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Linking inhibition to activation in the control of task sequences


Gade, Miriam; Koch, Iring (2005). Linking inhibition to activation in the control of task sequences. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12(3):530-534.

Abstract

Inhibition of abandoned tasks in task switching can be inferred when a worse performance is found withn− 2 task repetitions (ABA sequences) than with nonrepetitions (CBA sequences). Recent evidence has shown that this inhibition effect decreases with long intertrial intervals (i.e., response-cue intervals, RCIs). Two alternatives have been proposed to account for this decrease. One alternative attributes the observed decrease to the decay of inhibition itself. The other alternative proposes that decay of the activation of competing tasks reduces the interference and leads to less inhibition. To decide between these alternatives, we manipulated RCI trialwise. The results favor the decay-of-activation account as an explanation for the decreased inhibition effect. This links the amount of inhibition to the activation level of the competing tasks, whereas evidence for the decay of inhibition remains weak.

Abstract

Inhibition of abandoned tasks in task switching can be inferred when a worse performance is found withn− 2 task repetitions (ABA sequences) than with nonrepetitions (CBA sequences). Recent evidence has shown that this inhibition effect decreases with long intertrial intervals (i.e., response-cue intervals, RCIs). Two alternatives have been proposed to account for this decrease. One alternative attributes the observed decrease to the decay of inhibition itself. The other alternative proposes that decay of the activation of competing tasks reduces the interference and leads to less inhibition. To decide between these alternatives, we manipulated RCI trialwise. The results favor the decay-of-activation account as an explanation for the decreased inhibition effect. This links the amount of inhibition to the activation level of the competing tasks, whereas evidence for the decay of inhibition remains weak.

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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:2005
Deposited On:06 Aug 2014 13:26
Last Modified:05 May 2017 13:34
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1069-9384
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03193800

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