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The bivalency effect: Evidence for flexible adjustment of cognitive control


Rey-Mermet, Alodie; Meier, Beat (2012). The bivalency effect: Evidence for flexible adjustment of cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(1):213-221.

Abstract

When bivalent stimuli (i.e., stimuli with features for two different tasks) appear occasionally, performance is slower on subsequent univalent stimuli. This "bivalency effect" reflects an adjustment of cognitive control arising from the more demanding context created by bivalent stimuli. So far, it has been investigated only on task switch trials, but not on task repetition trials. Here, we used a paradigm with predictable switches and repetitions on three tasks, with bivalent stimuli occasionally occurring on one task. In three experiments, we found a substantial bivalency effect for all trials with at least one source of conflict. However, this effect was reduced for the repetition trials sharing no features with bivalent stimuli, that is, for those without conflict. This confirms that the bivalency effect reflects an adjustment of cognitive control. The news is that this adjustment of cognitive control is sensitive to the presence of conflict, but neither to its amount nor to its source.

Abstract

When bivalent stimuli (i.e., stimuli with features for two different tasks) appear occasionally, performance is slower on subsequent univalent stimuli. This "bivalency effect" reflects an adjustment of cognitive control arising from the more demanding context created by bivalent stimuli. So far, it has been investigated only on task switch trials, but not on task repetition trials. Here, we used a paradigm with predictable switches and repetitions on three tasks, with bivalent stimuli occasionally occurring on one task. In three experiments, we found a substantial bivalency effect for all trials with at least one source of conflict. However, this effect was reduced for the repetition trials sharing no features with bivalent stimuli, that is, for those without conflict. This confirms that the bivalency effect reflects an adjustment of cognitive control. The news is that this adjustment of cognitive control is sensitive to the presence of conflict, but neither to its amount nor to its source.

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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:2012
Deposited On:05 Mar 2014 16:26
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 04:43
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0096-1523
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026024

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