the present experiments, we were able to distinguish between three different types of possible response codes. The results show that the participants generally code their responses according to abstract response features (left/right, or index/middle finger). Moreover, the spatial codes were preferred over the finger-type codes even if the instructions stressed the latter. This preference, though, seemed to result from a stimulus-response feature overlap, so that the spatial response categories were primed by the respective stimulus features. If there was no such overlap, the instructions determined which type of response code was involved in response selection and inhibition.

Abstract

The coding of stimuli and responses is crucial for human behaviour. Here, we focused primarily on the response codes (or response categories). As a method, we applied a combined dual-task and task-switch paradigm with a fixed task-to-hand mapping. Usually, negative effects (i.e., costs) are observed for response category repetitions under task switching. However, in several previous studies it has been proposed that such repetition effects do not occur, if the stimulus categories (e.g., "odd" if digits have to be classified according to their parity feature) are unequivocally mapped to specific responses. Our aim was to test this hypothesis. In the present experiments, we were able to distinguish between three different types of possible response codes. The results show that the participants generally code their responses according to abstract response features (left/right, or index/middle finger). Moreover, the spatial codes were preferred over the finger-type codes even if the instructions stressed the latter. This preference, though, seemed to result from a stimulus-response feature overlap, so that the spatial response categories were primed by the respective stimulus features. If there was no such overlap, the instructions determined which type of response code was involved in response selection and inhibition.

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14 citations in Web of Science®
14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:October 2008
Deposited On:11 Dec 2014 16:45
Last Modified:01 Jun 2017 01:41
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1747-0218
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17470210701643397
PubMed ID:18777444

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